Got a great voice?
Put it to work!
Got a great voice?
Put it to work!
Got a great voice?
Put it to work!

Meet the Instructors


Mike Kirby
Mike Kirby

Visit his website at http://www.mikekirby.ca

I am standing in front of the microphone, my TV voice-over copy on the stand just underneath. Through the wind screen I watch the TV monitor which is playing the commercial spot I will be voicing. Just beyond the glass sits my friend Jimmy the engineer, the ad agency guys, and Garth Drabinsky, who demands to be entertained. Who am I to disagree? That is my objective. I am an Actor. I am here to inform and entertain and make a whole lot of money in a very short time. And if I can accomplish all this there will be REPEAT BUSINESS. The session was for the Broadway run of 'Kiss of the Spiderwoman.'

Elizabeth Lennie
Elizabeth Lennie

ELIZABETH LENNIE was the Network Voice of TVO from 2007-2015 where she voiced several Promax award-winning promos. She is the narrator of the Gemini award-winning series Bathroom Divas for Bravo, and her voice-over clients have included Toyota, Lindt, IBM, Honda, Sick Kids, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Cashmere, Ontario College of Pharmacists, and narrations for Science North, The Hazelton Hotel, The Royal Amwaj and most recently the NFB documentary Correspondant du Grand Nord / Penpal in the Far North. She has produced for the stage and worked regularly as an actress from 1980-2014, most recently in The Goodwitch TV movies for Hallmark Channel. She currently teaches Voice in Performance at Humber College.

Elizabeth is also an award-winning visual artist and her paintings are collected in Canada, USA, UK, Japan, Australia, Greece and the Netherlands. http://www.elizabethlennie.com

I had just been hired as the new promo voice of a Television Network. During a long recording session the new Director of Promotions, whom I've only met once, enters the studio and hands me 9 dense pages of narration text extolling the virtues of the station for an internal meeting and says "Oh, by the way, would you mind putting this down ?" 9 Pages.

Yikes! I feel on some cosmic level I'm being tested. I immediately get to work reading out loud for discovery, and marking the script, trying to speed the process as he waits, and after a minute or so he says "Anytime you're ready". With all my courage I say "As soon as I review the entire script I'll be good to go". I take the time to read the script though once, fully, and then as if surrounded by angels, record it clean. A miracle in the moment, but in retrospect the reinforcement of many hours of 'reading out loud practice' paying off under pressure.

The lesson? Take the time you need to prepare the copy. Don't let anyone push you into hurrying, but know that most of your prep is done out- side of the studio on your own time. Success is prepared- ness meeting opportunity, the courage to stand firm for what you need, and faith in yourself to deliver.

Jeff Knight

 

Eva Almos
Eva Almos

EVA ALMOS. Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Series for writing and producing Duckman Eva has worked on both sides of the studio glass. Throughout her career she has voiced thousands of commercials in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, including KFC, Jello, Dove, McDonalds and Arbys, and, worked as an on air announcer at CKFM and Q-107. Eva is very familiar with the creativity it takes to not only be a successful voice-over artist; she knows what producers are looking for.

I remember when I became the voice of KFC. There were what seemed like 100s of clients in the control room including a man who looked just like Colonel Sanders. My copy read, "It's the Colonel's famous recipe of 11 herbs and spices that makes Kentucky Fried Chicken so finger lickin' good'. I did 74 takes. Having been friendly with the engineer he let me know the next day that they produced my 2nd take. The lesson in this is don't get discouraged when they keep asking you to do it again and again. There are lots of cooks in the kitchen - particularly with national campaigns and you must amend your performance for each and every one of them. Sure I wanted to chew my arm off by take 50, but when the check came, I thought KFC was the best chicken in the world.

Listen to Eva's demo:   

Animation Demo

Commercial Demo

Robin Ward
Robin Ward

ROBIN WARD, Actor, narrator, musician, The Alan Ward Trio, on-camera host, CTV and The Weather Network. Robin's voice is recognized as narrator for Situation Critical and Forensic Factor for The Discovery Channel, off-camera host of Twilight Zone, PSI Factor, commercial voice of Esso and Lays Potato Chips.

Becoming skillful in voiceovers or narration is not always a guarantee that you will get the job. Being a successful voice performer sometimes means you have to deal with what I can only describe as the theatre of the absurd. An example: I was called to an audition for a tv voiceover campaign where they wanted their voice to sound exactly like Walter Winchell.

You may remember he was a famous announcer from the forties' golden age of radio. He had a unique style, kind of a nasal Raymond Chandler noir quality, that immediately identified him. At the audition they played me a tape of Mr Winchell and left me alone to learn his vocal personality. I'm a pretty good mimic and when I came to record my audition, I thought I did a pretty passable Walter Winchell, in fact the casting agent said it was "Uncanny" how accurate it was.

Later I found that I was not booked for the campaign and I asked a friend who worked at the production house, what happened. "Well they liked you", she said diplomatically, "But they thought you sounded too much like Walter Winchell." Another time I had an audition for the new voice of "The twilight zone" tv series which Rod Serling had hosted so memorably. "We're looking for a Rod Serling kind of voice" they told me, "But we don't want it to sound too much like Rod Serling!" Well luckily by this time I was able to interpret this direction and was able to book the series.

Listen to Robin's demo:   
Karl Pruner
Karl Pruner

Fifteen years an Actor with (maybe) two small voice jobs under my belt, I croaked my way through a voice audition for a big national TV campaign, hoarse with "walking pneumonia". Naturally they hired me. A week later, I sat in a cavernous studio, staring across an acre of floor at a small platoon of suits behind a wall of glass. I began to warm up and fifteen heads inside the booth came up like a herd of National Geographic predators, scenting prey. There was a sort of silent explosion inside the booth and the director popped out from behind the glass and crossed the concrete acre to talk to me. "We loved your demo." he says. "Just give us the same thing that you did at the audition." Great! I can't tell him that the voice they liked enough to hire came from an infection I no longer have and that the read was just what- ever I could make audible at the time. What the hell can I do?

"Sure thing!" I hear myself say, willing him to give me any kind of clue, and, damn it, doesn't he turn and say, "You know. Nice and close to the microphone." I could have kissed him. I practically ate that microphone! I did six or eight spots in an hour and a half, was the agency's darling for a while, and began to book a little voice work.

Jonathan Potts
Alumni

It has been our privilege to have the following actors / directors / producers / writers teach for Voiceworx and share their knowledge of the recorded voice industry.

  • Harvey Atkin
  • John Evans
  • Barry Flatman
  • Katie Griffin
  • Ellen Ray Hennessy
  • Elva May Hoover
  • John Jarvis
  • Jeffrey Knight
  • Julie Lemieux
  • Sunday Muse
  • Doug Paulson
  • Jim Rankin
  • Susan Roman
  • John Stocker
  • Jessie Thomson
  • Debra Toffan
  • Susan Hart
  • Nicky Guadagni
  • Ron Rubin


Voice work can be intensely exciting - just you and the microphone, a page of text and the wonderful sound of your voice in your head-sets.