Natasha Marchewka is only human, however she’s anything but ordinary.
Natasha got her start studying Radio and Television Arts at University. She began working in radio in Toronto, and when she became a mom, decided to pursue voice over and build her own business. She started her business at home in Ottawa, Canada when her first child was six months old. As she moved from Canada to the Caribbean, and eventually settled in California, she continued to grow her business as she raised her two children.
Natasha shares her perspective on how the industry has changed, how she builds her reputation as a thought leader in the voiceover world, and more in the following Q&A.
Being “only human” is a key aspect of your brand. How do you leverage this quality to create a distinct voice over experience for your clients?
It actually gives me real freedom — I can release the pressure to be “perfect.” You of course need to be excellent — and I take pride in that — but, acknowledging that we are all only human allows you to breathe into every client situation. Everyone makes mistakes, you don’t have to be flawless all the time — it’s great when you are, don’t get me wrong — but there’s a shared acceptance and grace that comes with the recognition of our imperfections.
Now more than ever, I think celebrating our one-of-a-kind qualities is of the utmost importance in the face of AI. I’ve let go of worrying about AI, because a synthetic voice just isn’t able to match what our human voices can convey in terms of experience and emotion. I love my brand, and it keeps evolving with me because it’s a message I really believe in.
What’s interesting about V123 Pros is that it really did not begin as some big master plan, it all happened very naturally. Around 2018, a lot of people in the industry were complaining about the Voice123 platform and struggling to find success there. I had found ways to do really well using the platform and adapting to the changes as it evolved. I think I have always been good at evolving with technology — it’s something that I’ve found to be integral to the voiceover business. You have to understand the latest tech. Like anything else, it is an ever changing business and if you don’t grow along with it, you will really struggle. When I started my business back in 2006, you could get in contact with 10 new clients using the subject line “female voiceover talent,” and there was a high chance you would have three new clients by dinner time. That’s not how the world works now. It’s a great thing — the market has shifted so much and there are so many great opportunities — but you’re not a unique commodity anymore. So, for me it’s important to constantly shift and find new ways to add value to my business. Katherine Tole was on a webinar I led, and she emailed me the next day and offered to partner with me.
We started training people in one-on-one meetings, and eventually developed a course. Now two and a half years later, it’s been successful beyond our imaginings. It’s a great distinction to be considered a thought-leader in the industry.
Then my podcast, Speechless, goes along with that idea of continuing to be a thought leader and sharing my experience — and it’s so rewarding. It is ever evolving and my co-host, Kim Wilson, and I have a lot of fun. We like to bring on coaches, because coaches are an investment. So, if you get a taste of a coach ahead of time it provides an opportunity to know if their style will resonate with you. We love giving people that chance for a preview, and promoting great people to work with.
What do you find to be your biggest challenge in the industry? What is your favorite thing about it?
The most challenging thing currently is the intense competition. It’s really palpable now more than ever; the caliber of talent is the highest it’s ever been and the playing field is more saturated. So just finding new ways to carve out a market for yourself is an ever evolving process.
My favorite thing is 100% owning my own business. I could not survive working for someone else. The hard work is completely worth it to create the lifestyle and freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur.
Balancing the artistic and business aspects of voice acting can be demanding. How do you manage the business side of your career while continuing to refine your craft?
I am always coaching and workshopping. I’m addicted to continuing education — I am cuckoo for it! There are so many opportunities to educate yourself and continue growing. That’s also why I’m passionate about sharing coaching recommendations, because you have to be smart about how you use your time and resources.
What are some things that motivate you? How do you keep accountable as an entrepreneur?
I am lucky that for me, it’s kind of an innate thing. I get so much joy from booking new jobs and finding new opportunities. If I have a month that’s maybe quieter, that’s where the accountability kicks in like, ‘Okay what do I need to do next month to kick this up a notch.’
I have an accountability partner who says to me: “I’m fully aware that you don’t need an accountability partner.” I think that to be an entrepreneur, there is a level of personal accountability needed in order to be successful. I love to be an accountability coach for others because it’s something that comes naturally to me.
You have a love for yoga and meditation, how do you think that impacts the work you do? What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Physical pursuit is vital because our job is physical. For me, meditation takes care of the mind (which takes care of the body), and yoga takes care of the body (which takes care of the mind)! I wish I had time to do it every day, twice a day, but that’s just not realistic. I try to integrate it into the cracks of life, anywhere I can find the time, because I can’t come up to the mic if I am not mentally and physically well. I also absolutely love walking in nature and try to work that into my routine when I can.
I have two teenagers and two dogs (a Great Dane and a Miniature Poodle) so my family is my life. I honestly spend most of my time outside of work doing all things family related. I also love live music — we’re spoiled for choices with how many great acts come to LA, so I try to go to shows when I can!
Favorite thing about being on team CSM?
Firstly, Aya’s negotiating prowess! I do not like to negotiate, and so when I’m in a position where I can trust Aya and the team to handle those situations for me, it’s a huge comfort. Secondly, the educational opportunities that CSM provides are incredible. And finally, I love that there’s a whole team behind us, everyone with different specialties and areas of expertise. You know that things are always happening behind the scenes, it’s not just one person trying to juggle everything, which makes me feel taken care of and supported. I also appreciate that you go after outside-the box audition opportunities for us, it aligns with my mission to continue finding new clients and new markets.
What’s in your booth: Things Natasha Marchewka can’t record without
My booth is pretty sparse, because I like it that way! But there are a few essentials:
- My ring light! It’s essential for filming content.
- My Center Cam, which allows you to put your webcam camera right in the middle of your screen instead of at the top. It makes it way more natural to keep eye contact while in remote sessions. I’m so excited that they are now sponsors for Speechless, and they’ve even given us a discount link for our listeners!
- I love my Yamaha AGO3 because the loopback is so easy for clients to listen back — talent not knowing how to playback for clients can be a huge detriment.