5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent – Jodi Krangle

audioconnell jodi krangle voiceover

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Jodi Krangle, a professional voice over talent based just north of Toronto, Canada.

1.The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent;how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

I’ve been a singer all my life so using my voice was never anything I was unaccustomed to or embarrassed about. I also remember calling in to local radio shows to talk with the DJs about whatever issue they seemed to want to talk about in those days – and that was happening when I was around eleven. I remember sneaking to the phone to dial up CKEY in Toronto (which is now long defunct) when I was supposed to be sleeping. I don’t know if my parents knew about it and just let it happen, or if they genuinely had no idea. I have a feeling it was the former.

I even used to occasionally attempt to tape record these calls with the radio station with a huge boom box I had saved up for. (Believe it or not, I was doing door to door sales of stationary and little knick knacks (anyone remember Regal Greetings and Gifts?) when I was eleven to about thirteen to make some extra money beyond my allowance). THERE’S something that would never happen today! But I digress.

Fast forward to about 1995 and I hear about a program going on for the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) where they’re reading books (or magazines) on to tape. Using reel to reels. This was before digital. I only did that until late in 1996 (their volunteer recording facility was really far away from me so the trip was kind of grueling) but the bug had bit.

For the next long while, I thought about it in the background … and I did some personal projects, reading stories I’d written myself on to tape, put to music by a friend of mine. But nothing really substantial or for pay until 2007 when I finally got so bored with the business of promoting websites (SEO and Internet Marketing) that I just HAD to find something else to do.

I was already self-employed at that time – and had been for several years – so the stretch of going out on my own wasn’t really all that big of a stretch. It was just a different direction to focus my efforts. I started looking online, since I’d been an early adopter (I created a popular songwriting resource called The Muse’s Muse in 1995 and that’s where I first started experimenting with promoting websites). The web was part of my everyday routine. So when I needed information, that’s the first place I looked.

Things got going pretty quickly from there.

2.What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

Actually, it’s something that I’ve heard over and over now that I’ve been involved in the voice over community for a while. And of course, hindsight is 20:20, right? But I wish I’d had someone tell me to take coaching before making my first – and second – demo. It was the total lambasting of my second demo, professionally produced, mind – but long before I was actually *ready* for it – that got me really learning the craft. Before that … I don’t know. I guess I thought I’d just learn it by doing. Not the greatest idea. 😉

If there’s one thing I would tell a person just getting into this, I would say – find yourself a mentor, take coaching, and only when that coach or mentor tells you you’re ready for a demo should you make that demo. You’ll save yourself a LOT of wasted time and money by being careful about that. And never EVER think that a day class is going to make you ready. Maybe for a really small percentage of people, that’ll work. I don’t know. But in general? It’s something that comes after a great deal of hard work.

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

Actually, in the past, it’s been my health. I’m generally decently healthy, but I’ve been noticing that I’ve been catching more and more colds lately … And as we all know, catching a cold can really ruin things when it comes to our voices. 🙁 To combat this – and just to feel better in general, I’ve become a vegetarian and I’ve started juicing to get more fruits and vegetables into my system. I grew up with parents who were vegetarians (though they do eat fish, eggs, milk and cheese – just no chicken, beef, pork, etc, so kind of “modified” vegetarians) so it wasn’t that big of a stretch for me. I’ve really started to feel a LOT better. If anyone’s interested in hearing more about this, I’m happy to talk about it, but I won’t take up too much time with it here. 🙂

4.What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

Tenacity. Wow – has that word really become a staple of my vocabulary. Sticking with it – or just plain STUBBORNNESS has been a trait of mine from a very young age. In this business you get a LOT of rejection. Tenacity – never giving up – is what will get you through it. If not this job, then another. If not this agent, then another. I challenge myself to keep on taking steps forward, no matter how small or how many obstacles are put in front of me. It’s worked really well for me so far. I have to say that while talent is great to have, tenacity may actually get you further!

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

When I first decided to get into voice overs, I went to the VO-BB and to Julie Williams’ voice-overs.com message board. I gleaned all I could from the fantastic people at both places. That second demo I posted for critique was posted on voice-overs.com – and Lee Kanne, a fantastic actor from the Chicago area, is the one who lambasted it – and then proceeded to work with me over the phone and through exchanged .mp3s until I learned that there was actually *acting* involved in this. 🙂 He helped me find my own voice, going way out of his way for nothing but profuse thank-you’s – and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

This really is such a wonderful community – both online and in person. I’ve never met such a generous bunch of people and I certainly do all I can to pay it forward.

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