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Episode 261: Radio Imaging with Mandy Fisher

business tips Dec 06, 2023

Radio Imaging Class with Mandy 

About Mandy Fisher:

Mandy Fisher is a NYC-based full-time voiceover actor with over 15 years of experience in the industry. She has worked with brands like Crayola, Disney, Peloton, Coke, Walmart, and Kohls to name a few.

Her passion for voiceover and genuine love of helping people inspire her to work with actors of all stages of their career. 

With a theater background, she brings her training to guide copy analysis and character creation. As an industry vet of 15 years, she has witnessed the changes and understands the ebbs and flows of the business. 

Mandy created her own voiceover business from the ground up and has a successful and replicable model to help actors build their own successful businesses.

All of this adds up to a coach who can provide audition and career advice while helping actors become the best they can be!

The first thing is, what the hell is radio imaging?  

Radio imaging is when you are the voice of a radio station, not the DJ, but it's virtual branding for a radio station because they want people to when they turn on their dials to a specific radio station; they want that familiarity. 

They don't want it to be confusing. They want to have that brand recognition. And that is what is done through your voice.  

My next question is, how is one even hired for radio imaging? 

My first kind of foray into it was by accident. And I didn't realize I was doing radio imaging as I was doing it. I didn't realize that's what it was. I started this several years ago when I was a struggling voiceover actor trying to figure my stuff out.  

I was sending samples of my voice to different radio stations, like all over as many radio stations as I could look up and find on the internet. I would send them my voice and say, can I do anything for you on your radio station? 

Do you need anything? Is there anything I could do? And they would say, Oh yeah. And they would throw me a couple of lines, and that was radio imaging at the time; I had no idea that's what that was.  

But now you can still do that; by the way, you can still absolutely reach out to station managers and say, Hey, I like your radio station. 

I'm a big fan. I think I could fit in with your other radio imagers. 

So you can always absolutely reach out to a station manager, but I work with a specific manager, not an agent, a specific manager who handles my radio imaging career; that is definitely a way because he has all of these connections and has been in the business for a very long time. So, if you're really interested in forging a career in radio imaging, I would suggest trying to get a manager to do that because it's a close-knit group and tons of station managers know each other, and they've got this sort of radio world that they're in. 

It feels very different than other verticals of voiceover.  

So, if that's a passion, I would say try to get a radio imaging manager.  

So, let's actually talk about the difference between a manager for voiceovers and an agent for voiceovers.  

It's very similar to the theatrical world, where agents are in voiceover. You are almost expected to freelance with several agents in non-competing markets.  

I don't know of any full-time voice actors who only have one agent.  

And they're going to source auditions for you. They're going to help you in different verticals of voiceover, whichever kind of vertical you're interested in. 

A lot of people have a commercial voiceover agent. And if that agency doesn't have an interactive department, they'll find an agent who specializes in interactive or audiobooks or radio imaging or whatever, but a manager is someone who will really handle the career aspect of your voice-over world. 

So, very similar in theatrical where you have agents who source auditions for you and are less handholdy than, say, a manager who will craft some of the other things, help you with your pitches, help you with your demos, give you feedback, really be there to help you along your career. 

Interactive is all things animation, video games, toys and games, things outside of commercials, audiobooks, long-form, e-learning, or anything else. 

It is the umbrella of animation, video games, mobile, and that kind of world.  

First, is there anything you want to say more about radio imaging?  

Yeah, I would say, if you're interested in doing it, I wouldn't say it's necessarily hard to get into, but I would say if you don't have a lot of experience in voiceover, you should try to take like a promo class or a commercial class or improv class. 

Because you do need to provide a lot of variety, and usually it's short little lines that they're going to cut into what's happening on the air alongside the DJ and other people, other guests, whatever on the show and songs and what you're listening to.  

So they like to have a ton of variety. 

That variety is going to help you book with more stations because they don't want the plain, boring, or the overly kind of sticky sound that was of long ago and is no longer popular these days. 

But you wouldn't know if you didn't know that and taking classes like promo, commercial, and even radio imaging classes exist.  

Before you start pitching yourself in that area, try to get a bit more knowledge so that you are prepared and can start getting radio stations under your belt. 

I'm saying the same line over and over again, but it is in multiple different ways. 

So anything else regarding radio imaging besides the fact that we're going to have you now tell us about these VO gyms that you've been doing for acting business boot camp that people are just freaking loving that people can either attend and participate or they can audit. 

It's amazing for me. I love getting to work with actors. I love getting to, it's educational for me as well because I love seeing what people come up with because what I would do in copy is different than what someone else would do. So seeing that variety, getting that variety from everybody, is a gift to me. 

But it is so much fun. Working with actors who are just eager to work, being a part of an environment where it is safe and fun, supportive, hopefully, it's educational, and people are learning from me. It is a blast.

Auditing classes, I think, is so valuable, especially if you don't know the teacher. If you don't know them sometimes taking a class and working in a class with someone you don't know can be very intimidating. 

I understand how this person works and their sense of humor is how they are, and you can decide then, all right I feel comfortable working with them in the future, or maybe not. I got what I got from them, and I can move on. 

If you see an opportunity to audit, obviously, you should participate first, in my opinion, but if you don't know the teacher, it's a great vetting tool. It usually is for less than the actual price of the class.  

You're combining voiceover business skills and you're combining core work big. You're like one of my biggest fans on that one. So, can we talk about how amazing you are working with someone one on one building, teaching them how to build a six-figure voiceover career?

How do you do that?  

Building a six-figure voiceover business is not easy, and it's hard to sustain. And I've definitely had years where it hasn't been six figures. I've definitely had years where it has been that and plus and that's all great, but it's. 

For me to achieve that, it hasn't been about chasing the money, because if you're chasing the money, I think in any entertainment field, you're going to get burnt out. It's not a sustainable way. It's not a good way to look at your career from a holistic bird's eye point of view for the long term. 

Sure, money is achievable in the entertainment field, but if that's what you're doing, especially in voiceover, you'll get burnt out very quickly. You're probably going to get depressed very quickly, and all of the investments you've made to get to where you are right now will feel heavier and will make you feel heavier and it will be harder for you to climb out of that.  

So don't think about the money. Sometimes I get auditions that are like huge $50,000 for the job, $100,000 for the job. Of course, my heart quickens a little when I see jobs like that come through, but you have to treat every job the same way, the $250 jobs up to the $100,000 jobs, because it's not about getting the money.  

It is about being remembered by the casting directors and the people that you are working with. 

That's such a working actor mentality. 

It's about being remembered.

It is about making choices in your audition and having the opportunity to perform for somebody.

Anytime you have an opportunity to use your skills for somebody, you have this opportunity to showcase your abilities, that's a gift right there and giving that to them for them to remember you is that's your goal, baby.  

That is the goal, which is how you will build your business.  

Any other words of wisdom before we go, Mandy, that you would like to impart? 

Just know that voiceover is the long game. 

If you are in it for a career, look; if you're in it as a hobby, God bless. There's plenty of hobbyist work out there that you can go and pursue and not have. The mindset of it being part of your business.  

But if you're in it as a careerist, you need to think like a careerist. 

You need to treat it as a business, not just something fun to do but something sustaining you both creatively and financially as part of your career.  

Just remember, it's not about chasing that money. It's a long game, for sure.  


AI has been around for a long time and has only recently reared its ugly head in the entertainment industry, specifically towards voiceover. 

I haven't read the agreement yet, so it's hard to comment on everything.  

But I do think I've had many a client this year, big clients. I have quote unquote lost them to AI and they said, "Sorry, we're no longer going to utilize your services. We're going to go the route of AI. And Thank you very much."

Months later, this was actually like at the beginning of the year. 

And then they came back to me around June or July. And they said, "Hey, are you still available? Because we really don't like it. It's not for us. We tried it. It sounds okay, but we prefer working with a human being, and we prefer working with you."

So I've lost them, quote-unquote, and they have come back. 

I think it's going to be a mixture. 

It's just going to be a new learning curve of how we will work alongside it, not against it.