Interview with Jonathan Tilley

It’s been quite some time since I’ve published an interview, but Jonathan Tilley has recently published an eBook called Voice Over Garden which presented an opportunity to take part in a blog tour Jonathan is doing, which in turn brings us to this interview. Enjoy.

Voice Over Garden

Q: How did you come up with the title “Voice Over Garden”?
Jonathan: The title of “Voice Over Garden” came to me while I was cooking dinner. I was brainstorming ideas of what to call the book while chopping veggies. The title needed to be something organic and natural, that was very clear to me right from the start. Just like how I naturally fell into voice acting work or how you need to feel relaxed and organic behind the mic. I wanted that naturalness of the creative process to be clear to the reader, making them feel a part of the action instead of reading about someone else’s journey and feeling excluded. So I guess I just looked down at the chopping board and it hit me. A garden! There’s nothing more organic and natural than a garden and how well that paralleled the creative process of getting into voice-over work and making a living behind the mic.

Q: Where did your inspiration for “Voice Over Garden” come from?
Jonathan: My students I was coaching at the time. I was sick and tired of repeating myself over and over with different students. So I decided to create learning modules jam packed with info and a bit of homework for them to work on between coaching sessions. They would come in to their next coaching session and be so much more productive. I was really impressed! Then at the end of the hour they would ask when the next chapter was coming out for them to sink their teeth into. I laughed and said, “They’re learning modules, not chapters.” And they would reply, “Yeah, but it reads like a book.”
I looked back through the “learning modules” and lo and behold I was writing a book without even knowing it! So I just kept on going with it. And what you have now is the finished version of my perspective on voice-over in this day and age of online globalization and how to tap into it.

Q: How have people who have read “Voice Over Garden” reacted to it so far?
Jonathan: When the book first launched I sent it out to lots of well known people in the industry to get reviews and feedback. A daunting process to say the least. But the reaction back has been wonderful. The support from everyone has been truly spectacular and the reviews have been positive. I was especially nervous when Paul Strikwerda wrote me to say he reviewed the book in his blog nethervoice and that I could read it the next day when it would be posted on his blog, but not before. Paul tells it like it is, direct and from the hip. So I was a bit nervous for the rest of the day. But when it came out I clicked on the review and was pleasantly surprised when he wrote to say that Voice Over Garden “is quite brilliant.”

Q: What are your goals for 2013?
Jonathan: 2012 was a huge year for me. I wrote “Voice Over Garden”, I moved out of my home office and into a new studio space, I did a lot of growing up. 2013 is all about giving back. I want to give back more to the VO community and also in my private life. I want to continue growing as a voice actor of course and keep on working on a global scale but this year I want to go for longer walks with my dog Dexter, I want to cook for friends, I want to experience a bit more life which in turn I can integrate back into my voice-over career.

Q: Explain to our readers why they should read “Voice Over Garden”.
Jonathan: No matter if you are just starting out in VO or are already established in the scene, “Voice Over Garden” goes beyond the basics of demos and Pay2Play sites. It’s the behind the scenes look at how I run my business as a voice-over artist done in a fun and informative way. It’s my take on how to establish positive business relationships with clients, studios, and agents and how to manage your business while keeping things creative and upbeat. Something that is rarely talked about but is crucial to success in this industry.

Q: What is the one thing you want readers to get from your book?
Jonathan: In all honesty and without sounding tacky, that they can build a business around the voices in their heads.

Q: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring VO actors?
Jonathan: Every single new student I have is a little petrified and insecure about wanting to do VO. Yet they have this strong yearning to do it. Something in them is moving them forward in this direction. I always say listen to that calling. Everyone, even the A-listers, had their very first day of VO. Get over it. We all have to start somewhere so start now. Follow that calling. Follow your heart.

Q: If you had to choose what’s your favorite part of the book?
Jonathan: Definitely Part 4, Radical Revenue. It’s all about money management and how to find financial freedom as a self-employed creative being. It was the most fun to write actually. Sharing the tips and tricks on how to save money and invest in your business made me feel so good to put on paper. I only want the best for everyone and sharing this information on how to truly create abundance was a joy.

Q: If you could choose one learning nugget that you’d like someone to take away with them after reading, what would it be?
Jonathan: That they are truly individual and there is no voice out there that is like theirs. That you can do things with your voice like persuade, seduce, or cajole someone. And once you tap into the power of your voice the sky is the limit.

Q: So how do we find “Voice Over Garden”?
Jonathan: Go to to download the ebook and along with it you get the free bonus of the Voice Over Garden Workbook and mp3s of breathing and speech exercises. You can download the book as a PDF to be read on your computer, as a MOBI to be read on Kindle, or EPUB to be read on all other eReaders.

Q: What would you want our readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
Jonathan: Ha ha! Ummm how about this… I wake up at 6am in the morning and am in bed by 9pm at night. My bio-rhythm is that of a 93 year old grandpa. Or that I’ve been on the look out for an underwater basket weaving course. People think I’m crazy but it’s true. How cool would it be do make a basket while scuba diving?!

Q: What is the best and worst advice you ever received?
Jonathan: I had a tough acting teacher in college. While in the midst of a scene I was not really paying attention. I was just dazed out I guess. So he reached into his pocket, pulled out a dime, threw it at me and yelled in front of the whole acting class “Go call your mother and tell her you’ll never be an actor”. And for my whole freshmen year I was named “Dime Boy”.

I guess it was simultaneously the best and worst advice I ever got. Worst because you couldn’t possibly be more humiliated in front of your class mates. And best advice because he was the best damn acting teacher I ever had. He whipped me into what I am today. Whenever I go back to visit we always have a laugh about it and I’m so grateful that he woke me up and taught me how to stay present in the moment.

Thank you, Jonathan. I very much enjoyed this interview.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Interview With Jonathan Tilley – Bob Souer […]

    Pingback by 9 Top Voiceover Blog Posts This Week - Jan. 6 | Derek Chappell's Voiceover Blog — January 6, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

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