Today’s episode is an interview with Mike Lenz. He’s a pharmacist, voice actor, and podcast host. Mike is someone I look up to, and I have the pleasure of calling him a friend. Mike and I know one another from the voiceover industry, and he uses his voice to entertain.
Mentioned in this episode
Mike’s book Paid to Talk – A Journey into Voice Acting
VO Success (Online Course) https://vosuccess.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/michael.lenz.1460/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikelenzvo/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mlenzvoice
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mikelenzvoice/
Sean Pratt, nonfiction audiobook narration coach https://www.seanprattpresents.com
APAC (Audio Publisher’s Association Annual Conference)
VoiceZam Player https://www.voicezam.com
Mike Lenz is a full-time SAG-AFTRA professional voice talent, actor, audiobook narrator and podcast producer.
As a voice actor for more than 15 years Mike has worked with clients such as Xerox, Hershey, Dell, Microsoft, Bayer, Coca-Cola and many more on commercials, eLearning projects, real estate videos, corporate and web-based videos, and brand imaging.
Mike has also appeared in regional and national television commercials as an on-camera talent and was the host of a local TV talk show in Saratoga Springs New York for a number of years.
Mike is also an accomplished audiobook narrator with more than 100 titles narrated to date. With titles in genres ranging from Fiction, Entertainment, Science, and Children’s to Christian, Business, Self-Help and History, Mike loves bringing non-fiction and fiction stories to life with his engaging, confident, and trustworthy voice.
Mike is also a Voice Arts Award nominated podcast producer of a popular Voice Over podcast, and the creator of Podcast Snap, a podcast consulting service, helping his clients with every step of their podcast creation and production.
Mike is the author of Paid to Talk – A Journey Into Voice Acting and is a frequent speaker at Learning and Voice Over conferences. He currently lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.
Highlights from the interview
Before becoming a voice actor, Mike ran the pharmacy that’s been in his family since 1960. He is a former Council Member and Mayor of Saratoga Springs, NY. After his position as mayor ended, he explored his creative side: screenwriting, film-making, voiceovers, etc. He enjoyed the communication piece of his public service: “using his voice.” After his 1st VO coaching session, he realized he loved it. The journey began.
2-3 years ago, he become a full time voice actor (made the switch from pharmacist to voice actor.). It took > 10 years to make his part-time side hustle his full-time job.
Mike has had some great voice actors on his podcast! Examples include Harlan Hogan, Rodney Saulsberry, and Tom Dheere. Mike asks his guests about their journey, obstacles they overcame, lessons they learned, and advice for aspiring voice actors.
Mike and I shared a nonfiction audiobook narration coach, Sean Pratt. We both graduated around the first of September 2020.
For each finished hour of audio for an audiobook, there are several hours of audio engineering after recording.
Building relationships in the voiceover and audiobook industries pays off. Among other things, referrals keep Mike busy working! Audiobooks, course books for online colleges, etc.
Conferences have changed Mike’s life. One example is APAC (Audiobook Publisher’s Association Conference). Meeting people and building relationships led to more work.
The voiceover industry is a giving community with authentic relationships. We refer our friends because when you give, you receive. What goes around, comes around.
There was an element of faith in making a leap from pharmacy to VO. Mike says, “Just get in the boat!” And see where it takes you. You only connect the dots looking backward.
Mike has demos on his website for IVR (interactive voice response/on-hold messaging), elearning, audiobooks, commercials, and narration. Mike uses the VoiceZam player to help potential clients find and listen to his demos easily. Outside audiobook publishers, Mike’s clients include podcast clients, elearning, corporate clients, and on-hold messaging. Everything revolves around his audiobooks schedule.
How does Mike care for his voice? He does warm-ups, including tongue twisters, humming, and vocal warm-ups. He stays hydrated and tries to get his sleep.
Mike has done some live announcing. It’s fun for him, and he has booked the work thanks to referrals from other voice actors.
Mike has an online course called VO Success. It teaches up-and-coming voice actors a good foundation about the VoiceOver industry. Topics include focusing, performance training, the business of the business, branding, and recording in a home studio. Lifetime membership (as of October 23, 2020) is $97 USD.