Today is the launch of a new feature on the blog where I plan to spotlight artists from all different mediums: vocalists, actors, musicians, painters, etc, as well as authors. It’s called the Spotlight Series (original, huh? 🙂 ) and over the course of the next few months I intend to showcase creatives from all sorts of disciplines (and nope, I don’t have a set schedule for when I’ll post them–just like most of the blog’s entries, it’s pretty much gonna be a random event). Yay, random!
And now, on to the inaugural Spotlight…
The first artist in the Spotlight Series is someone I’ve had the good fortune to work with: voiceover artist, actor, and vocalist Kristi Alsip. She recently narrated the Leine Basso thriller, BAD TRAFFICK, and totally nailed the main character’s voice (see sample below). Leine Basso is a former assassin and I wanted her voice to be strong and confident, but not to come off as a hard-ass. Plus, the narrator needed to be able to do several accents (Russian, British, male, female, etc.) and Kristi was definitely up for the job. I was delighted to find out that in addition to doing voiceover work Kristi fronts two bands and acts in and directs a mystery theater company. I love acoustic rock, blues, and soul (her band, Crawford’s Daughter covers several of my favorites) and I would probably be at most if not all of her gigs if I lived near Chicago. Here’s her bio:
Kristi Alsip is a vocalist, actor, and voiceover artist from the Chicagoland area. Kristi earned her B.A. in theatre and human services from Millikin University and spent several years on the Chicago theatre scene. Most of her creative energy the last 15 years has been spent fronting bands, although she still makes time to act and direct in the murder mystery company, The Mystery Shop. She formed her own rock/blues/soul band, Crawford’s Daughter (the name derived from a random line in the film ‘Mommie Dearest,’) and is also a lead vocalist for the group Moonlight Cocktail which covers disco, Motown, and current tunes from artists such as Bruno Mars and Adele.
Kristi spent several years doing commercial voiceover work and was amused to find herself frequently getting sent up for the “Peri Gilpin type” (Roz from ‘Frasier.’) She has been heard in regional and national radio spots for Walgreens, Killian’s Irish Red, The Plane Dealer, Scrubbing Bubbles, and McDonalds. Just last year, Kristi began to branch out into audiobook narration and has lent her voice to several publications. Until now, most of her credits are of the memoir and self-help genres. Kristi recently completed work on her first book of fiction, the mystery thriller Bad Traffick (Leine Basso series) by DV Berkom and had an absolute blast!
Kristi currently resides in the Chicagoland area and is blissfully fortunate to share her time with the love of her life, Frank, and her two ridiculous Wheaten Terriers, Draven and Angel.
D: When did you first realize you wanted to be an actor/singer?
K: I was always a movie buff even as a little kid, although I didn’t get into typical ‘kid’ movies. I loved horror films and anything with Jack Nicholson. At about 7 or 8, I really got into singing and gravitated towards soul, rock, and blues. (I had a Shawn Cassidy record player with attached microphone and wore the hell out of it!) At the time, I especially loved Diana Ross, Olivia Newton-John, and Barbara Streisand. In an attempt to look like them, I begged my mother to let me get a home perm. Unfortunately, I ended up looking like Roseanne Roseannadanna on SNL. Super glamorous.
D: What prompted you to get into voiceover work?
K: About 14 years ago, I was doing a play in Chicago and the director was also working as a voiceover agent. She took me to dinner one night and asked if she could represent me. I recorded a commercial demo, began auditioning, and learned as I went along. Last year, I branched out into narrating audiobooks.
D: What’s your favorite part of working in a creative field? Least favorite?
K: I would have to say my favorite part of working in a creative field is having the opportunity to take all the experiences you gather and emotions you have as a human being and do something productive with them. Growing up, I was a little shy, so getting to get out there now to express myself is both challenging and rewarding. My least favorite part would be the auditioning process.
D: Where do you see yourself in five years?
K: Working/recording from home, continuing with commercial and audiobook work as well as booking more gigs with my band Crawford’s Daughter. My next goal is to get back into acting and branch out into film. I’m in the beginning stages of collaborating on a screenplay, so we’ll see what transpires.
D: What would you like readers of this blog to know about you?
K: I have an INCREDIBLY fantastic support system of family and friends that are always there at shows and gigs and ready to purchase audiobooks the minute they go on sale…which I think is pretty great considering I’m the only one in my entire family tree that sings or acts or is in any kind of creative field. I always joke that I’m the apple that fell off the family tree into another yard. 🙂
D: Thanks for being here today, Kristi! Good luck with everything, especially the screenplay 🙂 Here’s a sample from Kristi’s work on Bad Traffick:
***Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a free download code for Bad Traffick from Audible!
<><><>If you know someone who you think deserves to be highlighted (even if it’s your fine self), I’ll be accepting suggestions for the Spotlight Series through the end of June. Just email me at dvberkom8[at]gmail(dot)com with information about the artist (whether it’s you or someone you know). It’s at no charge to the artist and will give them some exposure they might not get otherwise, and I get to meet interesting people and have cool stuff on the blog. Total win-win!<><><>