Everyone spoke for me or over me as a child. No one ever stopped to ask how I felt or what I wanted. I had always had to speak fast for fear others would lose interest and start talking to another person or just interrupt me, which is what usually happened. That’s how it was in my family. Over the years, I grew less certain of my voice. Unsure of choices made, afraid to even make a decision.
My voice was heard, valued and wanted.
When I was 16, I joined the youth choir in my church. In the beginning I loved it and the choir became an area to explore my voice’s range and power. But my parents wanted to add me to the list of lead soloists that my sisters were already on (my family had a rep in the church for great singing). I didn’t want to be on that list, but what I wanted didn’t matter. I sung my first lead and every one after that numb and stationary. I began to hate singing and the moment I entered adulthood, I slammed the door on all requests.
I never set out to become a voice actor; I just started falling in love with my voice again. Careers in management and teaching gave me a new vocal lens. My voice was heard, valued and wanted. This became the catalyst for loving the sound of my voice and having fun with grammatical expressions to make meaning for myself and with others.
More than using my voice to market a brand, voice acting for me is about loving who I am. Getting behind the mic means living in the moment to make each script come alive and tell its own story. When I teach public speaking or communication skills, I start by helping each client to eradicate all dislike of the sound of their voice. I thoroughly believe you can’t shape what you hate. My voice is a superpower because it empowers me to own any room I’m in-something I love to help others to do as well.