The Voice Over Artist Career Pivot


In the spring of 2020, Andy Pearson, an employee benefits specialist, found his world come to a STOP. The pandemic had arrived, and now, without notice, seeing clients was no longer possible. “It wiped me out,” says Andy. “Companies stopped doing business,” he adds, “all of them.” So, it was in that moment of truth that Andy changed his mind on his career. He pivoted to what his natural gift always was, his voice.

Pearson was a person who had inherited the birthright of his father. Andy had a beautiful voice and an exceptional appearance. And he’d used that voice “since high school in the 1970s.” This led to a career in television, where he anchored and reported the news on television from 1984 to 2007. He worked in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mobile, Alabama, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Nashville, Tennessee. So as destiny would have it, Andy, at 60 years old, decided to go back to where his destiny resent him. The use of his voice. “I had no idea what to do, and then the phone rang, and it was The Eaton Corporation with a voice project,” he comments. “I auditioned, and they hired me immediately for the voice of their corporate video.” Andy performs as a one-man show from home in Little Rock, Arkansas. (andypearsonvoice.com)

Andy Pearson is a professional voice actor
offering remote voiceovers from his home.

Andy operates effectively in the voice genre of foreign accents and for corporations that need a distinct impressive sound, and he could deliver that. “The voice is nice and round,” he comments. This translates to that beautiful speaking voice we all enjoy listening to, but few of us sound like. Andy adds, “The pandemic made me think about what to do next,” so, “Thank God for my voice.”

The same thing was happening all over the country. People who were required to build their business by in-person visits were unable to perform. But one profession defied the virus: The voice talent business. And unlike other professions, there is no supervisor or boss, just you and your voice. And now it’s enjoying a re-birth in this new digital age.

Enter Steve Tardio. His career pivot occurred just like Andy Pearson’s. He worked in network television as a promotions producer for The Food Network and The USA Network from the 1990s until 2005. “But something happened,” says Steve, and “it became apparent that I had to leave.” So, by listening to his inner voice, Steve, a 54-year-old widower from Cranton, New Jersey, became a voice talent. He dedicated his life to it.

Voice over talent, Steve Tardio

He specializes in a certain type of sound that’s hard to articulate. “The older I get, the younger I sound.” And I agree. Doing this interview, Mr. Tardio sounded young. Very young. Words cannot describe his gift. But let’s remember, he is over five decades old, but his vocal cords do not know. His sound does offer a wonderful spirit to the language he speaks and the way he talks. (Stevetardio.com)

There are some people who pinpoint their profession early on. Victoria Mussalli had it nailed from childhood. “I always knew what I wanted to do,” she says. “But my pivot came when I adjusted from acting on stage to acting with a microphone.” And that’s where The Voice Shop and Mike George stepped in. George is a voice instructor at The Voice Shop. (voiceshopcoaching.com) Victoria is a graduate from the school and was personally mentored by voice coach Mike George. “He’s amazing and has a genuine joy in his job and offers the right advise,” comments Victoria. “And may I add, he is not stingy with the how to get where you want to go,” she said. “He creates the introduction to voice-over agencies and producers for voice work,” she tells me. “What college offers that?”

Victoria has a special interest in voicecharacter work – animation, cartoons – and “loves the character voice work which is offered as an audition.” And just like everyone, “I was unaffected by the pandemic; they wanted my voice, not my presence.” And, because she has no accent, Victoria can work in any region “that needs a natural, warm and friendly voice.” In technical terms, Victoria has no accent, although she’s from Brooklyn, New York. Speech pathologists refer to it as the general American dialect. Wikipedia terms the speech pattern as an accent encompassing a continuum of accents rather than a single unified accent.

Victoria Mussalli’s career pivoted from the stage to the microphone as a voice talent.

Translation? It sounds like NBC’s Tom Brokaw. He was raised in South Dakota. You cannot hear any regionality. “It’s cool to be approached for voice over projects for that reason,” says Victoria, “but I have to say that it was The Voice Shop that taught me its value.” (victoriamussalli.com)

And that’s where The Voice Shop enters the picture. It’s a school for voice artists. The curriculum is multi-fold, with voice classes that range in all types of voice artist instruction. Steve Tardio would know. He’s now a voiceover coach at the school. “I can honestly say it was the pivoting point in my career,” says Mike. “I really did reinvent my life by using my voice.”

Teaching voice skills and the art of auditioning are what The Voice Shop offers. “It does more than that,” says Victoria. “They will teach you confidence.”

Skill, confidence, and an understanding of the voiceover artist is the goal of The Voice Shop, a sister company of Creative Media Design, which specializes in voice production and voice over casting. (cmdnyc.com)

If you’re considering a career in voiceover, perhaps a career pivot is exactly why you’re reading this. And if so, The Voice Shop is a worthy consideration. You’ll get a real person who actually answers the phone. If you leave a message, they will call you back on the same day, live. And, of course, they have friendly voices. Plus, they’ll listen. “Most people have no idea the power of the voice,” says Andy Pearson. “It’s a gift and can be used for so much more than just talking.”

Mr. Pearson, we hear you!