*The curtain is pulled back on the behind-the-scenes world of the dynamic but little-known voice arts industry in the latest issue of Global Communicator, the online magazine for and about people of color that features in-depth profiles on content creators, public relations and communications professionals, journalists, marketing and advertising executives.
The voice arts industry has expanded along with the demands of a diverse group of consumers, the evolving entertainment culture, and the advancement of technology. This month, in its biggest issue yet, Global Communicator takes a look at the industry, from what it takes to get started to what it means to succeed. It features the personal stories and professional journeys of successful voice artists, including industry leaders, veterans, and working talent.
Gwendolyn Quinn, Chief Content Officer of Global Communicator, says she is particularly proud of this detail-packed issue. “As an eyewitness to every sphere of entertainment, I have worked with a diverse range of talent throughout my career and I have found that the voice arts industry and voice actors specifically have an exceptional gift and level of artistry, creativity, and edge,” she expresses. “I am fascinated with this unique group of actors, and we are committed to covering the voice arts industry annually.”
In a two-part story, based on extensive interviews with Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins, founders of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS), Global Communicator contributor Christy DeBoe Hicks paints a captivating portrait of how these two media professionals built their careers, met, married, and decided to focus on supporting, educating, and celebrating those in the voice arts industry. As the co-founders of SOVAS, Gaskins and Baker also created and produce the annual That’s Voiceover! Career Expo and Voice Arts Awards. In both “A Love Story: Voice Actor Joan Baker and Producer and Director Rudy Gaskins on ‘How to Succeed in Business and Marriage By Really Trying,’” and “The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Co-founders Help Others Succeed in the Voiceover Industry,” they share their hearts and expertise including tips for succeeding in this competitive career.
Acclaimed voice actor Rodd Houston took an interest in theater and built on it, even as he launched a successful career in the music/recording industry. Now, after more than 20 years in the voiceover business, he is one of the most sought-after voices in the industry, having voiced notable campaigns and promo spots with some of America’s top corporations, just about every single sports league, and dozens of products and brands. In his feature story, “Voice Actor Says It Took Nearly 80 Auditions Before He Landed His First Major Radio Commercial,” Houston discusses his remarkable career journey, from failed auditions and rejections to being coached and learning how to ace the job.
Actor Michael Winslow, whose amazing ability to audibly create sound effects made him a breakout star in the Police Academy movie franchise of the 1980s, is still performing voice work for television and videogames. Arguably the first person to perform beatboxing on film, Winslow shares how he first developed his unique vocal skills and leveraged them into a thriving career. He also discusses how technology is changing the voiceover game in substantive ways in “‘Voicetramentalist’ Brings Life to Characters and Objects on Screen, on Stage, and Behind The Mic.”
Next, is the story of Thembisa Mshaka, a one-time hip-hop journalist-turned entertainment advertising copywriter, author, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, whose two-decade-long foray into voice acting has turned into a thriving career. Mshaka has built an incredible track record of bookings with major brands such as IAMS Cat Food, Xfinity, Publix, Sun Trust Bank. She also does promos for cable networks and sports leagues, among many other projects. Her story, “Voice Actor Thembisa S. Mshaka is a Modern Day Renaissance Woman” is one of moving from strength to strength, all the while raising two creative children as a single mom.
Finally, voiceover artist Maurice Scott shares his incredible tale of reviving his voiceover career, first after a decade-long hiatus and then after a devastating bout with the COVID-19 virus in 2020 that nearly took his life. “In Dream Deferred But Not Denied,” Scott reveals how he has managed to become part of the competitive voiceover industry while maintaining a full-time position at a government agency in Washington, D.C.
This issue of Global Communicator is as inspiring as it is enlightening, demonstrating the dedication it takes to break into and excel within the voice arts industry and celebrating the resilience and talent of the subjects featured in these articles.