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Rosi Amador, along with her husband Brian, are CCAE instructors. This term they are teaching Essential Voiceover Performance Techniques. Both Rosi and Brian are established English/Spanish bilingual voice actors and founders of Amador Bilingual Voiceovers (est. 2010), as well as award-winning Latin musicians. Rosi is a native Spanish/English voice over actor with no accent whatsoever in either language. Rosi spoke with Marketing Associate Antonio Morales about her bilingual background and insights into the voiceover industry.

Register for Rosi & Brian Amador's upcoming class: Essential Voiceover Performance Techniques

Did you grow up in a bilingual household or did you learn one language first?

I grew up in a Spanish speaking household in Puerto Rico because my dad was from Buenos Aires and he did not speak very good English. So when my mom - who was raised in New York and of Puerto Rican descent - married him, she decided, Ok, well, I’ll raise my kids bilingually, but let’s make it easier on my dad and speak only Spanish at first.

My sister and I ended up going to an American preparatory school and everything was taught in English. I remember goading my sister to sing from a cassette tape, “Come on! Sing in English! Sing in English!” and she kept saying “No, I don’t want to!”

How has that experience shaped your view of language?

I feel like my world has always been very bicultural because I was raised in a Latin country, but one that still has a great deal of influence from the United States.

I went to an American preparatory school because my parents valued education highly and they really wanted us to go to college in the United States. So I felt I was of both worlds. I spoke English at school and Spanish at home. It was seamless. I didn’t even really realize how bicultural I was until I came here. It was part of the air we breathed - to speak bilingually. And in a way, behaving bilingually, too, because the cultures are so different.

What’s your favorite type of voice or character to use?

It’s really easy for me to do varying levels of Hispanic accent and I just channel my dad. He had a really thick accent which was kind of funny, almost character voice-like. I can modulate the accent I use in my English and we have used that for a wide variety of clients.

If you think about it, the Latino population in the United States is exploding so there’s a huge need for voice over that corresponds to the various demographics of Latinos. From older people who tend to prefer Spanish, so you’re speaking with a neutral Latin American Spanish. Or you’re speaking to the younger Latino - some who don’t speak Spanish at all, but might relate more to someone with a slight accent because they were raised with their parents.

Who were some inspirational teachers or mentors you’ve had in your life?

I would say that one of the people who inspired me for life was a college professor who helped me find myself at a time when I was having difficulty doing that. I was raised in a very strict Latino family where young women didn’t have very much of a voice.

What advice do you have for anyone hoping to get into the business of voice acting?

Voice acting is a serious business. You have to be really good about committing yourself to being an entrepreneur. It takes much more than having a nice voice or being able to do a character - all of which is excellent. I work on my skills all the time to become a more flexible voice actor. But you have to be willing to take on the work of coming up with business goals, marketing yourself, working on your online presence, and networking. You also need to commit yourself to studying and keeping on top of trends because it changes all the time.

What are your plans for the new year?

We’re going to be doing a fair amount of recording for a wide variety of clients. We’re also musicians and we have a few shows that are coming up in January, February, and March. We’re also going to a voice over conference in Atlanta in March. It’s called VO Atlanta. Not only colleagues, but a lot of coaches, casting agents, and directors go. It’s a really great place to network.

 

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