Narrator Spotlight – Kimberly Mintz

Eargasms Narrator Kimberly Mintz

 

I started acting at a pretty young age. Kindergarten, in fact, where my natural bossiness and ability to remember lines (and whisper them to those that forgot theirs) was probably both charming and annoying at the same time. I acted up until and including high school, supplementing it with singing in both girls’ and mixed chorus.
My first year of college, I sang in the Glee Club and was part of the University of Rochester’s Committee on Performing Arts (COPA) and did admin and PR work for Ten Little Indians. When I transferred to SUNY Fredonia, I performed in their Community Chorus and shifted my focus from acting to writing.
After graduating from college, I embraced acting in a different way (and one that would earn money while living in Buffalo) by getting into sales. I took a Cornell course in giving effective presentations, while honing my talents in both scriptwriting and “acting naturally” on a corporate level.
When I decided to return to acting full-time, it was because I fell in love with voice acting and the ability to persuade and entertain using only one’s voice. So while my earlier acting training was in school and on the job, my voice acting training was done through Voice Coaches out of Albany, NY – which is also where my demo was produced. I am a non-union VO ​artist ​and​ in addition to audio books,​ am eager to do more ​in-​person projects, as I love being in the studio and working directly with clients. I do have a home studio and up have done most of my current projects from there.
​Since acting and writing are both my true loves, it would be beyond fantastic to someday write a story that I narrate myself. ​
(My discography is short, as I’m still new at this!)
 
​”Tomorrow Tea” by Laurel Winter, for the Far Fetched Fables website
Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson , on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes
“The Funeral, Ruined” by Ben Peek,​​ for the Far Fetched Fables website
Words with Friends and Burger game guides, on Audible​, Amazon, and iTunes
The Exchange by S. Menduke, on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes (coming soon)
 ​”Lure” by Paul Collins, for the Far Fetched Fables website (coming in January)
I’ll keep it easy; all my samples are on my website. 🙂
1 – How did you get involved in recording audiobooks?
After doing a few short fantasy stories for a website called “Far Fetched Fables” (for no pay), I wanted to do this thing I loved for at least some pay. Ironically, the last genre that I was interested in was audio books; it seemed like something that would take a lot of time. Of course, that part wasn’t wrong. But they’re also a ton of fun. And as someone who is both a ravenous reader and loves to write, it also exposed me to new authors that I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise.
 
I stumbled into audio books through ACX, which I discovered listening to archived Voice Coaches podcasts. Since the podcast was only a couple of years old, the discovery of ACX was a great entry point for someone as new as me, because it wasn’t totally saturated yet.
 
2 – What is your favorite thing about recording books?
If I’ve learned anything from coaching, it’s that voice work is not just reading. I also appreciate this in part thanks to my mother; she used to read to my sister and ​me ​every night when we were kids, and she always put her heart and soul into it.
 
So the best part is – since my current survival job is writing ad copy all day and largely speaking to no one – I get to switch to “expressive mode” doing​ while​ audio books and really act.
 
3 – Do you have a favorite genre or author to record?
I absolutely loved doing the recordings for “Far Fetched Fables.” Most are kind of fairy tale-like or have a sci fi feel; my most recent (as of yet unreleased) offering to the website has a distinctly Blade Runner feel to it.
 
4 – What do you think is the most important part of the recording?
Being well-rested and hydrated. I’ve tried to power through when tired, and you can absolutely hear it in the end result. And mouth noises are the bane of my existence.
 
Add to that, trying to bring the author’s vision to life​. Since many of the ACX authors are also new, doing a great read for them, while not exactly Hollywood, might be kind of thrilling. (At least I hope so.)
 
5 – Do you have a narration superpower? Awesome accents, infusing emotion, super-fast read? What is your best trick?
Super-fast reading is actually my arch-nemesis! I love to try and put on what I think is an Oscar-worthy performance, even if no one on earth will ever hear it. 
 
6 – What was your favorite book to read so far? And why?
My favorite to date is actually the one most recently completed, a fun romp called “The Exchange,” by author S. Menduke. Not only was the story a delight (no fewer than four different accents and inflections were employed, all in fewer than 50 pages!) but the author is an absolute peach. She was easy to work with, and is someone I still enjoy chatting with.
 
7 – What was your most challenging read? What made it so difficult?
Oh, boy. The first full-length book. First of all, I had just signed up with ACX and it was the very first audition I did. Let this be a lesson to you kids: if you audition for something thinking it’ll be a lark and you’ll never get awarded the contract, try not to choose a book that’s projected to be ten hours long.  Add to that, I was also learning how to edit at the same time, I had to do it all during my spare time in July (the biggest month for festivals in Buffalo!), and it kept getting kicked back by ACX for QA issues. But boy howdy, did I learn stuff​ on the fly​!
 
8 – Is there a book out there that you desperately want to do the narration for?
Any one of the books in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy. Of course, all of them have been done. I would also love the chance to read pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman or Charles de Lint, two of my favorite writers. I could name ever so many more titles I would be excited to narrate, but let’s stop here before it gets a little crazy.
 
9 – Do you have a ritual or routine when you are recording a book?
Hydrate. And then hydrate some more. But the first thing is to remove Zelda the cat from the recording area, because she has an uncanny sense of when the magic is about to begin and wants to sit in my lap, purring as loudly as she can. 
 
10 – What is a fun fact people might not know about you?
​I love to watch my boyfriend play video games and try to imitate the different character accents. And I have a crazy obsession with anime and the actors that do English dubs. They are absolute magicians.​

 

 

 Lucky winners get Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them

winner-banner-gif

1) Melodie

2) bn100

3) Heather R.

4) Cyndi

5) Brianne Butler

6) Kimberly A

7) nrlymrtl

8) Ardent Ereader

17 Responses

  1. Melodie says:

    Hello! Thanks for the interview. Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, do you have a favorite narrator or two?

    • Hi, Melodie! Sorry for the delayed response – it’s been a little crazy around here. 🙂 I’ve listened to a few audio books here and there – mostly while on long road trips (my commute to my day job now is very short, so that doesn’t lend itself to listening to many books). The last full audio book I listened to was “More Information Than You Require” by comedian John Hodgman, which was a delight. Other than that, I like shorter pieces; I’m a huge fan of radio’s “This American Life.” I just love listening to language come alive through so many talented artists!

  2. Cyndi says:

    Hi! I enjoyed your sample. I looked up Constructive wallowing and it’s sounds good. I’ve never listened to self help before so I’m interested. Do you find self help books helpful?

    • Hi, Cyndi! I actually have read a few self-help books here and there, none very recently until I did “Constructive Wallowing.” I found myself really embracing the message that Tina Gilbertson was getting across, and actually felt better by the time I was done recording it. Is that weird??

  3. bn100 says:

    Nice your mom helped you in recording

  4. nrlymrtl says:

    So I had to go check out Far Fetched Fables and now I owe you a big thank you! On the home page is a short story by Scott Lynch, one of my all time favorite authors. Such an awesome New Years gift (even if it was inadvertent)!

    • I love plugging Far Fatched Fables, not only because they were the first to give me a chance to get myself out there, but the stories are just amazing. So I’m proud to have created a convert, and thank YOU for visiting their wonderful site!

  5. Kimberly A says:

    How do you decide what books you will narrate and are there any you won’t

    • Hello, Kimberly A! (My middle initial is also A, so is this like talking to myself?) As far as deciding which titles I will and won’t narrate, it’s a combination of what I actually audition for, and if the rights holder accepting the bids (which might actually be the author, thanks to more self-publishing being done) likes my read. There’s every imaginable genre on the ACX site to bid on, but I tend to gravitate toward certain types: I do well with non-fiction, I’m trying to get more kids’ books in there, and I’ve tried doing some romance, but I’m not sure I can stop giggling enough during the raunchy parts, since I’m apparently still a 12-year-old at heart.

  6. Ardent Ereader says:

    Happy New Year KImberly. I tend to listen to fiction but I would be interested in listening to Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them. A good way to start the new years with improving myself.

    • Happy New Year, Ardent! Truth be told, I’m more of a fiction fan myself, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to mix it up. If you give it a listen, I’d love to know what you think!

  7. Heather R. says:

    It is funny that your cat purrs at the most inopportune time! Happy new year!

  8. Brianne Butler says:

    You’re an inspiration if you actually keep up with everything in your life! Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

    • Thank you, Brianne – that was very sweet. I have every intention to keep up with everything, and your words will help! There are a lot of narrators in the same boat as me – working a full-time job while pursuing voice work in our spare time – and it helps to love doing it as much as we do, and can bring enjoyment to such great people. 🙂 Happy New Year!