In December 2019, Amy Bermudez was feeling unsatisfied with her job. She worked in an industry she didn’t love, for people who stressed her out, doing work that was… fine. She wanted more, but she wasn’t sure what that “more” was. In a chance encounter with a relative, Amy learned about voiceover.
She signed up for a course, enjoyed what she learned and began to wonder: is voiceover right for me? Then, in March 2020, the world shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response, Amy’s company shut its doors completely.
Newly unemployed in a world that had changed overnight, Amy’s mind wandered to voiceover.
Could this be her chance to try something new? Amy decided to give it a real shot. Over the course of the past few years, Amy has launched her fledgling voiceover business from scratch, and it has changed her life. As Amy said, “allowing myself to do the thing I wanted to do has been amazing. I feel more alive.”
Join us as we discuss:
· How the chaos of the pandemic created an opportunity for reinvention
· How believing in herself has resolved a lifelong worry that she wasn’t “good enough” to do what she loved
· How voiceover artistry has given Amy the creative outlet she has yearned for
· How interesting and rewarding she finds her new work, and how excited she is for the future.
Join the Great Work Community here: amandacrowell.com/great-work-community
About The Guest:
Amy is a professionally trained voice actor who brings a wealth of talent, expansive range and a soothing, trustworthy, graceful voice. Originally from Ohio, she has lived in Philadelphia and New York. Her background includes marketing, development, and project management for world-class brands within the textile design community.
After a career reboot, she began to focus on voice acting. Amy offers an elevated experience in professional voice over production. Anything but cookie-cutter, Amy’s creative, insightful work style is infused with personal charm. Her versatile sound has been described as smooth, trustworthy, soothing and youthful; her range is well-informed by life’s adventures.
Working from her professional home studio in suburban NYC, she is meticulously detailed and efficient, giving your project the personalized attention required for success. Amy meets you where you are, effectively collaborating with you to create a final product that sounds exactly the way you envision. The artistic expression at the heart of creating professional voiceover brings Amy Bermudez such joy.
A professionally-trained voice actor who brings a wealth of talent, expansive range, and a soothing, trustworthy voice, Amy is also a campy, zany performer who loves to sing karaoke until the wee hours, lulls her children to sleep with sentimental lullabies, and can often be found regaling tales with a whole cast of character voices. Amy loves that her voice adds dimension and fills a need by creating an authentic connection.
She enjoys taking a script or a story and bringing it to life in a way that teaches, inspires, entertains, influences, or informs. Drawing upon her training – as well as a great deal of professional marketing and project management experience – she stands at the ready to lend the perfect conversational tone to a commercial, to narrate a fabulous audiobook, or to quiet someone’s anxiety through a soothing meditation. It is Amy’s fervent belief that her voice is a gift to be shared.
About The Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author, and coach focused on changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work—the work that calls to you from the inside– without sacrificing your health, happiness, and relationships.
Amanda is the Author of the book, Great Work: Do What Matters Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.
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I'm very preoccupied with knowing that people feel good about themselves. And I have worked so hard in my life to get to a point where I feel good about myself.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Welcome to unleashing your great work, a podcast about doing the work that matters the most to you. I'm your host, Dr. Amanda Crowell, a cognitive psychologist, coach, author of the book, great work and the creator of the great work journals. Every week on this podcast, we're here asking the big questions. What is your great work? How do you find it? And why does it matter whether we do it? What does it actually take to do more of your great work without sacrificing everything else? And how does the world change when more people are doing more of the work that matters the most to them? Stay tuned for answers to these questions, and so much more.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
In December 2019, Amy Bermudez was feeling unsatisfied with her job. She worked in an industry she didn't love for people who stressed her out doing work. That was fine. She wanted more. But she wasn't sure what that more was. And a chance encounter with a relative Amy learned about voiceover, she signed up for a course enjoyed what she learned and began to wonder is a voiceover career right for me. Then, in March 2020, the world shut down for the COVID 19 pandemic. And in response, Amy's company shut its doors completely newly unemployed in a world that had changed overnight, Amy's mind wandered to voiceover. Could this be her chance to try something new, Amy decided to give it a real shot. And over the course of the past few years, Amy has launched her fledgling voiceover business from scratch, and it has changed her life. In Amy's own words, she says it has made her feel more alive. Amy is a professionally trained voice actor who brings a wealth of talent expansive range and a soothing, trustworthy voice. But Amy has also campy and zany performer who loves to sing karaoke until the wee hours lulls her children to sleep with sentimental lullabies, and often can be found regaling tales with a whole cast of character voices. And he loves that her voice adds dimension and fills a need by creating an authentic connection. Let's welcome Amy to the podcast.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Welcome to the podcast, Amy.Amy Bermudez:
Thank you.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I love it. So I know you from pre career reboot. So I really can't wait to hear all about the great work that you're creating now. So why don't we just start there, with you telling us just a little bit about your great work.Amy Bermudez:
So I'll start with the voiceover and just kind of work backwards. The the voiceover is something that I started training for, just as an extra curricular interest in the end of 2019. So like, leading right into January, and I, I have always been wanting to do something more actually creative and artistic. But I think just growing up, I had never allowed myself to think that I was talented enough to do music, which I was really obsessed with, or some kind of fine art or something. So the voiceover has been so interesting, because it's something that I didn't really plan on making into my career as such, but with the pandemic and everything. Just going upside down in March of 2020. It kind of gave me the opportunity to really dive in and explore it, and in a way that I don't think I would ever probably would have been 10 or 15 years, you know, wow. But you know, I had been in the textile field for about 25 years. And I had for a long time just been feeling really unfulfilled. I really just felt like it wasn't speaking to me in the way that my job should, you know, so many hours that you're spending there. You're working with, like some really challenging personalities and you getting home at 630 at night. I mean, it just I just thought to myself, I don't know if I can do this for another 20 years until I retire. Yeah. So just over the holidays in 2019. I was talking with one of my cousins by marriage who does voiceover and he was telling me about how he does commercials and he's the voice of Buffalo Wild Wings. And he does like corporate trainings for McDonald's and, you know, all these interesting things. And I thought, wow, that just seems so interesting, you know, and so I started taking Some classes and, and the classes were amazing and just everything I was learning, I just, it just like made me feel alive, you know, talking about one of the pillars of great work. But yeah, I mean it kind of just once I started studying voiceover technique, and and all of this, I just realized, wow, you know, it kind of goes back to all my childhood passions about like music and singing and arts. And, you know, as a teenager, I was so into art and fashion. And that's kind of what led me to textiles. And, you know, the fact that I never thought I could go into music or that I could go into, like the fine art or design side of things. It just, I just wonder like, that would have spoken to me all this time so much more. But you know, when you're young, you just sometimes don't, you know, think you can change your path. Wow,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
that's great. So when, when, in 2019, when you were like, I'm going to take these classes, were you working in a textile industry job?Amy Bermudez:
Yes, I was working for this really well known company called donghia, which, you know, these Dahiya served the interior design community and also like the architectural and, you know, contract community, which is like hotels, cruise ships, that kind of thing. So I was working for them. And they were just really struggling financially, which, you know, a lot of the famous brands are, or have been, and so when the shutdown happened, they called us all the following week and said, you know, we've been having a tough time financially, we're just closing our doors. So I, like I, I was just, like, Oh, my God, like, I kind of it wasn't that unexpected, but just it was such a, you know, how that first week when shutdown, like your kids were at home with laptops, it was kind of just like, Oh, my God, I like hurried up and signed up for unemployment. And then I'm like, Well, you know, on the bright side, I can be here to, like, make sure my kids are like doing their schoolwork. But I just felt so strange, because I mean, I love my children. But they had never been my life's dream to be a stay at home mom. And I always like my mom worked full time. And she had always instilled in me that, you know, you have to have your job and be have financial independence, should you ever need it and you know, finding myself out of my routine, it was extremely hard. That sounds really hard. It was crazy. Yeah. Yeah.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
So then when did you put the two together? I've been, you know, thank God, you had that conversation. In December of 2019. It's almost like Kismet or fate or, you know, whatever the universe, some way of having this placed in front of you at just the right time. How would you describe that?Amy Bermudez:
To me, it was one of those God moments where I've had a few of those in my life. And to me, it was almost like God saying, you know, I know over the years, you've struggled with, like having an identity and your job and feeling like you're good at it and feeling like it matters, you know, and here's some time for you to actually then developing something that you might like a whole lot more. And that speaks to you. So I like just in the middle of all that pandemic freaking out, I just thought, wow, this is really a silver lining, like, I'm never going to have this chance again, I'm never going to have the world just stop. And me not have to be at a desk in an office. I just thought wow, this is kind of an amazing thing.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
It really is and what a great opportunity. Like I what I'm struck by is how grateful I would be if I were you that you had had a taste of it before the pandemic so that you got to take a class and you were already thinking about it, because otherwise I totally would talk myself out of it. I would be like, Oh, this you know, it's just the pandemic talking. But the fact that it had already sort of captured your interest and you could sort of move into it. So how did you do it? Like what was requiredAmy Bermudez:
to do that? So I it's so happens that my cousin by marriage is is a teacher within this company called such a voice that offers this very accelerated program. Some people might say to excel narrated, but you know, in general, you get many, many, many hours worth of training on commercial and narration. And so I had this amazing and delightful coach in LA, right in Hollywood, a dear friend to this day. So he would coach me on all the like, the voiceover technique, the acting technique, and, and so at the end of all that, I created a demo for commercial and for narration. So each one is like a minute long. And so that's like your calling card. And then, right at the time, in September, when I got my demos, and I was getting my website ready to go, I attended this online conference called evocation. And it's industry experts in the New York City area, like all sharing about, you know, different aspects of the business. And so that was really educational. And just from there, I just kind of heard about, like other coaches to start working with, you know, how to market your business, because that's the thing that you never realize. Yes, it's voiceover and creative and scripts and all that. The marketing is 90% of it, like, you have to market yourself. And that's how you make money. So yeah,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I think I call those people accidental entrepreneurs, who were like, just trying to help, just trying to like, deliver a service enjoy themselves, and then they wake up one day, and they're like, shed, this is like a business. And I have to market and sell and all of that, too.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah. So but you know, it's interesting, you know, there, there are like several really amazing outstanding, like, branding people in the VO community. So I'm so excited, I'm thrilled that this one lady I've just started working with, to like, really figure out my brand. And I and I'm like, now I'm really gonna have a better brand that I feel much more confident about marketing myself. And you know, like, that's very exciting to be starting to work on.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
And it's exciting. So that sounds like maybe, you know, the unexpected aspect of it. What about it has made you feel alive? You said it started to make you feel alive? Like what is it about it, that makes you feel so good?Amy Bermudez:
Well, so some of the jobs I've gotten have really just given me an ability to do things that I think I'm really good at, like, my very first job was a 20 minute meditation that I did with music underneath for Jill Griffin, who's a very good friend of mine, and she's a Career Strategist. And so she uses this meditation as like an onboarding thing for her clients so they can receive her coaching. In a more relaxed state of meditation, there's something that I, I love when I make time to do it myself. I love doing it. And I also love just because I think my voice is really suited for that. And the other job that I was just amazed to get was with Temple University, their continuing education course, had been contracted by the Pennsylvania commission on Crime and Delinquency. And they were having temple do this course, to do sheriff's training. So and this was in the summer of 2020. Wow, after all the George Floyd stuff had gone down, and I thought, how amazing like if there's ever been a time when training needs to be happening, and I just thought My God to be part of doing this course, narrating this eLearning course about like, sheriff's wellness and like, yeah, it was I just thought, Okay, this is really something I can embrace, you know. And then just one last little tidbit, I got my very first commercial recently, a political issue for the state of Vermont. Who would have ever thought in their constitution, slavery still had some loopholes that it wasn't 100% completely abolished? Well, it was just some certain language and exceptions, that was that needed to be tweaked. So there were some people in Vermont who had put this campaign together to have it on the ballot. So myself and some other colleagues did this radio commercial, about go out and vote and make sure we abolished slavery. So there's also Oh, there have also been a lot of creative, like, fun and frivolous things that have come up like characters like, I got a part as a character in this hilarious podcast. You know, let's so getting to use like character voices has also been like, just really fun.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Have you always been somebody who does voices?Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, historically loving. My brother, my older brother and I are of the Bugs Bunny generation. I mean, voices and Bugs Bunny are hilarious. By today's standards, I watched those and I cringe but back then we just those things just cracked us up. And so I have a long history of just me and my brother, doing really goofy voices between, you know, justDr. Amanda Crowell:
I love it. Your kids must love it.Amy Bermudez:
They really do. My I have eight year old twin boys and during the pandemic when they were having to sit all day long in front of their laptop. School was conducted, right. And they were six at the time. Yeah. So they have this stuffed animal of shadow from the Sonic the Hedgehog family of characters. And I would bring him to the table and he would be the assistant because they got so tired of listening to me tell them to focus and do the work. So I would have him there. And I would do a voice as Shadow and tell themDr. Amanda Crowell:
what what is shadows voice we clearly need to hear itAmy Bermudez:
would say something like, Alright boys, I know you're totally tired of sitting in front of your computer and listening to your teacher. But it's so important. Now you really have to just finish this. And as soon as we're done, then you can go have some fun. Ah, that'sDr. Amanda Crowell:
great. I love it. You must be a lot of fun. You must have been like the best mother at reading the stories at bedtime.Amy Bermudez:
It was definitely fun it you know, I don't know that I brought like a different voice to each character. But certainly, I don't know how but at this one point with my sons. I would sing them to sleep. And somehow I introduced doowop into the picture. I think that song Good night, sweetheart. Yeah. So I mean, I have this whole do upset that I would think.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Oh my gosh, that's so great. I love it. I love it. So actually, as you look back across your life, there have been signs of this the whole time.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, I mean, it. It really is something that I just was always wanting to do. You know, like, before I even had kids, I used to sing in a choir at my church. And in this I also sang in a gospel choir. I am a huge karaoke ham. I love to sing. I just I love all this artistic expression. And I never thought I was good enough to like, you know, so yeah, I mean, so now to just sort of having given myself permission to just do it. Yeah, it feels amazing.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I have to imagine that it does feel amazing. I wonder is your who said it a few times, I just didn't feel like I was good enough to do this sort of artistic work. Is that belief changing? For you?Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, it actually is, like I you know, I've had so many years of, you know, the the critical voices. But now it's amazing. I'm actually willing to consider the fact that I am good enough. Nice. And it's amazing. Like, I can actually do so much more and be so much more effective if I'm willing to consider the fact that I am good enough.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Absolutely. Well, and probably become better and better. Yeah, as opposed to being you know, stuck at the level you're at that you decided wasn't adequate. So are you going to start is there the opportunity to sing in the voiceover worldAmy Bermudez:
there is to some degree but I think for right now, I'm not gonna I'm not going to pursue that. I want to just get good in my lane of narration and that'll be something on the horizon for right now. I'm just happy to sing karaoke and my living room.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah. Love it. But I like the idea of having a sort of out there on the horizon. Once you're, you know, once you're fully booked, right with your voiceover work, just allowing that to live out there as a possibility feels like it would be very invigorating.Amy Bermudez:
Yes, something you've loved. For so long, yeah, definitely.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I like it. So then in the world of voiceover, what feels like the next big push for you like, what's the next big accomplishment you're looking for? Or hoping for?Amy Bermudez:
To be honest, I like once I get my brand really sussed out. I I'm just looking forward to like, taking more coaching and having like doing classes with casting directors to just really uplevel my skill so that I'm just booking way more consistently, like I am booking work now, but it's not consistent enough that I'm like, I don't have like a pipeline. So I really want to just get consistently booking with commercials and elearning. And, you know, I'm, I'm open to different things, but those two I think, are my best avenue right now.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Do you do book voiceover reading stuff? I don't know what's going on? Yeah, audiobook.Amy Bermudez:
You know, it's so funny. I thought when I started that that was 100% my lane what I was going to be doing, and so far, I have not delved into it. But I definitely want to I mean, I It's funny, I don't listen to that many audiobooks. So I feel like it's something I need to research, or just expose myself to more.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, I feel like you would probably be great at that.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, I would love to do it. I would love to narrate like, self help books, or like, you know, Max Lucado, you know, inspirational books, that kind of thing.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Nice. All right. Put that out there. Bring that bring that towards you. I love that. Yeah. Very cool. So, one last question before we wrap up, because I just want to know, like, I imagined that like, there's a lot of joy in this for you, like you light up when you're talking about it. You've said it makes you feel alive. Which aspects of it, especially if there's one that you were sort of shocked or surprised how much you loved it. Like what about doing this is so joyful toAmy Bermudez:
you. I think it's just finally like, taking the lid off. And like finally just saying, This is my thing that I'm going to do for me, I have total control over my time, I can be home when my kids get home from school. I'm not working for a boss, that gives me a nervous breakdown. Right? And, and also just like owning that I am. I'm good at it. Like I can do it. And there was so long when I didn't think I could do something like this. Wow. You know, that's a big.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
What's the word I'm looking for? It's not a realization Exactly. But sort of like an acceptance, like a like really?Amy Bermudez:
Allowing yourself to have what you want to have. Yeah, big.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
What a great thing to model for your kids too.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, I mean, they, I think when they're older, and they understand, you know, it'll be a valuable thing for them. Because it's, of course, now that I realized how important it is to be there for your kids, when they get home from school. When I was growing up, you know, my mom worked full time, she would get home at 430. That wasn't so late, but my dad worked second shift my entire childhood. While we saw him on the weekends, it was just such as he was never at a band concert. He was never, you know, he just didn't have the opportunity. So I think this will model for them a little bit better work life balance.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah. And model for them that if you want something, that's enough of a reason to go try to get it.Amy Bermudez:
Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Because theDr. Amanda Crowell:
vast majority of people talk themselves right out of everything they want just because they want them. When really it's what brings us a lot and makes us feel, you know, fulfilled and purposeful.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah. And if I there, there was something else that I wanted to mention. And you know, when I was reading and listening to your podcast about what constitutes great work and like how, what the journey to that is, one of the things that is most important to me in my life is I'm very preoccupied with knowing that people feel good about themselves. And I have worked so hard in my life to get to a point where I feel good about myself like I had like self esteem issues growing up. There are still Like, a lot of depression in my family, I've got it, you know, it's like, it's like something to be gotta like work through. And like, that is the thing, the number one thing I want to instill most in my kids is, you know, just to feel good about yourself and to have self confidence. And like, I just really emphasize with people that struggle with that, and that. So I mean, being able to do voiceover and feeling more authentic about myself. It's that much sweeter, because it's just kind of bringing those things together. Yeah,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
well, what I think that that's what's so inspiring about your story, actually. I mean, it's cool that you do voiceover and you do voices and like, you're on commercials, and you're like helping abolish slavery. Finally, in Vermont, that stuff is cool. But what I'm really loving about your story is exactly what you're saying, which is forever. I mean, not to, not to, like summarize your story and miss the nuance, right? But forever, you put yourself in a box. And so that's the box for me, because people said, that's the box for me. And I don't know why I'm not happy in my box. And I should love my box. What's wrong with me? Why don't I love my box. And then finally, realize, like, this box is not for me. And I'm the only person who asked to decide if this box was for me, and I'm gonna go not be in a box. But stand in that field, do invoices for shadow. And watch what happens. You discover that when you do what you're meant to do, you're good at it, that you're happy doing it, that you feel flexible, and in control and agentic about your life, and that you can be there for your kids and your family in a way that wasn't possible before. And that's something so beautiful. And it really isn't about voiceover. It's not like if I went and did voiceover although I have thought about it. But like, if I went and did write, like become a doctor, that would be a terrible, terrible career move for me. But it would be so life giving to someone else. It's really so much about really, truly believing what you hear coming from inside yourself. It sounds like you really have learned to do that.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah, I, I'm, I feel like I'm at a good point with that, you know, more than we've ever been. Yeah.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah. Well, I really like it. And I think that you're right, that a lot of people struggle to feel good about themselves. And I do really believe that one of the biggest reasons why people struggle so much is because they're not listening to themselves. Yeah. It's been obvious your whole life that you're a creative person. And somehow that's the thing you refuse to listen to.Amy Bermudez:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, it's funny, like, people have a whole host of reasons for like, not accepting certain things about themselves. But like, I think when people can find acceptance and comfort with themselves, that's, that's just the best thing. Like, that's when they can be themselves and like, it's just more harmonious is like, opens the door for more happiness. Like you can just cope with life better when you are accepting yourself. Yeah,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
well, I mean, it probably I have to assume being a voice actor makes you even use even more voices at the kitchen table, sing even more karaoke, add more songs to do upset? Yes, yes. It just opens that part of yourself. And it's such an important part.Amy Bermudez:
Absolutely.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I find your story really inspiring. And I think a lot of people, I don't think it should be overstated how courageous it is. Even if you get laid off because your company is closing their doors, like the vast majority of people, I think, would just quickly start applying for replacement jobs as opposed to like moving into something that felt more authentic. That took a lot of courage. And now who you are doing it, like figuring it out and asking for help and doing all the things so I think it's great, and I really appreciate you sharing that experience with all of us.Amy Bermudez:
Thank you so much.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
So how Okay, so people might want to I happen to know that a lot of people who are writing books right now are listening to this podcast, like I have a lot of book author people who who I know and whose for the podcast. Wow. Yeah. So is there how can people get to know you? How can they learn about you reach out to you if they have some voiceover work that they need or know someone who does?Amy Bermudez:
The best way would be my website, which is just Amy bermudez.com and the show notes Yeah, and my Instagram channel is where I'm the most socially active on social media. It's just Amy Bermudez underline voice actor. Okay. And yeah, I, those are the two places, you know, that I would recommend.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
And they can just reach out to you with an email or something like that if they have a lead on work. I think we should all see what we can do to send me some leads for work if we hear of anything because you do have a truly lovely voice.Amy Bermudez:
Thank you.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Thank you. And it sounds like you do some pretty great voices for character too. So thank you so much, Amy. I appreciate your time.Amy Bermudez:
Thank you, Amanda. Thanks for inviting me to do this. It really was so great to talk with you.