While voice-over is certainly a niche in the acting world, it is still a diverse market. From radio advertisement to character animation, commercials to audiobooks, Such A Voice prepares our students for any voice-over genre. While success can be hard-earned, our students fare better than those who have not had the opportunity to be taught by us. Tia Sorensen is one of those success stories. Hailing from Salt Lake City, and happily married (with 2 furry children to boot), Tia started her SAV studies in 2014 after a good old fashioned Google search!
Tia has a bright, wispy, captivating voice. Her incredibly clear enunciations bring character to every word, which is good considering most of her work has been audiobooks. She has been inundated with work, but lucky for us, she spared a moment from her Blanket Fort home studio to sit down and tell us all about it.
SAV: The industry can seem daunting to an outsider, what was your inspiration or push to start the program?
Tia: Well, that’s kind of a long story! The short version: I was in a position in my life where I was ready to create a new identity. Voice-over had been in the back of my mind for a while and it was the right time to go for it. I tell the long version on the May 30 episode of my podcast, Candid with Brady and Tia. And yes, it did feel daunting! But taking the big picture and breaking it down into smaller, consistent tasks to complete everyday has made it completely manageable.
SAV: What was your favorite part of the program?
Tia: I would have to say just being to able to speak with the coolest, kindest, most helpful, most interesting and knowledgeable people every week through my Skype sessions with Coaches Bill, Michael, and Joleene. I adore them all and they’re some of my favorite people on the planet.
SAV: Tell us about your first voice-over job. What did you learn from it?
Tia: Sure! It was a set of demo videos for a sports analytics company, about 8 minutes of voice-over in all. I learned:
If you’re seeking perfection you will go insane. I may still have residual anxiety from the pressure I put myself under during that job…
Proper vocal care will save you SO much time in the editing process.
It’s a great idea to spend lots of time with your studio and equipment getting comfortable BEFORE you have deadlines.
SAV: Speaking of deadlines, you have completed 16 audiobooks! What is that like?
Pretty freaking cool! I’ve had the opportunity to become friends with some really great authors. There is nothing better than having an author trust you with their artwork, then allow you to turn it into your own, and approve of your interpretation of something they’ve poured their soul into. It’s really humbling.
SAV: That sounds awesome! Since you are handling such great work, do you ever get nervous behind the mic?
Tia: I absolutely get nervous! I’m a classic over-thinker. I have a little bit of a ritual before I go into my home studio. I take a minute to remind myself that I’m not saving lives everyday. I’m using my voice to get across some kind of message and that’s really cool! But it’s not going to assist in finding the cure for cancer. I have one of the coolest jobs out there and if it’s not fun and relaxed, then I’m not doing it right and all of the risks I took to do this and the work I put in was totally in vain. So, I take a deep breath, remember what I’ve learned, do something to improve my skills everyday, and just have fun!
SAV: That’s a very solid way of thinking. How many takes do you normally do before something is perfect?
Tia: I guess it kind of depends on what I’m working on. For audiobooks, if I’ve done the right preparation, I’m usually happy with my first take on each chapter with a few starts and stops. Otherwise, my productivity would be a nightmare. For shorter things, like commercials, I’ll usually get it in around three takes. Again, if I’ve done the right preparation.
SAV: And tell us about your podcast.
Tia: I’d love to! It’s called Candid with Brady and Tia. When I was working as a University Recruiter I had a lot of opportunities to learn about and help support underrepresented populations (racial and cultural minorities, undocumented students, LGBTQ, etc.). My biggest concern leaving that job was losing those opportunities. The podcast was born with the idea of educating ourselves and others about how different types of people experience the world. We work to pull listeners in with humor and entertainment, then mix it with interviews with people from different backgrounds. Then people basically learn something when they’re not paying attention. The masterplan is to help create a better society.
SAV: Do you have a dream voice job? Something that you’re really hoping to voice?
Tia: Funny story! One of my best friends in the world is fulfilling his dream by following a career path to becoming a Disney Imagineer. We’ve made a pact that he’ll work to his ultimate goal of creating a new Disneyland attraction and I’ll work to have a voice-over career that would make me an obvious choice to lend my voice to his amazing attraction. And we’re pretty determined people, so I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, any day in which voice-over is how I make a living, is a good day.
SAV: A Disney story in the making! I’m sure you will get there. Your reviews are very impressive, do you have suggestions for other students to keep their clients happy?
Tia: I’m very grateful that people will take time out of their day to give me a good review. They don’t have to and it means a lot. My recommendation for keeping a client happy is just being a dream to work with. Yes, we’re offering a service and we’re all professionals, but we’re really just dealing with people. So, talk to your clients like people. Deliver on your promises. Be reliable. Do everything to make them feel comfortable with the choice they made to pick you out of every other voice-over artist in the world. Above all, COMMUNICATE. I work with a small publisher who has been kind enough to have me narrate four books with four more on the way. I’m sure there are many, many people who could narrate these books better than I can, but they pick me over and over because they like what I do, they trust me, and know I’m easy to work with.
SAV: Do you have any advice for aspiring voice talent?
Tia: In the last couple of years, really since I started pursuing a voice-over career, I’ve become really comfortable living in a constant state of discomfort. Now, that probably sounds counter-intuitive, but let me explain. I realized the second I started seeking out things that made me a little uncomfortable (or a lot) whether that be narrating audiobooks, a physical or fitness goal, acting, or spending time with and learning about people different from myself, my life got exponentially more interesting. It also makes you a much more interesting and confident person. And I wholeheartedly believe that makes you a better voice talent. So, I guess my advice is to throw yourself into experiences, within your voice-over career and in life in general, that make you a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. Just grow and learn, my friend.
To check out Tia’s work or hire her for a project, visit tiasorensen.com. And don’t forget to check out her podcast!
If you have completed your demo then you are eligible for our Talent Spotlight! Every month we will choose one Such A Voice alumni to post about and, if chosen, you will receive 3 free months of our VIP Membership! Send a picture and why you feel you should be featured to: firstname.lastname@example.org.