We are always excited to hear from our graduates and learn more about what they’re currently up to! This month, we are hearing from voice-over talent, Gina Stack. She graduated from our Premier VIP program with Sara Sherman a couple of years ago, and since then, she has narrated books through ACX. Find out what else Gina has been up to since graduating from the Such A Voice program and what attracts her to the voice-over industry.
SAV: Hey Gina! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us! Tell us why you chose voice-over. What attracted you to this industry?
Stack: Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my experience with you! Over the past eleven years, I have been singing, doing live announcements, covering songs, and working with my church, Upward Call, in Madison, Wisconsin. My church has been broadcasting our services on our radio station and live streaming on the internet for six years now. These experiences made me think more about who voiced the cartoons that I would watch with my son. We would look them up online and see just a regular person in a recording studio with headphones on.
When I started looking for opportunities within the voice-over industry, I came across jobs on Voices.com and got really excited! I then noticed that I needed a professional demo in order to apply for these jobs.That put a halt in my plan, I knew I had to have a good demo, yet I had no idea how to attain that. I prayed that if God wanted me to do voice-over that he would show me how to do it. A year later, I got an email about a community class offered by Such A Voice. The instructor, Brian Thon, would be teaching a class about how to get started in the voice-over industry. I attended the class and loved what I heard about the industry! I had a blast getting my voice evaluated at the end of the class. I got a call shortly after from Brian, where he offered me the opportunity to work with Such A Voice.
SAV: What do you like the most about being a voice-over artist?
Stack: I love doing auditions! It gives me a chance to challenge myself and have fun doing different things. Recording is so fun! I love it! Believe me, I never thought I would be doing this. God is so good to show me what I am capable of. I also really enjoy making new contacts for possible work.
SAV: Do you have a favorite voice?
Stack: I love the munchkins in the original Wizard of Oz movie! I also really enjoy Gilda Radner and all the different voices and characters she used to do.
SAV: Do you have a niche or type of voice-over you are most suited for?
Stack: Narrating books for all ages and all different types of subjects. I really love narrating children’s stories. Between raising and homeschooling our three children and having three grandsons, I have read a lot of books and continue to do so now. I was not a soccer mom!
SAV: Tell us more about the particular program you enrolled in at Such A Voice. Who were your coaches? What did you learn?
Stack: I enrolled in the Premier VIP Program with Sara Sherman which has been and continues to be great! Two years ago, my voice coach was Bill Sleeper. He was an excellent coach. He helped me in many ways and made it so fun! I was so sad when the coaching ended! He helped me develop and rely on my own computer capabilities, which initially were very weak. I learned that if you make a mistake in the middle of a recording to just keep going because you can edit the mistake out. This came in handy when I auditioned for opportunities through Voices.com and especially when I recorded my first long book. Also, it’s good to paint a picture with your voice and find where to go high, middle and low with it while doing long sentences and listings. Smiling while you talk is huge, people can hear the difference.
Angela Castonguay did my professional demo and she was fantastic to work with. She was so encouraging, she saw what I was capable of, even when I didn’t, and was able to draw that out of me. She is still available whenever I get in a snag or get frustrated. Ben Marney was extremely helpful in getting me started with Audacity and helping me out with ACX standards. He was so patient and took a lot of time with me as my computer skills were not so great. Brian Thon helped me when I was having trouble getting my website up and running. Joleene Derks has been awesome with assisting me with marketing, answering my questions, and providing encouragement. I also had the opportunity to work with Sara Sherman who helped me develop a voice for a cartoon character. That was pretty awesome and I learned some really useful tips from her. I am so thankful to God for all of these excellent people. He put me on a path to show me the way and taught me how to do so many things I never thought I would see myself doing!
SAV: What kind of voice-over work have you done since graduating from the program?
Stack: My first voice-over project consisted of doing the intro and outro for our church radio program, which is heard in over five states. I really enjoy doing radio and I hope to do more of it! I currently work at a convenience store called Kwik Trip. I ended up finding the company that plays advertisements and music in various Kwik Trip stores. I used the Such A Voice marketing plan to help me market myself to the company. I spent a couple of months reaching out and following up with the company. I ended up getting hired to do one of the advertisements! God was so good to help me! I have done a few commercials with them, all of which are heard in the stores across the nation. My most recent project was through ACX. I voiced a book called The Best of Copenhagen for Short Stay Travel. This was a result of what I call “midnight marketing.” Before going to bed I would shoot out some emails to see where voices were needed. It wasn’t the easiest book to do since there were a lot of foreign words in the script, but I just kept looking up how to pronounce them and got it done. Ben Marney was available to help with technical questions. Right now, I am doing another book with ACX. Also, I also am working with a Christian publisher and I am working on three other books as well. The three books are A Dog and His Boy, Because God Said, and Because God Said You Are Very Special.
SAV: What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting to get into the industry?
Stack: Follow the marketing plan with Such A Voice and don’t give up!
SAV: What’s your biggest takeaway from the Such A Voice program?
Stack: If you get discouraged by anything, don’t hesitate to contact the people you are connected with there. They all have a wealth of experience! Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions and look on the website for guidance, too.
SAV: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Stack: Lord willing, I see myself doing voice-over work full-time in the next five years.
SAV: If you could relay one crucial piece of advice that one of your Such A Voice instructors gave you to a prospective voice talent, what piece of advice would it be?
Stack: Bill Sleeper told me that even if you have a good voice, you still must market yourself, as that is the other half of your business.You have to put the time in and put yourself out there.
Interested in hearing some of the work Gina has done? Check out her website!