There isn’t just one pathway to voiceover industry success according to The Glow Girls, voiceover artists who have been landing roles in the industry for half of their short lives now. From commercials to TV work, the gifted Cassie Glow and Sabrina Glow have secured work with some of the industry’s leading names including Disney and Netflix.
Which major brands haven’t Glow Girls voiceover artists worked with?
In the following interview, the talented pair take us through how the Glow Girls Kid Voiceover agency began, how they’ve converting part of their home into a recording studio, and how their experiences have lead to voiceover work for many of the world’s biggest brands. It’s more of a case of who haven’t they worked with?
Perseverance, passion and drive really can land you your dream.
FF: Can you tell us about how ‘Glow Girls Kid Voiceover’ began?
GG: Our childhood was filled with reading books aloud (the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems was a family favourite!), singing, puppet shows, acting out made-up stories, countless trips to magical theme parks, and watching lots of classic animation and cartoons.
Always up for trying something new, we also participated in various dance classes, musical theatre groups, and kids’ acting & improv classes. (Florida is so hot year-round, our parents were always looking for extracurricular activities to do inside in the air-conditioning!) We had some fun experiences with commercials and print work in the local market. But when we learned that Voiceover was a thing, we knew that was what we wanted to do! It combined our love of reading, singing, acting out stories, toys, and cartoons – serendipity!
Audition, audition, audition
The only problem…voiceover was not very popular or easily accessible in our area at the time. We tried to get into voiceover for a while before we were able to get started. Our Mum started reaching out to contacts in other entertainment markets and then we were able to connect with top industry coaches remotely. We trained across multiple voiceover genres – like animation, toys, and commercial VO – and then practised-practised-practised and auditioned-auditioned-auditioned. Over time our persistence and hard work earned us a track record of more and more voiceover bookings and agency representation across the country.
Today, we work with various animation studios, production studios, creative agencies, and streaming services that specialise in the kids’ market. We have been doing Voiceover for half of our lives!
We tried to get into voiceover for a while before we were able to get started.
How to make your own professional voiceover studio
FF: What’s your current set up in terms of equipment at your home studio and what advice would you give to people starting on a budget, in terms of voice work? Presumably you didn’t start off with professional equipment?
GG: Currently, we have a professional home recording studio that has been approved ‘broadcast-quality’ by top recording and sound studios from LA to NY to Toronto to the UK to Australia! Our studio is a dedicated space that has been acoustically treated with a combination of producer’s sound blankets, sound panels, 2-inch-thick acoustic foam, and padded flooring. Our equipment includes a Neumann TLM 102 microphone paired with a Steinberg UR12 interface, along with other helpful accessories like a Harlan Hogan metal pop filter, Audio-Technica ATH-M40x studio headphones, and an adjustable music stand to hold our scripts while recording.
We use Audacity to record and edit audio files on a laptop, and also have Source Connect, a technology that allows us to connect remotely with professional studios and clients around the world. We spend a lot of time in the booth, so we also have the space decorated with special voiceover keepsakes, artwork from animation projects, and sparkly lights for fun and inspiration while we work!
However, we certainly did not start out at this point – we started in a closet filled with lots of blankets and pillows, an inexpensive mic, and our scripts held up on a cookbook recipe stand! Our current studio set-up was a result of reinvesting a portion of our bookings into upgraded equipment, and continually becoming more tech-savvy to level-up our voiceover business.
How to make your own voiceover studio at home on a budget
It is entirely possible to start out in Voiceover work on a budget. There are microphones at every price point available online, and even recording with a voice recorder app from any smart phone (phone case removed) is an option too. You can create a quiet recording “studio” on a budget by insulating a small space, like a closet filled with clothes, with blankets, pillows, bathmats, and rugs. The most important thing to keep in mind – even the most expensive microphone in a poor recording environment will not sound good! So, if you have set aside a budget to get started in voiceover, the general rule of thumb is to spend half on the mic and half on acoustic treatment.
FF: Can you give us an insight into the creative process behind your voice over work?
GG: Bringing a script to life is one of our favourite aspects of voiceover! Whenever we start a new voiceover project, whether it is a singing and talking toy, a podcast, a commercial campaign, a new animated series, or joining an existing animated series, we learn as much as we can about the company or network brand, target audience, the characters, and delivery style.
We do a lot of research online like visiting a company website and social platforms, watching cartoons (yes, that’s part of the job!) if we are contributing to an existing animated series, and reading through all the scripts, animatics, and storyboards that have been given to us.
If you have set aside a budget to get started in voiceover, the general rule of thumb is to spend half on the mic and half on acoustic treatment.
Working for the best: Disney, Netflix, Dreamworks & many more
A lot of times, the show, brand, toy, or network is something we grew up with, so we are already very familiar with the creative! Sometimes we get the chance to meet with the production team in advance of the recording session, which is always a great opportunity to learn more about the goals and vision of the project. When it comes time to record in the booth, you must be prepared and have something creatively to contribute. But it is also really important to be open and flexible and be able to implement creative direction on the spot.
FF: I can see you’ve worked with a lot of well-known brands including Disney, Netflix and Nickelodeon. How did you get the chance to work with them?
GG: We have had the chance to work with huge network and brands like Disney, Nickelodeon, LEGO, Fisher Price, Cartoon Network, Sesame, NBC/Universal Kids, Dreamworks, PBS Kids, Mattel, Netflix, Amazon Prime, ZURU Toys, Spotify, Hallmark and more.
Voiceover work through networking, industry referrals and direct bookings
Having the opportunity to work with these amazing companies has been the result of ongoing hard work, coaching, a true passion for voiceover and thousands of auditions over the years. For some client engagements, our bookings were a result of being selected from an audition submission through a talent agent. Other opportunities came through networking, industry referrals, direct bookings from our professional voice demos, or our social media presence.
The diversity in our voiceover training has been a contributing success factor. We have worked in various genres like animation, commercial, singing & talking toys, promos and podcasts. For example: with Disney, Sesame, Nickelodeon, and Netflix we performed animation voiceover. For Fisher Price and Hallmark we used our specific toy voiceover training. For clients like Mattel, Sesame, and Spotify, our singing ability greatly helped. For PBS Kids, Top Chef Junior, and Cartoon Network, we delivered promo style voiceover. The ability to deliver different styles of voiceover has enabled us to work with so many brands and grow our portfolio of work within our niche of the Kids’ Media market.
FF: What piece of advice would you give for other actors and voice artists trying to secure voice over work in the industry?
Voiceover opportunities via talent agents, production houses and studios
GG: One thing we would like to share is that there isn’t just one path to success in the voiceover business. We have earned VO work through talent agents, production houses, independent animation studios, online casting forums, social media networking, referrals, and direct marketing. The voiceover industry is extremely competitive, but if you are willing to do the work, there is a place for everyone in the business.
Keep training, keep trying, and don’t give up!
FF: Do you have any advice when it comes to building connections and networking in the industry?
GG: Yes! Relationship-building and networking has been key to our business growth over the years.
Top three pieces of advice for voiceover industry networking and connections
1) Find the social media platforms that work best for your personality and business, and then engage with others you have a true interest in building a relationship with.
2) Stay true to your brand and know who you are as an artist.
3) Try to help other people as much as possible.
FF: What has been your most exciting job so far and why, and what are your plans for the future?
GG: We have worked on so many incredible jobs and met so many wonderful people during our Voiceover career, it would be impossible to pick the most exciting job out of all of them… that would be like parents picking a favourite child! However, there definitely have been some projects that will always be extra special.
As a lifetime Disney fan, it was so special to be a part of Disney animation history!
Mila from My Magic Pet Morphle
GG [Sabrina]: I’ve been the voice of ‘Mila’ from the popular preschool show My Magic Pet Morphle (2011) for over 6 years – so, a huge part of my life!
When I started voicing the show, it was only on YouTube. The following has grown to over 10 million subscribers and it is now shown on major streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Peacock. I never imagined it would be so huge, and it always makes me happy when someone tells me they are a fan of the show!
My first singing toy for Hallmark was called the ‘Booty Shakin’ Duck’ that wiggled its tail when the song played! I was only 7 years old when I recorded it! One day I went to the Hallmark Store with my family and suddenly I heard my voice – the Sales Associate was playing the Booty Shakin’ Duck in the store! I was so surprised and excited. It was the first time I had ever heard my voice in a toy.
‘Beatrice’ from the Nick Jr show Becca’s Bunch (2018) was one of my favourite animation roles to voice. Beatrice was the frenemy of the series, very sarcastic, sassy, and conceited. It was always such a blast to get in the booth and play a character so different than your own personality. And the director even told me that the animators loved animating to my voice because Beatrice’s lines were so off-the-wall crazy, funny, and expressive!
GG [Cassie]: Voicing “Kid Cassandra” on the Disney Channel animated show Tangled: The Series (2021) was thrilling. Before booking the role, I was already a huge fan of the show. Not only did the character share my actual name, but the role was the younger version of my favourite character, Cassandra, on the series voiced by my favourite singer, Eden Espinosa. As a lifetime Disney fan, it was so special to be a part of Disney animation history!
‘Dance & Groove RockIt’ from Fisher Price was an incredibly special voiceover project. My character was named Glow (again with my name!) and I got to sing and voice in English and Spanish for the toy. RockIt & Glow went on to win a prestigious Voice Arts® Award for Outstanding Toy Voiceover from the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences!
‘Sierra’ was a lead character in the comedic supernatural adventure podcast series called “The Weirdness” by Gen-Z Media. I loved being a part of the show because the creative team allowed me to bring ‘Sierra’ to life by totally being myself!
In the near future, we are looking forward to several animated series, commercial campaigns, and new toys launching – it’s always a great feeling when you get to hear your voiceover work come to fruition! Longer term, we have some big creative aspirations.
The ability to deliver different styles of voiceover has enabled us to work with so many brands and grow our portfolio
Voiceover has really deepened our appreciation and love of Animation. We are developing our own animated musical adventure – we write stories, compose music, and draw storyboards and character sketches in our free time! We have started taking Animation classes, and we are studying Creative Writing, Visual Arts, and Drama at school. The future goal is to land our dream jobs at an Animation Studio! Whatever lies ahead, we know voiceover will always be part of our lives!
Edited by Millie Hayward
Second Editor, Headline & Artwork: Richard Williams
Special Thanks to Susan, Cassie and Sabrina Glow and Kari Nissena
Images courtesy of Nicole Mitchem Photography
Scriptwriter, Filmmaker, Actor, MA student in ‘Writing for Script & Screen’. Passion for travel, love comic books and no.1 LOST TV show fan!