By Stephanie Ciccarelli
February 2, 2010
Have you been trying to live out your dream to become a full-time voice over artist?
Linwood Powell is approaching the end of his journey working in a different field and is about to pursue a life of delivering meaningful messages from behind the mic and behind the scenes.
Having met Linwood on two occasions, I want to share his story with you and trust that it will give you hope and may inspire those who may be on the fence about committing to voice over as a career.
Find out more about Linwood's story and discover what it means to give your all in today's VOX Daily.
The first time I met Linwood Powell was at the lovely fund raising event for the Don LaFontaine Lab held at the home of Ann and Joe Cipriano on September 2nd of 2009. Linwood, with his fiancÃ©e Toni, were strolling through Joe's cabana house looking at Don LaFontaine memorabilia and items donated for auction... one item in particular, the Neumann U87, was of great interest to Linwood.
We introduced ourselves and enjoyed a self-guided tour of Joe Cipriano's recording studio. As we got to talking, it was obvious that this was a man who had passion, direction and was eager to apply his gifts to the voice over industry as a means to help others through the spoken word. Something else that was immediately clear was how much Linwood was prepared to sacrifice and give to achieve his goals.
Nothing was going to stop him from living his dream and using his gifts.
Shortly thereafter I found out that Linwood has been studying with Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins. While that in itself was great news on a number of fronts, the most amazing part was that Linwood and Toni travel from Washington, DC to get to his lessons in New York City, making the trip through sleet, snow and more with unfaltering dedication.
(left to right: Joan Baker, Rudy Gaskins, Toni Williams, Linwood Powell)
Joan had encouraged Linwood and Toni to come to the event so that they could meet some of the most talented and influential people who thrive in our industry. With only a couple of days notice, Linwood and Toni decided to attend and experience the voice over community at one of the most prestigious social events of the year.
You may have noticed that whenever I mention Linwood I mention Toni. His fiancÃ©e Toni is equally excited about his future career and I can't express just how much I admire her for supporting Linwood as he grows artistically and professionally. Whenever you come across a couple and you can't think of one without the other, you know that the relationship is very special.
To further my point, Toni was over the moon when Linwood won the Neumann U87! Knowing that the microphone would be the center of his studio, the investment was a non-issue in Toni's mind. Here's a picture of Linwood with Joan Baker and his microphone from the auction.
The second occasion I got to visit with Linwood and Toni was when I had come to New York City in December 2009. We met for dinner at Caffe Cielo with Joan and Rudy and got to talk more about the strides Linwood had made since we last were in touch. The final steps were in motion to build a home recording studio before making the full transition to voice acting as a career.
When asked to share a bit about working with Linwood Powell, Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins couldn't stop talking about how pleased and impressed they were with his progress, determination and desire to communicate important messages using his voice as the vehicle for the words.
Joan Baker said, "Linwood's journey is very unique to him yet universal to those who become successful voiceover actors. He leaves no stone unturned in learning the craft and networking with others in the VO industry. While he has an incredible vocal instrument, what sets him apart is his dedication to his training and his desire to understand the full extent of the business. Linwood puts himself on the line in terms of breaking through the self imposed glass ceiling that we all share."
Rudy Gaskins was quick to add, "Certainly every aspiring voiceover actor will learn from following Linwood's journey. He engages the process rather than trying to rush ahead to an end result. I believe he's on a path to the kind of success that's deep and enduring. Linwood Powell's dedication and openness to learning inspires me as a teacher and a person."
Are you on a journey similar to Linwood's? Have you made the transition from a former career to become a professional voice over talent?
I'd love to hear from you!
If you have any comments for Linwood Powell, advice for those making the change or if you'd like to share your own story, please do!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Photos courtesy of Joan BakerRelated Topics: industry, Joan Baker, Linwood Powell, New York, Rudy Gaskins, SAG, TV, voice acting, voice over training