Georgia is now a top location for film and television production, and aspiring film workers are flocking to Atlanta for a chance to get in on the action. But long before Georgia film started making headlines, an under-the-radar group of actors were working steadily in the Big Peach. You wouldn’t recognize their faces, but you probably hear their voices everywhere.
Voice-over acting is a lucrative niche in show business that can give actors an entrée into several different industries, from entertainment to technology and advertising. Georgia is home to a handful of prominent voice-over actors, like Apple’s original Siri, the voice of MARTA trains and buses and the voice at Delta Air Lines boarding gates, and the number of voice-over actors here is growing daily.
“It encompasses a lot of different things,” said Susan Bennett, who has spent 40 years in the industry in Atlanta and was the original Siri and Tillie the All-Time Teller. “Radio and TV commercials, promos, narrations, animation. It’s a lot of fun, but very competitive, and the nice thing is every day is different.”
Bennett moved to Atlanta about 40 years ago as a musician who sometimes sang jingles for television commercials. One day, the voice-over actor for a project didn’t show up, and the studio owner asked her to read the copy.