Thursday, March 22, 2007


Stephanie Ciccarelli wrote a blog recently over at Vox Daily about post session rewards. She reminded us of the little things we need to do every day to treat ourselves- thus leading to a much more rewarding life.

This morning I was thinking about Stephanie's post, as I believe strongly in the need to take a piece out of my day to not worry about work or family. I believe this makes me a healthier and stronger person all around.

You see, I have a ritual every morning. I wake up...check e-mail...have a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea...and then go outside to water the gardens and clean out the bird bath. I do this nearly every morning of my life that it's warm enough and not raining. I've always considered this my 'stress-free' treat to myself- a way to kick off my morning with something I love that is also productive.

This morning however, I added a step that made an enormous difference in my outlook on this day. It started when I made a cup of coffee...this is something I only do on days I know I won't be recording in the first half of the day. The cream gets stuck in my throat- so I usually stick to tea. Alas, this morning I got coffee- yay! I went outside, watered the gardens, and fed and watered the birds. Then I stopped.

I walked down to the stone bench my husband put on the furthest edge of our property and sat. My dog curled up under the bench in the shade and fell asleep. I just sat there for about 20 minutes listening to the beautiful calls of the mockingbirds and finches. I watched the grackles play in the bath, the doves peck around at the food. I listened to the bees buzzing around the freshly planted blackberry bushes. They were oblivious to me, and I simply relished them. It wasn't long before the tears came to my eyes.

It occurred to me this morning that I have exactly what I had hoped to have 6 months ago when I left my radio job. I have peaceful mornings spent in the gardens. I have a studio upstairs where I am able to do the work I love. I have a great husband and a healthy family. There is no other place on earth I would have wanted to spend my morning.

So, I've made a promise to myself to take those precious few minutes each morning that I can to walk down to the bench and be thankful. Even on days when the outlook might not be as bright- that will be my place to stop and appreciate everything good and right in the world. I will hope that each day the flowers and trees grow bigger, my spirit will as well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What if Life Had a Soundtrack?

I received an e-mail this morning from my friend Stephanie Ciccarelli about something new they have put together at This is just one of the many reasons I love that website (and company!)- they are always trying to find new ways to attract clients- thus giving 'us the voice actors' new leads as well!

If you've ever wondered what a difference a good voice over can make for your project, check out 'What if Life Had a Soundtrack?'.

These are just the first two videos they have put together, there are more on the way!

Monday, March 19, 2007

A New client, A New Friend

The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me- which I am SO delighted about! In fact, I've spent as much time working as I have marketing- which is a first for me in my new profession. The new kids show I've been working on managed to fill a few days, I recorded a new set of radio commercials for KB Homes in Charlotte, and I picked up three new clients! One of my new clients is the Cartoon Network- and I had a blast with all four words I voiced! (seriously- it was four words and a giggle- heheh!) A big thank you to Brian Haymond for helping me make the connection.

OK- I promise this won't be an entire blog about the work I've been getting- although it is very exciting! This is a blog about one new client in particular.

His name is Jim and he owns a video editing company in Florida. Jim contacted me to voice an employee training video for a company that creates fairs and amusement parks.

Right off the bat, in the very first e-mail, I knew I would like Jim. He had the normal professional job proposal, but the last line was something like, "I also liked Shawshank redemption but didn't like Saw- must be a generational thing." Jim was obviously doing his homework on me.

The e-mail exchanges have continued over the last several days, both of us asking questions about the other's lives in addition to passing along scripts and audio samples.

In fact, I've noticed the 'job' portions of the e-mails tend to be short and toward the end, while the 'conversation' portions fill the pages. Yup. I really like Jim.

It turns out Jim began his company after retiring. He was good with a camera and wanted something new to do. He continues to strive for great success so that his two young employees will have a secure future ahead of them.

I've learned a lot about Jim...his kids, five grandchildren, and wife. He's been to my Myspace page and says my husband reminds him of 'Storm' from X-Men.

Jim is the type of client that comes along every once and a while and reminds you what a great business we work in.

Not only do I have a new client...I have a great new friend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

When You Least Expect It!

Yesterday evening I received a hilarious e-mail from my new friend Caryn Clark. She is a talented fellow voice actor, check out her website at I asked her permission to re-tell her story, as I think there is something to be learned.

Caryn told me she isn't much of a gardener, a tomato plant here or there. However, she has had this one Basil plant sitting in her kitchen for quite some time now. Unfortunately, this plant has finally seen its last days.

Caryn writes, "I figured it was just my neglect. I kill everything I grow. Matter of fact, my husband just put fake grass in my little garden out by our pool. Yes, fake grass. So, I broke off the dead little limbs, and left the one green branch.

This past Saturday morning, my husband was doing something at the kitchen sink... he noticed the dying plant, and grabbed it to throw it under the faucet... and then called out to me, "Honey, did you not notice what's in your plant?"

I came into the kitchen and asked him what he was talking about, all the while saying, yeah, I know it's dead, blah, blah. He said, "Go take a look at your plant." So I did.

Half buried in the soil, with his big eyeballs peeking out, was a big ole frog.

I grew a frog."

I love it!

Her e-mail started me thinking of all the hard work I have put into my business recently. The networking, the contacts I have made in trying to have a new website built. The lunch dates with producer friends…the list could go on and on.

However, things can grow in places you aren't even looking or pursuing. A month ago I received an e-mail from a company in Louisiana I had never heard of. They had heard of me from a client I had recorded with ages ago and wanted me to voice a series of radio commercials for them.

Sometimes frogs grow in plants you figured were long-since dead. Surprises happen, and that is why I adore this business.

As Caryn said, "I guess frogs in the kitchen are better than frogs in our throats, huh?"

Thanks Caryn. Be sure to check out Caryn's website and blog (listed below)- I'm sure you can find a much more detailed story of the froggy stow away!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


As you may or may not know, I was the female co-host on a morning radio show for several years. For those of you that have ever held this job- you already know this...for the rest of you? Allow me to explain...

The job of a female co-host is to gossip. Daily. Whether it's our opinions on celebrities, politicians, or Joe Schmo that somehow made the news. We are to have a strong opinion (not too strong, lest we come across as a know-it-all)...any opinion...just something to get people talking and calling in.

It's been 6 months and 4 days since I left radio. On my 6 month anniversary- I had a revelation. The gossip and opinions I was expressing daily were wearing me down. To judge people and make fun of people...people I've never met in my life...was truly taking a toll on my mind and my body. I was finding humor at the expense of others in order to maintain my job.

In the voice over world, it is quite the opposite. I find a community that strives to build each other up. If there is criticism, it is constructive. We each want to succeed, and aren't afraid to help others find a similar success.

My Pastor says, "Garbage in, garbage out". It can be said the opposite way as well.

You get what you give...the energy released to the universe is the energy that finds its way back to your soul. If you stand in constant judgement of others, you eventually find it is yourself that is in need of judgement.

Today, I am more free and calm than I have been in years. I watch the news and look for the things that will bring positive energy to my life- not for things I can make fun of.

Change your perspective, and you will find it changing your life!

Saturday, March 10, 2007


My husband and I have lived in our current house for two and a half years. The first Spring we were here, we noticed a large group of Grackles bullying all the songbirds away from the food. These birds are relentless- when they are around, we cannot enjoy our Finches, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, or Robins. It angered me, and I decided I strongly disliked those Grackles, and would never find any joy in them.

The second Spring?? The same thing.

I disliked them even more than before.

However, a strange thing happened this morning. I had just finished watering the garden and refilling the bird bath. I was standing in the kitchen enjoying the aroma of brewing coffee when I saw them. The Grackles were back.

Only this morning...I was not sad- I was filled with joy! My first thought was that Spring is finally here! Just a short while longer and the beds will be filled with flowers, new birds will begin to hatch all over the yard! A goofy grin spread across my face as the Sparrows were chased from the feeder...I was thrilled to see my old friends return.

As is often the case with life, time changes perspective. Something you disliked before may become something you love. Patterns and regularity become your comfort, your joy.

I decided I will spend the rest of my weekend looking for something else to change my perspective about. Those eight radio commercials with the giant hard-to-pronounce words? I will not complain- I will tackle them with gusto! I will remember how I adore my job, and sometimes- even the negative will become positive!

As my dear friend Brian Haymond always says...To Be Continued!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Worm Poop vs Voice Acting

I read a fascinating article in one of my gardening magazines recently that has really started me thinking about my own new voice over business. The article was about two college freshmen from Princeton University that came up with a genius concept for plant food. The 'food' is made from liquefied worm poop. Literally. Food waste from large scale food producers is fed to worms, the castings (or poop) are then processed and liquefied. Early research shows the result is as good if not better than commercial brands. Along the way, these two college students decided to use recycled soda bottles for their 'containers', rejected spray tops for the nozzles, and rejected shipping boxes for their own shipments. The name of the Company is TerraCycle, and you can now pick up their all purpose plant food almost anywhere.

In fact, we picked up a bottle yesterday and started using it last night...I will let you know the results in a month or so.

What I love about this company is that it began with an old concept (worms being good for plants) that became 'new and different'. Months of scientific research went into the development of the food. These guys found earth conscious and money conserving ways to produce their product, bottle it, and ship it. The product is sold at a reasonable price, competitive without being 'cheap'. When I buy it, I feel good about getting a quality product, while supporting conservation at the same time.

As I look at my own business, I want to use these two young men as my models. I want to take an old concept (voice acting) and make it somehow new and fresh. I want to research new voice techniques, spend time on quality auditions and jobs. I don't want to waste money on unnecessary equipment just because someone else has it, or it's the 'cool' product of the moment. When a client 'purchases' my product, I want them to feel good about their decision. I want to give a quality product at a competitive price without being 'cheap'.

Miss any of these steps, and 'worm poop' is all I have to offer!