My sister, Andrea Gappmayer, is one of the funnest, most energetic, kindest people you’ll ever meet. She is also an audiobook narrator. She narrates my newest nonfiction book, Big Ideas: How To Unleash Your Creative Self and Have More Aha! Moments, available November 23, 2018.
| By Andrea Gappmayer, Jennifer’s sister |
When I woke up, I realized that I was there. Have you ever been there? I’m talking about the place where you so desperately do not want to go to work that you feel physically ill. Maybe you have a headache or stomachache. Maybe the thought of going into the office gives you a panic attack. Or maybe you’re losing handfuls of hair on a daily basis from the stress.
It’s a fun place. Like Disneyland. And, yup, I was there. Smack dab in the middle.
That particular morning was even worse, though. It was so bad that I had to resort to drastic measures just to make it through the office door, into the bowels of the building, and onto the chair in my cubicle: I bought—and ate—a donut.
I ate it! That’s how bad things had gotten! I couldn’t face that miserable job without a donut! Not only had that job given me headaches, stomachaches, panic attacks, and male pattern baldness, now it was going to give me a ginormous backside!
Something had to change. I had to change. I didn’t know how or what or where or any of the particulars, I just knew that I had to change. So I put it out there to the Universe. I said, “Universe, you gotta help me, girl. I mean, I know bald is in, but this is getting ridiculous.”
Just a few weeks later, I attended a luncheon and ended up sitting next to a woman who narrates audiobooks for a living. Wow, that’s cool, I love audiobooks. And then it hit me: “Audiobooks!? That’s it! Thanks, Universe!”
Ok, before you start thinking, “What the what? This chick is going to start narrating audiobooks out of the clear blue? Just cuz you can read and have been doing so for the past 45 years does not mean you’re cut out to be an audiobook narrator.” You should probably know that I’ve been a radio DJ, an actress, and/or a public speaker the majority of my adult life. I thought about going into audiobooks around 25 years ago, but I just never pursued it. I’m not a genius, but I’m not a complete moron either—this was a giant Universal nudge.
After a few weeks of research, meeting with audiobook narrators, chatting with coaches, and reading an empowering book, I was convinced that I needed to take this risk. I mean, why not? If not now, when?
So I jumped. I quit corporate America, crappy travel, and hyper-super-mega-control-freak-executives to do my own thing and narrate audiobooks.
I invested in equipment, coaching sessions, and conferences. I auditioned and joined narrator groups. Within a few months I was getting hired and narrating and appearing on audible.com. So far I’ve narrated 7 books. You can find four of them on audible.com under my name. The other three are under a pseudonym that I may never reveal to anyone.
Yes, this is fun, exciting, and empowering. It’s also harder than I ever imagined, risky, and kind of crazy. I wake up every day a little bit nervous and pretty much scared to death, but I’m also exhilarated and haven’t resorted to a donut in almost a year. But the best news of all? I now have a full head of thick, healthy hair.
You can listen to a sample of Andrea’s work here.
And here is her Facebook page if you want to learn more about her.