Teen shows unique talents with her voice


FOCUSED IN: Senior Libby Monahan rehearses her lines into the microphone. Monahan’s voice acting career is run under her father, who provides advice as a professional vocal artist and a physical recording studio in their house. PHOTO COURTESY OF Skylar Linscomb

Mia Folkers, Feature Editor

Entering the small recording studio, she quickly rehearses her lines. With every word, she makes sure to capture the appropriate tone perfectly into the microphone. Within just a few takes, she will create a whole new person with just her voice.
Senior Libby Monahan has been a professional voice actor since she was eight years old.
“When I was younger, my dad would let me just say random things into the microphone for fun,” Monahan said. “It is my dad’s full time occupation and seeing him do voice acting as I grew up made me want to do the same.”
According to Monahan, she has been successful with voice acting through the help of her father.
“My voice acting career is run under the wing of my dad’s business, he signs me up for auditions and such,” Monahan said. “I am not doing much voice acting work now, maybe a few times a month in a studio because of school and my part-time job.”
Along with setting up auditions, Monahan’s father Paul Martin says he supplies Monahan with all the equipment and tools needed for voice acting.
“I provide a physical recording studio made from my own walk-in closet in our home, and an example for Libby to follow as a professional vocal artist,” Martin said.
According to Monahan she is most frequently involved in narrations for commercials for her youthful vocal range.
“I can manipulate my voice to sound younger fairly easily because that is what I’m most often asked to do,” Monahan said. “My vocal range is pre-teen (masculine or feminine), to young adults.”
Throughout the years, Libby has gained experience in voice acting, and has been involved in a few known commercials.
“I have done quite a few commercials for obscure business’ all over the US,” Monahan said. “Some notable examples were a Toyota commercial in Auburn, Texas, a Lysol commercial, and a commercial that happened to air on Nickelodeon for an Online game.”
According to Martin, Monahan’s success in commercial voice acting has come a lot from her natural talent in the studio.
“She takes direction like a pro,” Martin said. “She understands proper mic technique and intuitively makes good choices in conveying the client’s message. She has range with the ability to play different ages and genders, which gives her many opportunities.”
Similar to Martin, recent graduate and close friend of Monahan, Chloe Bluemel, also believes that Monahan’s natural talent has made her successful and has placed her in very unique parts.
“I think it’s special the voices that she will bring out and create so easily,” Bluemel said. “Sometimes she’ll get the role to speak as a preteen boy, and because I don’t really hear her as that, it’s a little funny and unique for me to imagine.”
Even though Monahan has had successful years of experience, she believes she still has challenges that she consistently has to work with.
“I work a lot on pronunciations,” Monahan said. “I am having to do things over and over again and getting burnt out is very common. The pronunciations get better as time goes on but practicing the script beforehand is a lot of work.”
Although Monahan puts lots of time into her voice acting career, she makes sure to balance her time for other things in her life, according to Bluemel.
“She has allowed voice acting to be a part of her life but not consume it, so she still carries out school work and hobbies,” Bluemel said. “I believe Libby enjoys the work, but because she won’t be choosing voice acting as a full time job, it’s been more about given her different experiences to help her in the future with career situations.”
With graduation approaching, Monahan explained her plan to continue some voice acting along with her first years of college.
“Potentially I would like to be able to make a living off of this in college if I don’t have enough time for a regular nine to five type job,” Monahan said. “If I have the funds, I’ll set up a mini-recording area in a closet of some sort in a future home or apartment. I am mostly aiming to make some extra money for college or any future big expenses.”
Although voice acting is not seen as Monahan’s main career, Martin believes the experience of voice acting for Monahan was worth the time as it introduced many educational benefits.
“[Voice acting] teaches one how to take direction and to also self-direct, which is key in this business,” Martin said. “It also shows other work opportunities most don’t know about such as working in your pj’s and not having to deal with people face to face.”
Along with educational benefits, Monahan believes that voice acting has also created some positive social benefits within the family.
“It’s been an interesting experience working with a family member,” Monahan said. “Learning from someone I’m close to that has been fairly successful has been extremely helpful. It also has brought me and my dad closer because I have grown a great respect for his career and his patience.”
Through her voice acting career as a whole, Monahan explained some important concepts she wishes to take with her into any future she chooses to pursue.
“I want to take away the level to which people are influenced by different types and tones of advertisements as well as remembering my words have a true impact on other people,” Monahan said.