We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheli Baez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheli, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Being in the Corporate world for a large portion of my professional life subconsciously taught me to always be going full throttle as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Once I became self-employed I had to teach myself to set boundaries and honor the restful moments. I also decided a few years ago that I didn’t want to be defined solely by my profession so, I learned to sew as a hobby. Having an activity I enjoy doing that is completely unrelated to my career has allowed me to learn different skills such as critical thinking and even some math. Surprisingly, those skills translate to my career and have made me better at my profession overall.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For over a decade, I have worked professionally as a Voice actor. I like to say I tripped and fell into the industry through my first job out of college at Univision Television Networks. I never knew back then that helping to record commercial scratch tracks would lead to the most fulfilling career ever. It has been a zigzag journey to where I am today but every little pivot and pause has given me the tools to thrive today. My biggest strength as a Voice actor is something that was given to me at birth which is the ability to speak English and Spanish fluently. My Bilingual upbringing equipped me with an ‘accent-free’ fluency in either language which makes me a golden egg for most of the clients I work with. My grandmother forced me to speak Spanish in the home and even though teenage me constantly complained about it, Adult me gets paid because of it. Today, representation of 1st gen Bilingual kids of immigrants is my biggest driving force in the voiceover career I’ve so fiercely built.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My voiceover career changed for the best once I joined the Voice Actors of NYC Facebook group. Some may consider social media a waste of time when you’re building a business. However, VANYC has not only provided a community of self-reliant and talented powerhouses in the Voiceover industry but, it has allowed me to meet some of my greatest friends. The collective learning experience of seeing questions answered by many is unmatched. Not to mention, some of my longest standing voiceover jobs have come from a direct referral by a member of the group. Community is key in any industry and I may be biased but the VANYC group is the creme de la creme!
Tatiana Hochrein Tominaga Photography