As a writer, you carefully pen your character’s voice. It is there in thought, in dialogue, and even in action. Everything you type upon the page helps to create that voice. So how do you then entrust that to someone else?

Today I’d like to introduce you to a personal friend of mine, Jill Cofsky. When I first thought about publishing an audio book, I quickly gave up the idea. But then, it took root. I could hear Dani’s voice. And I suddenly understood why I was ready to produce the audio book and what had changed. It is because when I heard the voice of Dani, I was envisioning Jill as the narrator. Someone I trusted–and whom I knew would care for my character as much as I did.

So go ahead, get comfy and join us for a chat as you learn more about the woman who helps to bring characters to life. You’ll also see what an amazing person she is and how she volunteers her time, proving yet again, that #KindnessMatters is more than just a hashtag.

Jill, can you tell my readers a little more about yourself and what you do in addition to voice over work?

Jill StudentsI hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Disabilities along with a Master of Education degree and currently teach first grade. I believe in inspiring a love of learning in my students, building trusting and caring relationships, and encouraging my students to follow their dreams. I have always had an interest in acting, and performing, as well. If I’m encouraging my students to chase their dreams, I felt as though I needed to follow my own advice and chase my dream. So, one day I decided to take a voiceover class and I absolutely loved it! From that moment, I knew voice acting was something I wanted to pursue further. I enrolled in classes to train to become a professional voice actor with Voice Coaches, Creative Voice Development Group, LLC in Albany, NY. Teaching full-time, while simultaneously working as a voice actor, certainly requires time management skills.  However, as I strive to be the best person I can be, and live a happy life, I find the time I need to do both!

Children can sometimes get a little star-struck. When your students hear one of your recordings, do they think you’re famous?

Jill students 2You’re absolutely right, Kristen. Children can sometimes get a little star-struck. My students think I’m famous only because many of the books I read in class are written by my indie author friends. Knowing and being connected with the authors of the books I’ve read in class, creates an added excitement in the classroom. My students honestly believe that you, Kristen Lamb, are famous! They are star-struck when I read a book of yours aloud to them and you, in return, respond to their comments or to the learning activities they took part in related to your book.

[*laughing* I promise—I neither paid Jill to say that or twisted her arm! I know, I know—likely story, but true!] 

Students think it’s really cool when their teacher knows the author!  As for me, I tend to keep my two careers separate from each other so I don’t think any of my students have discovered my secret life as a voice actor as of yet! No celebrity status for me thus far.

As friends, I know about your different projects that are close to your heart. Can you tell my readers how you “donate” your voice in some unique ways and about the organizations you work with.

Jill RehearsalI am grateful to have the ability to use my voice over skills to give back to the community. I am a volunteer broadcaster for Audio Journal, a wonderful non-profit radio, cable, and online broadcast service which seeks to inform and empower people who are visually impaired or otherwise unable to read printed materials. Another organization near and dear to my heart is Learning Ally, a U.S. non-profit helping students with learning and visual disabilities reach their full potential. I thoroughly enjoy recording children’s audio books to lend a helping hand to students who struggle with reading.

My newest volunteer work has been with a company called VocaliD. After donating hours of vocal recordings to their Voicebank, VocaliD will combine my voice with just a few seconds of matching recipient’s vocalization, and through the wonders of voice blending technology, create a personalized voice for her. I am hopeful that a match will be found and I will be able to share the gift of a human voice with a deserving recipient!

I am honored to have the ability to donate to such worthy causes!

Screenshot_2016-07-23-07-38-42What interests you most about this type of work?

I have always had an interest in acting and performing but found memorizing lines challenging. Voice acting fulfills my love of performing without the need to memorize lines. I am overjoyed when a client tells me that the audio project I delivered surpassed his/her expectations. It is so rewarding to be of service to others while engaging in something I am so passionate about.

What type of voice over projects do you prefer?

Jill Thumbs UpI have truly enjoyed so many of the voice over projects that I have had the privilege to work on. My most cherished projects tend to revolve around children or literacy, two things I treasure. I absolutely adore narrating outstanding children’s stories, such as Dani and the Haunted House audio book I had the honor of narrating, as this combines my passion for voice acting with my love of great children’s literature.

I also have a blast voicing projects which inspire children through positive messages. An example of this is my fun role as The Voice of Gomee Girl, whose mission is to inspire girls to find personal empowerment and self-confidence through positive self-expression!

I am always eager to voice projects that make people smile when they hear them! I’m kind of a smiley person myself. Maybe someday I’ll even have the amazing opportunity to voice a children’s animated character! How delightful that would be!

Where can individuals or companies find out more about your services?

For a smileMore information about my voice over services, including a chance to listen to my voice demo tracks, can be found on my website at Jill Cofsky Voice. I would also be happy to connect with anyone via email, Twitter,  Facebook, or ACX.  I love meeting new people, in addition to working with returning happy clients, to create projects we can all smile about!

Jill, I want to thank you. I know that this is a busy time for you as you unveil your new website and get that launched. I appreciate your taking the time to chat and visit today. It goes without saying that I wish you every success! 

I also want to thank my readers for coming back this week. I truly appreciate your following my weekly blog and staying tuned in. From a personal standpoint, and yes, Jill and I are friends, but I have no reservations or qualms in highly recommending her for your next audio narration project. When I first  thought about approaching Jill, I had one hesitation—and that was our friendship.  We all know what they say about mixing business with friends and family. But I had no need to worry. Jill’s professionalism went above—and even beyond! See for yourself–you can hear a sample of the audio book Jill narrated for us here. I’m sure if you give her the opportunity, she’ll surpass your own expectations as well. 

Be sure to leave any comments below, or questions for Jill, and we’ll be sure to respond. 

See you next week,

K. Lamb