voice actresses

New faces, new people, new stories — this is New Voices.

Here you'll find in-depth interviews and insightful exploratories with new voice actors who nourish the industry. We explore pasts and celebrate presences as we continue creating opportunities for the industry’s future. For this edition of New Voices, we're chatting with Nicky Sunshine from 🇺🇸 on joining the ranks of professional voice actresses.

Tell us, what got you interested in joining the ranks of professional voice actresses? 

I’ve been a stage performer and stand up comedian since the early 2000s. Voice acting was a natural extension of performing arts for me. When I was getting started, I had to learn to tone down my projection because I’m a naturally loud speaker. In noisy comedy clubs, as a host and comedian, I would be booming on the mic. Recording commercial voiceovers meant learning mic techniques and talking to 1 person, grasping the concept of being conversational. So I really had to adjust.

Stand up comedy is about connecting with the audience, similarly with voiceover work. Being confident with characterizing different voices and a variety of people is something I learned in my storytelling while doing stand up. It’s been helpful for when I record voiceovers for animation jobs and audiobooks.

Why did you choose to become a voice actress?

I love working on multiple projects at once but sometimes scatter my energies. So I was always doing some voiceovers, but I wasn’t as focused. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed me into investing in a professional home studio. Before the pandemic, I was visiting various studios in the city, multiple times a week. COVID-19 made it clear: have the right equipment, or else you can’t be heard or be competitive. 

“The time had come.” 

My friend found a custom booth online and my husband and I decided to purchase it, buy a good ventilation system and hire professionals to assemble it. That has been the best decision for my career.

In what areas would you like to improve as a voice actress and why?

I’d like to improve in longer explainer videos, audiobooks and retail copy. Long-form corporate narration requires a steady technique, and I tend to over enunciate words. I plan on studying Carrie Olsen’s technique and taking a few of her workshops. I also have to improve my direct marketing and marketing plans- I have resources, but I need to review them.


What makes you nervous about becoming a voice actress?

I’m discouraged every day. When I compare my interest and understanding of technical aspects of recording and voice over, it’s true – I don’t know as much as others in the voiceover industry.

I give myself a pep talk and say, “one thing at a time, one day at a time.”

There’s a learning curve and I realize I have to be gentle and encouraging with myself. I took two workshops to learn the DAW (digital audio workstation) Reaper. It’s still “greek to me.” 

So I said to myself, “just learn a different DAW for now.” 

I had issues with port forwarding for Source Connect. My cable provider made it a nightmare. Two days and they couldn’t help me, so I turned to my online VO community, Voice Actors of NYC (VANYC). If you don’t know something, just ask. 

Fellow voiceover talent and tech folks were more than willing to help me.

What's been a very memorable lesson you've learned in 2020?

It’s really important to keep track of what and who you are auditioning for. Account for how many auditions you submit for. A fellow actor explained that

“out of 200 auditions, he booked 5.”

This helped me understand that this is a numbers game.

What do you want to learn this year?

  1. I’d like to be more familiar with how different genres of voice-overs “sound”. Auto ads have a “sound.” Most retail ads have a certain style.
  2. I also want to explore animation and push my voice to become more versatile. 
  3. I also want to advance to higher, easier levels of editing with a better DAW.

Are there other professional voice actresses who inspire you, why?

Carin Gilfry, the founder of Voice Actors of NYC, inspires me. She inspires me to keep learning and connecting with other professionals. 

“The more you learn, the more you earn.”

She has multiple national commercials running, and I’d love to have that too. Carin inspires me to share information and keep helping fellow voiceover actors. We can all share, be helpful and win, too. Carin is so willing to share information; she’s not competitive or selfish with resources. She really is the “Fairy Godmother of NYC VO Actors.”

Special thanks to Nicky for sharing her thoughts on joining the ranks of professional voice actresses. 

Check out Nicky's profile here! And listen to her most recent voice acting work:

Check out our new section with tips and advice as we bring you Ask the pros


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