Welcome to the Spotlight series! Each month, we’ll help you get to know some of our incredible talent. For the first edition, we are excited to sit down with Rivka Rothstein, who has a multitude of insights to share.
Rivka aims to make a positive impact with every interaction. She feels lucky to be a part of the “gift that is the voice over industry,” and her journey into the world of voice acting began with dubbing work while she was living in Berlin, Germany. Her performance training began much earlier, however. She earned her BFA in acting and originally moved to Berlin to pursue performance art.
During her four years in Berlin, she worked with well-known brands like Mercedes-Benz and Google. Her unique perspective as someone who has spent time living abroad has allowed her to continue relationships with global brands and to speak to American audiences from the European perspective — a tool that sets her apart from the pack.
She’s originally from Colorado, and resides there now, where she enjoys spending time with her family, and soaking up the beautiful mountains.
Rivka offers commentary on the challenges of the industry, how her background impacts her work today, and more in the following Q&A.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge about this industry and what is your favorite thing about it?
A big challenge is the volatility — you never know where your next paycheck is going to come from. I think everyone at some point in time will tell you that there are ups and downs, and it can be really challenging to roll with the punches.
The most fulfilling thing certainly is that it’s empowering. It’s empowering to find your own work, create your own life, and build your own business; and it’s freeing, too. There’s so much flexibility, and because I’m lucky to have a high-level of self-motivation, it works for me. I also think there is an abundance of work — there is enough for everybody, so we are all rooting for each other in a lot of cases, which is amazing.
How has your experience as a musician impacted how you think about voice over?
I’ve always been a singer, but never wanted to pursue that route professionally. Singing led me into theater, so it influenced that step in my past. It gave me a foundation of training as an actor, which has been instrumental for voice over work. Also, there’s a musicality to this work that hits the subconscious. The way that you sing a song and the way that you say some words — there’s a tonality and intonation that can have a “sing-song” aspect which communicates things on a subliminal level. Having sung my whole life and been really affected by music, I think that very much plays a role in how I do voice work!
Do you have a favorite place you’ve been or a dream travel destination?
I love Berlin, it’s a freaking awesome place! But having had so much time there, I don’t feel like I need to go back — I would love to go on a three month backpacking trip through South America or Costa Rica. Costa Rica is high up there for me as far as a dream destination.
What motivates you? Have your motivations changed over time?
Absolutely, it’s changed over time. I’ve always had pretty strong self internal motivation. As a child, I was a people pleaser. I wanted affirmation, I wanted my parents to tell me “great job!”, I wanted to get good grades. I was very goal-oriented — and it wasn’t necessarily that I needed outside affirmation for my worth, but I definitely wanted to please others. I had some experiences in Berlin which toppled the whole structure that I had built in my head — and then my motivating factor shifted to health, not just physical health but mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Self-development and growth are huge motivating factors for me. I determined what I need to succeed at least during this phase of life: stability, safety, and support. Identifying what I’m good at and utilizing that became a motivating factor. I finally realized, “my voice is an asset, so why don’t I put it to use?”
Another thing that is fulfilling about being an entrepreneur is having the ability to keep building. Having the mindset of: “Cool, so if this happened, I wonder if this even bigger goal could happen. If I made this amount, I wonder if I could make that amount.”
The curiosity of what’s out there, I’ve found, builds on ambition. They work together, but for me, curiosity carries me more than ambition. I would say my main motivator now is giving a quality experience — whatever that might be. I want what I put out there to be excellent. I don’t want to settle for mediocrity.
What are you most proud of in your journey as a voice over artist?
I think the thing I’m most proud of is my growth — who I am and the process of knowing myself, which is always continuing. I don’t think there’s anything specific to achieve, rather it’s the continuous desire to try to be a quality human being. I’ve also learned that If I’m doing something that is detrimental to me, or is unhelpful in some way and wears me down, it’s not worth it. If I’m not centered, then I’m not putting forth the quality that I know I’m capable of.
What is your favorite part about being on team CSM?
I think Celia is captaining a great ship. She is just such a good presence and she brings good people in – both onto her team, and onto her roster. She’s driven by what I see as really great reasons — she wants to be a cheerleader, she wants to empower people, and she wants to support people all while building a thriving business! So being a part of that and having CSM as my support team is awesome. I so appreciate and value having them to help guide and mentor me as I pursue this career!
What’s in Your Booth: 3 Things Rivka Rothstein Can’t Live Without
- Sticky notes: for very sophisticated organization!
- Frogg Togg: it’s a towel that you wet and then it stays wet for a very long time… you just drape it over your skin and it cools you off. So in the summertime, in a house without A/C, and in the booth, that’s essential!
- Beverage: currently it’s infused water, I just infuse it with a tea bag!