5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – Amy Taylor

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Amy Taylor, a professional voice-over talent based in Connecticut.

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 think if I knew voiceover could be a career, I’d have done it decades ago. I did my first spot in 1995 while working as a news anchor at a radio station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I REALLY wanted to voice spots. There was some discussion about whether a newscaster should be allowed to do spots, so when they let me voice my first one, I was elated and instantly hooked. I loved the creative process of commercials and I think I stayed on the radio path so I could continue my true passion- voiceovers!

By 2005 I had built a studio in my closet and had gathered some regular VO clients. My “ah-ha” moment came in 2006 when I was racing to finish my voiceover work so I could get to the radio station on time. It was then that I realized my voiceover income grossly eclipsed my radio income. I gave my two weeks notice and never looked back.

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

I know that just because you have a great voice, it doesn’t mean you can make it in this field. I learned to get out of my own way and not even think about how the words “sound” coming out of my mouth. Once you can do that, you’ll improve significantly. If I can listen to a spot and not think about the person’s voice but rather the story being told, I can tell they are a pro. That’s the kind of voice talent I strive to be.

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?

Amy: “Hi. I’m Amy and I’m a recovering DJ.”
Crowd: “Hi Amy.”

I suffer from the same syndrome as many ex-radio jocks do. Call it what you may, the “broadcaster” or “announcer” sound gets in the way of my ability to be real, conversational, non-announcery, etc. Working to correct this is a daily process for me.

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

I’m the worst liar ever. I really, really am. I think somehow it comes through in my reads. The specs for gigs I’ve landed usually include a variation the adjectives trustworthy, reliable, dependable. I think clients want to hire someone who believes in their product/service. They want someone that listeners/viewers will believe, too. That said, I don’t do political ads or things I’m not comfortable with. That would be *gulp* lying.

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?

I’ll tell you a common thread that almost everyone I’ve studied with says- from voice coaches to agents, casting directors to fellow voice actors. They all agree on the following.

“Talk to just one person. Don’t broadcast, just pick one person to talk to and commit to that.” If I can remember to follow this simple rule, my reads are much better.

2 Responses to “5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – Amy Taylor”

  1. Yay Amy! Yay Peter!

    Love this series.

  2. Thanks Chuck, I hope to see you at F5!

    Best always,
    – Peter