We had the good fortune of connecting with Yolanda Spearman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yolanda, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
One of my guiding life principles is to begin with the end in mind. I want to live a fulfilled life without regrets. I want to find myself cruising through the airport with flip flops and sunglasses on my way to a tropical island to lay out on the beach with a book and a cold drink in my hand. Professionally speaking, if I found myself, hosting workshops, writing books and doing voiceovers, that would bring me joy as well. Optimally my goal is to experience the rest of my life doing 4 things, speaking, writing, voice-overing and vacationing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a voiceover artist and an author. I only do work that resonates with me. This is important in the world of voiceover because producers want to work with a talent who can connect with their words and bring their message to the world. I absolutely love the work of voiceover and the part that allows me to leave my indelible mark is the fact that my voice is such a unique fingerprint. I have an earthy rasp and an undeniable black voice. My sound is art in itself. The way I interpret copy always stands out. As a 5’10 black woman, I am accustomed to standing out but not always in a good way. I got my start in Corporate America and its a man’s world. I could even say a white man’s world and I definitely did not look like one of the good ole boys. Throughout my corporate successes I often discovered unkind words or thoughts that were shared about me because I didn’t “fit in”. People complained about silly things like my hair changing too much or the fact that I wore bright colors when blues, blacks and grays were more “acceptable.” I even got complaints about my training sessions because I was too energetic. When I found my way back to voiceovers it was like someone released me from proverbial chains. I was free to choose what I wanted to work on and more than anything I was free to be 100% unapologetically me. This was the playground that wanted people who were different and I loved playing with all the players. Because in voiceover, they choose you if they want you. They literally want your uniqueness. For a woman who cut her teeth in a world where blending in mattered more than standing out, you can imagine my shock and awe at this new found world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In my world, I live for gardens, good food, spa treatments and of course art. I would go downtown Detroit and take them to the Shinola hotel and to walk the new streets of Detroit and try out a random restaurant. It would be a must to visit Mister Dips for a milkshake and then compare that shake to a shake from M street baking company. We would eat downtown at Mudgies and have breakfast at Toast in Ferndale and a visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Mexican village to eat. I also love my high end foods so I would finish off our fast food folly with an upstanding meal at the MGM casino where we would experience Immerse Spa and enjoy a lovely detoxing meal and then finish up at Axis lounge with a live band and some great live music.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have such a robust community but I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to the woman who introduced me to voiceover. Her name is Mildred Gaddis. She is known as the Queen of Talk Radio in Detroit. She met me casually one day while I was working at a hotel in Downtown Detroit. She needed some information and engaged me in congenial conversation. As she walked away she stopped and turned back to me and said I should consider a career in voiceover. It was that small comment that became the fuel behind my success. Now that I have achieved more than I ever could have imagined, people along the way like my college buddy Marlena, my Voiceover Mentor Keaver Brenai, my Voiceover Manager Celia Seigel who I swear knows everybody in voiceover, and my voiceover coach Dave Walsh, all deserve a great big shout out! They push, pull and shove me to new heights platforms and stages. Finally, I recently met a wonderful PR lady named Pam Perry. I promise she is the queen of helping people like me get out there and get known. I can’t walkaway from this page without talking about my family. My husband and children who graciously sit in a hot house so that the air conditioner doesn’t come on and my siblings who display my commercials on their social media pages. This tribe of mine makes me better and I wouldn’t be the success I am without them.
Youtube: Yolanda Spearman
Lisa Hardy, Emma Burcusel