Where it all Started
It seems like just yesterday I was in the front seat of my mom’s horrible brown station wagon belting it out to Gloria. I loved music and I grew up in the days when little kids could sit in the front seat which made it all the more convenient to change the radio station. Long before the days of creating playlists, and even before the days of mix tapes, I got to play DJ in the car and boy did I love it. When I was in nursery school I sent my mom to by my first record, My Sharona. She couldn’t actually understand what I was saying and the guy at the record store was able to figure it out. I think that is how my road to radio imaging began, with a love of radio and music that is true and pure. Now, I do radio imaging work as a full time professional voiceover actor because I can bring all of my passion and enthusiasm to each read for the stations that I work with!
The Draw of Imaging
When I first started in voiceover, I began booking a lot of commercial work. I had a lot of passion and I had to learn how to harness the passion. I was brainstorming about my voiceover business and wanted to think about what else was under the commercial umbrella, and that is how I learned about Radio Imaging in the first place, as it is not really a term that non-industry folks even understand. When I discovered the world of radio imaging, it was as if all the stars had aligned, because I found the right format to channel all of my energy! When I started doing reads for top 40 stations, I felt at home. I don’t know how else to explain it. Perhaps it’s because I loved the music, so being able to talk about it in liners and station promos was really exciting. Learning the lingo, from CHR to Classic Hits took a while, but I figured that out as I was doing sweepers for stations all over, from Little Rock to Osh Kosh.
The Allure of the Formats
When I was little my dad used to joke that he married my mom for her record collection. My parents both grew up in the city in Philadelphia. They came from hard-working families and they did not have a lot of material possessions, and what they had did not come easily. My mom talked a lot about how she would use a portion of her babysitting money to save for record albums. Growing up we always played music and danced a lot at home. Even when things were tight we had a stereo and there was always something good on. I remember on the weekends when we would clean the house my dad always played different records, from Broadway shows to Michael Jackson to Abba, so growing up like that, how could I not love music? Motown, all Motown, was played often in the Levin household. The music just becomes a part of who you are when you hear it all the time. I think that is why I am open to working on so many different formats in imaging today, because my parents exposed us with such enthusiasm to so much when we were young.
When I first started booking in imaging, I fell into the typical CHR part girl read. My voice is warm and fun and I love sounding upbeat and happy, that’s who I am innately so it’s easy to bring the thunder and make the liners jump off the page. I also discovered Christian CHR, and working with religious stations brings another element of joy to my work. Their messages are always happy and filled with excitement. I believe the world needs more positivity and optimism, so I get a lot out of the sweepers and promos that I do for the Christian stations I work with. I have done faith based projects in other realms in voiceover, and I find all of these projects to be inherently upbeat and that is really good for me.
I love, love, love doing Classic Hits! Since I grew up listening to 80s music, it really resonates with me! I also love having fun with the sarcasm and humor of the Adults Hits channels. In my family my husband is the one with the dry, whitty humor, but on air I can assume that role and it is fun for me to engage with the scripts and move away from the rah rah party girl. Just this week I also got to do a set of liners for an Oldies station for the first time! Since that is the music my folks always played growing up, it was not just happy work, but particularly meaningful to me too.
Feeling at Home
I think that life is short and you have to do what you love. I have always loved music, and I have a true passion for voiceover. Working in Radio Imaging feels so natural because so much of who I am inside can just flow when I am in front of the mic. I am so thankful for each and every station that I work with!