Narrator: Julia Knippen

Posted February 4, 2016 by Paul (Audiobook Reviewer) in Interview / 3 Comments

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How to Contact
Julia on Twitter
Julia’s Website

Voice Range: youthful, mid-range
Accents: Neutral/General American – Accents aren’t really my thing, unless they are character-driven in the context of dialogue. But I would be hesitant to accept an offer to narrate a book that would require a consistent accent throughout the entire book.
Genres: Fiction: Young Adult, Urban Fantasty, Horror, Literary Fiction
Fluent Languages: English
Awards: I was given the “Best Giggler Award” when I was in the 4th grade.

Bio:
I’m a professional voice actor living in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Chicago, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in high school and received my BA in Theatre from San Francisco State University. Upon graduating, I went on to not do any acting whatsoever for about fifteen years. I started studying voice acting seriously in 2010. At the end of 2014, I quit my day-job in digital advertising, and 2015 was my first year fully supporting myself through voice acting. Wheeee!

How on earth did you get into narrating audiobooks?
I decided to pursue audiobooks through ACX as part of my first-year business plan as a full-time VO. The audiobook work was a great anchor for me during my first year of self-employment. While it wasn’t lucrative by any means, it gave me long-term concrete projects to focus on when the other work was slow or non-existent. On days when I had no bookings or auditions, I always had the goal of finishing my daily chapters. Working on audiobooks taught me volumes about mic technique, vocal care, and editing.

What do you do when you are not narrating?:
When I’m not narrating in my booth, I’m running around Manhattan to auditions and bookings at the big-girl studios. Those are the jobs that pay the bills and give me the freedom to pursue audiobook projects. I also love running around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, walking my dog, playing the guitar, and enjoying good wine and food.

Many audiobook narrators do other voice over work, where else could we hear your work? Do you find there to any big hurdles to jump when going from audiobooks to something else or vise versa?:
If you go to about.audible.com, I’m the voice of the “How Audible Works” video. I do lots of corporate website narrations like that. My most recent TV commercials were for First Response Early Pregnancy Tests, Joss&Main.com, and NRG Home Solar. I was also the voice for StageStores.com 2014 holiday radio and TV campaigns.

Audiobook narration is very different from commercial VO. It’s less like voiceover work, and more like just “acting” work.

Do you have the luxury of picking and choosing the projects that you work on or do you take as many as you have time for?:
As an audiobook newbie, I get to choose which projects I audition for. I’m currently finishing up two separate series for Colleen Vanderlinden, which should keep me busy through the first half of this year. At this point, I’m not planning to audition for anything new. I’ll re-evaluate things when I finish up Colleen’s books.

For those of us that are unfamiliar with your work. How would you describe your narration style and voice? What would the one audiobook you would suggest for people to listen to your best work?:
I have a very soft-spoken, youthful read. I’ve done two Young Adult fiction books so far, and I really enjoy that genre. My voice also seems to lend itself well to horror and paranormal urban fantasy/romance. My favorite book so far has been Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis, a young adult/horror/fantasy mash-up.

Is your studio in your home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this? Do you have something that you would consider unique in your setup? What is it?:
Living in NYC, there isn’t room in my apartment for my booth (plus, you can hear/feel the subway when it runs by). So I rent a small space where I have my WhisperRoom and other recording equipment. I actually like have a place to “go to work” when I’m not recording somewhere in Manhattan.

How long do you record at a time, on average? What is it about a book that will shorten or lengthen this?:
I usually record for about 60-90 minutes. That usually produces 30-60 minutes of finished audio. Books with lots of dialogue or accents definitely slow me down. Generally, the more well-written a book is, the easier it is to narrate.

What is your favorite genre to narrate? Why?:
As long as it’s a good story, the genre doesn’t really matter to me.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring narrators?:
Before I got started, I was very intimidated by long-form narration. The scripts I usually tackle are usually 90 SECONDS, max. A solid recording and editing technique is essential and makes the process 100% less intimidating.

About Julia Knippen

Julia Knippen Voiceovers:: Voice Acting, Audio Production, Problem-Solver

About Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)

Paul is a quiet man who shares his passion of books through reviews assisting others select books through honest and professional reviews. Having built a team of professional reviewers, Audiobookreviewer (ABR) is the result of his passion of reading/listening of books. His family consists of a wife, 2 cats, and 2 African Grey parrots (https://www.facebook.com/tuckertheafricangrey). More frequently than not, you will see Paul plugged into the audio of his technology listening to books while riding his bike 100+ miles, tending to a huge fruit and vegetable garden, growing bonsai trees and operating his own largest online bonsai magazine (http://ofbonsai.org).

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