The more you give…

As a professional performer, what you are selling or marketing, is yourself.  Check out my new head-shots!  Listen to my new demos!  Look at me!  Hear me!  Hire me!  I’m the best!  IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!!!  Ugggggghhhh.

Within minutes of meeting some people in our industry, I immediately start to get the “what can you do for me” vibe, the sensation that the person is only half listening to me and already calculating in his or her head how well connected I might be, how I might be able to refer them or otherwise connect them with someone I’ve worked with or know, etc.  Sadly, this “all about me” syndrome is a fairly common affliction amongst some very talented and otherwise perfectly nice people.  The more sly ones find a way to offer me something in order to get something back from me.

Here’s the thing: When you give selflessly, you get back tenfold, but if you are giving for the purpose of getting something back, you are doing it all wrong.  There is no greater joy than feeling profound gratitude for what you already have, and experiencing the selfless act of giving.

I am a part of the Voxy Ladies, a group of professional female voiceover actors who also happen to be serious do-gooders, which is what attracted me to the group. I met them at a book donation event for BookPALS, and I was immediately drawn to this group of ladies who choose to use their collective voices for good on a regular basis. Today I picked up the Halloween costume donations at Lotas Productions that the Voxy Ladies organized.  (You can read more about that here.) Seeing that huge box completely full of costumes almost made me cry tears of joy.

Jim Kennelly, the founder of Lotas Productions, has something he says to me at some point in the conversation every time he sees me: “What can I do for you?”  The way he says this makes me smile.  You can tell that he genuinely hopes to be of help in some way.  It is the exact opposite of that unspoken “what can you do for me” vibe that plagues our industry, and the opposite energy as well.  Today, I immediately replied that he had already been incredibly helpful with our costume drive.  Then I remembered a friend in need… so I asked him if he happened to know of any good union actors who could deliver a line in a specific way.  My friend, who I had just seen that morning, needed this voice right away for a TV show.  Lo and behold, Jim had two actors coming to the studio momentarily that fit the bill!  He even offered to record each of their voices doing a brief audition for my friend!  Thank you, Jim!  We helped children, we helped a friend, and I went home feeling high!

When you offer to help others on a regular basis, it becomes a part of who you are.  You become a better person, which makes you instantly more attractive to others, and to yourself.  You feel good about yourself in a way that surpasses any career accomplishment.  The good things that happen in your life as a result of your selflessness come as pleasant surprises that only further add to the initial joy of helping.

I hope this inspires you to selflessly help others.  And I hope that you too experience that awesome high, that warm wonderful feeling that is its own reward.

 

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Jim Kennelly and I goofing off with our costume drive collection box.

Special thanks to Marion and Dylan at Lotas Productions for their help as well with our Halloween Costume Drive!

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The Ebony Hillbillies are always good sign

My day started not so great when my train was late, but things got better when I heard The Ebony Hillbillies playing at the Grand Central shuttle to Times Square… then I got to work with people I love, so I even though I arrived a little late and flustered, I left with a big smile, because that’s what warm, funny, talented people do to me… then I hopped on a train to a different studio to audition for the nicest guy in the world… and just now, I got a bilingual voiceover referral that I didn’t even ask for from the aforementioned nicest guy in the world (hence his new title). Pretty great day, after all!

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Colectiva Latina

ColectivaLatina_LogoWithTagline“Latinos, we’re connected…” As a Hispanic voiceover actor, I was honored to be hired by ColectivaLatina to narrate the informational video on their website. ColectivaLatina is an exclusive community of diverse and highly influential Latino bloggers. We produce high-quality content for brands that speaks to our culture through our familias, our traditions, and our experiences.  Check it out!

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The Halloween Costume Drive is back!

I just got back from Lotas Productions where I was able to record a quick audition with the nicest guy in the biz (aka Jim Kennelly), but best of all, where I dropped off the big collection box for this year’s costume drive!  That’s right folks, it’s time for the spooktacular Voxy Ladies Halloween Costume DriveWant to help kids? Want to win a chance at a new Sennheiser 416 microphone?  Here’s how!

1. Make a donation of a new or gently-used costume.  Here is the collection box at Lotas Productions in NYC! (Notice that you get some free candy when you donate)

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2. Take a photo of yourself donating (like this fuzzy picture of me)

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3. Post on the Voxy Ladies Facebook pagefacebook.com/VoxyLadiesor tweet it @VoxyLadies

A drawing will be held for the 416 from all those who participate.  NYC’s costume donations will be given to the kids of The Carver Centerwww.carvercenter.org 

 A great big THANK YOU to the fabulous Jim Kennelly at Lotas Productions for sponsoring our costume drive in New York City!

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Listen to those loopers!

What a day! Two voiceover jobs back to back!  I got to do a Southern accent y’all, AND speak Spanish and English with a Cuban accent, all in one gig! (Complete with yelling Cuban obscenities. Mami would not have been proud.)

Oh, the life of a voiceover looper… I sure love it.  People often ask me what makes a good looper, so here are four things that are key: being good at improv, knowing multiple languages and/or accents, doing your homework (research topics covered in scenes), and being a team player.  The people I work with consistently impress me and keep me on my toes as I aim to match their energy, wit, and savvy improv dialogue, one minute sounding like young teenagers walking along the streets of Brooklyn, and in the next scene sounding like an elderly ER doctor and Hispanic nurse discussing the medical condition of a patient… it’s voice ACTING.  Like background actors who also play an important part, our voices help bring to life so many of the scenes you see in TV and films.  Net time you watch your favorite TV show, see if you notice any voices other than the principal actors, and if you do, you’re listening to a looper!

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Post Post Production Pizza

New Yorkers! Yesterday, I had a great job doing some post production looping and ADR for a new sitcom called, Manhattan Love Story, and I finished recording early enough to meet my husband, David, for pizza in Brooklyn (no better place in the world for pizza than New York)… Well, we both agreed it was the best pizza we had ever had, so I just had to share! http://www.ilportobrooklyn.com/ You’re Welcome.

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A Heartfelt Thank You

On this Labor Day, I am so grateful to my union, SAG-AFTRA for giving me a steady income of residual checks during a year in which I worked very little, a year of wonder with my now one year old daughter. I am grateful to my employers, many of whom I am lucky to also call friends, friends who have patiently waited for me to say I can return to the voiceover, acting and singing jobs I love. I am grateful to my husband, David, for his hard work at his job as well, which also made it possible for me to focus on taking care of our daughter this past year. Thanks to my union, I can work jobs that pay extremely well for just a day of work, and then continue to receive residual checks for a long time. Only union jobs provide this sort of income (residuals and royalties) to artists who may otherwise not be able to make a living doing what they love. Because it is Labor Day, and because I am now returning to work jobs in the city (without my baby, as much as she enjoyed her last visits to the recording studio) I wanted to post this thank you on Labor Day to the people who work so hard to give me a fulfilling and creative work life that I love: THANK YOU to my husband, to my employers, and to my union.

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