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Otishia Emmens on Cross-Referencing Your Voice-over Career

By Lin Parkin

July 14, 2014

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Woman Plan BAre you at a cross-road in your career?

Still working a day job but feel uninspired and unmotivated in your current line of work? Have you been moonlighting as a voice-over artist?

This may be your cue that it's time reignite your mind and pursue Plan B. If you're ready to change into a career you can be passionate about, we applaud you! You're in for an exciting journey.

Just don't burn any bridges to your past.

Every industry benefits from voice-overs. Those connections you've made throughout the years in your former career can be re-purposed as potential voice-over work. Every business should have a professional IVR or phone prompt. Most businesses have corporate videos and presentations that require narration. Businesses everywhere produce commercials for television and radio. If you know a business inside and out that could be what makes you the ideal voice for their brand.

Otishia Emmens, a former Litigation Paralegal, recognized this when she made the leap into voice-overs and turned the connections from her law career into a source of potential voice-over clients.

Join VOX Daily to learn more about Otishia's story and receive tips on how to effectively transition your connections from a former career into your new career as a voice-over artist.

When the Old Meets the New: Cross-Referencing Your Voice-over Career

By Otishia Emmens

I have spent most of my career life in Corporate America; specifically as a Litigation Paralegal. For over twenty years, all I knew were stuffy suits, billable hours, depositions, trial preparation, judges, courtrooms, defense counsel, early mornings that turned into long nights, not to mention eating those yummy lunch combos; sandwich, chips or cookies, potato or pasta salad every time there was a meeting.

I worked tirelessly doing my part to assist in winning a case. After realizing that I did not want to become an Attorney and that I was done with my Paralegal career, I began to feel restless. I loved the law but no longer wanted to be a participant of this world in the 9:00 am to 11:00 pm capacity.

The tides took a turn when I assisted with conducting a MCLE (Mandatory Continuing Legal Education) Course. An Entertainment Attorney approached me afterwards and said, "Normally, I would be distracted by what I needed to do but, to my surprise you kept me focused. Have you ever thought about doing voice-overs?"

Huh? How did he know I was ready to escape? I smiled, pointed him to a corner in the room and said, "Sit, tell me more". Unsure of what to expect with this new paradigm shift, it was the perfect opportunity to abandon ship. Our discussions lead me to begin my journey into the voice-over world.

A few years into my new career, I began to question what to do with all the hard work I had put into building my legal career. I invested a lot of time and money. I did not want to just walk away from it completely. I began to use my Litigation Paralegal skills and do some research.

How could I thread my old career into my new one?

Match Making

Every law firm has a marketing department. They also utilize what is called Litigation Support Services that assist legal staff with trial preparation. I began to market myself to all of the firms that I worked with. Some were excited to learn how voice-over could possibly benefit them and attract new clients. I voiced webinars and training sessions for new hires and summer interns. I even did some telephony for some of the Attorneys.

Tip: If you leave your corporate job, stay connected to the relationships you built. Voice-overs are everywhere and a place can be created for it if you...

Expand Your Territory

My voice went beyond the law firms. I pitched myself to authors of legal literature and law schools - just to name a few. What made me attractive was the fact that I had experience. I would not be just another voice-over that "acted out" their scripts. I would be one who actually knew what I was talking about. Getting any ideas yet?

Tip: Practice the art of being diverse. If your voice can fit, put it there.

Use What You've Got

Every voice-over gets stuck with marketing ideas of where to introduce their talent. We waste unnecessary time and money trying to find what already lies within us. The strongest platforms are created by your hard work first. Ask yourself the following the questions:

  • How can voice-over be used to increase productivity in this "non-entertainment" environment?
  • Can my voice-over services connect me to other avenues within this field that I am unaware of?
  • How does my experience make me more attractive to those I am marketing to?

Enhancement comes as you grow. My legal career allowed me to build skill and credibility making it easy for me to transfer into my new career as a voice-over actor. Think about how your skills can assist you with numerous paths that lead you to achieving your voice-over goals!

Otishia Emmens.jpg

About Otishia Emmens

Otishia "Ms. Tish" Emmens is a professional voice over actor and blog writer. Her range of specialties includes commercials, radio, narrative, audio books, training videos, telephone IVR, Internet, and spokesperson for weddings and companies, just to name a few.

To learn more, visit: www.teworks.org/thevoicethatspeaksvolumes or visit her Voices.com profile and like her on Facebook.

© iStockphoto.com/Maridav

Related Topics: getting started in voiceovers, Marketing, marketing, Otishia Emmens, Plan B, Voice-over Career, voice-over work


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