Joan Baker with Linwood PowellHave 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.

Meet Linwood Powell, also known as Mr. Dedication

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 fiancée 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.
Joan Baker, Rudy Gaskins, Linwood Powell, Toni Williams
(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.

A Good Team

You may have noticed that whenever I mention Linwood I mention Toni. His fiancée 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.
Joan Baker with Linwood Powell, Neumann U87
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.”

Celebrating Commitment!

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.
Best wishes,
Photos courtesy of Joan Baker

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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. Linwood,
    I’m thrilled to learn so much more about you in Stephanie’s report. Great to have met and acted up with you last Saturday at MJ Lallo’s workshop in New York.

  2. Stephanie,
    Thanks so much for sharing Linwood’s story.
    I can only HOPE I’m on the same track as he, as I continue to march upward in the voice over world!
    His story is just another HUGE inspiration to me.
    Congrats Linwood-with Joan & Rudy by your side-you CAN’T lose!

  3. Hey there, Linwood…
    Congratulations on your new career! I , too, am excited to see your future growth and eager to hear more about your work. Let me encourage you even more by saying that your dedication and your ‘partner’ are firm pillars on which to build a career. May your voice always be lifted up in triumph.
    Happy Voicing!

  4. I was impressed with Linwood the first time I met him at one of Joan’s wonderful voice over seminars in NYC. He’s a great guy with a likable personality. He has a real dedication to making it in the voice over business and that’s what we must all have to move our careers forward. I’ve shared with Linwood my own advice, which I’ve always tried to live by as well and that is to work on your goal at least one hour a day. Whenever I identify a new goal, I utilize this same strategy. It’s very difficult to keep to that relentless schedule of focusing on your dream or goal and doing something to move it forward each and every day. But I have found that if you have that commitment and attitude, you will succeed. It was a pleasure to see him and Toni at our house for the DLF Lab Fundraiser.
    By the way, we are getting ready to break ground on the DLF Voice Over Lab very soon. We’ll be making some exciting announcements about the Lab soon. Thanks to everyone for their wonderful support.

  5. I got to meet Linwood and Toni at Joe’s too. I was drawn to them at that party because they BEAMED with a great energy. Nice to be on the journey with ’em. Glad the U-87 is in good hands! 🙂

  6. Nice story!! I admire Linwood for his determination and logical approach for getting into the V/O business. I think it’s wonderful his gal, Toni, is sooo very supportive, and I bet his tenacity will be very useful in his future. Well written article, thanks!

  7. That’s definitely the ticket, Linwood. Utilize and enjoy the entire process. After all, it is your life. You may as well enjoy it. “Engage!”

  8. Linwood,
    I was there- in fact part of my mug is in that last photo of you & Joan holding that beloved mic. I experienced your absolute joy and excitement. It was a beautiful moment. May you have a rich and rewarding voiceover career.
    All The Best,
    Bobbin Beam

  9. WOW! Thanks for writing such a wonderful article Stephanie! Your gifts are truly evident in this posting.
    Joan and Rudy: You are phenomenal!
    Joan’s energy can be so infectious. There have been times when I thought I should quit my job to become a voiceover artist –LOL.
    I consider myself fortunate to witness Linwood’s growth in the craft of voiceover. The whole process is fascinating from my vantage point. Good luck to all of you aspiring artists and thanks for the kind words.

  10. Rudy Gaskins was right, Linwood’s journey is a great learning tool, and an encouraging read. It reinvigorated my interest in the profession. I hope you have great success Linwood.

  11. Good read,
    I made the jump to full time VO in September 2009. I live in a very rural part of NY state, about 7 hours from the city. It has meant a lot of sacrifice, however, everyday presents new opportunities and challenges. I have never met another full time voice talent face to face. This looks like it was a wonderful event and I only wish the best for all who have made or who are looking to make the leap. I went into this full-time without a parachute, and am figuring out how to fly after having jumped…failure is not an option, that’s how I look at this every day….and night….and weekend…..and when I wake up in the middle of the night. Cheers All.

  12. Wow, what a fantastic story!
    I’m transitioning into the world of VO’s and am extremely excited. I hope and pray that I one day may have the opportunity to experience such success.
    Best wishes to Mr. Powell and continued success,
    Toni Breedlove
    Corona, CA

  13. I would like to say thank you to everyone regarding their words of congratulations and support. Words cannot express how excited I am and how awesome it is to be apart of the voice over family.
    I look forward to continued communications with you all. THIS IS REALLY EXCITING FOR ME.
    GOD bless you all.
    Again, thank you! With special thanks to my coach and producer… Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins…. and to Stephanie… you all have helped make my dream come true.
    Love to you all.

  14. Congrats on your new career. I enjoyed reading your story. I wish you continued success in what ever you endeavor to do in your life.
    Best wishes
    R. Jenkins-Oliver


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