An interview with Patty Gibbons

29th January 2017

Maxine Lennon talks to our wonderfully talented voiceover artist, Patty Gibbons, who has recently finished narrating The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

 

“Catherine [O’Brien, CEO of Essential Audiobooks] and I met in not the happiest of situations, at a mutual friend and voiceover artists’ memorial.” recalls Patty, “I remember thinking when I saw Catherine, ‘she’s got to be a voiceover artist’, so I approached her and we started chatting.”

 

“We hit it off right away – anyone who’s met Catherine knows she is priceless!” she laughs, “She talked about setting up Essential Audiobooks, and of course I said I’d like to be involved. And like that, a beautiful friendship was born. It wasn’t the happiest time for us to meet, but I’m very glad that we did.”

 

Patty Gibbons

“It’s a natural fit for me” she says, when asked about how she became a narrator, “I’ve always told stories. Growing up, I shared a room with my two sisters, and I used to get yelled at because I was always telling stories at night. My mum would hear my voice and shout ‘Patricia!’”

 

“And remember Show and Tell at school? Well, I would start telling a story and embellish it, especially if I saw that my audience was enjoying it! On one occasion, I told the class that the police arrived at my house – a complete fib. My poor mum got a call from a concerned teacher, and she had to convince them it was just me making up stories!”

 

So it seems Patty was destined for a job as a storyteller from a young age. She began working as a voiceover artist, almost by accident – “I was hired by The Learning Channel as a consultant. The producer loved my voice, and started quizzing me – ‘Have you taken any voice, singing or acting lessons?’ and recommended I pursue a career in voiceover work.”

 

Patty refined her skills at Edge Studio, and has trained with some of the biggest names in the voice arts world. She now works as a successful voiceover artist and narrator, a job she is particularly fond of, saying “With audiobook narration you can dive deeper into your imagination. It gives you more time to play with the story.”

 

“What’s scary is how natural and quickly that goat voice came!”

 

Patty’s enjoyment for narration is audible throughout her work, and it’s infectious. Having recently finished recording The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for Essential Audiobooks, she effortlessly brings the colourful, exuberant characters to life, in her lively and captivating interpretation of one of the best-loved tales in American literature: “It was so much fun. Growing up, it was my favourite movie, so it was perfect for me. Catherine heard me play around with voices, and that’s what she wanted for the book.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Cover illustration by Winnie O’Brien.

 

You could say voices are Patty’s speciality, and she plans to record an animal voice demo soon. “I love them and their vocalisations.” she says, “I narrated a couple of stories on the Essential Audiobooks Christmas Celebration CD, one of which was the sweetest little poem, where I got to do a goat voice. What’s scary is how natural and quickly that goat voice came!”

 

A true animal lover (Patty and her husband have quite the menagerie – two horses, two dogs, a turtle, and an indeterminable number of cats), perhaps it’s her job as an Animal Communicator that helps her achieve her voices with such ease. “When people have issues with their animals, or they just want to connect, they contact me. It’s all about story, communication.”

 

It’s easy to talk about Patty’s talent (we could go on all day), but really, you’ve got to hear it. Her enchanting edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is available as a high quality download and limited edition CD now.

Written by Bryony Robertson

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