VO Château Spotlight Series: Q&A with Dom + Nicole Draper

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Talent Spotlight

Dom and Nicole Draper, otherwise known as the Voiceover Couple, are taking on the world by storm and positively impacting their community in the process. 

They grew up alongside each other in Delaware as members of the same church community, but never really talked as kids because they are four years apart. Which Nicole says, is a big deal when you’re younger. 

“He was one of the big kids!” She laughs. 

They reconnected as adults, when Nicole was finishing up college and Dom was working in radio and journalism. They got married in 2015 and started working in voiceover a few years later. 

Dom started doing voiceover work on Fiverr, at the suggestion of his mom. He had a background in music (he was a member of a rap group back in the day!), and had the equipment and knowledge of audio editing to pursue VO. Six months in, he convinced Nicole to join him. Eventually, Nicole urged Dom to leave his job during the pandemic and pursue voiceover full time. 

Nicole was a musical theater minor, and always loved performing. Voiceover fulfills that craving she has to entertain. “It’s like I get to be on stage, but behind a microphone,” she says.

Branding as the Voiceover Couple allows them to showcase both of their unique talents while also creating a sense of familiarity with clients. 

“We’ve found with a lot of our clients, they like the family feel. And with a lot of the people we’ve worked with, they do become more than just clients. We build a rapport with them. I think our brand has a level of trust built in,” Dom explains.


Dom and Nicole tell us all about the benefits of being business partners, challenges and successes they’ve experienced, and their shared passion for giving back in our Q&A below.


You are in a unique position in that you have a partner in this — most VO actors are flying solo. How do you think building your business together has impacted your success? 

Nicole: I think that we’re really good at giving each other feedback. In the beginning of our time doing voiceover, it was hard to receive feedback from somebody else. I didn’t realize how valuable the feedback was, and it goes both ways. I would say we really sharpen each other and are able to say: ‘That sounded terrible, do it again,’ and not take it personally. So we are able to coach each other, kind of spur each other on in our projects.

Dom: Yeah, I think that it works for us because we have the two different sets of voiceover skills. I can help her with certain technical things, teaching her about audio editing, because I’ve done that for a long time. She’s really good from the dramatic acting side. So she has some of those acting chops that I may not have, and she’s helped me get better with my delivery. That’s what we uniquely bring to the table, since voiceover work for most people is super singular. We get that chance to be able to get feedback from each other in real-time, which is very valuable.


What are some of the biggest challenges you find working in this industry? And on the other end, what do you find most rewarding about it?

Nicole: It’s a lot of rejection. You don’t always get what you’re really hoping to get. You could feel like you killed an audition and then you don’t book it. There are situations where you can get in with a casting director and have a great session and then find out that the client decided to just use an instrumental instead – those disappointments can be hard to shake at first.

Dom: We have different challenges between the two of us. The rejection part, I don’t worry about too, too much. I’m kind of a ‘send it and forget it’ type of guy. 

Nicole: Yeah, that’s something that he has helped me through. 

Dom: Right, like this is voiceover. So you’re gonna do a million auditions and you’re in a pool of a lot of good people. Rejection doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have booked it, it just means that you weren’t whatever worked for them at that exact moment. So you can’t take it personally. 

A challenge for me managing our business is splitting my time between doing auditions and making sure I’m handling the business side. It’s definitely gotten better as I’ve gained experience and found tools to help keep organized. The great thing about the VO industry is that everybody’s willing to really share information with each other. 

Nicole: Everyone’s willing to help you. There’s a seat at the table for everyone. What’s rewarding for me is that it doesn’t feel competitive. Even on the client side, it’s a collaboration — they just want the best voice for them. We’re able to connect with so many people that in another field we would have never been able to meet.

Dom: I enjoy a lot of different aspects of this industry. Going from somebody that worked construction to working in this space was obviously a huge shift, and I appreciate the fact that I get to be creative. I’m a creative at heart. I love being able to be in sessions with clients. You’ll have those sessions where everybody’s just vibing well, they love your voice, and you can have that freedom sometimes to offer suggestions and really collaborate. That’s the best feeling, when you get in those jobs where it just feels like the energy is good. It kind of boosts you and reminds you, ‘Okay, I can do this, I’m here for this.’ 

So, that’s rewarding for sure, but let’s be real, the  biggest reward is getting booked! There’s nothing like that feeling of getting that email that’s like — hey, you booked it!


You’ve both worked for some pretty high profile brands — is there a job or two in particular that stands out to you?

Nicole: I think like Dom said, being in sessions where you’re able to suggest things or just be creative are my favorite jobs. I laugh a lot in my sessions, and that’s a sign that we’re having a great time. That’s what it’s all about for me, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some bigger brands like Google and Uber through the VO Château which is always a blast. If you’re having a great time and you’re comfortable, your end product will be great.

I also really enjoy working with our local brands here in Delaware. I did a project for maternal health, which is something I’m really passionate about, being a mom. So of course those things that I’m connected to stand out — I love working with the Teacher’s Association, because I was a teacher. Projects that align with my personal interests are always great. 

Dom: The first job I booked with the VO Château was so amazing, I almost thought it was a joke! I had just signed on — I had never had a manager or agent before, and I ended up booking a big Yahoo job, a five-figure job. It felt too good to be true, like okay these guys are trying to rope me in or something. There’s no way I booked a job like that. 

Nicole: But you did! On your first audition!

Dom: I was so excited because that was the moment when we felt like we could really do this. Like, oh man, this could really work. I also recently booked a spot through you guys for Prize Picks, which was awesome because it’s one of the first big national spots that I hear myself in often. It’s that feeling people describe like, their first time hearing their voice on the radio.

Nicole: Literally the other night, we were watching TV and all of the sudden it’s Dom’s voice. We did a double take. 

Dom: Yeah, so that’s always fun. Anything sports related is always exciting for me because I’m a big sports guy. We’re also passionate about non-profit work. So this past summer, I made a connection with the Delaware Bluecoats. And one of the players’ mothers runs a non-profit called King Kares that we donated a spot to last summer. That ended up being really rewarding because we got to go up to New Jersey for their big event and be a part of that. The community and the non-profit scene is really important to us. 


We know you both have a goal of starting a non-profit geared toward increasing equity and equality in the VO Industry — which is amazing. What pushes you to give back?

Dom: Our voiceover career really started to take off during the pandemic. We saw the growth because we had the time to commit to build something. We realized that VO was booming, for Black voices especially. We immediately knew that we wanted to expose this path to kids in the inner city. With Nicole being a former inner city teacher, she is super passionate about that as well.

There’s a lot of kids in the inner city that want to be singers or rappers. So they have their own equipment. They record themselves. They make their own mix tapes. They already are halfway there and have some tools that would make them successful voiceover artists. Nicole is a reading specialist, and of course, literacy and reading scripts is a big part of voiceover. So we wanted to combine reading with the VO piece and be able to expose them to a career path that a lot of kids know nothing about. They hear voiceover all the time in commercials and have no clue that it’s even a job.

Nicole: Even some adults, they’re like, “What’s that?”

Dom: Yeah, they have no clue what voiceover even is a lot of times. So, we did a course with the Boys and Girls Club that we’re running again this summer. It was a five-week summer class with high school students, like a creative summer camp. The first week was just wowing them with videos, showing them what voiceover was. We had podcast studio equipment set up for them.

Nicole: Yeah, it was all donated which was amazing. 

Dom: So by the end of the fourth week, they had all created their own spots. Some of them even produced their own music behind the VO. And you could just see like the lights go off in their heads. Some of them really sounded like they could be on the radio, and it was impressive. You know, we had explained different tones and styles to them — why certain ads sound the way they do, and you could tell the light-bulbs were going off for them. 

We realized what an impact it had, and we’re hoping to partner with Reach Wilmington and some other nonprofits and figure out how we can provide free voiceover classes to more kids. 

Nicole: We want kids to build their love of reading, literacy, and fluency. All of those things are important if you want to do voice acting. There’s a huge achievement gap with our kids of color in our BIPOC community. So that’s definitely a passion of mine, like Dom said, to help extend those types of initiatives to youth. I think we’ll have plenty of opportunities to do that. 

Dom: 100%. That class was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve probably ever had, just to talk with the kids and have them ask you questions, knowing that now they’re going to listen and think about commercials and the world around them differently. They’re going to be thinking in terms of how that was created, rather than just seeing content and thinking ‘oh, they’re just selling me something again.’ 

Nicole: For sure. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a weather woman or a news anchor. My grandmother had dementia, and I would just hang out with her and do exactly what she did. She would read the subtitles on the screen all the time. Every single commercial, every single line of the news, because she probably couldn’t hear it!. I just started to do that, copying her. I realize now, that’s so connected to the work I’m doing. It makes sense. So, thinking about my past experiences, I find it special that I have the opportunity to introduce other people to voiceover in that way. 

Dom: At the end of the day, not everybody’s going to be successful in voiceover. I understand that. It’s more about awareness and just showing some of these kids that there are other avenues for opportunity.

Nicole: I think it’s also very systemic too. There’s a deeper, racially systemic issue with having access to those things. We’re talking about the equity part of it, kids in the communities that we’re trying to serve, they wouldn’t normally have access to things like that. So there are different schools in our area trying to put learning labs together and have equipment donated so that we can offer those opportunities. 

Dom: The funny part is that some of these kids have that equipment, but they don’t even have the knowledge that there’s opportunities out there, or anybody to even guide them. Our kids are going to be privileged to have parents that are going to show them different ways to do things, but some of these kids don’t have that. 

Nicole: It’s exciting to hear more Black voices in the mainstream. You know, when I was little, I remember watching Barbie commercials and it was the same white voice every time. There wasn’t the representation we have now. Today, there are so many different iconic Black voices like Viola Davis or Alicia Keys that you see on specs wanting actors to emulate. It’s nice to be represented, to hear that, and to contribute to it  by giving that opportunity to the youth. 


What do you most enjoy doing outside of work?

Dom: I’m pretty social. I love to go to sports games. I go to a lot of concerts with my friends, music festivals when I can. I used to be a hip-hop journalist, so I’ve put on concerts before, I’ve been in the music industry space a bit. I’m always looking for new opportunities.

Nicole: He dips his toes in a lot of different things. 

Dom: Yeah, recently I’ve been into the brand management side. I have a buddy who’s a rapper in LA who I did an article on way back in 2015. He has a fashion brand that’s starting to take off a little bit, so I’ve been helping him build that. But I love to spend time with our kids at home, too. 

Nicole: Yeah, I’m a little bit of a homebody. Work life balance for me is curling up on the sofa, watching a show with some good food. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go out. But I lean more toward staying in. It’s a lot of effort to get ready! 


How do you think being on team CSM has impacted your success? What’s your favorite thing about being a part of team CSM?

Dom: It just seems to be much different than any other group. It feels like a real family.

Nicole: Absolutely.

Dom: Aside from the career opportunities, the occasions that you provide for us all to connect make all the difference, the monthly meetings and such. At conferences, being a part of the CSM crew is great to have so many faces to connect with, you have that camaraderie. You guys are always available to help us in any way, it does feel like family in that way. 

Nicole: Also, the ongoing professional learning opportunities are so great. The feedback that we get from the team and the experts you bring in to help us improve is something I really love about CSM. 


What’s in your booth: Things the Voiceover Couple can’t record without:

We keep things simple over here, really just one necessity.

  • Coffee! Right now we’re drinking it out of our VO Couple mugs — nothing like branded merch to get you in the mood to record. 


You can keep up with the Voiceover Couple on Instagram and check out Dom and Nicole’s demos to hear more.