Interview With Tavia Gilbert, Voice for Audio Books


TS.  I have used a narrator for many of my own books and know what an integral part they play in the success of an audio book.  Tavia is one of the best out there!

Q. Tell us about your acting/voice career.

A. I work as a full-time audio book narrator, recording primarily in my home studio in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been passionate about sound, voice, and story all my life, and it’s been exciting to see where my career takes me. I graduated from Cornish College in Seattle with a BFA in Acting, with a concentration in Original Works. Soon after graduation I moved to Portland, Maine to study documentary audio storytelling at the Salt Institute. I worked in Portland as a commercial and theater actor, before focusing on audio book narration. I began working full-time as an audio book narrator in 2007, and in these eight years I’ve recorded more than 400 books for virtually every publisher, in virtually every genre. When I completed my MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Vermont College a few years ago I moved from Maine to Brooklyn, to further develop my work as a performer, producer, and publisher.

Q. What led you to start a narration career?

A. I was born with deformed feet and have had more than a dozen corrective foot surgeries since I was seven months old. I remember an intense yearning to be an actress as early as about four years old, and I did theater in my hometown when I was growing up with dreams of working as a performing artist and living in a New York City apartment with a fire escape (and now I have my very own fire escape!). But I struggled somewhat in college, with another surgery that required time away from school, and later with the physical demands of the actor conditioning program at Cornish. I’m so grateful that Cornish pushed me as hard as it did physically, because I came to understand that I was stronger and more capable than I thought, though I was dealing with — and still do — some quite serious physical challenges. Once I decided to stay permanently in Maine (I lived there for 12 years), I realized that there would not be enough professional commercial or theater work to sustain a career from Maine. Just at that time the voice-over and narration industries were beginning to transition to home studios, so I set my sights on narration. I was an avid listener, Continue reading “Interview With Tavia Gilbert, Voice for Audio Books”

Ready to Find that Ideal Narrator for your Audio-book??

earChoose a narrator for your audio books….sounds easy doesn’t it?  I’d like to share my hit and miss experience and some tips about finding those perfect narrators for your audio books.  The good news is that now that I’ve learned a few things I have two wonderful reliable ‘voices’ for the production of my books.   The miss (when I didn’t know what I was doing and was new to the audio book world)  was the situation where I found my first narrator wasn’t willing to collaborate and work with me. She said that she was hired and paid to narrate the book that I sent, nothing more.  Sigh!

You will find, as I did, that your book ‘sounds‘ far different than the written word on the page and how it sounds in your head.  You, the author, will need a narrator that will allow you to make changes.  You might remember my interview with my childrens’ book narrator and gifted opera singer, Carin Gilfrey.  Now I thought it would be interesting for my readers to get to know, Daniel Dorse,  the voice of Sergeant Detective Jack O’Roarke.  (The World of Murder Series). Continue reading “Ready to Find that Ideal Narrator for your Audio-book??”