Joan Baker, author of Secrets of Voice-Over Success, has performed hundreds of promos and commercials for TV, film and radio throughout her highly regarded career. ABC News, American Express, Other clients include: King World, ESPN, BLOOMBERG TV and radio, SHOWTIME, HBO, NBA Entertainment, COURT TV, Imus in the Morning, Olay, Lens Express, Sony Music, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, Costco, and The New York Times Classified represents just a few of the numerous clients who regularly call upon her unique sound. You could even say that Joan’s talents reach the highest levels of American royalty and deep into the political power structure: She voiced a TV ad campaign for The Muhammad Ali Center and narrated a documentary about the founding of the William Jefferson Clinton Library, now a part of the library’s permanent display. And Joan also has it going on live! She provided the live voice announcements for the “Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Will Smith” which aired on Bravo TV.
Prior to authoring Secrets Of Voice-Over Success Joan built a lucrative following among people (actors & corporate executives) seeking training in the art of voice-over acting. Nancy Grace and the late Johnnie Cochran are counted among her high profile students. Today she travels the country as a lecturer and seminar leader through a variety of arts institutions. She’s the creator of the powerful “Make Millions With Your Voice” seminars through the Learning Annex.
She has been featured in numerous publications and TV segments: Interview Magazine, Adweek, Backstage, The NY Post, Media Week, Broadcasting & Cable, Cable World, NY Daily News, Radio World and Black Enterprise. Also on television’s Weekend Vibe, SHOWBIZ Today on CNN, Fox 5 NY, ABC News Now and E! News. She is represented exclusively by Innovative Artists.
In honor of her late father, James P. Baker, who past away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, Joan contributes all royalties from the sales of Secrets of Voice-Over Success to the Alzheimer’s Association of which she has become a steady patron and advocate for a cure.
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Long story short, the nickname “Zippy” comes from a character I played in a 2nd grade talent show. It was my first acting experience, and wouldn’t you know it- the name stuck!
It doesn’t matter- I’ll answer to any of the three!
I was able to parlay my love of acting into a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts, where I was privileged to get a mix of both classical and experimental theatre training from some of the top instructors in the country. They also had great Halloween parties.
I got a job.
I took standup comedy classes over at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, California. I enjoyed being a part of Westside’s community, and it led me to go through their improv training. I was lucky enough to be a regular performer, both as part of a house team (Ghost Party Orchestra), and as a member of their flagship improv show, Mission IMPROVable (as Agent Hammertime).
Yup. I guess it’s kind of my thing.
Well, Mission IMPROVable is sort of like that, but since a TV audience watching an 8pm show at home is a lot different than a live audience coming to watch a 10pm show at a comedy theater, the energy at Mission IMPROVable is unmatched. Plus, I think our games are better. But I’m biased.
Ghost party Orchestra’s form of improv is known as longform. Basically, you put a group of performers on stage, someone in the audience yells out a word, and you do a full show of interconnected scenes based off of that one word. It can get pretty crazy.
Sketch comedy! There wasn’t a lot of it going on when I first got there, so some friends & I decided, “Why not us?” I co-created, co-wrote, co-produced, and co-performed in two regularly-running sketch shows while I was there: Kaufman & Kaufman Presents, and The Get Buck Variety Riot.
If you’re ever in Los Angeles, I highly recommend you give them a visit. Sadly, you won’t find me there these days, as I moved to the East Coast.
Well you know the phrase “When opportunity knocks, you…” Wait. What is the rest of that phrase? I mean, I know it’s got something to do with answering a door…or is the whole phrase just, “When opportunity knocks?” And what if you have a doorbell?
…But I digress.
I had been an L.A. kid all my life, but at some point, I knew that I had to see what the East Coast was all about. Thankfully, a short stint as a creative writer over at WWE allowed me to move east and experience new things like weather (it snows here!), public transportation that doesn’t stink, and East Coast food (Oh, the food!).
That’s the one.
Quite well! After WWE, I took a chance and explored an avenue I’ve always been interested in: Voice acting. To date, some of the clients I’ve worked with have been MTV, and the University of Louisville.
I enjoy watching sports (especially the Lakers, Dodgers, UCLA, and Raiders), bowling, karaoke, and chocolate chip cookies (no nuts!).
For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com.
Hi, I'm Mike Lenz.
I'm a professional voice actor, the author of Paid To Talk - A Journey Into Voice Acting, and the host of a popular podcast, Mike Lenz Voice - A Journey Into Voice Acting. I’m so excited you're here because that means you have an interest in the voice over industry.
Maybe you’re just beginning and don’t have a clue where to start.
That’s OK, because that's exactly where I was 9 years ago. In fact 10 years ago my life looked a lot different than it does today.
10 years ago I was running my small brick and mortar business and serving as Mayor of my hometown. I'd been involved in politics for about 10 years and really thought that politics was my future. I’ve always been a creative person and I enjoyed the communicating part of serving as Mayor - speaking to groups, and doing radio and television interviews.
But honestly, the pressure was draining every creative bone in my body.
Fortunately for me, I lost my re-election bid, and although I was disappointed at the time, that event forever changed the course of my life and led me down the path to the world of professional voice acting where I am today - and I’m loving every minute of it!
After leaving politics, I had a lot of free time to explore other passions. One of those passions - screenwriting - led me to a filmmakers group, and at one of our meetings, a marketing representative from a voice training company came and passed out flyers. I decided to check out the company and as soon as I took my first lesson I was hooked.
Getting trained was a lot of fun and it was an exciting day when my demo CD’s arrived in the mail. But that excitement was quickly tempered by the fact that I was now faced with the prospect of trying to go out into the world and get a voice-over job…and I didn’t have a clue where to start.
Well, I can tell you that having spent a good chunk of change on my training and wanting desperately to get my first paying voice-over gig, I spent countless hours scouring the internet and doing research on the industry, cold-calling radio stations and production studios, and handing my business cards and demo CD's to everyone. Slowly but surely, the work started to come my way and I’m thrilled to now be able to record audio books, voice e-learning projects and explainer videos, work with clients, and interview amazing and inspiring people on my podcast, all from the comfort of my home recording studio.
I’ve been able to create a life that I love, and I want you to know that my weekly podcast, along with my website, blog, e-book, and on-line course are all designed to help you to achieve your dream.
So please take advantage of these resources, and learn from the amazing and inspiring people I’ve had the privilege to talk with and learn from. They’ve helped me so much in my journey and I know they’ll help you as well.
Thank you again for visiting, and remember, whenever I come across something amazing that I think you should know about, my newsletter subscribers get the info and the inside scoop, so make sure you subscribe!
For more information about this and other episodes head over to mikelenzvoice.com