“Say hello to her little voice!” The ever-inspiring hardest working woman in VO is here to share her insights with us! Anne and Gabby sit down with Lisa Biggs, voice talent, coach, producer, casting director, conference leader and all-around boss lady! Lisa goes into how she got started in VO, what it was like growing up with her unique voice, how she’s grown her business, and ways you lady voices can stay connected and empower each other!
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Don’t let your childhood kill your dreams
Use your experiences to drive your business
Voxy Summit – A Conference for women in voiceover
If you’re a woman in voiceover, you’re a voxy lady
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Subscribe to VO B.O.S.S. on YouTube!
Our podcast is recorded entirely using ipDTL. Get better than ISDN quality with: ipDTL!
VO: Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO B.O.S.S. Set yourself up with business owner’s strategies and success. With your host, Anne Ganguzza. Along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business. Like a boss. A VO B.O.S.S.
Anne: Hey, guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, we wanna share some B.O.S.S. solutions. And some of the ways you can have more B.O.S.S. in your life.
Gabby: Oh, come on. You can never have too much B.O.S.S. my little entrepre-nerds!
Anne: Entrepre-nerds. I love that! Did you think of that all by yourself?
Gabby: No. Not at all. No. I kinda barrowed that.
Anne: We have a brand new product in our B.O.S.S. shop called Book-Out Build. I’m super excited about this concept. Gabby, tell us a little about this.
Gabby: Oh my gosh! So, this is my baby, if I can, my little brain child. Right? This is how I communicate with my clients every single month to make sure that I’m providing them with relevant information that they can actually use, and so that I’m not just, you know, spamming them or sending them something really annoying, right? ‘Cause we all have to worry about that. And of course, you and our fabulous B.O.S.S. team kinda took this ball and ran with it. And we’re offering it to EVERYONE now. And these are Book-Out Builds. So with a Book-Out Build, what you’re able to do is setup a system whereby you can communicate with clients on a regular basis about the number one thing they want to know about you: Your availability and book-out dates in the studio.
Anne: Great stuff! And, as Gabby said, you can do this on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis. So you can choose the frequency. What’s really cool is that we incorporate your own list. And we manage it and send out the marketing blast, on your behalf, all in your own brand.
Gabby: You wanna go to voboss.com, click on shop, and go check out the Book-Out Build and Book-Out Blast features.
Anne: Okay now, let’s get on with today’s episode. Welcome, everybody, to the VO B.O.S.S. Podcast! I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my beautiful co-host, Gabby Nistico. Gabby, we have been trying for so long to get this next guest. Oh my goodness, like, she–
Gabby: The hardest working woman in voiceover! Right?
Anne: Oh my gosh. And probably one of the busiest lady bosses in the industry. I’m telling you. So excited to have with us today, the one and only, she’s a voice talent, a coach, a producer, I swear to God she casts, she does everything. She’s a conference–what do we call that?
Gabby: Leader. I don’t know, what do we call that? Yeah.
Anne: Thank you. It is none other than Lisa Biggs. Both: Yay!
Lisa: Hey, how are you?
Anne: Lisa, thanks so much for being with us.
Lisa: Yeah, I’m happy to be here.
Gabby: Talk about, you know, somebody who everybody in voiceover should know, if you don’t already know this woman. Lisa, give us the, I guess the synopsis, the what’s-what, on how you got started in the industry and how this craziness came into your life.
Lisa: Yeah. I walked into a radio station when I was, like, 18 and said, “Hey, I wanna do voiceover, and I have no idea how to do that.” And they pulled me in and had, like, “Oh yeah! We got this scene we’d love for you to do!” And I voiced a concert promo for Britney Spears, and so, like, that was my first voiceover experience behind the microphone. And then, you know, I was in college at the time and took some classes. Lived in New York for a summer while I was in school and studied acting, you know, only ’cause there was a voiceover class in this, kind of, summer intensive at the School for Film and Television in New York. And then moved back, and for my college graduation my parents got me my very first voiceover demo. And I got hooked up with CESD, like, right out of the gate, and moved out to LA and did that whole thing for a number of years. And I’ve just been kinda, you know, reinventing myself and reinventing myself ever since. I mean, voiceover is something that I found completely and totally fascinating. Like, every aspect of it. I love, I enjoy. So it’s been really good to me. The industry has been super receptive to all the weird stuff that I do, both of my with my voice and my imagination.
Gabby: You do have one of the most awesome–
Gabby: Yeah. And unique day to day experiences as a voice actor. I feel like every time I see you in the studio. You’re doing something that just makes me go, “God, I wish I was Lisa for today. That’s crazy.
Lisa: No! God, no.
Anne: Lisa, you have a really inspiring story, because your brand is, like Gabby was saying, is like none other. So kind of go in–if you can tell our listeners a little bit about that journey.
Lisa: Yeah! I mean, I grew up with this voice. This is me. This is–you know, I guess around middle school is when kids started to say, “Oh, what’s wrong with your voice?” At the time, I, you know, I didn’t know. I just figured, you know, I just– honestly, I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hear it like other people heard it. Until, probably, like, when I was in high school, we went on a ski trip and someone took a video with a camcorder, ’cause no one had, you know, smartphones and stuff back then. And played it, like, after this ski trip we knew we had this little video to show our parents. And I saw myself, like on the church bus, you know, “Oh yeah! No, I’m really excited!” And I was like, “Oh my gah! That is so weird!” I was like, “Oh, my voice, and my face, they don’t go together. It’s such a weird experience.” And I just, you know, I– it really dawned on me that, you know, it was definitely something that was gonna stand out and, at times, brought, you know, negative attention, bullying, people making fun of me. Just lots of stuff. Not even just kids, adults. I mean, when I was in high school I had a job at this little restaurant, and–and, you know, people are just not nice sometimes, and, you know, for whatever reason that is– has nothing to do with me, or any of us, when people aren’t kind. They just sometimes–they’re just aren’t kind. And it just, you know, is one of those things where I felt, “Well, you know…” I actually, before I knew voiceover was a thing, you know, I wanted to do acting but I never pursued it in high school because, you know, when I would open my mouth to speak it just brought such a backlash of stuff I didn’t want. Snickers. Mocking. All this other crap. That no one should ever have to deal with. And then–but before I knew voiceover was a thing, I actually investigated, you know, speech therapy and at one point was told that I would have to have surgery to change my voice.–
Gabby: Yeah, I never knew that.
Lisa: [Inaudible]. It’s been narrowed down to a birth defect. A lot of girls–I mean, I’m sure there are women listening to this that are like, “Oh my gosh! I have a voice like her’s.” There are a handful of girls in voiceover who have similar voices. I don’t know why, but it seems to bring, like, a unique, often times negative, kind of, feedback or attention. Where, like, if a guy with a deep voice walks in a room no one makes fun of them. You know? But if a girl–So I don’t know why it’s, like, labeled as like weird or that it’s attention seeking. Or whatever. Like, girls with high pitched voices just get kind of a– just kinda get labeled as either dumb or slutty. I mean–I’m sorry, am I allowed to use that word?
Gabby: Yes. It’s okay.
Lisa: Okay. Or to see this as all these things, I mean, even in pop culture and media, like, the high pitch girls are all–girls with high pitched voices, you know, kinda fall under, you know, a couple of things like categorize them a stupid or, you know,
Anne: Very stereotyped.
Lisa: [inaudible] Yeah! Super stereotyped. And it’s a in real life too. People just kinda slap a label on you. When you walk in and you sound like this people think you’re something that, you know, you may or may not be. And voiceover, honestly, is like, in this weird kinda way, it’s kinda given me a voice. It’s given me this confidence where, I think, growing up I was like, “Okay, well, I guess I have a little voice. I guess I’m just supposed to be cute and kinda fall in line and do what I’m supposed to do.” And then, you know, kinda, a little ways into my voiceover career, after just kinda relying on the whole cute thing, I realized, like, You know what? I’m pretty freakin’ smart too!
Anne: Isn’t that the truth! Gosh.
Lisa: Yeah! I got, like, buckets of drive! And I’m like, “What am I d–” And for so long, like, just kinda listening, you know, to what people, you know–and just like we all do. Like, you know, we hear people say, “Oh, we hear this. We hear that.” Or they make assumptions and we just, kinda, conform to people’s expectations, or whatever, and– Voiceover’s just been obviously this great career, but just as an industry and as, you know, a path in my life has been super liberating where I can be like, “You know what? I’m a bossy bitch!” You know? [Inaudible]
Anne: You are! And you know–
Gabby: Damn right, girl! Anne:–Lisa, I have to say that when I first met you, yeah, obviously I loved your voice. But one of the things that I just truly, really, was–I found remarkable about you was the fact that you just turned that on its ear. And you just showed everybody who was a lady boss. And, honestly, to this day you just continue to show everybody what it’s like to be a boss in this industry. So, I commend you for that, and I have so much– so much love and respect for that, Lisa. Really.
Lisa: Well, I have so much love and respect for you guys. And when I saw you come out with this super cool brand, like, VO B.O.S.S., I was like, “Oh my God. Like that’s so…” It’s just so definitive, you know? It’s so, like, I love it.
Gabby: Look who’s talkin’, Voxy Lady. Right?What?
Anne: Yeah, let’s talk about some of your brands, Lisa, because Voxy Ladies is an insane brand that you started… Gosh, how long ago?
Lisa: Like, 8 years ago? Eight years. Yeah.
Lisa: So, creepin’ up on a decade. We’ll be there before you know it! It’s so–
Anne: Wow. Lisa:–crazy. Yeah.
Anne: And you’ve don’t quite a bit with that brand. Talk about that a little bit.
Lisa: Yeah. I mean, it started out as, you know–like you said, I love voiceover. I love, you know, all the different amazing kind of things, components, of running a successful voiceover business. And so marketing and branding and all of that stuff has always just been really fun for me. And so I used to meet with these girls, and we would meet for brunch once a week and we would talk about, like, what was kind of bummin’ us out. What was pumping us up. And I said, “You know,” I said, “I love…” And the other girls were like, “Oh, I really wanna make this happen but I’m not really into the, you know, some of these certain things related to, you know, the business end of voiceover. The things that we have to do. It’s just, you know, have a solid brand. Have a solid, you know, strategy and trajectory that we’re on and know where we’re going and all that other stuff. And I love those things. And I was like–I thought, “Well, why don’t I do those things for us? We’ll be like a collective, right?” And so it started as, like, you know, collective marketing and just kinda that, kinda, kumbaya kind of vibe that girls kinda can generate when we get together. And it’s grown into this really big thing. It’s basically a professional association for women in voiceover. It’s like, “Hey! You do voiceovers? You’re a lady boss? Awesome. You’re a Voxy Lady too!” It’s just kind of a idea. I mean, obviously, it’s an established, you know, brand with, you know, we do a lot of great stuff, I feel like, in the community that involves giving back. And just bringin’ girls together.
Anne: And you have a conference.
Lisa: Yeah, we do. We have a conference! This is our second Voxy Summit. You know, this is our second one. We had one two years ago in 2016. So now we’re having in 2018. And who knows if it will be a yearly thing. I mean, you know, Anne, just with all the work that you do for VO Atlanta, it is a huge undertaking.
Anne: Yeah, events are huge.
Lisa: Yeah, I mean, people, you know, will be like, “Hey, do you think you could bring the Voxy Summit to–” You know, whatever city. And I’m like, “Girl.” I’m like, “This ain’t the circus. We don’t just like roll up in a–
Anne: It’s a lot of work. Lisa:–“big RV and unpack our stuff.” Like, it’s a huge undertaking. And, you know, even for our conference, it’s so small and it’s for only girls, and, you know, what you guys do with other conferences, like VO Atlanta, I’m amazed. Like that is a huge, unfathomable feat to pull that off. Like, ours is just, you know. I mean, it’s–We’ve got a great agenda. We’ve got great speakers. And awesome sponsors. But it’s still loosey goosey. It’s a bunch of girls gettin’ together. Like, how? You know?
Anne: Empowered women!
Lisa: You know, we got–
Anne: Let’s put it that way. Empowered–
Lisa: Yes! Yes. That’s true. Anne:–women, which is what makes it so wonderful, I think. And so attractive to the ladies in the industry because I think they go away from that type of a conference changed. You know, and isn’t it something to be at the forefront. And to be the founder of something that can be so wonderful. And I know, I just wanna talk to your– your charitable work too. To be someone that can spearhead something like that, that can change someone’s life. And I just, I think that, that’s–It’s a wonderful thing.
Lisa: Oh, well, thank you. I mean, the last–the first summit people were talking about it, and it got such positive feedback. And, of course, I remember, like, me, I was just like, “Really? I think I was there.” Like, “It was good? It–You–Was I there?” You know, I think sometimes we fall into this pattern of trying to socialize but yet we’re stuck doing things that don’t really build our business. Like I see a lot of people spend a lot of time on social media. And, you know, I see some people and the way that they interact and engage. They write these lengthy things, and I’m like, “Oh my gah, like, I don’t even write emails that long.” And I feel like, you know, some people go there to feel connected. And so I’m glad that we can provide a real, actual, like, place that people can come together and be physically in the same room to have that experience. And, yeah, it’s– You know, anytime you get that many women there and we all do different things. You know, Anne and Gabby, like, you guys do different things from each other. We all, kinda, have different focuses, you know, independent from one another in terms of our careers. In terms of the types of voiceover work that we pursue. But anytime you get anyone together, like, just that energy of, you know, of people coming together. It’s like being at a sporting event. It’s being at, like, a college football game. You know, everyone’s rootin’ for the same team. In our own way, like, headin’ in the same direction. And so I love that we can facilitate that so that, you know, people can have that, quote-unquote, mountain top experience, because I think that matters. I think those, kind of, highlights, you know, throughout your year are often times what keep you moving forward. Because there is nothing easy about making a living talking into a microphone. I mean, there is nothing simple or streamline. Like, I know that–
Gabby: Ain’t that the truth.
Anne: So true. Lisa:–Oh my God! Like, yeah. It’s not easy. And it’s not–it’s taxing emotionally. You know? It’s hard. I feel like what we do is a little bit weird and if you don’t have a support system in your, you know, under the same roof. Or, you know, if you’re family don’t really understand, like– you know for a while, like, my parents were like yeah I went to college and, you know, I’ve got, you know, part of my masters and was heading in one direction and now I’m doing voiceover? What? You know? And like I remember my mom, like, when I would stress out about work and, you know, my mom’s never been a career woman. So, like, we don’t, you know, really–we don’t really communicate effectively. But I can’t really communicate or express things to her in a way that, you know, really works out. She kinda turns and nods her head. Like, you know, she was like, “Oh, why don’t you just go, you know, be a teacher or something?” And… You know, and I gave her, like, stress. And, “Mom,” I’m like, “my business expenses are most people’s salary.” I’m like–I can’t just, like… You know? And so having Voxy Ladies and having friends like you guys is what helps me go, “You know what? I’m all I got and I’mma just keep doing it. I’m in it to win it.” You know? Like–
Gabby: Well, Lisa, I can tell you, from personal experience, I mean, I have been to so many conferences and so many voiceover events over, you know, the last 15 years. Voxy was, with out a doubt, the best experience I’ve ever had at a conference. And just the love and the camaraderie and the learning and even, to an extent, the low key-ness of it. Just how chill it was and great to just be able to–
Anne: Agreed. Gabby:–just be free. Be yourself. So thank you for that. Lisa, real quick, how can people learn more about you, get in touch with you, all that good stuff.
Lisa: My website, I mean, lisabiggs.com. Two g’s, like Snoop Dogg. I’m–
Gabby: What, what!?
Lisa: I was at Ground Crew, the other day, here in Charlotte, and Jason, their GM, he’s also music producer. He was working on somethin’ featuring Snoop Dogg. He was workin’ on–I don’t know what his role was, but he was producing a song featuring, like, Snoop Dogg. And I’m like, “What!” And I’ve always wanted Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Dogg impersonators–If you’re listening to this and you can impersonate Snoop Dogg, I would love to hear you. Because I’ve always wanted my voiceover demos slated either by Snoop Dogg. Which would be a dream come true. Or, like, a Snoop Dogg impersonator, and they would say, or he would say, “Da da da, it’s the one and only B I double G.” Right? Yeah? Yes? Yes?
Anne: Love it!
Lisa: So, yeah, lisabiggs.com. Voxyladies.com. We have a super active Facebook group for women in voiceover called Women in Voiceover. We do cool stuff every week. We have lots of free hangouts and webinars and cool stuff. And just really, really super great vibes in that Facebook group. So if you’re on Facebook and you’re a lady voice we would love for you to come and join in our fun little online community. ‘Cause we–I feel like we’ve got a good thing going in that little virtual space.
Anne: Well, Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time–
Lisa: Yeah! Anne:–out of what we know is your busy, busy schedule. So, thanks, again, for joining us. I’d like to give a big shout out to our sponsor, ipDTL. If you guys have been wondering about our quality connection, you too can record like a B.O.S.S. using ipdtl.com.
Gabby: Check us out on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and, oh my gosh, like us. And, of course, make sure to visit the website, voboss.com
Anne: Thanks so much, guys! We’ll see ya next week!
VO: Join us next week for another addition of VO B.O.S.S., with your host Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved. Anne Ganguzza voice talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.