Behind the Mic: Anne Cloud
Anne Cloud is a fresh and dynamic presence in radio imaging. Her adventure into the world of radio began with a serendipitous gig at Denver’s Indie 102.3 , which later led to the diverse sounds at Seattle’s 98.9 KPNW. With a background rich in improvisation from Second City, Anne approaches the microphone with an authenticity that captivates and connects with her audience.
What radio VO work have you done in the past and what are you up to presently?
I had never considered radio! Then Indie 102.3, the Colorado NPR indie music station, found me and asked me to do their imaging. I didn’t even know what that meant – so there was a lot of googling as I started learning what “liners and sweepers” were. Then my producer in Denver recommended my voice to a new AAA station starting in Seattle, 98.9 KPNW and I became the imaging voice for them as well. It has been so much fun this year to learn an entirely new and incredibly different genre within voice over. I love it.
Check out Anne’s demos!
What do you love about your job?
The very best thing about my job is the flexibility. Although I take a travel rig with me wherever I go (literally, even to the grocery store during political season), there is so much freedom in working from home and for myself. Also great: working with so many creative people, the variety of work available within VO, everyday being different, and getting to play for money – I mean, what?!
How did you get started as a VO actor?
Right after college I moved to NYC and worked as an actor (and waiter) and my agent sent me to voice over auditions and jobs in studios. So that was all I knew VO to be. Then, 15 years later, when I was looking for remote work I could do from our converted school bus while we traveled full-time, I came across voice over and was pleasantly surprised to learn you could do almost entirely from home! I was all in.
What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?
My first gig as a VO in this iteration of my career, was a website video for a fertility clinic in Montreal. Isn’t that funny. I know exactly! I could tell you everything about that first gig – it felt huge!! Now it’s hard for me to remember what product was being sold in the session I did this morning! There have been so many projects I have loved working on but one that really stands out for me was doing the Alice Neel audio tour for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was such an inspirational woman and artist and The Met holds a very special place in my heart so it was a big day for me.
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
I loved being home with my kids and would do that again in a heartbeat. Now they go to an unschooling co-op that I teach at once a week and I would happily teach there full-time if I wasn’t doing VO. I have taught podcasting, improv, stage combat, and right now I am directing a musical that the kids wrote – it really fills my joy tank to play with them. They are so good at having fun!
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?
It’s fun every time someone finds my voice in the wild and calls to ask me if I did the commercial for Instacart or Kia and I get to say, “Yes! That’s me!” I have a couple friends in Seattle who hear me every day on KPNW and will frequently text to say, “heard your voice again today and it made me happy” or “feels like we chatted today” – love that!
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
On the road means so many different things! I have a little travel set up that I bring with me when I am going to be gone from the house for a couple of hours, a set-up with a PVC pipe booth for when we are going somewhere for a longer period of time (like on vacation), and a travel studio built into a cargo trailer that I can take with us when we go on big adventures. I try to keep my mic and interface the same because audio tech is not my specialty and I know they sound good and how to use them! I use a Sennheiser 416 and a Universal Apollo Solo.
Anne’s Studio Setup!
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?
Um yeah!! So many. All the time. I love getting coaching, playing, and practicing. I love group workshops and classes, too. I have done all the levels of improv training at Second City. I take in-person acting classes here in Asheville. I try to do as many of the workshops offered by Stacia Newcomb at the Sound and Furry as I can fit in. I have also worked a lot with Tina Morasco, Thom Pinto, Jeff Howell, Dave Walsh – there are so many great coaches and they all have different gems to offer.
How do you schedule/prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
This is such a good question. I am always asking other actors this – because it’s hard to figure that whole schedule and balance thing out. Auditioning is one of my favorite parts of this job, I really enjoy it – so I try to make time for auditioning every day. There is so much more than auditioning though – actual client work, marketing, social media, accounting, training/coaching, and a million other things. So how do I schedule it? Mostly with a lot of post-its.
Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?
Yes for sure! When I got that first Denver station and knew nothing about what I was doing, the program director told me, “you are the personality of this station.” That feels so different from commercial or corporate work. There is nothing being sold or educated about in radio imaging. You are just getting to say to people – I’m awesome, you’re awesome, this station is awesome – let’s be right here, right now and have some fun and listen to some music. It’s just such a different vibe. I guess that’s why I like it so much. There is no performance really involved, it’s just real. Really enjoying life and being excited to tell listeners what’s up.
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
Listen to everyone and all their awesome advice and then go your own way. There isn’t a right way to make this career work. Dig deep into what makes you tick and brings you joy, offer that up to the world and let it be enough.
Favorite 2 pizza toppings?
Can I have three? Detroit style pizza with pineapple, jalapenos, and ricotta.
If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
Michelle Obama – I feel like no explanation is needed here. Isn’t she everyone’s first choice?
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