Behind The Mic: Joanna Stadwiser
Yep we knew it, Joanna Stadwiser is the real Superwoman. She also happens to be really good at her job, voicing everything from Hot AC to Sports/Talk…and one of the chosen voices for Iron Imager VI. Oh yeah, and she turned her master bedroom closet into a temporary studio. Told ya she’s impressive.
1) What radio VO work have you done in the past? KROQ, Q102 – PHILLY, KISS FM – DALLAS, MIX 98-5 – BOSTON, CHFI – TORONTO to name a few.
2) What are you up to presently? I’m currently doing VO full time from my home studio and keeping busy in other areas like promo and affiliate! Thanks to Atlas Talent Agency!
3) What do you love about your job? So many things! I love that I wake up every morning and don’t know what is going to be in my inbox! Whether it’s an audition for something, a booking, or some really fun and awesome copy for a station, each day is different and each day brings new opportunity. I also love the flexibility and absolutely love working for myself.
4) How did you get started as a VO actor? What was your first gig? I was on-air at LIVE 105 in San Francisco where I met then Creative Director Will Morgan. He was using me on some spots and tags and then put me on some imaging. He then got scooped up by KROQ and used me on some of their stuff and it just took off. I realized I could paid for that! My first real station was Mix 98.5 in Boston with the awesome Damon Oaks!! Both of those guys (along with Atlas) are responsible for my career!
5) Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it? Yes and Yes! ESPECIALLY if you want to do different kinds of VO. For instance, it was and still is difficult for me to make the switch from radio and promo to commercial. That read is stripped down and natural which is actually hard! I’ve worked with Nancy Wolfson and David Lyerly. Both are fabulous.
6) Who are your VO idols/mentors? Who influenced your work as a VO artist? Will Morgan first influenced what I did because he helped me first find “my voice”. He taught me a ton. I’ve always had a girl crush on Ann Dewig though 🙂
7) What is your dream gig? I’m living it! Seriously, all I wanted when I started this over 10 years ago was to have enough work to do something, anything, every day. I’ve built it up over the years and am so grateful everyday to do what I do!
8) Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry? Well, that advice would depend on where people are in the process. If you are just starting out, a voice coach is invaluable. Also, it can be incredibly affordable and easy to set up your home studio with just a laptop, mic and some kind of mixer, or MBox. And finally, if you spend money in one are – spend it on the mic!
9) If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career? I have always had a fascination with health so I would probably have been a doctor. I’m always diagnosing people! LOL
10) What’s it like being a part of the voiceover community? I have found it incredibly supportive. Especially the women. I have met some of my best friends through this field.
11) How do you schedule/prioritize your work? Usually, I wake up and have a list of stations that have emailed and I make sure nothing is urgent. If not, then I begin by first come first served. Simple as that.
12) How much time do you spend auditioning for new work? A lot! Which is awesome. It means possible opportunities! There are days where it’s quiet for radio or TV but I’ve got 10 auditions or more. Love those days too!
14) Which production system do you use and why? I use Audacity. It’s free and there is an MP3 plug-in. It resembles the old Adobe Audition. It’s fine for me because I do not produce anything. I’m also not trying to tweak my voice. I send all my files flat as can be so the producers can do all their magic! I do need to get a new mic for my TV stuff though. On my list!
16) What gear do you use? My set up is super simple. I have a MacBook Air with an M-Audio External Mixer, an Audio Technica Microphone and that’s pretty much it.
17) How has new technology changed the way you work? It is amazing to me that I can take my studio anywhere and work from anywhere. It has allowed me to travel and not stress. The murphy’s law of voice over is, if you want to book a gig, go out of town! I have been burned before by not taking my equipment with me thinking that it’s a holiday or whatever and then I get either a huge job or a huge audition. NEVER AGAIN!
18) What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know? Learn how to sound ok with a head cold! I use a neti pot whenever I get sick and it has helped me every time! There aren’t too many sick days in VO.
19) When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods/discoveries for saving time and cash? Honestly, if you can find a room in your home that is small and quiet like a walk-in closet that you can convert into a studio that is awesome. A laptop, a good mic and an MBox is a good quick start (and I’ve stayed there for the most part).
21) What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television? Amazing and frightening and terrible! Ha! Whenever I hear myself I think of all these ways I could have done it better. Even when it’s on the air! In radio, the producers do such a great job making me sound awesome! Sometimes on TV I cringe more.
22) Besides being a talented voiceover artist, you’re also a mother to 2 children (ages 4 and 7). How in the heck do you juggle 2 kids and a full-time job, aka are you secretly Superwoman? Yes, I am secretly Super Woman. And now you have blown my cover dammit! Seriously, it is a challenge sometimes, BUT I am so incredibly grateful that I have a job that I can do from my home and have the flexibility to be here for my family. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
23) You mentioned you record all your work out of your master bedroom closet. Where are your clothes? And you mentioned you used your shoes as part of your recording process. How so? – ok, this is funny. I don’t use my shoes but they are behind a curtain that I have up in my “studio”. I truly am set up in my master bedroom closet right now because we just moved into our new house. Studio is under construction. So for the time being I am sharing space with my clothes and shoe collection. So that’s why I say, to get started, it’s relatively simple! My closet is awesome right now because with all of the clothes it dampens the sound just right 🙂
24) If you could go back to any decade and hang out which one would you go back to and why? I’ve always had this obsession with 50’s. Aside from how women were viewed, especially in the home, I would so love to go back and be a Pink Lady! It just looked like such a simpler more innocent time. But looks can be deceiving I’m sure.
25) If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be? This is so weird, but I have this thing about Pioneers! Can you imagine sitting down to dinner with someone that crossed the entire desert in the summer in a covered wagon and then complaining to them at the dinner table that you A/C isn’t working??! Ha! I would love to pick their brain and really understand what is was like to live life that way.
26) What’s your guilty pleasure? I’m too embarrassed to tell you!
27) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would you go and why? Tuscany. I want to go to there.