When I first heard a sample of Erin Moon’s narration, I knew I was listening to the voice of Kris Langley. I approached Brick Shop Audio on the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) and asked whether they thought Erin, one of their narrators, might be interested in working on my mystery/romantic suspense novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, about obit writer Kris Langley and her investigation of a 25-year-old murder that she stumbles across on the microfilm. When I got the word that Erin was interested in taking on the project, I remember excitedly telling my husband, “Erin said yes!” I had a great time working with Erin and Brick Shop on the audiobook, which is now available from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. I’m sure you’ll enjoy my in-depth interview with Erin below, and watch for my interview with Brick Shop on February 11.
Erin Moon is a professional AEA/CAEA/SAG/AFTRA actress working Off Broadway and regionally in the USA and Canada for over a decade. She has been seen on Law and Order: SVU and is also an award winning audiobook narrator recording over 50 novels for Audible.com, Recorded Books, Brick Shop Audio and Hachette. Favorite audiobook recordings include the young adult novels: The Sisters Red (Earphones & Best YA Books of 2010 Awards from AudioFile Magazine), The Bone Shaker and Touch Blue among many others. Adult American: The Shape Shifter series, Seeing is Deceiving (Series). Adult Canadian: Exclusive narrator for author Miriam Toews and the Clare Vengel Undercover series etc. Erin is a 500hr Therapeutics/Vinyasa Yoga instructor and an adjunct movement faculty professor at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
How did you get interested in narrating audiobooks and doing voice acting?
I was a engineer and director for 4.5 years with Recorded Books in NYC where I started narrating about halfway through. I got the job through a friend as RB liked people who knew literature and acting to work on the books. I had been temping between acting gigs (instead of the waiting table route which I never enjoyed) and really was not happy. Working at Recorded Books was fabulous. It was a great, supportive group of educated people all in the same place and I was still able to do the odd show so it was the perfect job. I was born and raised in Canada and when a Canadian novel for a young woman’s voice came up the lovely Claudia Howard (who had seen me in a show Off Broadway recently) threw it my way. The rest, as they say, is history. It was a fabulous place to learn, let alone make dear friends!!
About how many books have you narrated? Have you found yourself drawn toward any specific genres and/or age ranges of the characters?
I have recorded about 50 books now (January 2013). I have been cast mostly as young woman between 20-30 years old in everything from mystery novels to Sci fi and Harlequin. I have been lucky to work on novels in the American South, characters from Ireland, Greece, England etc. I have also read about one quarter Canadian novels. It is fun to go home and put on my old accent. I also have been so very fortunate as to record a lot of young adult novels, which I absolutely adore!!
You have such a beautiful, clear voice that voice acting seems like the perfect career for you. What kind of voice training do you have, or is it something that you developed naturally?
I was trained at Red Deer College and a conservatory program at The University of Alberta in Canada. Both programs were intensive acting programs which all have a strong focus on Voice and Speech. I am an actor and have played all sorts of spaces so this is really just a different space.
What kind of acting background do you have as far as stage, screen, etc?
Off Broadway and Regionally in the USA and Canada for over a decade. Off Broadway: Is Life Worth Living The Mint Theatre, The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion Urban Stages, Into the Hazard New Feet at the Walkerspace, Richard III & Murder By Poe The Acting Company. Regionally: in multiple shows at The Delaware Theatre Company, Ford’s Theatre DC (dir David Cromer), Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Stamford Theatre Works, Capital Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre (Canada), Globe Theatre (Canada) and two season with Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Law and Order: SVU.
Before you narrate a book, do you sit down and read the whole thing so you know what’s coming, or do you read it in smaller chunks and focus on a section at a time?
Yes, I ALWAYS read the whole book through. I “mark up” the script, noting antithesis, lists, operative words, parenthetical thoughts etc. This serves me well when getting in the booth. You never know when there is a twist about the lead character at the end of a book!
You are capable of doing so many voices for one book. For Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, you did younger female voices, older female voices, several male voices, accents, and even tween girl voices, and each one has a different tone so that all of the voices are unique. How do you remember which voice to do for each character? Do you need to write yourself some notes to keep track of it, or do you remember it easily? Do you sit down as you’re narrating, or move around?
I write a character list for all of my books. I track what the author has said about the character visualizing what they look like. I note, education, region, age, temperament and make character choices based on that, much as I would do for a play. I remember characters more easily this way but if I am away from the book for a while then I have something written down to remember. You have to sit while narrating because of how the mic/sound/booths work. But I tend to fiddle with something in my hands just to keep my body entertained.
Is there anything special that you need to do to protect your voice, such as voice exercises or resting it?
I try to rest it and do the normal; eat well and take my vitamins. I drink tea and try to keep really hydrated while recording and after. I do NOT go out to loud places when I am narrating because I need my voice!!
Can you tell us about your interest in yoga?
I have been teaching yoga since 2005 and I have been teaching yoga instructors for 4 years now. I am a 500 hr certified Vinyasa and Therapeutics teacher. I love this work as it keeps me balanced and gives me the opportunity to serve others. I also teach at AADA (the American Academy of Dramatic Arts) as a member of the Movement department. Specifically this year I am teaching Neutral Mask which is a tool for the actor to learn about physical expression and imagination.
Are there any upcoming books or other projects that you’d like to share?
Always something in the works. Right now I am recording 6 Canadian Novels for Audible.com. My website moonyogatherapeutics.com will eventually be on line, but it may be a while!!
If you’re interested in hearing a sample, you can listen on Audible.