the new voice of Don’t Lose Heart! A Widow’s Guide to Growing Stronger
“What is it like to be a voice actress? How do you record an audiobook?”
I’m frequently asked these questions, especially when meeting someone new. And if they’re being more honest, they’ll quietly add, “What exactly is voice acting?” I used to not know the answers myself, and I’ve been a trained actress for a long time, so we usually laugh together as I try, once again, to explain a little bit about what I do.
Voice acting is a relatively recent term for what used to be called ‘voiceover’ work, which is no longer relevant these days because there’s so much more that encompasses voice acting, beyond just using your voice in a media piece where your face is not seen. Voice acting might mean voicing a commercial or a political advertisement for television, radio, and online platforms, advertising a business online, doing a promotional advertisement for a place of worship or being a character in a video game. Narration of audiobooks and bringing an author’s words and intentions to life is also a part of voice acting, and that’s the privilege I was given this past summer, when I was chosen as the voice of Don’t Lose Heart! A Widow’s Guide to Growing Stronger.
I felt so honored to be asked to bring this special work to life, and it was especially poignant, due to my personal connection to the writing. Having been recently widowed, I’d been reading the book, months before I knew about any thoughts of making it into an audiobook. I have never done a voice acting job where I was so intimately tied to what I was voicing, and there were a few moments, when overwhelmed by the emotion of what I was feeling as I was narrating, that I had to completely rely on the Lord to uphold me in my heart and not let tears brim over in the vocal booth! God gave me grace, and years of professional training, plus intercessory prayer from friends and family, stood me in good stead. I’d draw a deep breath and then plunge back in.
When you listen to an audiobook, all you might be thinking about is the voice you’re hearing and the material they’re conveying to you. But there’s so much more to its creation that that! There’s the author, or in this case, three authors together who wrote this book, and then there’s the production team, which can include multiple people who put together the final package, from start to finish. It was such a blessing to work with an incredible production team for this book, with their beautiful studio, kind staff, and comfortable vocal booth. When you’re voice acting, you need to be happy in small spaces, usually wearing headphones, for long periods of time, while drinking more fluids than you’d ever imagine possible! And while you’re there, doing the work, you must imagine everything in your mind, while you’re acting, or otherwise, it won’t effectively come alive for the listener. If you ‘see’ it as you voice it, they’ll see it, too. You can’t emote in any other way, except through your voice—which sounds very limiting, but can actually be really fun—if you’re up for that kind of challenge! I loved bringing this book to life and helping make the authors’ dreams of having it become an audiobook, come true. I hope you enjoy it as you listen and that it will bring great comfort and healing to your heart, as you grow stronger from all you’ve experienced as a widow.