Two men talking in a recording studio near mic | Blog - Where clients and voice actors can find valuable information on pre-production, technology, animation, video and audio production, home recording studios, business growth, voice acting and auditions, celebrity voice actors, voiceover industry news and more! Have you ever been taken under the wing of someone who was more experienced and far more wise than you?
Jonathan Murphy‘s recent experience with a number of voice acting greats, including Frank Welker (pictured with Murphy at left), helped him grow and learn to appreciate the benefits of being mentored.
Hear his story and perhaps become inspired to mentor someone else in today’s VOX Daily.

Ignite a Spark: The Power of Being a Mentor

By Jonathan Murphy
When you are just beginning to navigate your voiceover career, there’s nothing better than someone who has achieved notable success extending a hand to help you pilot the ship. Though I’ve experienced some initial success, I’m really just breaking the surface of what I know (and hope) will be possible for my voiceover career.

Like those of you who are in my boat, I do everything in my power to grow my skills, look for networking opportunities, and market myself. But sometimes it feels as though I’m just bobbing around not knowing if I’m going to be able to keep my head above water. Do you feel this way too?

Enter the mentor–someone who has been there, done that, and is willing to throw you a life preserver of individual encouragement and support. Someone who will give you a realistic perspective and advice, and also say from the heart, “hang in there kid.” And it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, but it will make a HUGE and lasting impact on the mentee’s life.

I took a great class called the “Cartoon Connection,” at Voice One in San Francisco with Mark Evanier who is the Supervising Producer and one of the writers on The Garfield Show. He left an open invitation to come and sit in on a recording session for the show. It took almost a year to coordinate, but I made my way down to Los Angeles and there I was with THE icons of Hollywood cartoons: Gregg Berger, Jason Marsden, Laura Summer, Wally Wingert, and…Frank Welker!

These are the actors who have voiced some of my favorite childhood cartoons. It goes without saying what an amazing experience it was to watch these pros in action. But more importantly, was what happened in between takes. I was included in every conversation and they all made me feel valued and important. We talked, we laughed, we shared, and being there gave me the boost I needed to carry on.

Mark spent some time giving me his perspective on working with voice talent as a writer and producer–he only surrounds himself with and chooses to hire those who are professional AND pleasant to be around.
Reflecting on the day, I created an iconographic of the experience to share on my blog. By including me in their working day, these professionals made a lasting imprint on my life and career.

The Invaluable Lessons I Learned

  •  No matter where you are in your career, always be friendly.
  • Be generous…magic comes through collaboration.
  • Surround yourself with talent and you’ll do your best work.
  • Try to reach a point in your career where you can choose to work with only those you enjoy being around.
    If you are one of the top tier professionals, too, consider igniting the spark as a mentor. With just a little investment of your time, you’ll be helping someone reach their own personal and professional goals.
    Jonathan Murphy is an emerging voiceover talent who is currently the voice heard throughout California’s Great America Theme Park. Find more at and his blog.

Are You Mentoring Anyone?

Whether you are mentoring someone or you are being mentored, be sure to comment and share your story!
Best wishes,

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. …a very important concept! I’m not mentoring anyone, but I am BEING mentored by some of the best. Dave Fennoy embraced me at VOICE 2010 and has been an instructor and a trusted friend ever since. Nancy Wolfson, Marc Cashman, Robin Armstrong, Joan Baker, Townsend Coleman–these are just a few of the people who have planted good working seed into my life. So–yeah, it could be a good thing…

  2. When hearing the big names give their two cents, for instance at the DLF VO lab summit, many spoke of their mentors. I assume it’s a pro-active organic relationship, and I have yet to come across a mentor of my own. I do know a vo artist should get out of their studio, to meet, chat and network in the real world. You’re not going to meet friends in your vocal booth. When you do come across or realize you now have a mentor I must say, anyone willing to lend their advice and hand in the tough LA market where I live, is a great, confident, and generous person indeed.


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