An Audition Abroad (Thanks to Linkedin)

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I have a love-hate thing with social media.  I don’t like how much time it can suck up, but I love how many great connections it has given me.  (I also love composing snarky tweets, but those don’t enhance my business as well.)

A case in point is how I came to voice this ad:

I was driving from Oregon to Canada on a mini-vacation with my husband.  I’d purposely left my laptop and recording gear at home –which basically guaranteed that Murphy’s Law would kick in and I’d get great auditions and job offers as soon as we hit I-5.

Sure enough, somewhere around Nowhere, Washington, I got a text from Paul Machu, a producer and longtime client, asking if I could send him a sample read for a TV ad. It was a rush request, and if I got the gig I’d be voicing the whole ad campaign.  No way was I passing on this.

But where could I record an audition in the next 6 hours?  I racked my little brain. Suddenly a memory surfaced of a Linkedin discussion from months back in the Working Voice Actors group (tirelessly managed by Ed Victor). . . a producer named Alex someone from Canada — Vancouver? Victoria? . . . the studio name was a sailing term . . . Spinnaker Sound!  That was it!

I grabbed the iPhone and Googled Spinnaker Sound . . . Lo and behold, it was just across the border, 30 minutes away.  I called them and reached Creative Director Alex Whittaker.  Yes, he remembered me from that Linkedin discussion, and yes, he’d be happy to squeeze me in for a quick session.  A half-hour later, I was in their booth whipping out three takes, and a half-hour after that we were back on the road.

Yes, I got the gig.  But even if I hadn’t been a Stunning Success and Enhanced U.S.-Canada Relations, the whole episode would have been worthwhile purely to be able to connect with Spinnaker Sound and get to know Alex Whittaker and his studio partner, Rice Honeywell.    Rice, by the way, is hilarious — a savvy marketer and an absolute genius with accents.  Perhaps he was responsible for the clapboard concept on their website?



And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to tweet this blog and post it on Facebook and Google+ . . . oh, yeah, and Linkedin.


  1. Paul Strikwerda says:

    Congrats on landing and nailing the job, Heather!

    Your story is encouraging for all of us who spend so much time using Social Media, that we’ve become a recluse in our own homes. Sometimes we wonder: is it all worth it? Does it ever lead to anything?

    In order to achieve almost any goal, we need three vital ingredients:

    1. Passion
    2. Persistance
    3. Patience

    In my experience, having a social media presence is part of being professional. Also part of being a professional is setting clear boundaries and striving for balance.

    It might take a while before sites like facebook and LinkedIn pay off, but when they do, it often leads to more work.

    May the wind be always in your back, Heather!

  2. Heather Henderson says:

    Well said, as usual, and thank you, Paul! (And for me, Persistence is key.)

  3. Tanya says:

    Congratulations on landing the gig!
    FYI, Next up on The Pink Chair, I’m going to talk a little about Social Media in the Audiobook Industry: Time Suck or … 🙂

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