By Ronald Fisher The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Cheryl Gindlesperger is a full-time voice actor. Her business, "CGindles Productions", offers voiceover services for radio and television commercials, audio books, e-learning, corporate training and more.
The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
For many entrepreneurs, it's about finding the strength and confidence to take a leap of faith.
Some people say the older you are, the harder the leap becomes. Others have even said the longer you wait, the longer the leap gets.
Johnstown native Cheryl Gindlesperger knows all too well about taking that leap. A few months ago, she walked away from her full-time job to launch her own small business.
Gindlesperger, who now lives in Hooversville, is a full-time voice actor. Her business, CGindles Productions, allows her to offer voiceover services for radio and television commercials, audio books, e-learning, corporate training and more.
"I just turned 46 in July, and you reach a point where you say, 'When do I get to start living my life for me?' " Gindlesperger said.
"It's scary, but sometimes you just have to, there's no perfect time," she said. "I always wanted to do something creative.
"This is something I had thought about doing all of my adult life and never had any idea of how to get into it." Gindlesperger said her journey in voice acting began with a brochure.
"Two to three years ago I had been flipping through the continuing education brochure from Penn Highlands and I came across a two-hour evening workshop on intro to voiceovers," she said. "I thought, 'So this is how you do it,' because all of my adult life family and friends told me I had a great voice."
Gindlesperger decided to attend the workshop, and before she knew it, she was already on the path to a career in voice acting.
She then took another class called "Finding Your Niche" with a professional voice actor based in California.
Gindlesperger said the feedback she received from the instructors was very encouraging. The new boost in confidence led her to sign up in January for a master class program offered by Voices for All.
The six-month training brings industry professionals together to use their many years of experience. The class creates an educational experience that produces a properly trained voice acting professional.
"It wasn't just -- here is the industry -- here are the vocal techniques," Gindlesperger said.
"They walked me through setting up my home studio, taught me how to use the software, the editing. At the end of the session we produced my demos, and he turned me loose."
The Westmont Hilltop graduate said the support she has received from her boyfriend has helped to make her entrepreneurial journey much easier.
"My boyfriend has been my biggest supporter. He was the one who said he would pay for the training program, and he's never once wavered in his belief that I could do this," she said.
"If I didn't have so many people believing in me and encouraging me to do it, I don't know if I could have." Since launching her business in August, Gindlesperger said things have been going very well for her.
"It's a marathon; it's not a sprint," she said. "Sometimes months will pass from the time you do an audition to the client contacting you about that job to say that you've booked it.
"Sometimes even years will go by before a company you reached out to contacts you to say they have a project for you.
"That's why the constant outreach and constant follow-up is so important," she said. "It's going to take some time -- even though I want it now -- but I'm getting clients and I'm getting work. So I'm very happy about that."
Gindlesperger said that while voice acting is her profession, it is the business side to which she finds herself dedicating the most time.
"Only 20 percent of a voice actor's time is spent in the recording booth. The other 80 percent is marketing yourself and building your business," she said. "The biggest part of building a business is trying to get word out there that you're there."
Gindlesperger said that she is constantly making phone calls and sending emails to production companies all over the country and sometimes beyond.
"There's a lot of legwork involved, and even those voice actors who make it big never stop this process," she said. "It's like any other business -- you always need to nurture it.
"You want to put everything you can to build it strong from the ground up," she said. "I look down the road where hopefully I can step back a little bit because it'll kind of be running itself, but right now it is not and I feel like I need to be actively engaged in it every waking moment."
Gindlesperger says it is an amazing feeling to be able to do what you truly enjoy doing. This is something she said that many people strive for, but only a few actually get there.
"I love what I do. This isn't work to me," she said. "I love being able to have fun with it, and at the same time be able to give the clients exactly what it is that they are looking for. I like being able to have fun in my profession, but still be professional.
"It''s so liberating to wake up in the morning and think 'Oh gosh, what do I get to do today?' as opposed to 'What do I have to do today?' "