If you had told me six years ago that I would be 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, the most professional and took as many courses as possible I could get my hands on in order to stay diverse and competitive in my respected 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 than 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.
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 my influences that have helped me become the diverse, contemporary and millennial voice actor that I strive to be.
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 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 is a integral influencer in our industry. Although, I have never personally met Joan in person. I view Joan as the 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.
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 voice over industry 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, as I refer to as the Lennon/McCartney of the Voice-over world work tirelessly at producing the most awarded 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 is my opinion is the Joe Rogan of the Voice-Over world. Listening to this podcast is an integral part of my voice-over business and without his words and wisdom and “keeping it real” I would never have stuck it out this long in the VO world.
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 chalk-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 in how to market yourself in voice over.
Elle-Ray is a prodigy in the voice over 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 of 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 pulls 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 favourite colour!
Christy Fabbri is the Gayle to my Oprah. Christy is a fellow voice actor from Canada that 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 in the moment, 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 from VO to 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!
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.
Jodi Krangle in my opinion is the 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 of 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 it puts most of us to shame.
There are so many other inspiring voice actors and coaches, agents that I wish I could include but please know that each and every one of you in the business help to make this industry one of the most unique and enjoyable industries to be a part of. Thank you!