Building A Thriving Voiceover Business in 2023
We wanted to share an inspiring voiceover success story to encourage our readers who may be just getting started in this industry. Kasey Miracle, a professional voice actor & author, was gracious enough to share a bit of her journey with us!
Kasey has performed in almost every type of voice over work you can imagine. She has lent her voice to an impressive variety of projects, including narrating audiobooks, e-learning courses, audio tours, and documentaries. Kasey's voice has been featured in national commercials across various platforms such as radio, TV, social media, and websites, as well as in walkthrough videos for apps, products, and companies. She has also provided corporate narration for training and benefit presentations and voicemail messages for international companies. She was even one of the voices to present an award at the Youtube Music Night Hong Kong 2021!
With an impressive resume and hundreds of 5-star reviews (included being mentioned in Forbes!), you're sure to find this interview insightful and encouraging.
What sparked the idea of voice acting? Do you remember when you were first inspired to try it (and if a certain person inspired you)?
Kasey Miracle: There were a handful of things that contributed to me becoming a voice actor. I had always been in theater and acting, even in college. I became a teacher out of college. I was the elementary school librarian and handled visuals and sound for productions. But when my son was diagnosed with Autism, I was told by quite a few education departments in two different states that he would need to go to a specialty school because he couldn’t learn in a traditional environment. I decided to quit teaching to homeschool him but I needed something to do from home to pay the bills. One day I stumbled upon these YouTube videos by Joe Zieja about how to become a voice actor. That night, I was reading a book to my son for bedtime and he stops me and says, “Mommy, you should do this for all the kids everywhere! The ones that have a hard time reading, like me!” And I thought of those videos. The next day I bought everything Joe said we needed to get started, hired a coach and that was that.
What was the hardest part about getting started when you first got into VO?
Kasey Miracle: For me the hardest part was finding the confidence to do this. It’s so very different from stage acting which is where all my experience was. Everyone can buy the equipment and anyone can hire a coach, but after that it’s just you… in your little padded box. You have to take that leap and audition on your own. And you are so very alone in that booth. There’s no one to direct you for an audition (unless you hire someone) and there’s no audience to talk to or fellow actors to bounce reactions or emotions off of. You have to image the scenes and imagine the audience and imagine your fellow actors saying their lines. Thankfully I have an overactive imagination but it took getting used to.
Why do you think your career took off so quickly? Are there certain things you did business-wise that set you apart from the thousands of others that are pursuing this highly competitive field?
Kasey Miracle: I think luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I wanted to make sure I was prepared for whatever job may come my way so I took classes for an entire year. I paid for professional demos. I paid for one-on-one coaching. I wanted to make sure that when that opportunity came, I was prepared to take it and could be confident in my professionalism, and proficient in my craft. And then I took those samples I made and those demos I paid for and put them absolutely everywhere! Eventually, people would hear them and hire me. I don’t think it was anything I did any different, honestly. I just think I was prepared and then I made myself visible. It doesn’t matter how great a voice talent you are if no one ever hears you.
Did you make any mistakes along the way? Anything you would warn other Voice Actors against doing?
Kasey Miracle: Of course! We all make mistakes when we try something new! Just don’t let them discourage you! I think I’d tell new voice actors to do their homework. When I outgrew my first mic, I went out and bought the microphone that everyone said was the best and the interface everyone said was the best. I only found out later that one microphone, one DAW, one interface is not meant for every voice talent’s voice or for their recording environment. You have to take time and find the one that makes you sound the best in the space you’ve created. So, research that. And research coaches, classes, and demo creators. Find people that have worked with them and ask them how it went because not everyone who says, “I can coach you,” or “I can make you a great demo” is telling the truth. Vet everything from equipment to coaches.
What is the most rewarding part of the job for you? Do you have any special projects that were particularly meaningful?
Kasey Miracle: The most rewarding projects for me, personally, are projects for the blind or visually impaired, projects for special needs communities, and projects for kids. One of my favorite books I had the pleasure of narrating was called “Vision to Dream.” It was written by a visually impaired author about a blind boy who wants to play baseball and discovers there are leagues for blind baseball players. Narrating the project, creating the sound to match the one that the ball makes so the blind players can follow it, and then having that published...I’m so grateful to be a part of that. Another audiobook was,
“Becoming Einstein’s Teacher” which talks about how to teach children who are gifted in a multitude of ways, including special needs. Getting to contribute to those projects is amazing, but honestly adding voice to any project helps those communities. I’m thrilled to get to be a part of that.
Would love you to share how you have branched into being a children's book author!
Kasey Miracle: I started writing as early as elementary school but never published anything but a few poems and short stories for contests. When my son came along, I started making up stories for him about anything I could think of. We moved out to the woods one day and we have all these animals around us and I started telling him stories about the animals. He liked them so much that he would repeat them and I thought maybe I should publish them. And the rest is history.
Besides talent, what are the character traits you possess that have helped you excel in this industry?
Kasey Miracle: I think good traits to have as a voice actor are creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to learn. You have to be creative to create character voices and to really envision what the final product will look or sound like. But you also have to be flexible. If the director doesn’t like the way you said a line (even if it’s for a commercial and not a character) then you have to be willing to give them that same line in a different way. You can’t come into a session thinking you already know how it should be said and then get angry when they want it some other way. So be humble, be flexible, take good direction, and be willing to learn. This community is full of talented voice actors who are willing to give you notes and tips if you’ll just humble yourself and listen to them. I still go to one-on-one coaching session. I still attend workout sessions. I’m always looking for new things to learn to help me develop my craft.
There are a million and one classes out there... what were the classes / coaches / workshops / podcasts that really moved the needle for you?
Kasey Miracle: There are a lot of them! Which is why vetting is so important. I think the most valuable class I ever took was improv. Being able to come up with a line on the spot and learning to pivot was invaluable. I do voiceovers for everything from characters in video games to corporate training for large companies and that ability to pivot and read a line a different way is important. A lot of voice actors say there is voice acting in every job and I really believe that. I recommend taking acting class. Take an improv class. Take a class on public speaking so you know how to hold the attention of an audience. And then watch/listen to whatever you want to be in. Identify what you like about this e-learning video so you can replicate it. Watch Anime. Listen to audiobooks. Immerse yourself in your craft. There are learning opportunities everywhere. Even just listening to radio commercials on your way to work.
What's next for you? What kind of projects are you looking to work on next? How can people get in touch with you to book your services?
Kasey Miracle: I’m currently in a cartoon show, an animated comic book, and I’m scheduled to narrate audiobooks every month until June. I’m also narrating magazine articles for a kids’ magazine, which is a lot of fun! If you’d like to work with me, you can email me at email@example.com or visit my new beautifully designed website at www.kaseymiracle.com. I’m also on most social media platforms as @kmiraclevoices.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Kasey Miracle! We are so excited to follow alongside your career, as you are definitely one to watch!