If you had told me six years ago that I would find inspiration in voice over and become a full-time voice actor I would have never believed you. I have worked in the corporate world for over 20 years, and throughout that time, I was taught that the more secondary education you had, the more successful you will become. With that mindset, I aimed to work for the largest companies and the most professional, and I took as many courses as possible I could get my hands on in order to stay diverse and competitive in my respective industries.
Although these positions did provide stable income, there was always a creative side that I craved so badly within these positions. I tried very hard to think of different and interesting ways to make my job more exciting and creative. Whether that came from purchasing bright highlighters to make my work notes look more appealing, using different colours in my spreadsheets, or thinking of new and interesting ways to engage with my staff or to lead meetings, I was always searching for something.
Diverse Artists That Provide Inspiration in Voice Over
Enter Voice-over! A good friend of mine told me about voice over, and for four months, I researched everything I could about the industry before jumping in. Throughout my career thus far, there have been certain individuals that have helped me personally with my trajectory in voice-over and some that I admired from afar. Today I will speak a little more about the influences that have helped me become the diverse, contemporary, and millennial voice actor that I strive to be.
Influencer Joan Baker
Joan Baker is a legend in the VO world. She is known as one of New York’s premier voice actors. She has won countless awards as a voice actor, on-camera host, and producer. Joan also plays a pivotal role in helping to host the SOVAS awards, which is likened to the Oscars in the VO world. She and her husband work tirelessly at promoting voice over, recognizing talent in their credited fields, and being integral influencers in our industry. Although I have never personally met Joan in person. I view Joan as Diana Ross meets Beyonce of the VO world. Following her line of work has motivated me personally as a BIPOC woman #slay! Joan’s accolades are encouraging and inspiring to me as an ethnic and diverse woman.
Legendary Inspiration in Voice Over J. Michael Collins
J. Michael Collins is the OG of the VO World. With over 25 years of experience, JMC (as he is more commonly known to those in the biz) has worked with countless #1 brands, sports teams, and organizations on the planet.
JMC brings a subject matter expert essence to the voice over industry, speaking as a main point of resource for all things pertaining to trends and statistics. I have heard JMC speak at voice over conferences, and when he presents, all actors are left hanging on his every word as he speaks with incredible credibility and trustworthiness.
I have worked with JMC twice in my career thus far. He and his counterpart AJ McKay, whom I refer to as the Lennon/McCartney of the Voice-over world, work tirelessly at producing the most award-winning demos in the industry. They wrote my Commercial and In-Show Narration demo scripts as well as directed and produced both demos. I was grateful to have received an award for the Commercial demo, which was recorded in a record-breaking 23 minutes from start to finish. That’s what a great director can do!
This suit-wearing, lobster-eating phenom recently has taken on the enormous task of producing VO Atlanta, the industry’s longest-running voice-over conference. There’s nothing JMC can’t do, and I’m here to see just what he will accomplish next.
Marc Scott Offers Marketing Inspiration for Voice Over
Marc Scott, in my opinion, is the Joe Rogan of the voiceover world. Listening to his podcast is an integral part of my inspiration in the voice over business, and without his words and wisdom and “keeping it real,” I would never have stuck it out this long.
Marc is a full-time professional voice actor based in South-Eastern Ontario, Canada, and gives a unique, guy-next-door, down-to-earth approach to the voice over business. He is an expert in business. Marc is synonymous with BBQ, drinking Dr. Pepper, and wearing his favourite colour, which is orange. His branding is spot-on, and we can all learn something from his marketing approach.
Each episode of his podcast Everyday VOpreneur is chock-full of resources, tips, and ideas to get your business where you want it. And if you’re ever having a down day, his advice will always fill your preverbal “VO cup”. Don’t forget to check out his courses on LinkedIn Marketing, Nimble, and the VO Marketing Playbook, a coveted guide on how to market yourself in voice over.
VO Royalty Elle-Ray Hennessy
Elle-Ray is a prodigy in the voiceover world. She is Canadian voiceover royalty and has worked in the business of acting and voice acting for over 40 years, performing in over 300 theatrical roles. Elle-Ray lives, breathes, and emits drama. When you meet her, you will never forget it!
Have you ever taken her world-renown animation classes? Drop everything and book one! You will leave a different human. Elle-Ray takes voice over to a spiritual level. Her uniqueness (and that’s a massive understatement) and eccentric coaching style pull countless characters and emotions out that you never thought you had, and I guarantee that.
Elle-Ray beats to her own drum, and that’s why we love her so much. Also she loves the colour pink – my favorite colour!
Christy Fabbri Keeps it Real
Christy Fabbri is the Gayle to my Oprah. Christy is a fellow voice actor from Canada whom I met at the VO conference back in 2018. I recognized her from a popular play-and-play voice over audition website, to which I yelled out, “You’re Christy Fabbri from such-and-such website! You’re #1 on the website.” I think I must have embarrassed her, but that’s just Christy. She is the most humble and genuine person you’ll meet. She is a busy mom of three and kills it in the VO world.
We exchanged numbers back in 2018, and not a week goes by without us talking about all things VO from the industry as a whole, life, reality TV, and all things in between. Coming into the VO world is a very solo endeavor, but having a resource like Christy to answer all my VO questions has been a fundamental part of my business. I am proud of all the work she has accomplished, and stay tuned for an incredible podcast she and her husband are working on with award-winning actress Jessica Biel!
Animation Goddess Dalal Sabra
Look-out world introducing Dalal Sabra. This fierce and ferocious French-Canadian voice talent is about to take the voice over industry by storm, and I am here for the ride. Dalal and I also met at VO North back in 2018. I didn’t know anybody at the conference, but I saw this “punk-looking” girl with one side of her head shaved and the other side with red hair, and I thought, “Ok. I got to sit next to her!” By the end of the weekend, Dalal and I were attached at the hip, bouncing business ideas off each other after every panel session. Dalal is a fierce animation goddess. There literally isn’t anything she can’t do. Animation is her passion, and I know soon enough, she will be living her dream of working on some big projects. She is an incredible actor, loves the craft, and she inspires me every time we talk. She is the kind of person who is in this business for the right reasons.
The Innovative and Trail-Blazing Jodi Krangle
Jodi Krangle, in my opinion, is the steadfast workhorse of VO. She just gets things done! Jodi has been a voice actor for about 17 years, and her accolades could put anybody to shame. There isn’t anybody who doesn’t want to work with Jodi.
I first heard of Jodi when we were on the same roster as a popular Toronto talent agent. I then realized we lived in the same small town and was so thrilled that someone so credible in the VO world lived so close to me. I have had the luxury of meeting up with Jodi and meeting at conferences, and she is light years ahead in the VO world and always provides reliable advice that I appreciate so dearly.
Jodi is at the forefront of what’s new in the VO world. She is also the host of an award-nominated Voiceover podcast where she focuses on Sound in the marketing industry; very cool! Her marketing and branding are direct, clear, and so consistent.
Share Your Inspiration in Voice Over
There are so many inspiring voice actors, coaches, and agents I wish I could include here, but please know that each and every one of you in the business makes voiceover one of the most unique and enjoyable professions, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Thank you!