5 Questions for a Professional Voice-Over Talent – September Day Carter

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by September Day Carter, a professional voice-over talent based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 wanted to be a voice talent since I was 19 and a local DJ told me I had a great voice. At the time, I was very overweight, so I turned down all of his offers for me to come down to the radio station and voice some spots. I went on to become a veterinary technician instead until I got mauled by a dog and needed to find a new career. I had always wanted to try VO and now I had an excuse! I started working in February of 2007 and, through a lot of trial and error, was able to go full time after I voiced for the MTV Video Music Awards later that year. The live announcing was such a rush! I knew that night, I never wanted to do anything else! By the way, that DJ who told me I had a nice voice? Well, I ended up marrying him 11 years later and we have two beautiful little girls, are both successful voice talents, and teach workshops together 🙂

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

That you don’t need a ton of money to get started! Honestly, if you’ve got the goods, you don’t need a lot of other junk that just gets in the way. Be smart about choosing your teachers and never, ever buy retail!

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?

Currently my biggest obstacle is learning to juggle two babies and a career! 🙂 But my daughters have also helped my reads calling for a Mom voice. Now, I have a new depth of understanding when the script is discussing healthcare, diapers, busy moms, or even children’s health issues. I’m learning to get them on the same napping schedule so I can get a decent noise floor!

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

I think my genuine interest in people has helped me immensely. I try very hard to make real connections with other talents and my clients. I keep track of what’s going on with them in their lives and check in from time to time. Staying involved with them keeps me fresh in their minds as well as giving my outgoing, extroverted personality an outlet in an industry where we mostly work alone.

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?

Two women helped me begin my career. The first is Catherine Sheehan. She is amazing! I was really floundering at the start, just couldn’t find a way to get a real toe-hold. I came across Catherine’s website one day and cold called her. We ended up chatting for hours! She shared so much information with me, I was shocked! Before, no one would talk to me, return emails, or give me answers. Catherine just put it all on the table. Now, with the beginner workshop I teach, I always remember how generous Catherine was with me and try to bring that same selflessness to my students and teach them everything I know that could help them be successful. The other woman is the remarkable Nancy Wolfson. Nancy is my only teacher. Because I had had moderate success fairly quickly, I really shied away from coaching. I hate spending money and I figured I was doing pretty good on my own, so why bother? But I knew she was a mover and shaker in the biz and I wanted to make that connection. Let me tell you, the woman blew my mind in the first five minutes. She shares techniques that are so exquisitely simple but that make a REAL difference to your reads. So, so many times I’ve been in the booth and if I’m struggling with the script, I can just recall that first lesson and immediately the reads get better

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