Friday, December 30, 2016

Interview With Aboard Providence Narrator Amy Marie Smith

Today I’m chatting with audiobook producer Amy Marie Smith. Amy is the narrator of the audiobook version of Aboard Providence. I listened to many audition tracks, and when I heard Amys voice, I knew she was perfect for this project. She was great to work with, and I loved how she brought the story to life.

Thanks for joining us, Amy!

Thank you for having me!

You have produced several audiobooks. Tell us about your selection process and what drew you to Aboard Providence

I really just look for stories that I would want to hear myself. I tend to know pretty quickly if I’m inspired by a character or a premise- it’s a gut feeling. With Aboard Providence, I immediately knew from the audition that I wanted to be a part of this project. Marian’s femininity and grace woven with her passion to learn and explore really struck a chord with me. She is such a modern character years ahead of her time. I think she’d fair well in our society!

One of my favorite parts of your performance on Aboard Providence was the way you differentiated characters’ voices. It was subtle and believable. Who was your favorite character to voice in Aboard Providence

Thank you! I loved voicing Mr. Weathermon, probably because he is so opposite myself. His presence on the page is so big you just can’t ignore him. His transparency is also something that drew me. He isn’t shy about stating his opinion, whether appropriate or not. A group always needs someone like that. A close second was Olivia, though. Her spunk and boldness was just fun to play!

You’re also a stage actress. What interested you in audiobook narration? 

Narration came to me about six years ago when a friend produced a few books of her own and told me to give it a shot. I truly thought nothing would come of it, but I am so over-the-moon thankful for what I’ve been able to do. The flexibility in the studio is so unlike being on the stage because your inhibitions are lowered so much, since it’s just you and the only product that needs to be the best is your voice, not your voice, your posture, facial expressions, clothing, etc. Its a wonderful sense of freedom.

What sort of challenges do audiobook producers encounter? 

I guess that depends on who you ask! For me personally, it’s putting in as much time as possible in the studio while also protecting my voice. I’m a singer, so I warm up my voice before each session just as I would before I go onstage. I can be in the studio for up to two hours at a time doing a straight recording, but I can’t do much more than that. I think the balance slows the process down a bit. Otherwise I’d do four to five hour sessions.

If someone is interested in learning how to produce audiobooks or do voice work in general, where should they start? 

Do your research. Before I came to ACX, I bought an inexpensive mic online, hooked it up to my computer, grabbed one of my favorite books and just started reading/recording. I felt silly at first, but once I got used to the sound of my voice and being able to judge it from a listeners perspective, I was able to get better and better. ACX is the perfect place to start. There is so much content and opportunity out there, you just need to look for it! 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, Amy, and more importantly, for the excellent job you did with Aboard Providence

My pleasure!

Aboard Providence is available in audiobook from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Check out this sample of Amy Marie Smith reading Aboard Providence:

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