Hi everyone. Today I’d like to introduce you to the talented Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard – Gwendolyn used her magic to help turn my EMS suspense Final Sin into an audio book. She was willing to sit with me for a few minutes here at the Potpourri Parlor and talk about what she does.
Hi Gwendolyn, let’s enjoy some iced cappuccino (it’s sooo hot out) and oatmeal raisin cookies (my favorite) while we chat.
What is a “Voice Actress” and how did you decide to become one?
A “Voice actress” is the same thing as a “voice over actress”. I mostly work for volunteer companies on the internet (not exclusively however). When my disability kept me from working as a nurse, I found out I could do my first love, acting, by finding various auditions. Since I started, seven years ago, I’ve now done over 300 voices.
That’s a really impressive list of credits. I think you read Final Sin exactly as I intended it, it was really a great job. When you are reading for an audio book, how do you achieve the author’s “voice”?
That is a hard question. I read the book as though I were reading it for entertainment/fun first, and find what feels comfortable for character and scene. And pull in some of my own writing knowledge. And then hope I did it right 🙂
Oh you definitely did it right, I really liked listening to Final Sin after you recorded it. Is there anything you would like to say about the story?
I really enjoyed “Final Sin”. I loved the red herrings, and the final confrontation scene. It was a blast to read.
Do you perform under a pseudonym and if so, how did you come up with it? What do your friends call you?
I use a pseudonym on occasions, when the material may not be appropriate for my children or if I just think it’s funny (I have an odd sense of humor). My friends, mostly call me Gwen.
Have you taken any voice training? What happens when you have a cold – any tricks of the trade?
Although I had drama training, I had to learn the tricks of voice acting on my own. It’s been fun. And if you have a cold? Tea with lemon, straight lemon juice (but don’t do this one for long) or hot cider sometimes help. And sadly, sometimes, you just have to rest your voice.
Since you’ve been a Voice Actress for so long, I’m sure you’ve had a few surprises along the way. Can you tell us about any of them?
While doing my first audio book “Murdered by Human Wolves” by Steven E. Wedel, I was surprised to learn that he found my accent to be nearly perfect for Oklahoma. Funny: there have been a few times my cats wanted to read along. Sadly, they can’t pronounce Chelle correctly.
Oh wow, you have cats, so do I. Please, introduce us to your felines.
I adore my cats, I have two: The Princess Buttercup, a white and ginger tabby (we used to have a Dread Pirate Wesley, that’s how she got her name). Also “Lilah Morgan”, a tortoise shell tabby (named after a character on the series “Angel”). Buttercup is a very loving, albeit older cat (she’s 13) Lilah spends her time acting crotchety, and irritable, but she loves attention when SHE wants it. They keep me happy.
Tell us a little bit about the rest of your family. What does your significant other and family think of your career?
I’m married to Dedrick, and I have two amazing daughters from my first marriage: Rhiannon and Bridget. My husband says he’s proud of the work I do (and has even listened to some of it). When Bridget was younger, we actually got her to act in a few shows, though now that she’s a teenager, she’s not interested. I think, though they don’t say it, that they’re proud of me too. That I found something I love to do.
Is there a special time of the day/night you like to work?
I prefer to record in the mornings, the earlier the better. I live in an apartment, and there is always less noise.(And I feel more accomplished the rest of the day)
I’m always nosy about the person behind the voice, what group did you hang out with in high school?
In High School I was the ultimate Drama geek. I spent as much time as I possibly could on stage. I never loved anything as much as I did being in front of an audience.
What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Artistic. Determined. Frustrated.
What do you do in your spare time to unwind and relax?
To unwind and relax, I listen to music, play video games and/or cross-stitch. And watch TV with my family.
Your Facebook page says you are a writer and a voice actress- what have you written?
I’ve written one novel “Shadows of Blood” (which I haven’t yet sent to a publisher), and a write a lot of the shows on my audio drama website, as well as various episodes for other companies. “TamLynn PI” is one on Gypsy Audio that is all mine.
What is the hardest part about being a voice actress/narrator?
Just like an author or other types of actors, it’s having the thick skin, not just for the rejections but also for the inevitable negative reviews. I still take these things to heart, even when I know I shouldn’t.
If you weren’t a voice actress, what would you want to be?
Hard question. Before I got so sick, I was a Registered Nurse. I think, if I could still do the work that’s what I’d do. If I wasn’t about to be a VA, and can’t be an RN, well, I’d keep writing. I love it 2nd to acting.
Please tell us about some of the other books you’ve recorded and where can customers buy them?
What are you working on now?
Why, thank you for asking *grin* I’m narrating Chelle Cordero’s “Hostage Heart” (and loving it!)
Aw gee, now I have a big smile on my face. Gwendolyn, where can your fans find out more about you?
My website is : http://www.gypsyaudio.org/ which is my audio drama company Gypsy Audio. There is a fan facebook as well: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwendolyn-Jensen-Woodard-Voice-Actress/528238047229148?fref=ts
Readers can reach me through the above sites.
To my readers/listeners: I hope you enjoy what you hear. And know the foremost reason I do this, is for you. To entertain (and every now and then, to educate 🙂
Thanks so much for joining me here today, Gwendolyn. And thank you so much for the terrific job you did reading Final Sin. I’m really looking forward to hearing Hostage Heart when you are done with that also.