Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) Nonprofit "Imagination Videobooks," Richard is known as "The Storybook Wizard." He is a top Audible narrator who helps authors give their books a voice. His team has produced hundreds of audiobooks, including Richard's own award-winning book, "The Author's Guide to Audiobook Creation."
Children's Accessible Videobooks Creator - samples at https://imaginationvideobooks.org
- Benjamin Franklin National Gold Medal Award in Audiobook Nonfiction for producing, directing, and co-narrating "Football Flyboy" by Lisa Reinicke. Independent Book Publishers Association.
- Five-time EVVY Gold Award Winning Audiobook Narrator and Producer at Audiobook Revolution, http://audiobookrevolution.com/
- Author of Global eBook Gold Medal Award in Writing/Publishing for "The Author's Guide to Audiobook Creation" http://bit.ly/audiobookcreation
- Produced best-sellers including "Auschwitz #34207" and "Shot Down"
- Audible Approved Narrator (Top 10%)
Veteran Network, New York, Chicago and Washington DC Radio News Anchor and Correspondent
Recording voice-over projects daily since 2006, Natasha Marchewkahas grown her business exponentially through referrals from happy clients throughout North America and around the globe. From Electrolux to ZipRecruiter to Adventures By Disney, clients continue to return to her product and service worthy of their most important business projects.
Katherine Tole is a voice actor specializing in video games, narration, commercials, eLearning and animation. Katherine has been an avid video gamer since she was a kid and understands what gamers are looking for in their characters. From grunting to spell casting, she has decades of experience listening to the characters that came before her.
Natasha and Katherine have created a fantastic course on how to maximize your Voice 123 profile. I've taken their course and it's worked amazingly well for me! Here's the link to their course:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 as he works to uncover a secret about the cathedral’s history. Bustle called it “The one book every bibliophile needs to read.”
Lovett’s most recent novel, Escaping Dreamland (Blackstone, 2020), is a book about four authors in New York City. Much of the book is set in the early 20th century, and explores not just historic New York, but the lives of three young people writing series books for children (think The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew). The book is an homage to the books of our childhood, to New York City, and above all to love and friendship.
Lovett’s middle grade adventure, The Book of the Seven Spells (Month 9, 2021), about four children who discover a magical library, will come out in the spring and he is currently working on the second volume in that series.
When not visiting his cottage in Kingham, Charlie Lovett lives in Winston-Salem with his wife Janice. They have two grown children, Jordan and Jimmy.
On this episode I share some thoughts on Systems Thinking and hiow the VO industry is really a Complex System (and what that means for you!)
I also talk about my VO course available over at vosuccess.com and some of the changes that are coming in the New Year.
I also touch on the importance of creating authentic relationships and growing your network and the importance that my faith has played in my journey.
Lots of great stuff this episode!!
Val Kelly is a bilingual, French/English Voice Actress. Val started her voice-over career in 1999 after being told her whole life how "cute" her voice is and that she should do something with it... and so she did....!!
Val has been actively booking Voice-over work for years now and had her commercial demo produced by Emmy award winning sound designer, recording engineer and producer "Uncle Roy" Yokelson. Val is currently working on her animation & animal sounds demos. Val's specialty is in voicing characters for cartoons, talking toys, apps, videogames, children's e-learning, radio & tv commercials and short films. Her clients include "Hasbro toys", "Hungry Howie's Pizza Place", "Essence Cartoons", "Roam and Wander", "Mymoonah", "The Foreign Candy Company", "Theory Films", independent YouTube videos and many more. Val is the hostess of her own podcast called "Live with Squacky". It's a unique and lively, interview style show that dives into the worlds of voice acting and entertainment.
In addition to being a Voice actress, Val is the Owner/President/CEO/Executive Producer of Mid-Atlantic Voiceover, LLC. Val is in charge of running all aspects of the company and is the Executive Producer for the Mid-Atlantic Voiceover "Get Inspired" Conference as well as the Mini MAVO online conference that take place in November. The Mini MAVO2020 Conference will take place on November 6-8, 2020 online.
Jim Seybert has been telling stories for more than sixty years. As a young boy he would dictate stories, telling his parents to "write this down." Fast-forward to the present, and Jim lends his clear, confident voice to some of the most interesting stories of the day: military histories, political commentary, true crime, heroic memoirs, and great fiction.
When he is not recording in his studio on California's pristine Central Coast, he walks quietly along trails in the Sierra Nevada, cooks gourmet meals for friends, and watches films with his wife Rhonda and their Chihuahua, Lucy.
Edoardo Ballerini is a two time winner of the Audiobook Publishers Association’s Best Male Narrator Audie Award (2013, Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter; 2019, Watchers by Dean Koontz). He has recorded nearly 300 titles, from classic works by Tolstoy, Dante, Kafka, Whitman and Camus, to best-sellers by James Patterson and David Baldacci, and spiritual titles by The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn.
On screen, Ballerini is best known for his role as junkie "Corky Caporale" on The Sopranos (HBO) and as the star chef in the indie classic Dinner Rush. He has appeared in over 50 films and tv shows, including a series regular role in the critically acclaimed Quarry, (Cinemax) and recurring roles in Boardwalk Empire (HBO), 24 (Fox) and Elementary (CBS).
Ballerini's work as a narrator has garnered international attention. Articles on his work and career have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Aftenposten (Norway) and MediaPost (US), among others. In 2019 he recorded Robert Alter’s translation of The Hebrew Bible in its entirety. In 2020 he added Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace to his growing list of titles.
He is also a two time winner of the Society of Voice Arts Award, and was recently named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile Magazine, an honorific bestowed to only 30 narrators in the magazine’s 19 year history.
Other authors Edoardo has voiced include Tom Wolfe, Eve Ensler, Italo Calvino, Carson McCullers, Jay McInerney, Stendhal, Stephen Greenblatt, Jeffrey Deaver, Danielle Steel, Chuck Palahniuk, Louis L’Amour, Adriana Trigiani, Isabel Allende, Stieg Larsson, James Salter, Paul Theroux and Jodi Picoult.
Besides narrating audiobooks, Edoardo is also a regular contributor to Audm, where he voices articles for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books, and many other publications.
He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and lives in New York.
Sarah is a fan favorite for her sweetly husky voice and her passion for creating a unique audio adventure every time. She has brought over 100 books to life in audio.
Providing full narration and production services from her Midwestern home studio, American actress Sarah Puckett provides a clear and passionate read that engages listeners.
Sarah is professionally trained in narration acting, production, and audio engineering, blending these elements together to create a unique listening experience that draws the listener deeper into the story.
Kabir Singh is a professional voice actor and street poet for hire. His voice is perfect for connecting with young, urban audiences as well as the African-American community. Kabir is available to provide outstanding voice over services for commercials in the sports, electronics and motivation advertising sectors and much more. Clients include Nike, Pandora, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Nintendo, and the NBA.
Cindy Kay moved 11 times before the age of 5, grew up in a multilingual/bicultural family, and came to audiobooks from teaching. A narrator with a home studio in Salt Lake City, Cindy Kay is Chinese-Thai-American and has titles with The Audio Flow, Bee, Blackstone, Highbridge, PRH, Recorded Books, Simon & Schuster, and Tantor. She's most recently been working in Literary Fiction, Nonfiction, Erotica, and Thriller.
Join Mike Lenz as he spends time with his good friend and VO colleague Tom Mailey. Tom is no stranger to the entertainment and communication world, having started in theater at a young age and then moving into radio, television, and a career in public relations. Tom is relatively new to the VO industry, having started about 2 years ago. Tom discussed the challenges and successes he's had in the early stages of his VO career.
Do you know your "why?"
On this episode I update you on my journey in the VO world and cover some topics that are critically important to focus on in your journey:
1. Understanding your "why."
2. Having perseverance.
3. Not falling into the comparison trap.
4. Defining what success means for you.
Jocqueline Protho is the Founder of The Audio Flow and Three One Six Audio - an audiobook production and publishing company serving indie authors. She has always loved audiobooks and with over 20 years of experience in talent acquisition, it was only a matter of time before she combined both of her passions. Jocqueline prides herself in helping indie authors bring their stories to life with a new way to do audio that is making its mark in the industry.
Marguerite Gavin (Shannon Parks) has been a professional audiobook narrator for over twenty years with over 500+ titles, numerous Audie nominations and Earphones awards, and a devoted fan following. She has been described as a “genre-defining narrator” by Audible.com; having a “sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion”and as having the “coveted ability to disappear as the narrator, letting the story take the limelight it deserves”in Audiofile Magazine.
Her narration spans nearly every genre from mystery, science fiction and fantasy; romance; and children’s fiction to a huge variety of nonfiction and documentary work. She is also a seasoned theater veteran, acting and directing in hundreds of productions.
As a highly respected acting teacher, she was on the graduate acting faculty at Catholic University of America; directed children of all ages in Shakespeare for many years; and now coaches narrators in the art of acting the audiobook.
She is the lucky mom of two (almost grown -up!) children. Marguerite is blessed to live at the Delaware seashore where she can usually be found in her recording studio; at the theater or frolicking in the ocean.
Proud member of SAG/AFTRA/AEA
On this episode I provide an update on my journey. I discuss the voiceover consulting I'm now doing as well as provide a discount on my friend Tim Tippet's Audition Ready Audio Course. I also talk about my journey into the audiobook narration world and how and why my audiobook work has increased dramatically. Lots of fun stuff on this episode.
Here are some links:
Voice Over Consulting - https://mikelenzvoice.com/consulting/
Audition Ready Audio Course - https://votechguru.thinkific.com/courses/audition-ready-audio-course?ref=6e5f9e
Laila Berzins is a Voice Arts Awards nominated LA Based American voice actor with a decade of experience, comedian, and songwriter extraordinaire, providing a wide variety of accents and delivery styles. Her deep & resonant voice works well with Commercial, Corporate and Promo reads, while Laila's experience and personality in Animation and Video games will leave you with VIBRANT audio and a smile on your face! Broadcast Quality Vocal Booth, Source Connect, IdPTL, Phone Patch Capabilities, happy to work under tight deadlines and with various time zones.
A big kid at heart, Laila has oodles of fun with every project she joyfully undertakes. She works in numerous cartoons for clients like Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, YouTube and Funimation, in games like God of War 4, Final Fantasy Explorers, World of Warcraft, Star Trek Online, State of Decay 2, Atlus Fenrir for Sega, and Smite. She also lent her voice to various narrations for Microsoft, Lyft, Nike, Motorola, Weight Watchers, Toyota, and Intel, and commercials for Target, SoCal Gas, Google, Nature Valley, and Hidden Figures.
LA Based female voiceover artist Laila Berzins vocals are warm, smooth, silky, young, seductive and professional. Her numerous male/female character voices range from young to old, and sweet to sassy. Musically she is a natural Alto, with both the upper resonances of a younger woman, and the diction and lower range of a more mature woman.
Growing up, I was always the entertainment in the family. I could be found recording radio programs (just to hear the announcer) or making voices and sounds with my mouth. After a while, my mother would get a little fed up with all the noise, and yell, "Tony, quit exploding all over the house!" Deep down I know she loved all those sounds I made...pew pew...
Fast forward through high school and working overnight at a "traditional country", AM radio station (yeah that's a thing). Afterward, I moved on to college where I interned for promotions at Radio Disney, Providence. Promotions was fun, and that's where I discovered the pure, raw energy of live events.
For 15 years, I worked up the ranks in the live event industry with my core being a creative director, producer, and show director. I produced shows all over the US, Puerto Rico, Asia, and Europe. The entire time working in production, one thing always stuck with me...voice over work.
Being a voice talent never left me. Whether I was being cast for commercials, a video narration; or even being a live announcer in the Georgia Dome! I recorded in studios while on the road, or MacGyver'd a studio in my hotel room.
Now, as a full time voice talent, I get to be part of brands like Pedigree, UPS, GQ Magazine, Deloitte, and many more! This is what I was built to do. I'm fortunate to be that final piece for a production team; adding the "voice" to all their hard work.
Let's connect! Drop me a line and let's put a voice to your project (see what I did there with "voice"? It's a pun.)
Project credits: Walmart, Liberty Mutual, Subway, Comcast, Marriott, Cox, Intel, Suzuki, Yellow Tail, MetroPCS, Pearle Vision, and Stonyfield Organic.
Specialties: voice acting, voiceovers, live event, live announcing, show production, theme development, radio, explainer videos, elearning, video production, audio production, product launch, brand launch, technical director, producer, creative direction, presentations.
On this episode I talk with voice actor, composer and audio engineer Tim Tippets about his Audition Ready Audio Course.
I took Tim's course and worked with him one-on-one on my Effects Stack and was blown away by the improvement in the quality of my audio!
The Audition Ready Audio Course takes the mystery out of the technical aspect of voice-over that many of us struggle with. With a straightforward teaching approach Tim makes complex topics easy to understand and better yet, easy to apply.
I was so impressed I entered into an Affiliate partnership with Tim and on this episode we share with you a special promotion exclusive to my podcast listeners that will get you a significant discount on his course.
Listen all the way through the podcast to get your special discount promo code and then go to mikelenzvopodcast.com and click on the Audition Ready Audio Course link under the Sponsors section on my home page to access the course and enter the code.
This course is one of the best investments I've ever made in my career and it will help you no matter where you are in your journey.
Enjoy this episode and don't forget to take advantage of our special promotion!
Maria Pendolino is an award-winning voiceover artist. A professional working actor for more than fifteen years, Maria’s style is natural, friendly, relatable and sassy. Trained in musical theatre, film, television and voice, Maria’s conversational delivery is youthful and on-trend – perfect to represent and speak to Millennials and Generation X.
Maria specializes in commercials for TV, radio and the web, e-Learning and corporate narration, explainer videos, promos, in-show narration, character voices for animation, telephone systems, radio imaging and more.
A two-time award winner, Maria received the 2017 Voice Arts Award for Best Voiceover in the e-Learning category and the 2018 Voice Arts Award for Best Voiceover in the Consumer Sales Video (Explainer) category.
Maria’s professional home studio, based in Buffalo, New York, is equipped with state of the art audio equipment and offers remote connectivity options including Phone Patch, Source Connect, ipDTL and ISDN. She is a proud member of the Buffalo-Niagara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Buffalo chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and World-Voices (WoVO).
On this episode Mike provides an update on his journey. May has been a busy month of traveling and Mike discusses some of the lessons he learned, the importance of being diverse in your work, making sure you provide yourself with some down time to allow yourself to get in touch with your true purpose. Mike also talks about his short film - The Good Life - which will begin filming this summer!
Go Fund Me Page for The Good Life Short Film:
Facebook Page for The Good Life - Short Film: