Have you ever heard of a family that sings together and has a voice over business? In episode 3 of the La Pizarra podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing bilingual vocalist and voice over artist Rosi Amador from the Latin music group Sol y Canto, and Amador Bilingual Voice Overs.
Rosi and her husband Brian formed the group in 1994, and their mission is to celebrate their Latin roots through playful, poetic and honest songs. They have always been part of social change movements and they are passionate about using their voices for special causes, like the concert they did recently to raise funds for Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria and more recently a series of earthquakes that have hit the island. Rosi herself was born and raised in Puerto Rico and many of her close friends live there.
Having their children on stage with them has been a blessing, they first sang with their parents when they were four years old and later, they were also featured in one of their records which featured bilingual music for children.
The Amadors took their children on tour with them for a few years until it became harder to accomplish because of their school education, their daughter Alyssa remained interested in music, while their son veered to other interests.
Alyssa is a very talented singer who started writing songs at fifteen and she is now making a name for herself, though she is happy to be part of Sol y Canto, Rosi feels she will soon take off on her own. You can hear their beautiful harmonies here .
A completely bilingual family
Rosi and Brian made sure their children grew up speaking both languages, just like they did. Singing in Spanish was a fun way for the children to absorb their Hispanic heritage and learn the language, as well as Spanish lessons at home with a group of children from other Hispanic families that Rosi organized.
Rosi’s mother was from Puerto Rico but grew up in New York, her father was from Argentina and didn’t speak any English so Spanish was the main language at home, though later on her mother started to speak more in English to Rosi and her sister and they also went to an American school which would prepare them for college and a life in the US.
Rosi is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and later moved to Boston. Brian was born and raised in New Mexico with an American father and Mexican mother, they met through a cultural exchange which sent them to South America to perform Latin music and soon after they became a couple and upon their return to the US, they formed their first group which started performing at churches, community centers and universities.
Rosi and Brian started doing voice over work at the request of people who knew their music, like a fan of theirs that started an education method using CDs to teach Spanish with lessons that included music, Rosi was the narrator and she also recorded the songs. That job led to more voice over work for her and Brian, who was also asked to translate songs into Spanish for the Scholastic programs.
Touring was still very much part of their lives for 27 years and their main source of income, but Rosi wanted to stay close to her teenage children who at the time were not touring with their parents anymore. They would perform 180 shows a year and it was starting to take a toll, they decided to reduce the number of performances and make use of their home studio for voice over as well as music.
A welcoming community of Voice Over artists
Rosi wanted to find out everything she could about voice over work, so she stared looking for webinars and going to industry related conferences where she found a warm welcome.
It’s no secret that the voice over community is a very generous one, in that there are so many genres that voice actors are not threatened by competition, instead, they are open to giving and receiving peer advice on everything from the best coaches to marketing and business tips.
Rosi quickly felt at home in the community and the more she learned about it and trained with great coaches, the more she loved to work in the voice over business.
She organized a mastermind group of voice actors, which is still meeting today with different levels of expertise , so she could learn from them and also offer advice from her experience as a talent manager and a singer who was used to promoting her work and the work of others. A second group meets once a week, where they exchange tips and updates about the business, and she has become good friends with all of them.
Rosi recommends taking time to find the right coach, in her experience, she had worked with a few different people until she found a coach with a teaching style that helped to bring out the best in her, in terms of tone and emotions. It’s important to have continued training to sharpen your skills as a voice actor.
Her favorite genre is children’s audio books, she has narrated many of them and won several awards from The American Library Association. The latest audiobook is called “Mango, Abuela y yo” a beautiful story where Rosi played the grandmother and the mother, Alyssa played the young daughter and Brian played the father, it was recognized as the Best Book of the Year.
Rosi also enjoys using her voice for social causes that are close to her heart, like public service announcements, protecting the rights of immigrants and anything that celebrates and informs the Latin culture.
She looks forward to remote sessions for TV and radio commercials where she’s eager to take direction and get instant feedback on her performance.
Museum audio tours are another favorite genre, having recorded several of them including one for the Smithsonian Institute.
Rosy has a very positive attitude towards life, even with the demands of working as a freelancer. In addition to her peer groups Rosi has established a schedule that allows her to also have time for herself and keep the balance between her work and her personal life ,which includes Yoga and working out at the gym three or four times a week. For Rosi expressing gratitude is a priority, she keeps a journal in which she writes the things she’s thankful for every day, even on the days when things don’t go according to plan.
She has also outsourced certain aspects of the business, which has freed up time that she can spend with her family and friends and also to work on creative projects.
Rosi won an award for Outstanding Commercial Demo at the Voice arts Awards in 2018.
Nicky Mondellini is the host of the La PIzarra podcast, she is a bilingual actress and voice over talent with more than thirty years of experience in television, film and theater. To request a quote and listen to her demos visit http://www.nickymondelini.com
You can listen to the whole interview in Spanish in Episode 3 of the La Pizarra podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play.