“A Voice Artist, a Training Facilitator, an NLP Trainer, a Life coach, a Writer, an All India Radio presenter and a vibrant personality who loves smiling, Shilpi is full of exuberance. She believes that it is of paramount importance to nurture one’s creative abilities to keep the child within alive. ”
After attaining motherhood, she took a break for eight years. From a full-time job, she graduated to freelancing as a Voice-cum-Dubbing Artist. We are back with one more creative mom. Let’s get to know her more.
What’s your background?
As the daughter of her father who served the nation being in Indian Navy for 38 years, I take great pride in having schooled in Kendriya Vidyalaya in various locations in the country. A life spent growing amidst people from all parts of the country shaped me up to be rooted and be above regional barriers.
Career was totally unplanned as in those days only being Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, CA’s and Teachers were the sought-after professions. I went on to do an integrated course B.Sc., B.Ed. but decided to join the corporate world. I pursued Post Graduation in Marketing Management and later an NLP Master Practitioner’s course.
I started my career in 1997 with a very humble job of being a telemarketer that gave me time to attend my evening management lectures. I decided to quit my full-time career at the peak when I was the Business Head and Training Consultant with a boutique training firm.
As the founder of Shilpi’s Voice & Visuals, you are a successful voice artist Tell us more about how the idea came up? What were the key factors for starting it? Did you take any training for it?
It wasn’t a planned move at all. I had taken a sabbatical from my full-time corporate career as a trainer. I continued keeping myself engaged by being a freelance trainer and a mystery auditor. Few years down the line, I started feeling a strong urge to get back to a profession, but the one that gave me the scope of exploring my creative side. I used to be a freelance anchor while in the corporate world, and a professional singer until college. My voice was always appreciated tremendously, although I had no idea why and if it was really that good. However, admiration from clients, for my voice over the phone always amused me. That set me thinking about doing something with my voice and I started researching on what one could do with one’s voice apart from singing.
I discovered that I must jump in without all of that, relying upon my own strengths and talents. Although a niche field in the world of performing arts, the voiceover industry in our country is not structured. Finding a genuine coach was a challenge and I didn’t find anyone suitable here in Bangalore.
I started listening to other artists across the globe for inspiration. I would voice just about anything and record myself several times every day. I would send all the clips to my friend who would listen to them patiently without complaining and share his feedback as a layman. That helped a lot. I kept looking for a mentor who would be passionate about coaching and passing on their wealth of knowledge.
Few years down the line into this field I have had the opportunity of coming across one of the most sought-after and senior voice artists Mr. Anil Mani who mentored me for some time that helped me improve my craft and take it to a higher level.
I merged my experience in teaching, coaching and facilitating corporate training with my experience in voicing to be available as a coach.
You are a doting mom and take good care of your kids and left your career at the peak of it. But you kept yourself busy with many other things. Please share some tips with other mothers regarding this.
Once a woman becomes a mother, they become adept at multitasking. I am an intuitive person and l follow my inner voice. My suggestion would be to do a thorough soul-searching before giving up or taking up anything. Dive down within oneself and listen to the inner voice that always guides us.
You are also a famous soft skill trainer. Can you tell us something about your work to our readers?
Soft Skills are nothing but behavioural skills, most important in one’s workplace. I prefer to call myself as a facilitator rather because I assist the participants in unlocking their latent potential. What I do is facilitate their awareness of the subconscious knowledge and then help them learn to practice the skills not only in the workplace but in day-to-day life.
I facilitate one-on-one coaching and group training sessions for the entry-level employees to the senior management of various corporate houses and individuals.
You don so many hats. It’s inspiring. What is your favourite work, out of everything you do and why?
Voicing is my favourite. I take great pride in being a Voice Artist, but sadly very few people from the industry value the skills. I prefer working with those who understand the nuances of voicing skills and are appreciative of quality artists.
I love being a Voice Artist to keep feeding my soul and have an adrenaline rush when I am in the studio in front of the mic with a script in my hand. It is very important for me to do justice with the message the script is conveying. Visualising the words to set in the tone takes me on a high. And I am ruthlessly critical about my work. I must pick my flaws and ensure that becomes history.
What is your inspiration or where do you get inspiration for all the work you do?
Inspiration is everywhere. Especially witnessing the pride, I see in my family about me inspires further. My husband is happy to see me striving to utilize my talents. He is also very appreciative of my networking skills and does his best in supporting my entrepreneurial journey.
My daughter 12 is highly creative and she is surely going to pursue the creative field. She is learning Hindustani Classical vocal, Bharatanatyam and training for Lawn Tennis. Her creative writing is deep and mature.
My nine-year-old son is my greatest fan. He has inspired me a lot during the initial phase of my voice-over career. He would often say, ‘Ma you have the best voice in the world. No one can read a story as beautifully as you do.’ He might be biased, yet I felt flattered.
My Mother is also my biggest inspiration. I would often introduce her as the Hitler Mom. However, in retrospect, I would be nothing without her push and nudge. If I can multitask today, it is only because I am able to emulate her enterprising ways.
You are also a writer and you have a book coming up soon. What is your writing routine and how do you take out time to write?
Yes, I have a book coming up. It is being co-authored by me and my writing partner Paul V Mohan who is a Film Maker with an inimitable visualizing skill. I have been writing poems, short stories and articles, however, I haven’t formally published anything.
Since I am a multitasker, I do not find enough time to write as much as I would like to. There’s no routine for writing the book. Paul and I decided to enjoy the process of writing rather than rushing with the aim of completing it mechanically. So, when he sends me a chapter, it’s my turn to add to it and vice versa. One deep attention to the part he has written and my mind starts racing and ideating to pick up the thread and take the story forward. Once the concept shapes up I rush to give it the form. I am peaceful after I have penned my part and sent it to Paul.
What do you like doing besides writing and being voice artist?
I love cooking and baking. According to me, the passion and soul I put into the process of cooking cannot be matched up by someone else hired to do the job unless they love cooking. Baking is therapeutic.
I have been associated with a few causes as I like being active in giving back to the society. Currently, I am trying to draw the attention of people devoid of demographic barriers towards the need for caring for our elderly and aging population, a highly neglected cause. I am also actively involved with Swanthana, home for mentally challenged little girls.
Most important tip for other mompreneurs.
The woman of the house always has loads to do. I visualize her as Goddess Durga, the one with ten hands. It’s essential to introspect, identify our strengths and weaknesses, capitalize on our strengths, work towards overcoming the weaknesses, realize our potential, always be aware of things that are in our control, ask family members for support, delegate some chores to them, always communicate with them how much their support means, network hard and be vigilant about opportunities that come in disguise.
What is your vision? Where do you see yourself in next 5 years? Share any future plans you have.
I don’t believe in planning so much in ahead. Everything has been so unplanned till now like I had never known I would become a voice artist. I simply like to keep flowing and turning every stone on the way and always do what my intuition guides me into doing right at that moment. I would rather let destiny unfold the future while I am using my talents professionally and my potential to contribute towards causes that I connect with. My mantra for myself has been to be a limited but the best edition.
Shilpi is a person high on life, a firm believer in KARMA, and being a mere mortal she lives by the philosophy, “Life is just an illusion and Death, the ultimate truth!” I hope she inspired many moms today.
Links to follow her
I am taking my Alexa rank to next level with Blochatter.