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Amanda Wyatt

Amanda Wyatt is a premier independent video-game casting and voice director in Los Angeles with some of the biggest video game titles to her directing/casting credit. Call of Duty Online, the Halo series, Horizon Zero Dawn, Batman: Arkham Knight, the Skylanders series, Assassin’s Creed 1 & 2, Crackdown 2, God of War and many, many, MANY more. Check out her IMDB page and you’ll see.

Join us in the B-Hive as we discuss Amanda’s career, her tips for video game voice actors, how she got into the biz, the importance of mentors, and the ups and downs that come with a full and creative life. Oh and B-Hive Roulette, of course. 🙂

Nancy Linari

Nancy Linari draws on her theatrical skills to bring animated and video game characters to life. Her characters run the gamut from the sexy, macabre Morticia Addams in ABC’s The Addams Family to the warm and supportive Aunt May in both Marvel’s Spider-Man on Disney XD and in Insomniac’s newest hit, Spider-Man on PS4.

Nancy had the honor of introducing both Prince Harry and First Lady Michelle Obama, as the live announcer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016, the U.S. debut of the international sporting event created by Prince Harry to honor wounded and sick armed services personnel.

Nancy is an award-winning audiobook narrator and veteran of more than 200 on and off-camera commercials.

Susan Palyo

Susan Palyo has been working for Voicetrax West since 1990 and has been the resident demo producer since 1996. Susan grew up in Springfield, Illinois. Her passion for music led her to believe that pursuing a degree in Commercial Music from Millikin University in Decatur, IL would be a great idea since she wanted a job where she didn’t have to wear a dress. Shortly after graduating, Susan packed up her car and drove to Los Angeles to pursue a career in recording.

Susan landed at the famed Cherokee music studios as an assistant engineer. She got to meet lots of cool celebrities, and she didn’t have to wear a dress. But, the pay didn’t measure up. So, she looked around and landed the position of head engineer at Voice Trax West. After engineering loads of commercial sessions and assisting in demo production under Thom Pinto and Cindy Akers, Susan became the full-time demo producer. Since then she has produced hundreds of demos for many aspiring and successful VO actors including Grey Delisle, Debi Derryberry, Robert Clotworthy, and Stew Herrera. Her demos are respected by all of the top VO agencies in town for their quality and contemporary style.

Susan also has a great reputation as an instructor and director and teaches workshops and private studies in commercial and animation voiceover. Susan lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, daughter, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 hamsters. She even wears a skirt once in a while.

Heather Vergo Dame

Heather Dame is currently the VP, Director of Development of Atlas LA. She was tasked by Atlas to move out to Los Angeles 7 1/2 years ago to help develop and start up the new West Coast branch of the company. This included building the foundation of a positive public brand for the company by developing new relationships and engaging clients and buyers in the company philosophy, building new buyer relationships, growing and pitching new areas of business and carefully crafting a successful talent roster to invest in. Heather built Atlas’ Animation department from the ground up, as well as had a close hand and partnership with other agents in developing the Los Angeles commercial, video game and promo/narration/trailer departments. Seven years and four office expansions later, Atlas LA has 7 full-time employees and competes with the top LA Voice-over agencies.

Heather heads up the animation department and also works as an agent in the areas of promo, trailer, narration and video games. She is passionate about developing talent and creating new business equally and enjoys the creative parts of agent-ing just as much as the problem solving and negotiating side. She believes in conducting business openly and honestly.

A Coupl’a Drones In The Hive!

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.

A Predator Among Us

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 voiceoverjusticeclub@gmail.com. All communication is treated confidentially.

*photo credit: Kendrick Brinson and Kholood Eid for CNN.

Plans and Dreams for 2018

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!

Reframing Failure

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.

Liz Atherton

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!

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