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Voice Coaches Radio #567 – Anisha McFarland

 Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover. All right. Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches, radio. My name is Marissa and today I am joined by Anisha, one of my former students. Um, and, and just, you know, made me very proud come demo day, but Anisha, first of all, I mean, how was your holiday? How, how has the new year started out for you?

So the holiday was very calm. Um, it wasn't a hustle and bustle and that's the way I wanted it to be. So it turned out pretty much so like I wanted it. And so it was wonderful. It was good. Uh, the new year is bringing on new things that I look forward to. We're going to see how 2023 is going to play out.

But like I share with family and friends, this whole voiceover acting is my 2023 new endeavor. And I'm excited because one, it's not anything new to my idea and my bucket list, if you want to call it that. But to actually have it come into fruition to start it is a good thing. And as I tell my clients, it's always good to, uh, keep your mind fresh.

And to herself stimulated and to do new things. And so that's what we do at the music scene with my clients. And so now I'm kind of practicing what I preached to them to keep something new and fresh in my life. And so voiceover is it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you, you've got a lot on your plate. I know that you're a busy lady and you're, you're saying like, this is what I tell my students.

Phil, Phil, everybody in. On what it is your background is. Cause I mean, you, you got, you got a fun thing that you're doing right now as you're getting ready to explore something else that's fun, but I know you're in Chicago. So, so tell me what you've got going on right now, um, that you've been working on.

So, yes, I live in windy city, born and raised. Um, currently I am the founder and director of the music thing. And we are basically a musical studio that offers a musical experience to adults and seniors, 40 years plus. In a group in private classes in voice and piano. Um, we offer this because, you know, when I was putting the The business together.

And when I was coming up as a young, uh, artist myself, I'm a classically trained, uh, lyric opera soprano. And so, um, it was always, I never saw adults. I always saw young people, people, my age. And so when I thought about, you know, my audience for my business, I thought, well, why not get the older crowd, the more mature artists, 40 years and over, because you get to a point in time where people don't clap for you anymore.

You know, they're always clapping for your kids, or they know you virtually through your kids all. Oh, well, that's that's Winston's mom or that's Elena, you know, you become your kids mom. And so what we do, we offer experiences for adults and seniors, and we have performances twice a year, and it's a time where they get to show off what they've done what they've learned and people.

clap for them and they take a bow and it puts a smile on everybody's face and basically just like gail king did a piece the other day it's you're never too too old it's never too late yeah and i think that's important right because there is this weird kind of stigma for entertainment where you age out at some point and it's like yeah well okay but the talent doesn't necessarily go so why are we why are we forcing people to stop doing something they love Once they hit a certain age, that just seems silly.

Um, you know, and, and I know that, that Hollywood specifically has tried to make some strides within that, you know, not even just, not even just age, ageism, but, you know, the racism that had happened and, and, um, you know, the, the, the problems that have happened with women, especially aging, aging out, I'm using air quotes, but just because of, you know, um, I don't know, aging gracefully.

Um, you know, I remember being. You know, starting in the industry itself and everybody would say to me, like, oh, TV, you should do TV. Like, you shouldn't, you know, you should be in front of a camera. And it's like, okay, my, my thought process was like, all right, well, I'll start in radio and then I'll see what I can do.

And as I was navigating things, I'm, I was realizing like, I'm at that point, like I was getting closer to 30 and like, then I was getting closer to like mid thirties and I'm like, I don't think TV is in my future at this point. And what an awful feeling to have. Right. Like, I'm feeling too old at 30, you know, I mean, how old do I feel now when I'm almost about to be 40, you know, and it's just, it's a shame because, you know, I wish things would change because, um, you know, it's, it's just, there's so much opportunity that could be there for so many people, but, you know, it's like we, we kind of realized, oh, but we can't.

Or can we, that's the beauty of voiceover though. I feel like, you know, we don't have to worry about what we look like and, um, age or as a number, because it's all based on your skill. It's based on your, your voice, um, quality and, and, and everything that you provide. And, um, sometimes, you know, you could be 50 or 60, but sound 20 or 30, you know, that's the beautiful part about it.

If you've been keeping care of yourself. So tell me this, You've got this amazing business there in Chicago. You know, you're doing some big things. What leads you here to voice coaches? Well, so my kids are older now, but one way when they were in elementary school. Um, I would volunteer to go into the classroom and read to the students.

And of course, at that time, the kids were embarrassed. Oh, my mom is coming to the classroom to read. But once they saw that their friends enjoyed how I read to them, they were like, Oh, that's kind of cool. So then they got excited about it. But I think, you know, it's Yeah. I just enjoy working with young people, you know, the babies, you know, the K through third, you know, because a lot of times they're left out of programming as well.

And I just like to, to be creative, uh, when I read or when I, uh, share with the younger generation, um, it's, it's, and my mother taught. Uh, the primary ages in the church Sunday school and so not knowing that I was watching her all those years and it just kind of rubbed off on me. Um, I taught in a pre K and K only building for like four years and it was magical.

Um, working with those young sponges. And so I think that it was just. It's something that came natural to me to want to be animated or to express, um, one thing through college, I went to the Eastman School of Music and they used to always tell us, sing to express, not to impress. You know, and you know, I think that's something that I've carried on for my lifetime.

And so when I think about, uh, voiceover and voice acting, my, my, my whole tag is Anisha McFarlane, the voice that impresses through expression, you know, that's great. That's great. So that, that's how it just kind of all came about. It's not anything new, but it's just actually putting it into action. Yeah.

Yeah. And now we got through the program. You got to demo day. Tell me about your demo experience and how you felt going through that process. And, um, just the experience as a whole, like, because a lot of people go into that and like, I know that you've, you've kind of, you know, been in, in similar situations before, but obviously this was a different animal.

So like, how was this experience for you overall? Yeah. You know, at first, I think what I had to do is just relax and release, breathe and release, you know, um, and then again, just always think about being expressive, you know, telling a story and I think, you know, for me, just because of my training, you know, we've been trying to articulate and so I think that's one of the things that I have to remind myself, you know, which, which you showed me very well just to have a conversation, you know, um, everyone wants to be spoken to not spoken at.

And so to, to, it was wonderful. And, um, the sound guy, the engineer that was there, it's a small world. He, he lives in my backyard. We've been in a lot of places. And so, you know, just, I didn't know that prior to it, but it was just really a wonderful experience. Um, Something that I, I welcome. Um, and I think the, the main thing for me was just to relax and release and just to share.

Don't make a big deduction out of it. And cause when you try to make too big of a reduction of it, that's when things go hairy. And then to, to give myself the liberty to say, okay, so I messed up that line, take a breath again, let it go. And let's try it again. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's, that's always the biggest thing.

I think, I think for people in so many ways, you know, what happens is you, you, you have the fear of being judged. You have the, the fear of failure, um, you know, and, and not doing something right or. You know, having to get too much direction. It's like, is there ever really too much directionally? I feel like, you know, the best thing, and I've said this on previous podcast episodes, the best thing to always remind yourself, uh, when you get hired for a project and you're going in is like, try not to be too nervous because like, listen, they already like you.

They would not have hired you if they don't like you already. So all you're doing now is just throwing out your creative. And then they're going to be massaging it along the way. It ends up being that group effort to get that project to where it needs to be. And that's what we were doing with you. Um, but your relax and release situation that that motto, it served you well, uh, because I mean, you had some really fun pieces that you did.

And you were able to, I mean, I know you really like that kid stuff. You can tell that you have a background with kids, um, because some of those like character pieces that you were doing within the children's narrative section, it was just fun. I mean, you know, doing the bell, the king's crocodile and the black sounds and, you know, and just, you know, having that kind of fun.

So. You know, as we are kind of getting into this brand new year and, you know, it is still relatively early here in this year, what is your plan now that you are able to kind of get ready and kind of pursue this even more and get the legs under it, what do you, what do you think you want to be doing for yourself?

So, you know, I've reached out to some people thus far in, uh, our early 2023 and, you know, uh, got some good feedback from some folks. And one person was like, Oh, wow, you're further along than I thought, and you're really brave to ask for feedback. And I'm like, well, you know, okay, but, um, you know, and someone has already said, Hey, you know, I could contract you to do, you know, an audio book that, you know, that I'm interested in having.

I'm like, okay. So I think the thing that I have to be, um, I think one thing that, that, that, that comes to mind is I have to be true to my voice. Yeah. And true to what it is that I really want to do. And so it's the children's books, uh, devotional type things, things that, that are reflection of who I am.

And so it can be easy to take a contract if someone is willing to take you. But if the material isn't right, if it doesn't feel like you, then, you know, to say no, to be brave enough to say, no, I don't think that's me. Yeah, and that's acceptable. That is very much acceptable. Um, you know, and I think that's, it's, it's brave for you to, to, to want to do that too.

You know, I, I think that's always something to be aware of. Like, not everybody, like some people come in, they're like, I'm just going to do whatever is put in front of me. I don't really care what. Um, you know what the subject matter is, or what I have to do for it. I just want to go ahead and I just want to do it.

And, you know, if you want to be a little pickier, why not? You know, because you do you have an amazing business that you already currently have. So, it's like, all right, to start off here, let's just make sure I'm doing everything I want to be doing. Yeah. Yeah. It's pretty good, so I'm like, so I'm at this point.

I'm trying, uh, reaching out to people who already have relations with and sharing the demo with those folks. And, you know, they're like, Hey, we, we really like your demo and we'll definitely keep you in mind. So, you know, um, I think the forming the relationship is very important. Um, it's key. Um, so I'm just, uh, putting myself out there and just letting people know that this is the new chapter.

Um, of, of Anisha McFarland. Yeah. And it is, and it's a brand new year and it's only just begun, you know? So I'm glad that you are taking the right steps as well. You know, that I mentioned this in, in the previous episode of, of this, this podcast of, you know, sending things out to get feedback, not necessarily expecting that they have any opportunity that they can give you.

You know, going ahead, introducing yourself and just being like, Hey, I would just love to hear your thoughts, you know, because while that can be very scary, they're, they're not wrong when it's like, wow, you're brave. Like, that can be a very scary situation for people to try to get that feedback. It is one of the best things that you can do because.

You know, just like for myself, it got me connected with certain people that maybe I would not have been connected to otherwise, you know, just because when I was starting, it's like I sent my stuff out to all sorts of people in all sorts of markets, including like some of the biggest markets in the country for radio, just because I was like, I don't know.

I might want to be there someday or they can keep me in mind. It's, it's a relationship building process that those relationships are so incredibly important. Um, so I'm glad that you're, you're already going ahead and you're, you're navigating that. So if I were to bump into you, I don't know, six, nine months from now, what are you hoping has happened?

I am hoping that I have at least created. Maybe two to three relations that in, and I've had maybe two or three, um, audio recordings behind me, um, that I'm able to say, I got my feet wet. I actually recorded something or, um, and that, you know, just the whole relationship building process just continues to grow.

I'm hoping that that will happen. I, you know, that children's book piece is just like. Very, very key and very, uh, exciting for me. Good. Yeah. Good. Yeah, so. Keep that in your head. You know, keep all those feelings going. Um, you know, I think. You, you have a good start already. You know, you're not scared to put yourself out there.

You, you already know the fun that you are capable of having doing this. So let it guide you, you know, it's everything comes together. It's all the work that you put in. So if anybody were to want to check out your demo, do you know your website offhand? It is Anisha McFarland dot I can voice dot com. All right.

So there you go. If you want to check out Anisha's demo, that is the way to do it. Thank you so much for spending a few minutes with me today. And, um, keep, keep in touch. Don't, don't, uh, don't become a stranger. Okay. Cause I always tell everybody it's a small industry at the end of the day. It seems big, but it's very small and we should all be leaning on each other.

Uh, plenty of work to go around. Okay. Sounds great. Be awesome. Continue to be awesome, my lady. And I will chat with you a little later. All right. If anybody has a question or wants to be a guest potentially here on the Voice Coaches radio podcast, info at voicecoaches. com. A brand new episode is coming at you next week.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa chats with former VC student, Anisha on her voice over journey!