I’ve been a voiceover artist for over 25 years. I was part of the early wave of voice actors in the 1990’s who discovered that it was possible to produce and deliver professional audio recordings without leaving home. This was before Dropbox…before professional online communities…even before Facebook. With a few hundred dollars and some help from two generous and knowledgeable colleagues I was able to set up a home studio and start a lucrative business.
That’s the end of the story.
Here’s the beginning.
Falling in love with the spoken-word
I fell in love with spoken word audio when I was just 6 years old. My mom and dad gave me an LP for Christmas. (for those of you who may not know, that’s a flat round vinyl disc that we used to listen to music on before we had Spotify). One side of the record had classical music. It didn’t do much for my 5-year-old self.
But the other side was magical.
The other side of the LP was Camille Saint Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with narration by Russian ballerina, Irina Baronova.
If you’re not familiar with this work, listen to it on your favorite streaming service. It’s a series of short musical selections, each one representing a different exotic animal. The work is often performed with short poems between the movements. In this version the interludes, written by Margaret Harmsworth, were narrated by Irina Baronova.
I listened to it over and over and over again.
Maybe it was her exotic Russian accent that drew me in, or perhaps it was the wonderfully evocative music that brought all those creatures to life in my mind’s eye.
Either way, that LP opened the doors to my imagination, and I lost myself in a magical world of make-believe.
My love of storytelling and music developed as I grew up. I spent hours listening to stories on my record player, singing folk songs in school, playing the flute and guitar and reading books constantly. By the time I was in high school I was a certified theater rat and band geek.
Working in Hollywood
My professional life has always been in entertainment. I was a camera assistant in Hollywood for 7 years. I met my husband, Brian, on the set of an independent horror movie. We fell in love and then traveled all over the world working on television commercials–Brian, as director/cameraman, and myself as his First Assistant Camera Operator.
I eventually became an actress and joined the Knightsbridge Theater, a classical theater company then based in Pasadena. I booked several television commercials and a handful of commercial campaigns and print jobs. I worked in indie films and occasionally as a presenter at trade shows.
Voiceover acting was a side gig for me back then. Being bilingual opened doors, and it soon became evident that booking voice work was easier and more lucrative than working on-camera. When I became a mom in 2003 I decided to devote myself to voice acting full time.
Voice acting takes center stage
One of my first professional voiceover jobs was a Spanish language radio campaign for Albertson’s Supermarkets in Los Angeles. Every week I would go into Chuck Duran’s studio on Ventura Blvd. (now the offices of Voicetrax West) and either Chuck or Rick Dasher would engineer the session with client Barbara Couchman, directing. I had to record all the specials for the week: Oranges for 99 cents a pound! 12 pack of coca cola, just 2.99 each!
It was a great gig with supportive teammates and a friendly environment. Chuck Duran later produced my first commercial demos and Rick Dasher and I have worked together on various projects over the years.
Community becomes my cornerstone
Today, I am truly proud of the loyal and diverse client base I have built. I work with telephony system engineers and programmers, advertising executives, independent filmmakers, small business owners, marketing and customer service representatives, talent agents, IT professionals, audiobook producers, and even fellow voiceover performers who constantly surprise me with referrals and job offers. This is my community and love it and am grateful for it every single day.
I hope you’ll become part of my community, too. Just send me an email and let me know what you need. I look forward to hearing from you.