Episode Transcript

Use Your Voice to Make a Living with Jodi Krangle

EPISODE 33

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:08] BS: Hi, and welcome to Love Your Enthusiasm, a podcast that is all about empowering you to make space for your greatest passion. I’m Britt Skrabanek, and today’s guest is Jodi Krangle, a voice actor and audio branding enthusiast. In this episode, Jodi talks about her love for sound and how sound influences people. A voice actor since 2007 and a singer as well, Jodi tells her story about making a living with her voice, including ways she stays inspired and focused and moves past doubt and rejection. Overall, we nerd out on sound, and it’s a fascinating topic when you sit down and actually think about it.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Love Your Enthusiasm’s monthly newsletter to receive a roundup of recent episodes once a month. Also subscribe on your favorite listening apps so you know when the latest episode comes out.

Without further ado, here’s Jodi.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:01:16] BS: Hello, Jodi. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:18] JK: Thanks so much for having me here.

[00:01:19] BS: I am excited to nerd out on sound with you today on a podcast.

[00:01:25] JK: I’m always excited about that.

[00:01:28] BS: Yeah. So I did check out – I was on your website and I did check out the jazz album that you made, and I was so excited because you had I’ll Be Seeing You in your little preview, and that’s one of my all-time favorite jazz songs.

[00:01:42] JK: I do love that song. It is definitely one of my favorites, yeah.

[00:01:46] BS: And you sounded beautiful. So I listened to a lot of jazz, and I have for a very long time, and I was impressed.

[00:01:53] JK: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

[00:01:55] BS: Yeah, you bet. So is jazz music just something that you’ve always been into or is that something that came in later in life?

[00:02:03] JK: You know what? When I met my husband, and this is like mumble-mumble years ago. He was one of the first people who introduced me to that actually. There was an album that I had that was Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan, and it had a bunch of selections of songs from each one of them, and I loved that whole album. I probably wore it out. It was a CD, but I wore it out almost, and listened to it so often and loved every song on the album. And so I really got into the whole torch song jazz singing thing that I just I fell in love with it, but that was like a long time ago. But I was still an adult. So it wasn’t something that I learned in childhood, put it that way.

[00:02:54] BS: Yeah, it’s something I learned to appreciate later in life. Yeah, that album that you mentioned, that’s like quite a powerful group of women on there. And I actually don’t usually hear people talk about Sarah Vaughan. I feel like she’s not as popular obviously as Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald.

[00:03:08] JK: Oh my God! I love her.

[00:03:10] BS: I do too. She’s awesome.

[00:03:11] JK: Oh, she’s the best. There’s a song on my album called Goodnight My Love, which I got from her from that album, and it is one of my absolute favorite songs in the universe. And actually I sing every year, well, used to. We’re not doing it this year, obviously, but there is a small music convention that happens in Atlanta and I’m a member of the house band that performs on the Saturday night banquet every year and we perform a whole bunch of these jazz songs. So jazz, swing, all sorts of things in that genre, and the song that we always end with is Goodnight My Love, because I love that song so much.

[00:03:53] BS: I love that song too. Oh my goodness!

[00:03:56] JK: And it ends my album. It’s the ending song on the album.

[00:03:58] BS: That’s perfect.

[00:03:59] JK: Yeah, I love it so much.

[00:04:02] BS: All right. Well, I’m sure the listeners are already picking up on how fantastic your voice is. I mean, you just have – I’m listening to you here and it’s just like awesome, like classic radio voice. You got the laugh and everything.

[00:04:16] JK: I’ve never been on the radio, I will say that.

[00:04:19] BS: Well podcasts are kind of – They remind me of radio.

[00:04:22] JK: Yeah, I guess. I guess in a way. Sure. Yeah.

[00:04:26] BS: Jodi, we’re going to talk about audio branding and voice acting today, which I know are your enthusiasms. And I’d first love to know kind of the why behind that story. So why those two things have made such a positive impact on your life?

[00:04:42] JK: Well, I think getting into voiceover, because of the singing, which we just established not too long ago. I’ve always been a singer. So I’ve always loved using my voice. And when I found out that I could use my voice to make a living. That was immensely cool. So I figured out how to do that, and that took quite a lot of time. And I kind of fell in love with the whole audio branding end of things from being in voice overs, because as a voice actor, I’m one tiny little piece of that whole audio branding spectrum. And really what that means is that I help a company brand themselves in the world audibly. And I’m only one small piece, but it’s a fantastically rewarding piece. And audio is so important. And I don’t think that a lot of people use it to the advantage it could be used.

[00:05:41] BS: Do you think that audio is becoming even more important this year with just the whole – Well, and going into 2021 for that matter. Just the whole like remote workforces and just remote lifestyles that so many people have had to embrace?

[00:05:56] JK: Yeah, totally. I think there’s a lot more to it than simply adding another aspect to an experience though. I think as far as learning is concerned, it’s easier to do other things while you’re listening to audio than it is to watch a video or read an article or something like that. It’s just easier for you to get the information you need to get without it completely making you stop your entire life to sit down and focus. And I think –

[00:06:27] BS: Yeah, exactly. I love listening to podcasts while I’m like doing laundry, dishes, whatever. Then it makes chores way more fun.

[00:06:32] JK: Exactly. Yes. Yes, it does. Yes, it totally does. And yeah, it’s really hard for us all to just sit down and have focus time in front of a screen reading an article or watching a video or whatever. It’s hard for us to take that time these days, because we’re just so inundated that – So any way that can get that information to us in a shorthand is going to be embraced and should be embraced.

[00:07:02] BS: Yeah. I want to go back to you talking about being able to make a living with your voice. And I can totally relate to that, and I think this is an interesting conversation for the listeners because I know there are a lot of artists and probably – I actually personally know an opera singer who had to completely shift gears because of everything that happened with the pandemic and etc. So I think this could be an interesting conversation and kind of dive into a little bit more because a lot of people had to pivot and make these changes with their direction. And me myself, I learned years ago, I started off as a fiction writer and a blogger and eventually found a way to make a living with writing through content marketing.

[00:07:51] JK: Great. Yeah.

[00:07:53] BS: Yeah. So that was the path that I chose because I was like, “I’m not going to be able to have a roof over my head if I’m just trying to make a living by selling fiction.” Like I this is going to end up being a dire situation for me. And I’m just like I’m not going to do that. Like I’m not going to live that way and really struggle, because personally – And I think a lot of creative people can relate. Like when I’m struggling or when I’m really distracted by struggles, I can’t create. It actually paralyzes me. So I found content marketing sort of the same way that you found your path with audio branding and voice acting. So I don’t know. It’s an interesting thought for people especially as they’re making these pivots to consider some other avenues that they may not have considered before.

[00:08:44] JK: Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of things that were not virtual before are now virtual, and that does require a pivot for a lot of people. And I know, for instance, when it comes to musicians, for instance, being online has kind of become a great equalizer because everybody, like the most famous musicians, are having to do the same thing that anyone who is deciding to put up a live stream in their living room is doing. Like it’s all the same, right?

[00:09:20] BS: Yeah, everyone’s got to get on it in like digital transformation. Everybody’s having to do it.

[00:09:25] JK: Yeah. Yeah, but I I’m not a person who believes in starving artists.

[00:09:32] BS: No.

[00:09:32] JK: I don’t think that that should be a thing, and it disappoints me when people think, “Oh, you should just love it for the craft.” Yeah, you do love it for the craft, but you also want to make a living and be paid to make more.

[00:09:46] BS: Right. And what happens with a lot of people who are trying to be really stubborn about making money, making an eventual living from that art form is that they end up working a job they really don’t like to pay the bills and then they do that on the side, whereas you can find a different path that uses those skills and your creativity instead. So you actually enjoy your work.

[00:10:11] JK: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, like I did that when I kind of pivoted from making music to using my voice for voice-overs. Not as easy as that sounds, but yeah, who could just haven’t? Yeah, no.

[00:10:26] BS: Yeah, I know. You had to pay some dues. I had to pay some dues too.

[00:10:29] JK: Yeah, definitely. But writing or ghost writing or content writing or there are all sorts of ways you can take fiction writing and make it into a living. And, again, dues are paid. It doesn’t happen overnight. But an artist can do graphic design, make advertising, do all sorts of other things that will allow them to make a living with what they’re doing while also maintaining the creativity and keeping up with making their own art. There’re all sorts of ways that the creativity can be used to make a living.

[00:11:07] BS: Yeah. And I’m worried that a lot of artists fear that they’re selling out or selling their souls by doing that. And I can tell you that I don’t feel that way.

[00:11:20] JK: No, and I don’t either.

[00:11:22] BS: Good, yeah. Because like when I first got into marketing, it was – Yeah, it was an interesting journey and I definitely along the way was like, “Oh man! Am I selling my soul? Like am I sellout?” But then I was like, “No. I mean, this is very related to what I’m doing.” And then of course I still continued my other creative work on the side.

[00:11:42] JK: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah, it allows you to continue the creative work that you really want to do. It’s just it gives you a roof over your head and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, right?

[00:11:52] BS: No. Not at all.

[00:11:53] JK: Because there’s nothing wrong with having a roof over your head and being able to eat.

[00:11:57] BS: That’s all important, survival needs.

[00:11:59] JK: Yeah, it’s all important. You can’t make more art if you’re not taken care of.

[00:12:04] BS: Absolutely. And I was so happy to see – So one of my former jazz students, and this is jazz dance, not jazz singing, but I used to teach jazz to kids and adults. And when I knew her, she was in high school and then now of course she’s older, and she’s a musical theater artist. And she’s doing voice-overs now and I actually heard one of her samples recently. She shared it on Facebook and it was for Sprout Social. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. They are a social media platform.

[00:12:34] JK: I am not, but that’s okay.

[00:12:36] BS: Yeah. Yeah. So they’re a social media platforms. So of course I’m familiar with them. They help with scheduling and all that. And she just totally nailed it. And so it was great because I’m like, I told her, I’m like, “This is my field in content marketing,” and she had it right. She was talking about analytics and everything else. And it was so cool to see that because, I mean, that’s a perfect example of a young person going into this world as an adult and making that pivot and figuring some things out on her own. So it’s beautiful to see.

[00:13:09] JK: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And there are so many avenues these days. It’s incredible.

[00:13:14] BS: There are. And with all those avenues, things get a little crazy. So I want to get into some productivity conversations with you next.

[00:13:22] JK: Sure.

[00:13:24] BS: Specifically to get shit done, what is the one item you have to have?

[00:13:30] JK: You’re going to laugh at me, but Gmail. Yeah, I live on Gmail, because I have to have organization in my email and I have folders and I have things that are timed to pop up again when I need them and it keeps me organized. And you know I have tried so many different CRMs. It’s not even funny. Like it’s incredible how many I’ve tried and I just can’t keep up with them. I start with good intentions and then it just never works out. I never keep up with them, and yet I am always in my email.

[00:14:07] BS: Yeah. And for the listeners that don’t know, CRM is customer relationship management software. So with CRMs, like you probably don’t need it. You’re probably just not there. I mean that’s kind of how I am with my business with Super Neat Marketing. Like I know, my business partner/husband and I, we tried using a CRM for a while and didn’t keep up with it either because we’re just not big enough to make that type of tool necessary. But Gmail, oh hell yeah.

[00:14:37] JK: Yeah. Yeah. I just have my whole life organized in it. That and my Google Calendar and I’m set.

[00:14:44] BS: Yeah. And then on the on the flip side of what you do, so it’s like, yeah, you’ve got the technology side of needing to run a business and stay organized. But I’d love to learn a little bit about how you get in the zone before you do some of the work you do, because that seems interesting to me. Just listening to your audio demos on your website I was like, “Dang!” I’m like, “She’s playing different characters basically with her voice. All of these different samples.” And it was so cool to listen to. So I was wondering kind of like how do you get in the zone for these different characters that you’re playing?

[00:15:24] JK: It’s an interesting question, because I don’t tend to do like audio books or animation or video games or anything like that. So nothing that I do is really like out there. I have I think a few character reads on my casino demo, because I do some work for casinos and like slot machines and stuff like that. And that’s kind of specific. But mostly I work in the area of advertising, so commercials and corporate narration. So I do a lot of anthem videos, which are the this is who we are and we’re proud videos that you hear on a lot of websites, and a lot of the work I do is that kind of stuff. But as far as characters are concerned, it’s less characters and more tone of voice, and it really depends on who I’m talking to.

[00:16:17] BS: Exactly. It’s more like personas in our world. So like buyer personas, exactly.

[00:16:22] JK: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So for me it’s more of a who am I talking to? Where is this discussion? Because it’s a discussion. It’s not just a diatribe or me monologuing at you. Where is this happening and who am I talking to? And in general, I find that it’s basically just varying degrees of me, because I don’t want to put anything on. I’m not trying to be someone I’m not. I’m just trying to be more me.

[00:16:53] BS: Do you find that you need to kind of put yourself in that person’s shoes before you start your work? I mean, that’s kind of what I mean. I guess by getting in the zone, especially if you’re like, “Okay.” If you have several of these that even you’re recording in a day. I don’t know if you have to do that and where you have to kind of like switch back and forth between these different personas and industries and whatnot.

[00:17:14] JK: For me, I came at this more from the music end of things than the acting end of things. So I’ve had to learn the acting end. And it is definitely a skill, and there is very much theater of the mind going on here before I do a script. And it is an interesting process that’s kind of different every time. Also, it depends on whether or not I have the music, because as a musician, if I hear the music, then I know the emotional tone that should take place in that piece. It just automatically informs me how my tone should sound to go with that music, because knowing what music they’re using kind of gives me an idea of what emotion they’re trying to evoke in the person that’s listening. And really this is all about emotion.

[00:18:02] BS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, even if you’re you have to sound all cheerful and you’re having a bad day. I mean, you have to really – I loved how you said like theater of the mind. I mean, you have to have that discipline and that flexibility to be able to kind of switch on.

[00:18:20] JK: Yeah, yeah. And it is very much you’re playing in your own head, creating a scenario and then playing it out. I mean, and it is play. As much as this is all for business, really, because that’s kind of what I do, it is an enormous amount of fun. And I just love doing it every second that I do. It’s rewarding and in a way very creative.

[00:18:47] BS: Awesome. Again, I love hearing that, especially if there’s any listeners that are changing paths and having to pivot, not doing what they thought they were going to do with their lives and kind of toying with some other ideas. It’s just so great to hear kind of your testimonial of this. And I mean I have one as well, and it is possible to turn your creativity into work that you love by just going down a different path.

[00:19:13] JK: It totally is. And I will say also that it took me a long time to find what I really wanted to do for my career. I went through many different iterations of working on my own and working for other people and all sorts of different things and all of it led up to what I’m doing now. Whether it had anything to do with it or not. So anything that you learn in your previous jobs or careers or even just like the side hustle that you’re doing or whatever, everything that you learn in the past informs what happens in the future. And just because it seems like it’s inconsequential doesn’t mean it actually is.

[00:19:56] JK: Yeah, I hear you. I have had a really strange background with jobs and whatnot. And I mean, especially when I was younger, I felt like, “God! Am I ever going to get my shit figured out? Is this all ever going to come together into something that makes sense?” And eventually it did.

[00:20:15] JK: Yeah, but it takes time. Yeah.

[00:20:16] BS: It does.

[00:20:17] JK: And it’s not going to happen overnight. I think that people are very hard on themselves, especially creative. Oh my goodness.

[00:20:26] BS: Yeah. That’s also what makes us great at what we do.

[00:20:30] JK: It’s true. We’re very motivated. But, really, we are the most awful to ourselves in our own heads. There are things I say to myself that I would never say to another human being.

[00:20:41] BS: Yeah, that’s always a good check-in too is whenever you do hear that voice and what you’re saying be like, “Would I say that to another person?” And if the answer is no, it’s like, “Okay, you got to nix that from your internal monologue.”

[00:20:56] JK: Yeah. Dial it down a bit there. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:00] BS: Jodi, can you talk about a memorable voice acting moment you will never forget?

[00:21:07] JK: Hmm. Well, one of the first projects that I ever did, and actually it’s going to come back to that song that you mentioned, is that I did a narration for a documentary called The Mystery of Saipan. And it was a World War II kind of documentary that was sort of a walk through a son’s discovery of his father’s Kodochrome film when his father had been stationed on Saipan during World War II. And he’d taken a bunch of these Kodochrome photos that were beautiful and like in full color, and we’re talking like World War II, right?

[00:21:45] BS: Wow.

[00:21:46] JK: Yeah, really amazing stuff. And it was a really interesting story because he and his son went to Saipan to deliver these Kodachrome photos to the government there so that they could see what the island had been like at that time, right? It was like a historical moment. And they filmed this whole thing. So this was the documentary. Part of it was also that they found what they think was Amelia Earhart’s plane and possibly her navigation guy in front of it. I don’t know they’ve ever proven this, but apparently she landed there and was taken into custody. I don’t know for certain and I don’t know if anyone knows for certain just yet. Maybe they’ve discovered this recently. But, yeah. So the idea that her plane might have been there was kind of a thrilling discovery.

[00:22:48] BS: Oh, yeah. I mean, I was obsessed with Amelia Earhart when I was a little girl. I mean I thought she was so heroic and so amazing. And then of course there’s a big mystery around whatever happened to her.

[00:23:01] JK: Yes. Yeah. Yeah, there’s a lot of information to look up. But the interesting thing about this documentary was that the version that I did of I’ll Be Seeing You, which was on the album there, played at the end of this documentary. It was the closeout credits song.

[00:23:21] BS: Oh, cool.

[00:23:22] JK: So not only did I do the narration for it, but I also sang the closing credit song.

[00:23:28] BS: That’s awesome. What a nice way to use your skills in those two different ways and then really just close it out with such a beautiful song.

[00:23:36] JK: It was a lot of fun. And as one of the very first projects I did in my entire career, I mean, that was a pretty awesome way to start.

[00:23:44] BS: Yeah. Where do you go from there? No, that’s so cool. I’m a big history nerd. So the listeners already know this about me, but I’ve written some historical fiction. And my first novel, Beneath the Satin Gloves, actually takes place in World War II, Berlin.

[00:24:01] JK: Oh wow! Okay. Yeah.

[00:24:03] BS: I wrote that way back in 2012, and it’s a lounge singer who’s actually a spy. So she’s a Berliner, but she’s spying for the Americans, but there’s time travel in it as well because that keeps it interesting. So she’s a modern-day woman that wakes up in this role. So it’s pretty cool. But yeah, I did a lot of research. That was my first novel ever, but I’ve always been really into World War II history and documentaries and movies and all that kind of stuff.

[00:24:30] JK: Wow! That’s great.

[00:24:33] BS: You have to check that out.

[00:24:33] JK: Yeah. I don’t know if it’s still out anywhere.

[00:24:37] BS: I’ll see if I can find it.

[00:24:38] JK: Honestly, yeah. Like I went looking for it online and like it’s probably almost 12-years-old now, I think? So yeah, I don’t know if it is anywhere. I don’t know that they’re still selling it.

[00:24:51] BS: It’s so strange when that happens, when over time things just disappear. I don’t understand that especially with how available everything is in so many ways, but then there are certain things that just disappear.

[00:25:04] JK: Yeah. I don’t know – Well, I think it was a personal project of the guy. So I mean, he’s only going to keep it online for so long, and I guess maybe there was a limited amount of interest. I don’t know.

[00:25:16] BS: Well, that’s possible.

[00:25:18] JK: Yeah.

[00:25:18] BS: Or maybe he just wanted to move on and that was his way of closing the chapter.

[00:25:23] JK: It could be, yeah. For me, it was very memorable, and I’m glad that I did it.

[00:25:27] BS: That’s so cool. Well, Jodi, outside of your enthusiasm space, where else do you draw inspiration from?

[00:25:36] JK: Oh my goodness! I love art. I don’t make art, because I can’t draw to save my life and I have not a crafty bone in my body, but I so admire people who do that kind of thing, and I do put a lot of art up in my studio and admire it greatly. But I am also a board game, like Dungeons and Dragons player. So a lot of my improvisation stuff comes from that kind of thing. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot fun. Now, I haven’t done it in a while because, of course, I haven’t seen my friends in person for quite some time.

[00:26:20] BS: I was going to ask. I’m like, “How are you managing that?”

[00:26:23] JK: Yeah, not right now. Not right now. I would do it online, but I think a lot of the people that I play with are not as comfortable with that as I am.

[00:26:31] BS: You might have to make some new friends.

[00:26:34] JK: Yeah. Yeah. We’ll see. But yeah, when I’m able to do that again, I would love to get back to it.

[00:26:42] BS: Well, one thing I want to get into a little bit with what you said, I think it’s cool to draw inspiration from a creative form that you don’t do, that you can do, because I totally get that. It’s like you have that appreciation for other art forms, but you don’t do it yourself. And the wonderful thing about that is that you can’t – Like you can really enjoy it because you don’t know all of the mechanics of it. Like whatever your own art form is. Because, like for example, for me, like – Well, listening to podcasts even is getting a little bit more challenging because I have my own podcast now. So it’s very easy. You get the creative wheels turning or you’re starting to think, “Oh –” You just start thinking about your podcast even while you’re listening to another podcast. So if anything, listening or doing or appreciating some other art form is way more relaxing for me now than the art forms that I focus on all the time.

[00:27:44] JK: Yeah, and I totally get that too. For me, I’m very much an introvert. And so the way that I regain my energy is by being alone and in peace. And when I say peace, I mean actual quiet. Like I can’t listen to music or podcasts or anything if I really need time. I’ll read a book. I’ll do something like completely different, but too much noise, and I can’t focus. And what is so interesting and difficult about that is that I do love music, but when I listen to music, I analyze it so much that it’s really hard to enjoy it.

[00:28:26] BS: I totally get it. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve pretty much ruined fiction for myself. And also reading blogs too, because I’ve been a blogger for so many years. It’s very difficult for me to just want to do that in my down time because it just – I don’t want to say it feels like work, but it kind of does. Like you said, you start analyzing and just thinking about other things instead of relaxing.

[00:28:53] JK: It becomes less fun. Yeah, unfortunately. Yeah.

[00:28:57] BS: Something to keep in mind. That is something that I do tell people whenever they’re wanting to turn a passion into work or to make money from it, is be careful. Be careful with that too, because you may enjoy it more when you’re not making money from it and just kind of keeping it more as a hobby. So it’s always something to consider based on the discussion we just had.

[00:29:24] JK: Yeah, yeah. Very true. But, also, if you are moving into a tangential kind of area of what you’re creative in, it might be a better option than actually doing the thing to make money. Like if I decided that I was going to go out and be a singer professionally, I don’t think that I would maintain my love of it for very long. I think it’d be hard.

[00:29:51] BS: I don’t think you can. I don’t think any human can.

[00:29:55] JK: Yeah. But switching into voiceovers, so I still get to use my voice. I still get to do things with it. I still get to be creative, but it’s a sort of structured creativity. That fulfills me in a way that I didn’t expect.

[00:30:08] BS: Yep, and I can totally relate to that on the writing front.

[00:30:12] JK: Yeah.

[00:30:13] BS: Cool. Well, Jodi, I’d love to talk a little bit more about – I know you’re pretty nerdy about sound and how sound influences people, and I feel like – I mean, we’re on a podcast right now. So one of the things that I know a lot of people love about podcasts that I love is it’s so intimate. It’s like being a fly on the wall while these two people have a conversation. That’s why it’s such an exciting medium that’s really taking off. So I think people get it that are listening to this show right now, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

[00:30:46] JK: That’s true.

[00:30:46] BS: Yeah, can you talk a little bit about what you’ve learned about how sound influences people?

[00:30:53] JK: Well, yeah. I do nerd out about this.

[00:30:55] BS: Let’s do it.

[00:30:57] JK: Yeah. So the music that we hear can influence what we buy. So if you are walking in a mall and they’re playing classical music, you’re going to think you’re in a higher class establishment than you would if they’re playing like, I don’t know, country music?

[00:31:13] BS: Metal.

[00:31:14] JK: Metal. I doubt they’d play metal in –

[00:31:16] BS: I’m kidding.

[00:31:19] JK: But you get the idea. So we tend to be influenced to buy more expensive things by what we perceive as more expensive music, strangely. And also listening to music can both soothe and motivate us. So I actually spoke with a fellow named Josuël Rogers who’s in the Netherlands actually, and he is what he calls a hip-hop culture coach. So the really cool thing about this is that he uses hip-hop music to motivate youth. So it’s like a way to get them out of their own heads to get them motivated to do stuff. To get them pumped up to do important things and have fun in a day. We use that for exercise all the time to keep us motivated. To get our steps up, etc., that kind of stuff. And it just is a part of our daily lives in ways we may not quite realize. There’s a lot more too. Like sound can influence how we taste. This is really strange.

[00:32:24] BS: What?

[00:32:26] JK: Yeah, I know. All of our senses work together. So the sense of sound, when you’re hearing something, you can actually influence how you taste. So if you’re in a restaurant and they want you to experience the crunch of a recipe particularly, then they’re going to play a certain type of music, and they’ve actually done some studies on this. One of my interviews was with a guy named Steve Keller who is the sonic strategy director over at Pandora, and he talked about a promotion that he did with Propel, the electrolyte drink. And they had DJ stations set up at this place and people would listen to a sound or music or I’m not sure exactly what it was, but they would listen to something in their ears with these headphones and then they’d taste the drink and they could dial in depending on what they were hearing more sweet or more salt. So it was just a really interesting idea of the influence that sound can have on everything else we experience.

But also beyond that, sound can make us – It can allow us to time travel. Because if you hear a sound or you listen to a song that you remember, that sound or that song brings you back to that moment. You actually experienced that moment again. So it’s not just a remembering. It’s an actual being there, which is really powerful.

[00:34:00] BS: Yeah, I love whenever you’re out at a restaurant or a bar or whatever, if we can remember when that was a more common thing. Just imagine, take yourself there by listening to this song. But I love whenever places go with more like classics, like whether it’s like classic rock or, of course, I love jazz, versus new music. And I guess this is just kind of like showing my age too at this point. I’m starting to feel like my parents. I’m like coming up on 40, and it’s just like I listen to some of the new music and I’m just like, “God! What is this?” And it actually disrupts my experience personally because I’m just like, “Can we just play something that like play the hits? Play some of the stuff from the good old days?” Because I’m with you. I mean, I feel like I listen to some of those songs that I know really well and they transport me to other times listening to one of those songs in the radio going to the beach with my friends when I was younger in Southern California, those kinds of things.

[00:35:03] JK: Yeah. It’s an emotional connection that you have to what you were feeling at the time that you heard that sound. And it could be any kind of sound. It could be the squeak of a floorboard in a kitchen, anything really can bring you to a particular time when you felt a particular emotion. And it’s very emotional and deep and visceral for us. It’s an experience that all of us have, and it’s really strong.

Sound is really one of our strongest senses, that and smell are really the ones that reach our hearts fast. So if you’re talking about using this in advertising, what you’re talking about really is making a deeper connection with the people that you are trying to reach. Yeah, it’s really important in the delivery of a message.

[00:35:56] BS: It is important. And even just thinking about restaurants or any sort of brick and mortar type of business, and if there’s listeners that run some of those businesses, going back to that music conversation, is put a little bit more attention there and like what you’re playing. I will tell you a really funny story, and I shared this on social media. I am not kidding when I say this. I was at the dentist a few years ago, and I shit you not, they were playing Everybody Hurts by REM.

[00:36:30] JK: Oh my God! Okay.

[00:36:32] BS: Yeah, like that was on their playlist.

[00:36:33] JK: Talk about literal.

[00:36:35] BS: And I’m sitting here and I was getting some work done. I wasn’t just getting a fucking teeth cleaning. I was actually getting some work done and I was numb and I was still in pain and uncomfortable and drooling all over myself, blood dripping down my face. Everybody Hurts comes on. I mean, I just try not to laugh too, because they’re in my mouth. But anyways, that is like a classic example. If you are a dentist, maybe make sure that some of those songs are not on your playlist.

[00:37:05] JK: Yeah, maybe. Maybe that’s something to think about. I use this example all the time too. If you’re a high-end jewelry store, think about the fact that you shouldn’t have 80s hairband music on your on hold.

[00:37:19] BS: Yeah, totally.

[00:37:20] JK: There’s a disconnect there in who they are and the type of sounds they’re using. So all I tell people is, “Look, know who you are. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Know who you’re trying to reach, and then use your sound accordingly and make it consistent, because consistency is how people remember.”

[00:37:42] BS: Yeah, it’s brand consistency. And I think that people get really hung up on the logo or the product or the service and the website, all of these other things. And then if sound is involved, either digitally or in your brick and mortar, that’s an afterthought, and it definitely shouldn’t be.

[00:38:02] JK: No. It definitely should not be.

[00:38:04] BS: Otherwise, patients are listening to Everybody Hurts while they’re getting work done in the chair. It’s awful.

[00:38:11] JK: Yeah. Yeah, not great. That’s not a great experience.

[00:38:13] BS: No. It’s a great story though.

[00:38:16] JK: It is. Yeah.

[00:38:19] BS: Oh my goodness! Okay. So we talked about sound. I want to get back to you as a human. If you could be any amazing woman from history, who would you choose and why?

[00:38:33] JK: I was wanting to pick someone like Sarah Vaughan, and I love her voice and I love everything she’s done. But, historically, I wanted to go to Mary Shelley.

[00:38:48] BS: Oh, interesting.

[00:38:49] JK: Yeah. I just thought she was a really well-educated woman when women weren’t that well-educated, and she wrote one of the most classic novels of all time and a lot more than that actually. She wrote a lot of other stuff that people just don’t really know about. But she was always her own person. And I think she was a really big influence on the people around her, and it was interesting to read up a little more on her. Because when the thought occurred, I was like, “Well, I should learn a little more.”

[00:39:26] BS: I love doing that too whenever I’m interested in some sort of historical figure. And I’m a big fan of – Oh God! I don’t know. I’ve always said biopics and I’m learning that it’s actually biopics as far as a pronunciation. But anyways, whatever you want to call those biographical films. I love watching those types of movies and then learning more about people from history. It’s just so interesting.

[00:39:49] JK: Yeah, yeah. I’ve always been a fan of that era of writing. And so the whole idea of Frankenstein didn’t exist until she wrote it. Like that’s wild, yeah. And it’s and it’s just such an amazing concept that, yeah, that man plays with things you shouldn’t be playing with.

[00:40:19] BS: Oh man! So relevant to our times.

[00:40:22] JK: Totally. Yes. Totally relevant to our times. Yes.

[00:40:26] BS: Yeah, it’s creepy when writers do that. It’s almost like they have a crystal ball or something when they’re sitting there creating.

[00:40:32] JK: I think they just have a really big window into the human condition, and this is just something that was inevitable. You know what I mean? Yeah.

[00:40:42] BS: Yeah. Jodi, let’s talk about rejection. We’ve talked about all these happy things. But we did start to touch on even like paying your dues. So how did you move past the toughest rejection you ever faced?

[00:40:55] JK: Well, when I first started in voice acting, I thought I knew it all, which of course I’m not alone in that. I know. Yeah, we all do things that seem stupid in hindsight. But when I first started I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to a demo and put it out there and go get some work. Woohoo!” And it doesn’t work like that. And what ended up happening was that I ended up getting a couple of demos made from what is kind of considered a demo mill. And what that means is basically that they’ll make a demo for you whether or not you’re ready to make it. If you have a credit card, they’ll take it. And I didn’t know this. And so not only was I rejected after I made these demos because they were kind of horrible, but I was also out a lot of money.

[00:41:50] BS: No. What a bummer.

[00:41:52] JK: Yeah. Yes, definitely a bummer. But the really cool thing about this particular community is that it’s very supportive in general. And when I brought these newly created lovely demos to a community of people on a message board, and this was like 2007. So like Facebook didn’t exist. They kind of told me in no uncertain terms that they were crap and that I needed to go back to the drawing board. And that was a big sting to say the least, because I had thought I was on the right track.

I was lucky enough that one of the people of that message board took me under his wing and taught me basically the fundamentals of how to act, because I had no clue. Like I said, I came at this from music, from singing. And so I had a decent background, but this is acting and I needed to learn that. I needed to learn at least that there is a way to connect with what you’re speaking. That you can’t just read the words on the page and sound pretty. It’s a lot more than that. So actually making someone listen to you and understand what you’re saying and relate to what you’re saying and want to hear more. To do that, you need to actually speak to someone. It’s not just saying words on a page that don’t mean anything to you. They have to mean something to you.

[00:43:28] BS: Yeah, and it goes back to everything that you’re saying about how sound influences people. It’s just like whoever, a business, or whatever, just using audio and music as an afterthought instead of really putting that care and attention there. And you can actually disrupt the entire experience and even drive people away.

[00:43:50] JK: Yeah. Yeah, you totally can. Yeah. So the ultimate ending, I guess, to this particular rejection was that I picked myself up again. Took my heart knocks. D didn’t go crawling away, because I totally could have done that. And instead decided to take the lessons that I was being offered very generously and do better. And because of that, I have a career today. I probably wouldn’t if I had decided that he was full of crap and I didn’t need to listen to him.

[00:44:28] BS: I’m glad that somebody took you under their wing. And thank goodness for people like that in our lives throughout the years. And it’s one thing when you’re facing rejection, but quite another when at least somebody gives you some feedback, because that doesn’t always happen. You get rejected and you don’t know what you did wrong. That’s the worst, because you don’t know how to improve. Or going a step further, maybe somebody recognizes that you have something there and then they take you under their wing and mentor you and make you go down the right path. So thank goodness for some of those people in our lives. I’m always grateful.

[00:45:05] JK: Yeah, totally. I don’t know where I would be if he hadn’t done that. So it was really very generous of him, and I seriously credit him with the career I have, because otherwise it wouldn’t have happened at all.

[00:45:19] BS: And what was his name?

[00:45:21] JK: His name is Lee Kane, and he’s a 30-year plus veteran actor from Chicago, and he’s also a voice actor, and was really very generous with his time when I was right at the beginning of my career.

[00:45:36] BS: Awesome. Shout out to Lee, definitely. That’s awesome.

Jodi, if you met someone who wanted to get started in voiceovers but they were doubting themselves, which I’m sure happens a lot.

[00:45:49] JK: yes. Yes, it does.

[00:45:51] BS: And this would be your chance to give back to them, what would you say to them?

[00:45:55] JK: First of all, you have to be very determined, because this is not an easy industry to be in. And I’m going to say that because we get rejected every day of the week. So a lot of my time spent is auditioning for jobs that I will never get. And we aren’t told. We don’t we don’t get told unless we get the job, right? So the only way that we will ever know that we did good on an audition is if they choose us for the job.

[00:46:23] BS: And do you get the silent treatment otherwise or do you actually get some sort of lovely automated email?

[00:46:28] JK: You don’t even get an automated email. No. No. No. People don’t even bother, because first of all they’re hugely busy. So they’re they don’t have time to write to everybody and let them know. But also, a lot of these auditions happen basically from agents. And so those agents don’t have time to tell you if you got it or not either. So yeah, it’s a lot of rejection and you just have to get used to that. You have to sort of do an audition and forget about it. And then if you hear back about it, that’s awesome. It’s like icing on the cake, but otherwise just move on and do what you’re going to do. But if you are determined, there’s a website out there called voiceoverxtra.com. It’s voiceoverxtra.com. And the reason that I direct people there is because it’ll give you a kind of like general lay of the land and let you sort of understand what genres there are. Who the good coaches are? What the classes are that are available? The tech aspects, because I wear a lot of hats. I’m sure as a business owner you do too.

[00:47:37] BS: Oh yeah.

[00:47:38] JK: So I do all my own invoicing. I do my own negotiations. I do my own audio recordings. So I’m my own audio engineer. I do my own marketing. All sorts of other stuff that you wouldn’t think you’d have to do, but as a solopreneur you’re going to do them. And until you can afford to outsource to someone else, that’s what’s going to happen.

[00:48:02] BS: Definitely.

[00:48:03] JK: Yeah. So you need to understand that it’s not just getting in front of a microphone and speaking into the microphone and then getting paid. Nice as that might be. There’s a lot more that goes into it. But that website will give you an idea of what it is that goes into it. And you may want to focus on particular genres if you have a love of a particular genre like audiobooks or commercials or animation or something like that and sort of focus a little bit or try out a bunch of things and see where you fit. And just see where things end up going for you. But it’ll give you a good idea of what to shoot for.

[00:48:45] BS: Thank you. And thank you for sharing a resource like that. It’s super helpful for people. I know you have some resources as well, Jodi. As we wrap up here, can you just let the listeners know how they can find those resources and stay connected with you?

[00:49:00] JK: Well, my website is at voiceoversandvocals.com, and the audio branding podcast, if people are interested, is at audiobrandingpodcast.com. And I also have a download PDF, that’s for free, of five tips to an intentional audio branding strategy, and that is at voiceoversandvocals.com/audio-branding-strategy.

[00:49:28] BS: Lovely. And I will link to everything in the show notes for the listeners so they can find that quickly. Jodi, I really enjoyed our time together. This was so much fun.

[00:49:40] JK: Thanks. I had a lot of fun too. Yeah.

[OUTRO]

[00:49:45] BS: This week’s apple podcast review shout out goes to Kate Johnson who was on the show back in episode 22 talking about tapping into your creative forces, definitely worth a listen. So make sure you listen to episode 22 at some point. And here is what Kate said in her review, “I love this podcast. Britt is warm and funny and really knows how to lead and engage in a conversation. She relates so easily to all of her guests. So the 50ish minutes flows smoothly and beautifully. She’s also a fantastic listener. Far too often, I run into podcasts where the interviewer has pretty bad timing and talks over their guests frequently. I highly recommend listening to this podcast if you love listening to positive, enthusiastic and encouraging conversations.”

Oh, thank you, Kate. You are such a sweetie. I really appreciate that review. I am blushing over here. Please support the show by leaving a quick review on Apple Podcasts. I really appreciate your words and support out there. It means so much to me.

Thank you and see you next time.

[END]

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