The Start Date: Jan 7, 2022
“Don’t I look cute in my headphones?” captioned my friend, Angie Chatman, on her Facebook post with the attached article "So, You Want to Be A Voice Artist". The post is a few weeks old, so why it shows up in my feed now is a mystery. The article features short interviews with several people and includes a picture of my beautiful friend in a bright blue shirt, a wide smile, and wearing headphones, in which she does, indeed, look cute. I’m intrigued.
My daughters have been telling me for years that I should narrate audio books. The idea was appealing, but, until now, I could not, or perhaps did not, take time out of a busy life to pursue it. I sent a message to Angie asking if she had time to answer some questions about how she got started.
Angie’s guidance includes the suggestion to sign up for a class with a teacher she has worked with through Actors Connection. His name is Paul Liberti. He's teaching an audiobook narration class that starts a bit later in January. I sign up.
And my voice over journey begins.
Actors Connection: The company’s mission is “to empower actors with the individualized skill sets and connections they need to build their path to success.” They have been around since 1991. Until 2020 it appears most of their classes were held in person in New York City but, as many businesses did at that time, they figured out how to hold classes online. To learn more about Actors Connection click on the link embedded in their name.
Paul Liberti: Paul is a working voice actor. He has worked as an actor, dancer, voice actor, voice director, and casting director. He has performed on Broadway, national tours, film, and tv. He is a working voice over actor, a former Muppet performer, is the voice of Curious Geroge & the Man in the Yellow Hat for Harcourt Mifflin, and is working on a new animated series. The first Voice Over (VO) class I took was Paul’s "AUDIO BOOKS – Narrator Authors Connection!" About a dozen students attended over Zoom. I hadn’t been in a class like this in a long time - and never over Zoom. I was nervous and it showed. However, Paul was quick to give advice and techniques that got my nerves and voice under control. To learn more about Paul click on the link embedded in his name.
Angie Chatman: Angie is a freelance writer, editor, and storyteller from Dorchester, MA. I met Angie when we both lived in Des Moines, IA. Our friend, Robin, started a Writer’s Group and invited us. Our routine was to meet at Robin’s on Fridays, at lunchtime. Our group took turns providing lunch and we ate together, chatting. A timer was set and when it went off, we all found a spot to settle and write (or draw, for me, as I was working on writing and illustrating a children’s book). Then, after a second timer went off, we gathered and read our stories to each other. After each reading we offered feedback – what we liked, what we loved, what left us wanting more, what confused us, what we felt might be added. Robin, Angie, Thea, Kay, Mary Jane, Jodi, and I were the Friday Girls. The talent of writing and storytelling among this small group was extraordinary and, well, it was simply a once in a lifetime experience. To learn more about Angie click on the link embedded in her name.