Augsburg College in Minneapolis - Theater Arts
Do you ever listen to the voice on an ad campaign and wonder about the person behind it? Meet Linnea Mohn, a voice actor for commercials, light industrials and website media. It wouldn’t be surprising if Linnea’s voice sounds familiar to you; she’s done work for companies and products like Saturn, Visa, HP, M&Ms, Propel and Revlon.
And if you haven’t heard her there, then maybe you’ve enjoyed her vocal abilities through her other gig as a bass player and singer for the band “Rogue Valley.” The Twin Cities-based band, which was described by one reviewer as “brainy folk pop,” recently completed its insanely ambitious task of releasing four full-length albums in one year.
So, read up: This time, the vocal specialist is sharing her talent and experience in writing.
Figure out the best way to take care of -- and be true to -- what you need.
How did you discover your current job?
I was working for an ad agency/digital marketing firm and they would pull me in to do demo voiceovers. A producer and good friend suggested I make a reel and actually pursue voiceovers as my career. I've had many wonderful Web designers, sound engineers and other actors help me along the way.
What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?
I typically get called in to do an audition or I book a job and travel to the studio the client decides to book for the session. Sometimes I'll never see the client and only talk to them over the phone -- technology!
With music, a typical day is just to make a point of rehearsing.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to really connect with the direction the client gives and deliver exactly what they are looking for while maintaining my own true sound. It’s being able to have all of those elements and feel like I did my best work.
The most challenging part of my job is actually the downtime. I'm a world-class procrastinator. I'm lucky to have the freedom, and I'm working on focusing my energy.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
Travel and postponing grad school for now. I have to be flexible to be present for whatever presents itself.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
Always be kind, enthusiastic and listen. Without the patience to really understand how to collaborate I would have a very difficult time being able to do my job.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
Understanding strengths and being gracious when you face competition. Because it is an audition-based industry you will not land every job you might personally think you're right for.
As far as playing in a band goes, you have to learn to navigate in a still largely male-dominated arena. It isn't difficult when you are all there to play music and connect with an audience, but it can seem like a foreign land once in awhile.
Who are your role models?
Cate Blanchett. She has figured out how to really integrate her entire life into her passion for performing and teaching. She seems to really influence and dictate the trajectory of her career.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Be patient. Figure out the best way to take care of -- and be true to -- what you need. Get out of your own way. Be grateful.
What advice do you have for women who want to be in your industry?
Think about and ask other people what they think of when they hear your voice. I tend to book jobs for training modules, presentations, water, makeup, cars and cereal. Do some research so that you can make a really solid demo reel -- a minute-and-a-half of examples of your speaking voice, cut together and edited to music. And own your own url by buying "yourname".com.
If you want to play music, just play music. Every day. Practice and write stream of consciousness. And listen to everything you can!
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Doing bigger national campaigns. Touring with my band nationally and internationally. Trying out my chops on improv stages. Writing (not sure what that will be yet). I have a feeling I'll be a mama somewhere in the mix.
What are three things you love aside from your job?
I have four: Having the dessert tray described to me in great detail after a wonderful meal. Being active: long biking, learning to play tennis, playing frisbee. Having scary stories read out loud to me. Reading about nutrition and health as it applies to chronic conditions.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I believe that wellness and serenity lie in work. It's just a matter of really grounding down, getting in touch and letting yourself find the work that will make that possible for you. Be good to yourselves!
-Interview by Keriann Strickland