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Kayaking on The Buffalo River with my Dad

Wendy's Story

How she went from being an engineer to an audiobook narrator

 

Once upon a time, I filled out a researcher’s questionnaire.  I indicated that I was a radiation effects testing engineer in Silicon Valley.  My response was thrown out as an outlier because I had also noted that I was a puppeteer.  The researcher assumed it was a joke.  But my life for many years was in the two worlds of engineering and acting.  

Puppetry is hard work, it’s hard on the body and I was still making a living as an engineer, so I went to London to study voice at Central School.  When I returned, I got my start in corporate, technical and medical long format narration while narrating books and Safeway grocery specials as a volunteer for The Lighthouse San Francisco.  I always thought of that as vocal exercise but it inspired me to pursue audiobook narration as a career!

In 2013, I engaged in my first commercial audiobook contract; a Cozy Mystery by Colleen Helme.  Her first in a series and an RS success.  The Cozy is closest to my background in puppetry and quickly became my go-to genre. 

 

When I was needed back home in Buffalo, to care for my aging mother, I had the good fortune to narrate a handful of Romances for Barbara Bretton and discovered the healing power of that genre.

Now I narrate full-time from my home studio in Buffalo, NY.  When I'm not in the booth, you might find me re-energizing body and soul at Niagara Falls.

Affiliations:

SAG-AFTRA

Audio Publishers Association

SAG Foundation BookPals program for children's literacy

Society of Women Engineers

Burchfield Penney Art Center Docent

Puppeteers of America

Engineering Bio (BSECE)

 

I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY and had a diverse Silicon Valley career that included radiation effects testing of the Trident II guidance system at Lockheed Missiles and Space, configuration engineer at Molecular Design Ltd and freelance database design and development for Union Sanitary District, Genentech, Duty Free Shopper (DFS), Shaklee, The Gap photo studio, The Sea Turtle Institute and a variety of other companies and non-profits. 

Acting Bio

While I was working as an engineer at Lockheed, I re-visited my childhood love of puppetry and went on to become an accomplished puppeteer with notable credits that include Shadow Light Theatre’s production of In Xanadu at the Henson International Festival of Puppet at the Public Theatre, NYC, guest artist at The Group Rep in Los Angeles for their production of Nautilus, Treasure Tree puppetry performances at Marine World USA, middle grade curriculum-based performances with Young Audiences of the Bay Area and live audio theatre productions including a remake of Candy Matson, a San Francisco-based PI series from 1949.  I studied voice at Central School, London, acting at Studio A.C.T. in San Francisco and with Bobby Weinapple at Sydways Studios.  I became a union actor through my work in commercial and corporate narration and also dabbled in independent film, had a small principal role in Focus Feature's MILK and spent time as a human actor on stage. 

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