Join professional voice actor, audiobook narrator, and author Mike Lenz as he shares stories from some of the most amazing and inspiring people from all areas of the voice-over industry to help you achieve your dream of becoming a professional voice actor.
124 - Jessica Taylor Interview
You’ve heard Jessica Taylor on television, on the web and on the radio for projects large and small. She has a range from youthful cool to polished sophistication. A touch of vocal texture adds depth and realness to her vocal imprint. She shines when it comes to taking direction, and has a sixth sense for understanding what it is people want. Her keen intuition and gut instincts fuel her creative process, and she's ready to take risks to get the read right.
Jessica books projects that ask for vocal qualities and deliveries similar to the sounds of celebrities like Kristen Bell, Rashida Jones, Tina Fey, Anna Kendrick, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Jessica lives a mostly joyful life with her husband, three sons and five hens in Boulder, Colorado. She's a Mom, wife, sister, daughter, an avid cook, knitter, hiker, reader, traveler, homeopathy nerd and consumer of art in any form.
123 - Julie Wilson (AHAB) Interview
JULIE WILSON is Senior Manager of Digital Production Platforms and an award-winning executive producer at Penguin Random House Audio. She started her career at Random House in 2007 and has produced over a thousand audiobooks for adults and kids, including several graphic novel adaptations. Her recent production credits include working with Alicia Keys, Ben Folds, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ruth Reichl, Willie Nelson, and The Tiny Chef. She is also the co-creator of AhabTalent.com, a global online casting platform for voiceover. She is a native New Yorker and an avid urban gardener, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Colby College.
122 - P.J. Ochlan Interview
A multiple Audie Award winner, Odyssey Award winner, multiple Earphones Award winner, and multiple Voice Arts Award winner, P.J. Ochlan's work behind the microphone began in 1987 as a young voice actor with many commercials and promos. Since then he has lent his diverse talents to virtually every voiceover genre. Most notably, he is a widely acclaimed and record-setting audiobook narrator with hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles to his credit.
P.J.'s voice work is enhanced by his mastery of accents, distinctive characters and versatility, as well as his proficiency with English, French, Italian, German and Mandarin. He is also the founder of Dr. Dialect and co-founder of the Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry.
121 - Sean Pratt Interview
SEAN PRATT HAS been a working professional actor in theatre, film, TV and voice-overs for over 30 years. He holds a BFA in Acting from Santa Fe University, NM. He has narrated over 1,000+ audiobooks….and counting!
He has been an audiobook narrator for 22 years (aka – Lloyd James), recording over 1000+ Audio Books in almost every genre.
He narrates for such companies as Blackstone Audiobooks, Tantor Media, Gildan Audio, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, and Christian Audio.
120 - Laya Hoffman Interview
On this episode I chat with Laya Hoffman!
Laya's voice is genuine yet unique, culturally flexible and confidently warm - a fun, fresh female voice that makes an impact for your project and cuts through to your audience! Delivering broadcast quality sound with ease, on budget and under deadline for 20 years.
As a full time voice-over actress, Laya helps companies grow revenue, deepen brand awareness and cultivate identity by connecting with customers through the power of Voice. Her passion is bringing your story to life, and making it sound like you heard it in your head - easily and efficiently.
Laya presents a warm, relatable tone in a wide variety of styles, that is as versatile as it is timeless for a range of voice-over services. Specializing in commercials, promos, corporate narration, explainers, e-learning, animation, IVR, telephony, live announce and more.
Clients such as Google, Honda, AAA, Four Seasons, Accenture, Coca-Cola, HP and hundreds more have selected Laya's voice for its national sound and culturally flexible tones. Yet, they keep coming back for her holistic, full-service approach, direct-ability, attention to detail and synergistic studio style.
With a unique professional resume that includes club DJ, on-air radio host and senior marketing executive among its titles, Laya brings an instinctive ear, for cadence, tone and tempo as well as a true understanding of business outcomes, acumen, client relations, deadlines and current trends to her voice work.
119 - Charlie Lovett Interview
Charlie Lovett was born in Winston-Salem, NC in 1962 and grew up as the child of a book-collecting English professor. He spent his summers in the rural North Carolina mountains and felt an early affinity for the countryside. He was educated at Summit School, Woodberry Forest School (Virginia), and Davidson College (NC) and in 1984 went into the antiquarian book business with his first wife, Stephanie. About the same time he began to seriously collect books and other materials relating to Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Lovett now has a large collection of Carrollian rare books and artifacts, including Carroll’s 1888 typewriter and one of six privately owned copies of the first edition of Alice in Wonderland. Lovett has written or edited nine books about Lewis Carroll, including Lewis Carroll: Formed by Faith, the first full length study of Carroll’s religious life (UVA Press, 2021). He has served as the president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, as editor of the London based Lewis Carroll Review, and has lectured on Carroll in the US and Europe at the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University, UCLA, Oxford University, and elsewhere.
In 1997 Lovett received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College (now Vermont College of Fine Arts). During his work on this degree he researched and wrote Love, Ruth, a book about his mother, Ruth Candler Lovett, who died when he was two years old. Maya Angelou called the book “tender, sensitive, and true.”
After completing his MFA, Lovett lived with his wife Janice and daughter Jordan in England for six months, becoming closely connected to the village of Kingham, Oxfordshire. Ten years later, he and his wife purchased the cottage they had rented in 1997 and renovated it. They now spend about 6–8 week a year in Kingham, and have traveled extensively throughout the UK. His experiences in England are the basis for several of his novels.
For eleven years, beginning in 2001, Lovett served as Writer-in-Residence at Summit School in Winston-Salem, NC. He wrote plays for elementary and middle school students, nineteen of which have been published, including, Twinderella, which was chosen from over 750 entries as winner of the Shubert Fendrich Playwriting Award. His plays have been seen in over 5000 productions in all fifty states and more than 20 foreign countries. Lovett often makes author visits to schools to see productions, talk with students, and hold master classes.
Lovett’s break-through as a fiction writer came when he combined two of his passions—rare books and the English countryside—to write the Shakespearean mystery The Bookman’s Tale (Viking/Penguin, 2013), a New York Times bestseller and Barnes and Noble Recommends selection which has been translated into several foreign languages. Parade Magazine called the book “[A] delightful tale of love and bibliophilia.” His next novel, First Impressions (Viking/Penguin, 2014) was another literary adventure, this one starring Jane Austen. People Magazine called it “a delightful novel that weaves together a modern love story and a literary mystery involving Jane Austen.”
In 2015 Lovett curated a major exhibition called Alice Live! at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and wrote the introduction to the new Penguin Books edition of Alice in Wonderland. 2015 also saw the publication of his Christmas book, The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge (Viking/Penguin) which USA Today called “[a] clever, merry, and, yes, convincingly Dickensian reimagining of this Victorian tale.”
Lovett’s novel The Lost Book of the Grail (Viking/Penguin, 2017) is set in an English cathedral library, reaches through centuries of English history, and tells the story of bibliophile and Holy Grail enthusiast Arthur Prescott
Just listened to the October episode. Wow! Very practical advice and love that he gives honor to whom honor is due, incorporating faith!
I’m Not Alone!
This podcast has helped me realize I’m not alone in my quest to VO/VA work. I found my VA coach on one of these episodes.
My favorite VO Podcast!
Mike is a fantastic interviewer. He invites a wide array of voiceover professionals and just let's them talk. They get to tell us newbies (me) how they got started, their ups and downs, as well as the challenges of the voiceover industry. I have really started to burn through his catalogue and find them extremely helpful! I'm binge-listening! I already know I made the mistake of doing a 6 week group VO class that ended with cutting a demo. As Val Kelley stated, "it just sat on the shelf collecting dust." To hear someone that successful talk about certain mistakes and how they overcame them is nice to hear. Thank you Mike! Keep doing what you are doing! I love your interview style.