Live Announce Hustle

with Kesha Monk

And the BOSS Award goes to… this week’s episode in the Entrepreneur Hustle Series! Anne and special guest co-host Kesha Monk talk about a VO niche – Live Announce. How do you break into this voiceover specialty? Is it right for you? It’s a different kind of pressure, but if you’re a VO “nut,” you’ll love it! Not surprisingly, success is all about doing your research. 


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Sometimes networking online can pay off and lead you to life-changing voiceover career opportunities

  2. These friends (and the universe) may introduce you to new genres and niche industries

  3. Live Announce is where you serve as the announcer for an award show or event, live at the event

  4. Live Announce is unique because it requires special skills, takes place live, and you cannot edit

  5. One way to get into Live Announce is to look at the events you want to announce, research, watch the credits, and reach out to the producers

  6. Get yourself virtually in front of the people who make the decisions 

  7. The pandemic has made some key decision-makers more accessible than they used to be

  8. Randy Thomas was the first woman to announce the Academy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Miss America Pageant. Because of this, Live Announce is now more of an equal opportunity genre, regardless of gender

  9. Don’t give up when you first start contacting people. A “no” might evolve into a “yes”

  10. Start with smaller, local award shows to get yourself in the door

  11. The pandemic has taken awards shows virtual, but this work can still be done from your home studio

  12. For Live Announce, sometimes you get to walk the red carpet, but it also comes with the additional pressure of performing live

  13. Live Announce scripts typically come out the day before the show and might have last-minute changes. You have to think on your feet

  14. Award shows can be hectic. When you put on your headphones, you have multiple people who are talking at once

  15. Knowing how to pronounce people’s names is a big part of Live Announce – meet with producers before a session and ask them to pronounce the names out loud

  16. Stay in tune with the industries that you want to announce for. Do your homework

  17. If you have a lot of experience with pre-recorded announcements or phone systems, these skills may transfer to Live Announce

  18. Visualize yourself being successful. Envision yourself saying the names correctly and succeeding

  19. If you want to do Live Announce, you’ll need a separate demo for this category 

  20. Put your strongest work at the beginning of any demo

  21. A Live Announce demo should show a variety of moods and emotions

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Hear Kesha live in action at the Soul Train Awards
Here’s Kesha on the “red” carpet
Learn more about Randy Thomas here
Recorded on ipDTL


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a boss, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Alright, everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with the amazing Miss Kesha Monk. Hey Kesha!

Kesha: Hey ladybug, how’s it going?

Anne: I’m doing good. How about yourself?

Kesha: I’m, well, better now that you’re here with me.

Anne: Aww.

Kesha: [laughs]

Anne: Kesha, you know, it’s funny, I think about how we met so long ago, with one of our favorite colleagues, and for you I think a mentor, and that was when we met at Voiceover Mastery.

Kesha: Yes.

Anne: At Randy Thomas’, Randy Thomas’ place down there.

Kesha: She is so yummy. I just love her. She is so unbelievably yummy. Yeah.

Anne: And I think back then you were training with her, is that correct? You were just starting to train with her, or you were just investigating voiceover when we met?

Kesha: Let me tell you how that happened. Honestly one day Randy contacted me on LinkedIn. And she just said, you know, “you’re into voiceover. I think we should be friends.” That’s really how it started.

Anne: Was it radio, was it because you were both in radio, and she knew you were getting into voiceover?

Kesha: You’re gonna have to ask her. You’re gonna have to ask her that. I don’t know why. I’m really thinking it was divine intervention.

Anne: Yes.

Kesha: You know?

Anne: Hey, I believe that stuff.

Kesha: I really do. I mean Anne, we just became friends online, and then she started having the Voice Mastery events. And I —

Anne: Oh ok.

Kesha: I absolutely wasn’t going to let her have those without me being in the building. So that’s where we — you know, I went down to Florida, to Ft. Myers, she had her first event. And that’s where I met her and you.

Anne: Yeah, that’s right. And I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget that day. It was awesome, so awesome. And so now you’ve trained with her, and you’re doing quite a bit now, fast forward how many years later, but you’re doing quite a bit of live announce. I thought it would be good to talk about live announce. It’s something that, it’s kind of a little niche area of the industry. Not too many people do it and not too many people do it really well like you do. And so I, I thought we should talk about how to get started in that area, that genre.

Kesha: That sounds like a plan. That sounds like a plan. Randy, by the way, and I’ll preface this by saying that Randy, she’s an awesome coach, but she’s such a loving person. She believed in me, and I really do believe that that’s probably a big reason of why I have expressed — experienced so much success in voiceover, because — well in live announce particularly and promo, just because she believed in me and told me that I could do it.

Anne: And she really champions you. I mean, I can see her, I see her interacting with, you know, some of your latest gigs that you’ve been posting, and she’s been interacting. She’s such, she’s such a champion for you, I love to see that. I really do.

Kesha: She is, she really is.

Anne: So what, so what’s involved in getting into live announce? I mean, I can’t imagine that it’s easy, number one. It takes a completely different skill than I would say reading just copy where we can go an edit ourselves 100 times over. I think live announce, uh-uh!

[both laugh]

Anne: There’s no edit there. [laughs]

Kesha: No, totally. It’s totally high energy and very — it’s full of pressure, but that’s kind of, you know, what floats my boat, you know, you know what I’m saying. But you know again, like we’ve said, you know, in previous episodes, and like you’ve been saying for a long, long time, that it really again doesn’t have a lot to do with my voice, but it has everything to do with educating yourself and understanding and researching what is live announce. And our friends at YouTube, you know they have this wonderful university. You can just go on there any time day or night, and you can just kind of plug in some things, and get some, you know, that’s my research. I kind of watch, you know, and I absorb, and I observe. And to be honest with you, this is exactly how it happened, Anne.

Anne: Ok, I’m ready.

Kesha: I told Randy, you know what? This live announce stuff is something awesome. Like when you do it, I feel everything that you’re announcing, and it’s, you know, you have an incredible magic. She was like, “well, do you want to do it?” I’m like, “yeah, do you think I can?” She was like, “do you think you can?” I’m like, “absolutely.” This is what she said, Anne. She was like, “watch some shows of which you, you know, some awards shows you think you would love to live announce for, tape it, watch the show, but fast forward to the credits. Find out who the producers are. Research them. Reach out to them. Tell them that you want to do it. And that’s it.”

Anne: Wow. Wow!

Kesha: It sounds really simple. So the Soul Train awards, that took me like four years to get that gig. I didn’t get it like through an agent or anything. I just did what Randy told me to do.

Anne: Wow!

Kesha: I researched. You know, she coached me. I kind of self-taught by, you know, watching other award shows, but I harassed all the producers of each and every one of these shows. [laughs] And you know, I introduced myself. Especially now, anne, because of the pandemic, everybody is a little more accessible than they used to be, right? You can easily go on LinkedIn. And again I would definitely advise anybody that would want to do that to be taste — you know, to be tactful when doing so.

Anne: Yes. But, but let me just go back. This is not the first time you’ve done the Soul Train awards. I think it’s your second, third?

Kesha: This is year fourth. This is year four.

Anne: Wow! Alright so then you can’t just say the pandemic made it easier for you, because you had to, you had to get that, knock that door down four years ago, right, initially to get the gig.