What? Men in the B-Hive? Sacrilege! Nonetheless, here they are. Two of the most prolific voice actors of their generation, and two of the kindest friends I’ve known. Please welcome Townsend Coleman and Thom Pinto from the podcast studio at VO Atlanta 2018.
The creator of VO Atlanta, Gerald Griffith, asked me to host my own podcast while in attendance at the conference, and I threw a curve ball by inviting two distinguished male voice actors in to the Hive. A woman’s prerogative, I say!
We do a lot of reminiscing – ’cause we’re old-school like that – but there are a few good lessons in here, as well. With time, comes wisdom 🙂 These are two men who’d never want you to put them on a pedestal, and prove it by sharing not only their successes, but their struggles. What a privilege to have them as guests.
I’ll be back next time with more WOMEN in voiceover! In the meantime, enjoy these two gems.
This episode of the B-Hive takes a turn toward a difficult subject: Sexual assault. On February 8, 2018, CNN.com published an article entitled “They’re Not Celebrities. Their Voiceover Coach isn’t either. But #MeToo Changed Their Lives.” In that article 16 women were stated as having been assaulted by formerly esteemed New York voiceover coach, Peter Rofé. As of today, March 7, 2018, more than 50 female voice actors have come forward to say that Rofé manipulated them, exposed himself to them, and/or sexually assaulted them, all under the pretense of helping them “find their vulnerability” for the good of their voiceover careers. The process of this manipulation varied among his victims, and each woman’s story is unique. In many cases, he moved slowly – 6 months to a year – to engender his students’ trust. Other times Rofé struck quickly on his prey, as if his behavior was not predatory, but simply an accepted part of his “unique coaching technique.” Every actor knows the value of having a trustworthy and honored coach, and our job as actors is indeed to discover our vulnerability, as we learn to reveal the complexities of the human condition with authenticity, whether on stage, in film, or in the voice over booth.
Voice actors Heather Costa and Becky Poole, both victims of Peter Rofé’s sexual impropriety and abuse, join me in the B-Hive to discuss their particular experiences with him. What we discover is that abuse at the hands of a trusted mentor is difficult to parse, often taking years to do so, and that those on the outside looking in are all too eager to blame the victim.
If you or anyone you know has been victimized by Peter Rofé and you’d like some support, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All communication is treated confidentially.
*photo credit: Kendrick Brinson and Kholood Eid for CNN.
Here we are – on the cusp of a brand new year – ripe with reflection and full of possibility. From stellar voice actors and guests on the podcast, here’s a little inspiration for you as dream your own dreams and make your own plans for a bright and shiny future. Thanks for helping make The B-Hive: Women in Voiceover one of the best things of my 2017. Good tidings to you for a great, great year ahead!
This is the first of a two part series. Today’s podcast is all about failure, and next week’s will be all about looking ahead to 2018.
Failure. Ya. Everybody goes through it. And believe it or not it is the cornerstone of success. That’s taken me a while to understand, but I’ve really found it to be true. Yet somehow whenever we experience a failure, we think perhaps we are the only ones who do, that every successful person must lead a charmed life void of any stumbling blocks. So, to help eradicate that myth, I’ve asked a collection of Women in Voiceover to share their own experiences of failure, how it has shaped them, and how they’ve used a less than stellar event to shape their goals, their work ethic, and their approach to life. The stories here vary in their degree of “intensity,” if you will, but all of the experiences shared here are uniquely valuable and transformative. My hope is that you will discover that your own failures can serve you in positive and productive ways if you are willing to reframe and learn from them.
Huge thanks to the women who participated in this podcast for their willingness to be vulnerable and share some of their most difficult moments.
Little Voice. Big Talent. That’s my guest today, Lisa Biggs. Hailing from North Carolina, Lisa has experienced life as a voice actor in the major market of Los Angeles, and also in the smaller market of Charlotte, where she proves a woman in voiceover can find success in markets large and small, as long as she is focused and determined. She is also quite gifted at adapting to the constantly changing landscape of voiceover, never letting obstacles deter her. She’s got loads of credits and is the voice of many a toy and doll. Lisa is the founder of VOXY Ladies – a nationwide association of women in voiceover. Check her out at http://www.lisabiggs.com and voxyladies.com
Lucky us. Liz Atherton joins me in the B-Hive today, and you are in for a treat. Liz is the owner and Queen Bee extraordinaire of The Atherton Group (TAG) Talent Agency, based in Austin, Texas. Liz has been agenting for a couple of decades now at least, but spent some time in her youth as an actor and singer, lending her voice on occasion to jingles written by her father, who was a prolific and nationally notable jingle writer. Needless to say, she’s got advertising and commercial sensibilities in her blood. She is a formidable business woman, yet a kinder, more generous woman you will not meet. Still, my friends, don’t let her Texas charm fool you. She’s about as strong a woman as they come, inside and out. She’s weathered many a storm and still manages to love people and see the world in the most positive light. Liz has some gems of wisdom to impart not just about voiceover, but life itself, so listen up!
Among the most versatile and prolific voiceover artists working today, Roberta Solomon is one of the few women in the industry to achieve a true top tier career.
Heard regularly on network and cable television, Roberta has voiced promos for NBC’s coverage of the French Open, kicked off ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live with spoof ads, narrated spots for National Geographic’s Photo Ark and the docu-series “Europe’s Warrior Kings” for Smithsonian Channel.
Roberta is the branding voice of an impressive number of TV stations in multiple markets and has imaged hundreds of radio stations in the U.S and Canada. She’s co-voiced the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network for ten seasons.
Not only does Roberta possess an epic voice, she also possesses an epic heart. She’s got a passion for people and the environment and loves working on projects that reflect her values. All the way from Oregon, welcome Roberta Solomon to the B-Hive!
Ladies and Gents allow me to introduce the one and only Mari Weiss. Mari has a career in voiceover spanning more than 2 decades, doing all kinds of national spots and campaigns over the years, as well as promo, narration, video games such as Mafia 3 and Guild Wars. She does both commercial and theatrical on camera work, and her roots run deep in the theater, having earned a Master’s Degree in Acting. I gotta say Mari is THE female prototype in voiceover I was thinking of when I started this podcast. Her voice and her face are distinct and ubiquitous, her voice is a brand unto itself and yet I’m fairly sure her name is new to you, primarily because she’s spent more time with her shoulder to the wheel working than she has promoting herself or seeking the spotlight. If there’s anybody you should attempt to emulate in terms of commitment to the work, Mari’s your woman. And frankly, her voice is like buttah. Enviable, to say the least.
Carli Silver joins me today all the way from the East Coast! Carli is the Head of Casting at Sound and Fury which is headquartered in Los Angeles but has a solid presence in New York with Carli on board. Prior to landing at Sound and Fury, Carli was an agent at Atlas Talent for nearly a decade, with experience in just about every genre of voiceover including promo, gaming and animation, and her favorite, commercial. She brings keen insight with her to this hour for all voice actors, so get something to write with and keep your ears open! There are lots of gems here. Aside from multitudinous pearls of wisdom, Carli also has an infectious laugh and a solid moral compass. What else can I say, but that we are all lucky she hung out in the B-Hive today!