Sounding Relatable with Amie Breedlove

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    Listeners often gravitate toward voices that they can form a connection with. That’s why more and more voice over casting directors are on the lookout for relatable reads. But sounding relatable to your audience doesn’t always come naturally: it takes a deliberate mix of enthusiasm, cool composure, and some careful script analysis. 

    Who better, then, to show you the ropes than Amie Breedlove? Beyond being the voice who reminds you to take your receipt at Target self-checkouts, Amie has lent her talents to countless other brands and trains others as a vocal coach. In this episode, Amie joins forces with Stephanie as they evaluate a lineup of auditions for an explainer video. Listen as Amie offers actionable insights about putting yourself in your listeners’ shoes, how to hit all the right notes, and the importance of sounding relatable when voicing lifestyle apps. 

    About Amie Breedlove

    Meet the voice of Target self-checkouts and more! Amie Breedlove stepped into the world of voiceovers in 1999 after a 16-year radio career.  Outside of Target, you can hear Amie on radio and television commercials, video games, podcasts, on-hold messaging systems, corporate web videos, and training videos and more for a long list of clients all over the world.

    Hosts: Stephanie Ciccarelli, with special guest Amie Breedlove.

    Links:

    Inspired by this episode? Get your practice on with our voice over sample scripts

    Connect with Amie Breedlove on her website, Twitter, or Instagram, and hear her voice on Voices.com.

    About Mission Audition: Mission Audition is presented by Voices.com. Produced and engineered by Randy Rektor. Script written by Oliver Skinner.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Hi there. Welcome to Mission Audition. I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli for Voices.com. In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about a really cool read that I know a lot of you have practiced, and we have just the right person to be discussing it with us today. We have Amie Breedlove with us. Welcome to the show, Amie.

    Amie Breedlove

    Thank you, Stephanie. Yes. I saw you in New York many moons ago, right?

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh my gosh. Yes. In today’s days it feels like a dog year probably went by.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yeah, exactly.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    So it was wonderful to see you though, and I’m so happy that you are here. You do so well on Voices and to have you share your wisdom and also your insight today will be of great treat for everybody. So just so we all know, listening audience, Amie is very qualified. She has a broadcasting degree, a speech broadcasting degree actually, which is pretty awesome.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    You also have been in voiceover as a career artist for a little while now. I know that we don’t want to necessarily say the years that we all graduated from schools because I know that my anniversaries are stacking up, but you’ve been serious into voiceover for a long time. You’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry. Not only is Amie an amazing talent, she’s also a voiceover coach. You have clients like Bank of America, McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme, Target, and Cadillac, just to name some of them. So, that’s quite a resume. Amie, why don’t you tell us about why you got into voiceover and why you’ve decided to make this your life’s work?

    Amie Breedlove

    Sure. Wow. Let’s see. Well, it all started back in 1994. I’ll go ahead and mention the year. I don’t mind. I started in radio after college and did a 16-year radio career in all aspects of radio, and then 1999, while still in radio, the station voice, John Pleisse … I think he’s still out there in station voice land … Was in town and I started chatting with him and asked him what exactly it was that he does. And he said, “It’s voiceover.” I was really intrigued because I was production director at the time at the radio station, and I said, “I love what I do every day. Rather than being on the air, this is just so much fun. Voicing commercials, writing commercials and producing commercials.” He said, “Well, you should really look into voiceover.” So he gave me some great little nuggets of wisdom. From there, I started voicing some local commercials and getting paid. It was really exciting. And then life happened.

    Amie Breedlove

    I’m an only child, and my parents, both of them passed within a few years of each other. So I kind of pushed it to the side and then met my husband. My husband always said, “Everybody’s always having you do their commercials at the radio station. You should do this on your own.” And I’m like, “Yeah, somebody else brought that up a few years ago.” We ended up moving to Alaska for a while for a fun adventure. I was in radio there. Two weeks after being there the afternoon DJ said, “Have you ever thought of doing voiceover?” So I’m like, “Okay, the universe is trying to tell me something.” So I delved into voiceover while still in radio again and built a client base up then. Gosh, by 2011, I was like, “I think I’m ready to go full time.” So I left the radio world and went full time voiceover, and the rest is history.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh my goodness. That is an amazing story. So it does seem like things in life are meant to be.

    Amie Breedlove

    Absolutely.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    This career you have is not by chance. So thank you so much for sharing all about where you’ve come from and how you got there. I think that’s very inspiring for everybody. So Amie, you are not just a talent, but you are a coach too, and you help people in their voiceover journey. Could you tell us about your coaching business and just the sort of work that you do with people and the way that you do it.

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh, absolutely. I like to work around script analysis and talk about inflection and tone and punching the right words, building up the company or the business or the brand that you’re working on. I specialize in commercial and IVR and corporate reads.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Wow. That’s a lot of greatness right there. I’m thinking people are going to really enjoy what you have to say in this episode.

    Amie Breedlove

    Thank you.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Today we’re going to talk about internet video, and also kind of a read that’s more for that. So for this job, we’re looking for a voice age that is middle-aged and at Voices.com that’s between the ages of 35 to 54. We’re looking for a female voice. The category is internet video. Our industry is video production. For the style, we need someone who can sound authentic and relatable. She’s speaking English. That’s what we’re expecting all of these wonderful auditions to be and the accent is North American. So just for anyone listening out there taking some notes, what you’re going to listen for because you’re listening along with us, is a middle-aged female voice, a tech savvy woman who’s constantly on the go and documenting her daily life.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    This is somebody who really knows her tools and she’s really wanting to document anything from her family. She always brings her phone on business trips and so on. She’s wanting to capture life. The last bit of creative direction here is to have a voice that’s cool and confident, so be sure to listen for that. This voice also needs to have an air of sophistication that’s on display while the narrator, the voice, is explaining usage of the app that she’s talking about. But she’s also not afraid to laugh at herself. That’s a lot to ask wouldn’t you say? My goodness, Amie.

    Amie Breedlove

    Definitely. I just get this image of this power woman walking through the airport with her cell phone and her briefcase and her luggage, all of it, just moving on.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh yes. That is a great image actually. I can totally see that woman just bee lining to her gate.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Okay. We’re going to review all of the auditions as we normally do. We’re going to start with audition number one. This is audition one of eight. Isn’t that amazing? We’ve got eight today. So here we go.

    Amie Breedlove

    Exciting.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Audition number one.

    Audition 1

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    All right, well that was our first read. What do you think Amie?

    Amie Breedlove

    Well, gosh, let’s see. I would say first it’s a little flat. Needs to bring those words off the page because if you’re a power woman, you’re powerful and you’re also excited about Photo Hop because that’s your business. That’s actually what I always try to think of when I do an audition is, “This is my business and I want to tell everybody about it because I’m really excited about it.” So maybe a little more excitement.

    Amie Breedlove

    I do like the nice relaxed tone though, but maybe a little more emphasis on certain words, especially that the stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos. Stop feeling guilty, and definitely punch the Photo Hop. A good conversational tone is in there, but I think just needs to be punched a little more.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    All right. That’s our first of eight. So I think that’s really, really great feedback. As we were talking about earlier, I just know that all the tips that you’re going to give are going to be really actionable. I hope people are writing this down, and it’s so good to hear someone who’s really experienced in this area speaking to it. I agree. I think that there’s a certain … Well, and this is funny because I was just thinking about how at Voices when we do our training for how to listen, half the battle is really understanding who you are in the script and also who your audience is.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    When we think about interpretation and direction, we might also have a different way of interpreting the words the director is trying to get us to sound a certain way. So depending on what someone might perceive to be tech savvy, what does that sound like? Or, or what does a power woman, right? What does that sound like?

    Amie Breedlove

    Right. Exactly.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    It’s just so much to think about in these reads and what we have in our minds. It just kind of comes out and it’s going to hit the mark or not. I think it was pretty close, but I’d love to hear what audition number two has.

    Audition 2

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Wow. Another good read. Amie, any thoughts on this one?

    Amie Breedlove

    Maybe slow down a little bit. It felt like she was just trying to get to the end. The stop feeling guilty again, I feel like could be played on a little bit. Stop feeling guilty. But a very sweet tone. I definitely like the smile in her voice.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    I think there was kind of this younger feel to it. Definitely.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    I felt like I was listening to two different powerful women in their own way perhaps-

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes. Good point.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    And just thinking, okay, well this, this woman, I couldn’t see her charging through the airport trying to get to the gate, but what I did see or hear, I guess … Can we see voices? I don’t know. But what I kind of got from this was that she was almost a more, maybe it would appeal to a different part of the market. People who are a little less assertive or more of that sort of feel of being powerful or so on. But it really does feel like she’s just really calm in a way.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yeah. She’s got the calm, powerful going on.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. Yeah. That’s so funny because there’s different ways of exhibiting the same trait, right?

    Amie Breedlove

    Absolutely.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. And as we go along, just thinking about that for everybody and I hope that afterwards, everyone goes and finds a script for this one and practices on their own and see what they would do with it. But that’s two very different reads right off the hop. That’s interesting.

    Amie Breedlove

    For sure.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. All right. Well, if we don’t have any more comments on that audition here, that was number two. Let’s listen to audition number three.

    Audition 3

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Another different take.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Amie, what would you say about this one?

    Amie Breedlove

    Well, first I love the little giggle on stop feeling guilty. That was a nice touch. I could see more of my image with this read of the gal walking through the airport. There’s a lot of simplicity though in a nice, relaxed read too. I think she’s moving in the right direction. Maybe just, again, punch some different words. Again, it’s always what the director wants too. They may not want other words punched. I would love to hear it with a couple more words punched and especially the Photo Hop. I feel like everybody’s, so far, just Photo Hop helps you free up space. And Photo Hop. Get excited about it.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Well, the brand name is so important, right?

    Amie Breedlove

    Right. Exactly.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Any time when we see that just about everybody I’ve ever spoken to has said, “You need to play it up.” Because that’s what they’re paying you for. This is the company that has produced the app. They’re the grocery store. They’re the whatever. So can you think back to a time in a session, Amie, where you’ve been directed and you have had to make a big to-do about a brand name? How did that director help you to know that, but also what is the end result of doing it really well?

    Amie Breedlove

    You know, and that’s funny because it sounds so different when you’re reading it and then when you listen back. This one director was, he said, “You’re going to sound ridiculous, over the top when you read this, but when you listen back, I promise you it’s going to sound perfect.” And I said, “Okay.” So I read it completely over the top with a big smile. And when I listened back, I was like, “Oh wow, you’re right. It sounds normal.”

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Wow. And why is that do you think? Why when we exaggerate behind the microphone does it come across as normal to other people?

    Amie Breedlove

    I honestly don’t know. I have not figured that one out. That is one of the scientific things of voiceover I cannot figure out. But it’s amazing how cheesy you can sound when you’re reading something and you listen back and you’re like, “Wow, that just sounds normal and how it should sound.”

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. That could be its own podcast episode. The hidden secrets of voiceover. How do you sound really great while you think you’re cheesy? There’s so many different ways also that you can get your voice to do things that it isn’t just necessarily the placement. It could be how you’re using your hands, right?

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh, absolutely.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    So yeah, maybe as we go along, we’ll just think of all those other ways that people are able to help bring their performance to life. But I know that if I didn’t have my hands and if I couldn’t use them to talk, then I’d be at quite a loss.

    Amie Breedlove

    I have hit the pop filter so many times.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh goodness. There’s so many tools of the trade that can help save us from ourselves. And I think that the pop filter is one of them.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes. Most definitely. I cannot live without my pop filter.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Absolutely. So, that was audition number three, I think it’s time to listen to our fourth audition.

    Audition 4

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Wow. I don’t know if I ever felt guilty about taking 200 photos, but I do now. Like one sitting. That part of the script for whatever reason just really popped out at me right now. Have I done that?

    Amie Breedlove

    She did a great job on that line.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. Absolutely. I think that’s why it stood out.

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh my gosh.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    I’m just thinking back to vacations past and yeah, I think there’s probably one too many photos of the Roman Colosseum. So, but what do you think? This one felt different to me.

    Amie Breedlove

    Yeah, me too. Very. It definitely stood out. Great punch there on the stop feeling guilty about snapping those photos. Maybe a little too wispy, but that just could be her tone. And let’s see, maybe a little more conversational could be thrown in there. But overall, I mean, I liked it.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yes. I really liked it too. She had a different vocal tambour. She sounded like it was a different, I don’t know how to put a label on it, but it just feels like a latte. A smooth-

    Amie Breedlove

    That is a really good way to put it. It was a smooth latte.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. She just had like this element, and I don’t drink coffee by the way. But the few times I have, and the way that I have seen it made, it just seems there’s that texture. And I think that’s what it is, it’s texture. There’s some substance to that voice that you don’t always hear in other voices. Every voice has its own amazing, beautiful qualities, but this is a different kind of voice. Sometimes it’s the different voices that will stick out for good reasons. But also the ones that can differentiate a brand and help them to stick out.

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh, absolutely. I think she’s got the conversational sitting in a coffee shop thing going on too, which is huge these days. I see that all the time in auditions. You’re just in a coffee shop chatting with a friend, and that is what that sounded like.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. Oh my goodness. So many interesting, wonderful thoughts about these auditions, and what I love is that not one of them has sounded like the other.

    Amie Breedlove

    No.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    So far.

    Amie Breedlove

    They’re all unique.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. Sometimes we hear patterns on the show. Sometimes there’s certain sort of styles and people will take the direction the same way or similar, but I’m hearing different interpretations. So way to go everyone who auditioned for this job, because you’re finding different notes in the copy and also how they play with your voice. So that was awesome. I think that was audition number four, I think. Yep. Yep. Okay. I’m getting a head nod there from Randy. Thank you so much my Zoom friend. So we’re, all of us, we are all still remote. So, okay. So now we’re going to listen to audition number five.

    Audition 5

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Well, that was bigger, bigger than the others so far as I can hear. In my ear buds that I’m wearing that one, it had a lot of presence, but I think that there might be some elements there that you have some tips for.

    Amie Breedlove

    Maybe a little too happy, but I like the quirkiness. There’s a quirkiness to her voice that kind of reminds me of Zooey Deschanel, and I love Zooey Deschanel. So, that was fun. That was a totally fun read. Maybe some emphasis issues, a little bit of a wrong emphasis at the end. Again, a director is always going to tell you what they want, but what I hear is maybe start your free trial today. That’s where it hits for me, but I love the quirky.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah.

    Amie Breedlove

    For sure.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh yeah. Quirky is really cool because it sticks out. It’s, again, another one of those differentiators that a brand has and I think she also brought some attitude. There was this beautiful sparkle in her voice, but there was also this kind of like, I don’t know, she’d be the sassy friend in the group or something. Someone who is able to kind of just say it like, “Oh yeah, 200 photos. Don’t feel guilty about that,” and whatever else she might carry on within the script. I think sometimes we need to have permission to not feel badly about certain things. 200 is probably an exaggeration, but I just think that-

    Amie Breedlove

    Maybe not for my phone.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Not for your phone. I know I’ve had phones where I’ve had far too many photos and it’s like you are now out of storage space. No, I’ve got to fix this.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    But yeah, I think that she had a different appeal and I love how you’ve kind of found a voice that she may have sounded like. For that person who auditioned there, they may have never heard that they sounded kind of like Zooey Deschanel. And now all of a sudden they’re like, “Oh, I’ve got something that I can play up. I might be able to embrace that aspect of my voice. I can describe my voice as sounding similar to,” or whatever. Because if someone is casting and they want to hire someone with her type of voice or her way of speaking, because we know that a sound-alike, that’s not that you have to sound exactly like somebody when you’re doing that, but you sound close enough, and it’s more the style, the manner in which they speak and kind of, I guess the biology in the voice, if you will. That same kind of makeup, that’s really interesting. Do you find, Amie, that when you listen to people, when you hear somebody’s voice, can you place who they sound like?

    Amie Breedlove

    I try to definitely. It doesn’t always pop up. Like this one was an instantaneous, “Oh my gosh, I see Zooey Deschanel for sure.” And I think too with being in radio for so long, because so many people told me when I would be at a remote, they would come up to me and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I thought you were this little short, tiny girl with blonde hair. And you kind of reminded me of a cheerleader.” And I’m actually about 5’9″ and I have brown hair. It would just always like, “Whoa.” So it’s amazing how the voice brings up different images.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Just thinking about how sometimes people may get a certain image in their head of what someone looks like and just thinking at Voices we have always maintained that the headshot is never shown in the auditions. So whenever you’re auditioning for a job on Voices.com, it’s just your name, all the other things that you would expect to be there are there to represent you through that audition. But sometimes-

    Amie Breedlove

    That’s perfect.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    We don’t sound or look like what the opposite of the sound or look is.

    Amie Breedlove

    Right.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Okay. Well, let’s move on then to audition number six.

    Audition 6

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Wow. You know who would like this app? I’m just starting to get a picture of who is actually going to get this app. I think it’s someone who does travel journalism or they blog about all the places they’ve been or they’re somebody who actually relies on it.

    Amie Breedlove

    Most definitely. I can think of a few people already that would instantly want to download this app. My husband’s always like, “You have way too many photos on your phone.” Anyway.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah.

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh, go ahead.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    I was just going to say that when we can see ourselves in an audience or when we immediately know who that audience is, then I think that the voice artist has done a good job. If you can connect with what someone is saying, and it actually reaches you in such a way that what they’re saying is going to help you. You’re like, “Oh my gosh,” that’s the thing for me. Then I think that, that’s a good voiceover.

    Amie Breedlove

    Absolutely.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. That one did feel good. A lot of them have, but it felt like she knew who she was talking to.

    Amie Breedlove

    Absolutely. Her tone was beautiful. Very natural.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh my goodness. We are in the home stretch. I think we’ve got two more auditions left. So everybody who is listening, I hope you’ve been taking some notes. So this is audition number seven.

    Audition 7

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots. Start your free trial today.

    Amie Breedlove

    All right, let’s see. I would say that it’s a little sing songy, but I love her tone. She’s got a great smooth tone. Very conversational and maybe some different emphasis on some words. What about you?

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. Well, when I was listening and I tend to pick up these patterns. I tend to hear when people always return to the anchor note. As a musician, you have the anchor is in an octave or a key, it’s always the first note, like middle C or something. When people return to that anchor too frequently, then you’re like, “Well, where’s the inflection or why do we always land here?” That was something that I wondered about. Not necessarily this audition in particular, but any auditions or anything that we’re reading, at what point does it become too much to always go home, if you will, to that base sort of tone or pitch? The last word of this audition is the one I’m thinking of. It’s where it goes down. We all tend to speak down when we finish a sentence, but how, for your experience that you’ve been through, how often should we be hitting that note? Does it always need to go down at the end of a phrase or is there some flexibility there?

    Amie Breedlove

    That’s a really good thought because I’ve noticed that during sessions, quite often that as I’m reading along, because I don’t really think about it when I’m reading, they’ll stop me and say, “Wait, wait, wait. We need to go down on that sentence because it needs to end.” And when I’m reading it, I’m like, “Well, that doesn’t make sense to me because it feels like it still needs to flow.” Maybe it’s the whole thing of actually hearing it and you’re not hearing it the same way when you read it.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    I think if we heard someone read maybe one minute of script as opposed to 30 seconds or something, we’d probably get more of a sense for where they keep doing the same thing. And then they say something and it goes back here. The variation can matter. I completely agree and hear you on something needs to sound finished or settled. But I also know that from time to time that can, if you use that too much, let’s say, if you’re constantly going back to that one place, then that can take away from-

    Amie Breedlove

    Right then that doesn’t work.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    The flow you’re talking about.

    Amie Breedlove

    Exactly. It’s like a song. It’s got to flow in the right spots. Your middle C description is just beautiful. I love that.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    A great place to start.

    Amie Breedlove

    It is.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Makes me think of the Sound of Music. It’s a very good place to start. Right at the beginning. So, Oh my gosh. And speaking of which, we were about to come full circle. We are now listening to audition number eight.

    Audition 8

    Photo Hop helps you free up space on your smartphone while building a beautiful and organized photo library. Stop feeling guilty about snapping 200 photos, get reminders to review duplicates and surface your best shots.

    Amie Breedlove

    That was definitely cool and confident to me.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    It was. It was. I have a question only because I heard it in here and I’m wondering what your opinion is on it, but vocal fry. I think I heard it in there. I don’t know. Can you let us know if you did? And then for those of us who don’t know what vocal fry is, could you give us a description please?

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes, I did hear it. In fact, I was going to say that it sounds very radio on the last sentence. Start your free trial today. The vocal fry definitely was very strong there.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    And so for vocal fry, stylistically, would you say that this is where we want to go? Would the audience relate to it?

    Amie Breedlove

    Well they are looking for cool and confident, which I think that definitely came out in this one. I guess vocal fry would bring out the sophistication a little bit and maybe a little more fun needs to come out as well. She’s not afraid to laugh at herself. Again, a lot of folks have the natural vocal fry. I know that I do a lot, so I have to be very careful of it quite often. I don’t know. Maybe I kind of liked it with this actually.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. I think it fit what was being asked for. But I know that in some instances it doesn’t work as you’ve kind of suggested. Sometimes you have to pull your own vocal fry back. So it worked here, but in what instances would it not work? When would a director be like, “Oh my goodness, cut the fry out.” Maybe it’s more of a pure read where they just want it to sound gentle or I don’t know, childlike or like a-

    Amie Breedlove

    Yeah. I was thinking of just a meditation app. That would definitely not work with a meditation or even gosh, with all of the COVID reads that are out there now. I think maybe that wouldn’t work because it would come across as almost snarky.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yes.

    Amie Breedlove

    Possibly. Depending on, again, it’s how it’s used.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah. No, all very interesting points because we’ve had a couple of different debates on vocal fry at Voices over the last year or so, and just understanding what it is and when it is used. There are a couple of camps of people who would never use it. And then there are people who are like, “That’s the best thing to do in this instance.” Maybe it is a situational thing. So yeah, I just thought I would ask you because it was very clear in that audition that there was some, and for anyone who would never heard or never thought of that, they didn’t know what it was called, what they were hearing, but now they do. That’s what vocal fry is. So somewhere on our blog and maybe find in the show notes, but we have an article that discusses in great detail along with video, demonstrations of someone who is talking about vocal fry.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    So we learn a lot on this show, and I’m really excited that you’re here to do that with us. So thank you very much, Amie. If you don’t have any more thoughts on that particular audition, we now move to the amazing and wonderful time where you as our guest get to pick the winner. So I guess a little drum roll of some kind can probably do. I’m tapping my fingers. You might not be able to hear that. So which auditioner is the winner of Mission Audition today?

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh my goodness. Oh, this is such a tough decision. I thought all the reads were great. Honestly. There’s two top ones that I’ve listened to several times and it’s such a hard decision. So I think number three.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh wow. That was great. It’s always hard. So you mentioned, before we laud and celebrate number three, I do want to ask who was the runner up? Because sometimes that’s just as interesting to know. Someone is dying to know if their audition was that one. So which number would that one have been?

    Amie Breedlove

    Of course. That would be number eight.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh wow. All right. So winner is number three. Second place, number eight. So as we always do on the show, let’s play our winning audition. Number three.

    Amie Breedlove

    All right.

    Audition 3

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Lovely. So Amie, can you tell us why you chose number three?

    Amie Breedlove

    I felt like she hit all of the right inflections at the right times. I loved her little giggle on the stop feeling guilty about snapping donor photos. I love that. And I just loved her tone, the simplicity of it.

    Amie Breedlove

    And then I also could see her as that power woman walking through the airport to get where she’s got to go.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    All right. And that was the vision you had initially, right? So-

    Amie Breedlove

    Yes.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah, a lot of people when they’re casting, they do have this picture inside their head. Sometimes they know what that is and other times they kind of discover what the vision or the ideal is when they hear someone do it. So in this case, you already knew what you were hoping to hear, and it was just a matter of figuring out who could do it best.

    Amie Breedlove

    It’s tough though. Honestly, I have never sat through and listened to auditions before this, and I can’t even imagine having to go through 100 or 200 auditions and man, casting directors and directors, they’ve got it tough. There’s some talent.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Yeah, absolutely. I’ve heard some of them say, and I love how they do have a trying job to say, “Yes, you are the only one,” when there are so many people who, if you did just even one degree different of direction, it could have been somebody else. But it all just depends on what the person is looking for. More importantly, what the brand needs the voice to sound like because it’s representing them and how that person best connects with the audience.

    Amie Breedlove

    Absolutely.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Well, this has been a great pleasure, Amie. Oh, it’s been a real treat to have someone like you on the show who I know is very successful and has now had a chance to see the other side of the curtain and what’s going on there. So thank you very much, Amie, for joining us.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    If there was somebody who wanted to get a hold of you for some reason … I don’t know, maybe they just want to say you did a good job on the show … What is the best way that they can connect or find you?

    Amie Breedlove

    Of course. And then they can critique my job here on the show. I always have a hard time doing constructive criticism because I love all the reads. This was so much fun and hard at the same time. Getting a hold of me, that would be let’s see, of course, Voices.com. They can get in touch with me on there. I’m a coach for Voices.com. Thank you, Stephanie. And amiebreedlove.com. That’s A-M-I-E. My mom spelled my name differently, which I love. And let’s see, voicetalent@amiebreedlove.com is my email.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Oh, fantastic. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Amie, and yeah, I was going to say, if you had any last parting words of wisdom as a coach, what would they be?

    Amie Breedlove

    Oh gosh. I got the best, what I got was the best direction from a casting director several years ago. It’s what I have in my head all the time, and it’s just read.

    Stephanie Ciccarelli

    Simple as that, isn’t it? Well, thank you again, Amie. Really excited. Hopefully people will check out your profile to see if they would like to train with you. And that’s a wrap for this episode of Mission Audition. I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli. And as always, you can find the scripts that you heard on today’s Mission Audition on the Voices.com blog. You can go to Voices.com/blog. Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next time.

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. 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®.

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