Voice Range: alto
Genres: of course
Fluent Languages: Ingles
Awards: Audible Best New Audiobook Talent, 2 Audiofile Earphones Awards, 3 Joseph Jefferson Awards, 1 LA Ovation Award
Kelley Hazen is an actress, blogger and audiobook narrator living in Los Angeles with her husband and their two awesome dogs. The Los Angeles Times describes Kelley’s work – "…listen to Kelley Hazen, so poised and well spoken, so in command of this room full of strangers you wonder why she isn't off winning Oscars…." Kelley received recognition from Audible.com as ‘Best New Audiobook Talent’. She twice received the Audiofile Magazine ‘Earphones Award’ for her narration.
She holds an MFA from The Asolo Conservatory for Professional Actor Training. Kelley is a lecturer in astronomy for the world-renowned Griffith Observatory.
She was recently invited to participate in “A Celebration of Mark Twain” as part of the annual HEAR NOW Festival in her hometown of Kansas City, MO.
Kelley owns and operates Storyteller Productions, an intimate, boutique, recording studio carved into a San Gabriel Mountain hillside.
How on earth did you get into narrating audiobooks?
Kismet. I always wanted to do it. We had a state of the art recording studio in our house. We had a vintage tube mic that made my voice butter. We did it. It was easy.
What do you do when you are not narrating?:
Garden. Walk dogs. Wax philosophic.
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?:
Google me, Bitch!
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?:
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?:
Electric butter. Listen to EMILY'S STORIES.
What do you see as your greatest achievement as an audiobook narrator? What has been your most difficult moment?:
One of my authors now writes thinking about how it will sound. I can't think of a greater compliment.
If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?:
If everyone came with warning labels, what would yours say?:
Dont'. Push. Me. Cuz. I'm. Close. To The Edge…
If you were to create a narrating playlist, what artists and songs would be on it?
Phoenix, Chainsmokers, Mahler.
You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people (real or fictional). Who would you choose and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio because he's cool and he's trying to make a difference. Tom Hardy because he's cool and those lips… come on! James Dean cuz he was really misunderstood and he was a good kisser. And Catherine Deneuve because she is a really good kisser.
What is the first book you remember reading on your own? What do you remember most about the experience?:
'The Velvet Room' I was transported. The power of my imagination. I could go anywhere.
You have to run an obstacle course. Who do you invite along (living or dead, real or fictional)? Will there be a tasty libation involved?:
The Mario Brothers.
Do you ever get specific notes or ideas from the writer about how something should be read? What is a helpful note, and what is, shall we say, less helpful?:
Before we start recording I want everything the writer wants me to know. Writers haven't always thought about what that voice in their heads sounds like.
Do you have an initial process or routine by which you get to know the book you’re going to be reading? Do you mark them up, for example?:
I read them. I mark them. Actually sometimes that surprises authors. They want to send a pdf and I need a word doc or a pages doc.
How do you flesh out how a specific character will sound?:
I just hear it.
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?:
My studio is in my guesthouse. I hook up my dogs and go to work. Our audio chain is really efficient – good voice in/good voice out. It's really clean. The noise floor is really low. We use a vintage Soundelux E 49 tube mic. It's the shit.
What is the atmosphere like in your studio when you record. What’s it like, and are things very serious or not very serious?:
It's super cool. Me and the dogs. I'm in a big cozy chair. I'm in a 'time out.'
How long do you record at a time, on average? What is it about a book that will shorten or lengthen this?:
2 hours or when the dogs wanna be fed.
What is your favorite genre to narrate? Why?:
Mystery, magic, thriller.
What has been your favorite character? What character has given you the most grief?:
Emily from EMILY'S STORIES was the first book that made us understand the magic we could bring. We matched the magic of the story.
Peyton Brooks, SFPD and as of late FBI – cuz she's black and she's proud. Some aliens were a challenge.
How do you stop yourself from laughing or crying at some of the things authors write?:
I have heard that many in the industry dislike the term narrator. What do you prefer and why?:
It's fine with me.
Although I think the problem is with listener expectations. Some listeners expect the narrator to just read. Very little differentiation between characters. OMG I have been ripped for some of my narrations. But some listeners want a performance almost like a radio show. So should it be performed by or should it be read by? I just read it. It comes out, likes it comes out.
How do you view audiobook narration/production: Art or Science?:
Sun and Water
Do you have a philosophy of how to create the perfect audiobook experience?:
The Story's The Thing.
Do you have a preference for reading fiction or nonfiction for pleasure? And is what you read for pleasure what you’d prefer to read for audiobooks?:
I read a lot. I read everything. More than you could believe.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring narrators?:
What has been your favorite project and why?:
The next project is always my favorite. I have a small group of authors I work with and I love every single one of them. They are artists trying to be heard and if I can help them do that, than hooyah!
Do you believe that listening to an audiobook should be considered reading? Why or why not?:
Reading is not listening. Hearing rules!
Are you working on any special projects?:
Have you ever gotten a poor review on your narration? What do you do with such reviews?:
I take it out on my husband.
This is for the question you wish I would have asked but didn’t.:
Soylent green is people.
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