Rosi Amador is a native Spanish/English voiceover actor with no accent whatsoever in either language. She was raised both in Puerto Rico and the U.S.mainland, bicultural and equally comfortable in both worlds. She is part of the family business, Amador Bilingual Voiceovers, and family Latin band Sol y Canto. Meet her Latino Bilingual Voiceover Family in this 70-second animated video, “MEET THE AMADORS”. Rosi won the 2018 SOVAS award in the category of Outstanding Commercial Demo Reel; the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences’ Voice Arts® Awards have been described as the Oscars of voice acting.
Rosi will be attending WIFVNE’s Annual Meeting at WGBH on October 2, ready to connect with fellow members. So register now! To learn more about Amador Bilingual Voiceovers, visit the website at https://amadorbilingualvoiceovers.com/.
How did you get started?
I started recording an educational narration project back in the mid 90’s, by invitation from a fan of our Latin band who asked me to sing and narrate grammar lessons bilingually for her series called “Global Child”. Many years later when I found it challenging to tour with my pre-teen twins, I made a conscious commitment to pursue a bilingual voiceover career so I could tour less and be with my family. In 2010, my husband, Brian Amador and formally launched Amador Bilingual Voiceovers, which today includes our 23-year-old daughter Alisa.
What can you tell us about Amador Bilingual Voiceovers?
Very much like our Latin band Sol y Canto, Amador Bilingual Voiceovers is a way for me to use my voice to build cross-cultural bridges. My family and I record in both our native, accent-free English and Spanish from our professional private studio in Cambridge. We help global media producers, filmmakers and nonprofits who are creating media in both English and Spanish that shines a light on multicultural issues, diversity, inclusion, and many other educational topics as well as providing voiceovers to announce products and services. Our voices inform, inspire, educate and entertain.
We record narrations and commercials about or for Latinos and North American listeners and viewers alike from travel narrations, to corporate videos, children’s audiobooks, and health and wellness/medical narration to TV and radio ads. Our clients include the Smithsonian, NASA, PBS, L’Oreal, Expedia Travel, Mattress Firm (I am their Spanish TV and radio voice!), The National Fire Protection Association, the ACLU, the American Cancer Society, museum audio for Northern Light, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (I’m the voice of their telephone system) to, most recently, the FEMA emergency preparedness campaign bilingual PSA’s for Ready.gov. and MA Department of Health PSA’s for MORE Advertising, one of my earliest and favorite clients.
I love the variety! It’s never boring. On any given day I might deliver a few Hispanic-accented English character voices for an educational game app, an overdub of a NASA video, commercials in Spanish for McDonald’s, narrating children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt or a children’s book publisher to a political ad, a bilingual public service announcement to prepare your family for natural disasters or to disseminate important medical messages for the American Cancer Society. Voice acting is so much fun! I get to play so many characters from doctors and patients to disgruntled employees and moms trying to get their kid to act responsibly. I also love the generous community of voice actors that I belong to and feel so comfortable navigating. I participate or have created several online and in-person voiceover support groups. I never feel alone despite working in a studio most of the time. Thirdly, I love voicing for causes I believe in from human rights and social justice to access to medical care, and of course, issues that impact the Latino community. Anytime we can use our voices to help others we’re especially happy, in feeling that we’re making a difference.
Why should someone use a voiceover artist, and not just record something themselves?
This is a common question and many people and many people think that what we do is easy. But it’s not! A pro voice talent must be a skilled actor as well as being able to deliver high quality sound files. A seasoned voiceover actor understands the need to be a flexible actor capable of offering a variety of reads depending on the subject matter, the intended audience, the length of the spot, the intention of the script writer, or what might drive the listener to act, buy, listen, reflect, or do or feel something new. I have found that while I had natural talent when I went into VO full-time, I’ve had to study with a number of voiceover and acting coaches to improve my chops so that I can be ready to record just about any type of script for any client. You also have to figure out what you’re good at and what you’re not. Sounding “real” or “natural, conversational” is the trend these days, particularly in advertising, but frequently in educational, industrial and corporate narration as well. It’s not as easy as one might think when the copy is written in a style that doesn’t organically sound that way. You have to make it your own by injecting your personality into it, while finding the balance with what the client intends.
What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like?
I have had nothing but positive experiences as a female voice actor in my industry. I’ve always been treated with respect and consideration and have been very fortunate to have had next to no disrespectful incidents beyond occasionally haggling with a low-paying client who doesn’t appreciate the investment of time and education that it takes to be a skilled voiceover talent. I particularly enjoy working with women producers with a strong vision, which unfortunately doesn’t happen all that often in the advertising world, but much more in the nonprofit and educational and documentary realm.
What do you enjoy about recording audiobooks?
I only record children’s audiobooks since I’m fortunately too busy to do adult audio books. I adore them! I get to do character voices and use my most sing-songy children’s narration voices. My voice is naturally melodious and even when I try to sound authoritative it’s challenging to tone myself down, so you can imagine how much fun I have letting myself go when I do children’s audiobooks! I’ve played an iguana, a mom, a grand mom and so many fun characters. Plus, my husband Brian is a composer for both adult and children’s projects and I occasionally get to sing for some of the audiobooks, for example in Barefoot Book’s “Wheels on the Bus” set in Guatemala, which we recorded (sang) in both English and Spanish. Or for Live Oak Media, the publisher that has used us for countless books, I got to sing in a wonderful book called “Esquivel: Space Age Sound Artist” where I got to sing snippets of famous Mexican songs.
I have had several mentors, all of whom had more extensive experience in the field of voiceover and were generous enough to guide me when I had so many questions about how to move ahead in my VO career. One of my earliest mentors was a gentleman who is the web master of the invaluable resource, www.voiceoverxtra.com He took the time to connect me to other bilingual seasoned pros and recommended I attend a voiceover conference that changed my career dramatically, leading me to find agents and resources it may have taken me years to find on my own. Currently some of my mentors are my coaches who are helping me to grow and learn as a voice actor all the time. Mary Lynn Wissner of Voices VoiceCasting has been casting voices in LA for decades and is an excellent VO coach to pros. She’s been kind enough to mentor me as well.
Were you told or did you learn a piece of wisdom or advice you now tell others in the beginning of their career?
Be reliable, consistent, and keep growing! Study, be curious, be willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone, take risks, and be kind. This is very important. There is enough work for everyone, so believe that there’s abundance, refer other colleagues for work, and you will not fall into scarcity thinking. What’s in your control? Studying various types of voiceover genres so that you can be ready if an audition comes up that you would love to book and you increase your chances of booking it. Be patient. This is a career that takes years to build. Make sure you have other sources of income while you build it.
Where would you like to go in your work?
I’m passionate about using my voice to further the causes I believe in and leave this world a bit better than how I found it. In that spirit I would love to work with filmmakers who focus on nonprofits, documentaries, and any type of media addressing immigration, health and wellness, Latino empowerment and education, women’s rights, human rights, social justice and environmental stewardship. I hope to narrate some impactful documentaries and work with more producers of educational games and innovative curriculum for young students and families, so I can let my character voices run wild! I look forward to recording more museum audio tours in 2020 as well as more promos for PBS stations around the country, which I thoroughly enjoy.
I’m currently focusing on rehearsing like crazy for a live CD recording which will take place at a concert in Boston on Sunday, October 6th at 4pm with my family’s Latin band, Sol y Canto, which is the centerpiece of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign which runs through the first week in November. Here’s a special web page on the WIFVNE website with the details for both the concert and Indiegogo campaign. I recently voiced eight regional and national FEMA video PSA’s for emergency preparedness bilingually, working with locally based Newfangled Studios, that I’m very proud of, and finally, I’m honored to have voiced these bilingual television PSA’s for the American Cancer Society.
Why are you a member of WIFVNE?
I have been a member for quite a few years now and have to say that what I most love about WIFVNE is the opportunity it has given me to meet other members, particularly women, who are creating socially conscious media that aims to move the needle forward in our hurting world that needs our healing touch. I have not only forged important professional relationships, I have also made dear friends, who share my values and my commitment to using our creativity to make a difference in this world and to lift one another, celebrate one another and make this a more receptive world to our contributions. The events I have attended have always been terrific, but they keep getting better. Congratulations and muchas gracias for all the board and leadership does to create a great organization!