Northern California Voice Actor and Vocalist Shanin Sharmeon Jones learned about the power of her voice early on, though it took some time to parlay that power into making a living. Today, she is an Award-Winning Voice Actor, Session Vocalist and Performing Singer/Songwriter, with thousands of Commercials, Narrations, Jingles, Industrials, and other Voice Acting jobs to her credit.

From the start, music was a big part of her life. Growing up on Long Island, New York, she loved playing violin and viola in the school Orchestra, fashion, dance, playing sports, writing, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and entertaining friends with her songs and cartoon character voices.

Though she loved music and voice, the road was not a straight one. She went to work in the Beauty industry at age 14, and entered the Cosmetology program in High School. At 20, she left New York and moved to California with her High School sweetheart, then a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. After a stint with the Pacific Coast/New York Stock Exchange, she returned from a coffee break one day, and decided five years in the Corporate world was enough; she typed out her resignation, headed to Maui and camped on the beach for two weeks, pondering her life purpose. She decided to work in the Restaurant business while exploring her options. At San Francisco City College, she researched becoming a Chef or Marriage Counselor. The Universe had other plans.

One fateful night, she went to dinner with some musician friends who were forming a new band and looking for a singer. She smiled as she remembered that night, suddenly, impulsively saying, "I can sing!" A week later the bass player called to schedule an audition. He hired her on the spot. She immediately began performing, learned to play congas and percussion, started writing songs and honed her session chops recording with the band in their studio. While working at a fine dinner establishment, the in house jazz band discovered she was a singer, and invited her to sit in. After a crash course studying the great jazz singers, she started playing with the band regularly.

During weekly live radio broadcasts from the venue, she was a featured vocalist, and fate stepped in again; she got elected to write and voice the commercials. Over time, she developed her voice acting and copywriting skills, and other business owners began to seek her out after hearing her on the air.

In 1982, she moved to Sonoma County to continue studying music and dance, perform in bands, and work for PBS. Still copywriting and doing voice overs, her skills expanded to include film editing and hosting on-air pledge drives. The largest radio station in the area got ahold of her demo and hired her to write copy, voice commercials, sing jingles, do morning show comedy bits, and eventually host her own smooth jazz radio program. In 1987, she added the position of Studio Manager at The Banquet Sound Studios to her already full plate. More vocal and voice over session work naturally came her way at the studio, and today she has over 100 album credits.

The quality of her speaking voice is smooth and soothing. One is struck with the impression that this is a woman who has mastered her art. She seamlessly transitions from one voice and mood to another; pensive, happy, funny, serious, sincere, the 'hard sell'. "Voice acting is an art, much like singing," she says. "Using expression, emotion, range and dynamics, you convey your message, your 'story', to the listener. When I'm voicing commercials, I am representing, 'selling', my client and their services. When they also hire me to write their commercials, create jingles, and develop ad campaigns, I get to use my characters, creative ideas and musical skill." Her attention to detail is what makes her one of the most sought after copywriters and voice actors in the area. When a new client approaches her, she takes the time to learn about the Company. "Radio creates image through sound. It takes years to develop that skill. I begin by 'interviewing' my client at their place of business. I'll study brochures and websites, and pinpoint their target audience. This is how I glean my copy points." When it comes to voiceovers, she likes taking direction from her clients. "They know what they want it to sound like, and I want them to be satisfied with my work. I am representing their company to a very large audience." Though she makes it look easy, don't be fooled; her skill and professionalism stem from decades of experience and hard work. "I love my work in broadcasting. It's very gratifying helping people succeed, and their success is also mine; they hire me again and again, and we get to develop our relationship and grow their business together."

Some of her clients include Comcast Spotlight, AT&T, Better Business Bureau of San Francisco, Canon Cameras and Lenses, Safeway, Allied Bank, Sutter Hospitals, Lucky, Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Fire Dept. Credit Union, British European Motors, Northern California Toyota, Macy's, Lancome...and many, many more...

Commercials, Promotional Films, Tutorials, Industrials, Jingles, Books on Tape, Documentaries, Voice Mail Systems, Bumpers, Promos, Video Games...she can do it all. She has clients all over the San Francisco Bay Area and across the country, travels to various Northern California recording studios, and also records from her home studio, delivering mp3's via email, CD, or uploading to your FTP site with quick turnaround...SHE DELIVERS!

Jim Brumm
Author


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