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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

Feb 15, 2022

Do you consult your inner child when making career decisions? Maybe you should! Anne & Pilar kick off the Boss Voces series at the beginning. They dive into Pilar’s journey from young girl singing + mimicking to finance assistant to Colombian telenovela star…

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>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza. And today I am honored to bring you special guest cohost Pilar Uribe. Pilar is a bilingual voice actor, telenova star, and radio personality. Born and raised in New York city. She broken this show business with roles from Ugly Betty, Poor Pablo, Eternally Manuela, and El Cartel, filmed in Colombia and Miami. She recorded and produced for WLRN Miami South Florida, and now lives in LA where she records voiceover for television, radio, and films, and last, but certainly not least, she has booth kitties, which are so very important. Yay! Pilar, it's a pleasure having you here today. Thank you so much for joining me.

Pilar: I am so glad to be here, Anne. This is a real treat. Thank you.

Anne: So, first of all, the booth kitty, I have to know, booth kitties, booth kitty?

Pilar: Booth kitty.

Anne: Booth kitty.

Pilar: Booth kitty. Yes. His name is Paco,

Anne: Paco.

Pilar: Well, his full name is Paco Del Barrio.

Anne: Oh.

Pilar: Paco Del Barrio, yes.

Anne: Oh, Paco. Now, is Paco in the studio with you right now?

Pilar: No, he's not. I know he's outside, and he's sitting on top of the desk where I edit looking like, like, how dare you close that door?

Anne: How dare you not pay attention to me?

Pilar: Exactly. I need a window for the door.

Anne: As you know, we now both have booth kitties and that is a major plus for, I think, productivity in the booth to have booth kitties. They really help you in your daily --

Pilar: Absolutely.

Anne: -- your daily booth recordings.

Pilar: Yeah, they're very, yes, they're very, they're very observant, and they're very, how can I say this?

Anne: They direct well.

Pilar: They teach you, they teach you a lot about you as a voice actor.

Anne: I agree.

Pilar: We'll get into that.

Anne: I agree. I think that could be an episode actually, how our pets help us learn about ourselves. For sure. For sure.

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: So you're not even like a triple threat. You're like a quadruple, like, you're like multiple, multiple threats, TV, radio, voiceover. Tell us about how you started in the business? Because I think you've got a wonderful story to tell, and we can all learn a lot about how you evolved into your voiceover career.

Pilar: Okay. So how much time do you get?

Anne: Well, this first episode is about only 25 minutes. So.

Pilar: Okay, I'll be quick. Now, I was born and bred in New York. Both my parents are from Colombia, a little town called Ibagué. And, um, I spoke Spanish until I was five. When I went to grade school, high school, I was in all the plays. I played the angel. I, you know, I did all kinds of things, singing groups. I was in the choir. I was in --

Anne: Me too.

Pilar: Yeah. Right. You know, you do it all.

Anne: Choir thing and you know, that creative. stuff.

Pilar: Exactly. Exactly. I went to a girls school, and so we were in this choir, and I was just in this thing called Triple Trio. And we would go to, we would go to boys schools. We would go to boarding schools and sing there and have crushes on all the boys.

Anne: Of course.

Pilar: So in college I majored in theater and kept studying voice and did musical theater and just all kinds of things.

Anne: But not necessarily voiceover, right? You're thinking --

Pilar: No, no, it was all, it was all musical theater or --

Anne: Musical theater.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: Because you sing too. That was the other threat. 'Cause I actually happened upon one of your social media posts the other day. And you were singing. So.

Pilar: Yes, I'm really into like the -- so that's the thing. I was kind of born and raised on singing a capella because I would sing with my sister. We had a little duet going, and she would play with the guitar. Sometimes we would play the guitar and sometimes we would just do two voices. So there's this great app called acapella. And I loved just dubbed myself over and over again into like four part harmony. It's so much fun. So in college, I kept singing. I kept with these groups, and I majored in theater, came back to New York. And of course it's a different story now, you know, once you're looking for a job, and I thought, well, okay, I'll, I'll go the corporate route. And I worked for Harper's Bazaar --

Anne: Oh wow.

Pilar: for -- yeah. For two and a half years. And I, I totally lived the Devil Wears Prada life.

Anne: I was gonna say!

Pilar: Oh yeah, all that stuff is true.

Anne: In New York too.

Pilar: In New York. So I, I was an assistant to an editor, and it was like, oh, what an experience that was.

Anne: I can imagine.

Pilar: Yes. Yeah. That that's a whole other, that's a whole other story. Then I went to, I moved to Nine West and I started working to helping in design shoes. And all throughout this time, I was taking acting classes because I thought, let me just keep that muscle going. Even though it just, it seemed so far away at the time. And I got laid off. I was the last hired, first fired. There was a whole financial shakeup, and I thought, okay, this is the time to start working on my acting. So I got my headshot and resume together, and I started going out on auditions. And in the meantime I got married.

Anne: That's a lot happening. Seems like a lot happening --

Pilar: Yes. And I cleared my throat.

Anne: -- short period of time.

Pilar: Yes, absolutely. And I cleared my throat because that was a whole experience in itself. So I did theater. I actually, I did "A Chorus Line," and I was probably the only person -- I played Diana Morales, who was the Hispanic character. And she was the one who said, "and I felt nothing, simply nothing." It's such a great song. I love that song.

Anne: Lovely.

Pilar: I was the only one who could not do a double pirouette, but I got away with it. That's like a requirement for "A Chorus Line," but I could not do a double pirouette to save my life. And if you try doing it, you will fall over. I can tell you right now because I can't, I just, every time I've tried it, I just fall over. I think I did it once in my life, but that's it. So I did a couple of films. I did student films, and I did extra work on "One Life to Live" and "All My Children," and I think there was one called "Passions."

Anne: Wow.

Pilar: And so that I had so much fun because of course I used to watch those shows, and I used to watch "General Hospital" actually in college.

Anne: Oh, of course. Who didn't?

Pilar: Remember -- yeah, like, what was it the, uh, the, yeah, there were these scenes, which we can't even say on the air.

Anne: I just read something about Luke, that they finally wrote him off.

Pilar: Yes, yes, yes! The Luke and Laura scene. Do you remember the Luke and Laura scene?

Anne: Yes. Of course, of course.

Pilar: Everybody talked about that.

Anne: There has to be a moment in time. Like that is, that is ingrained into like the moment in time, uh, television history. And is this what brought you in -- the telenova star? So is that leading us to that place or?

Pilar: Yes, yes.

Anne: Okay.

Pilar: Absolutely. It is. I do have a point and I will --

Anne: No, no, I totally get it.

Pilar: So I started seeing in New York that, you know, everybody was hustling, like I was, and I was doing extra work on like a film with Michael J. Fox. And I got to touch Arnold Schwarzenegger's jacket, but I was always, you know, background extra. And I thought, wouldn't it be great to work in a job that is kind of a 9 to 5? And I realized television is that. So I had that dream, and that's why I did the extra work, because I, you know, I wanted to see what was going on in those soap operas. So I separated, and I thought, okay, I'm done. I'm going to go to take a little vacation and go to where my extended family lives, in Colombia, in Ibagué.

And I go, and I stay with my cousin, and the third night I'm there, we decide to go to a fortune teller, and fortune tellers are big in Colombia. And I've, I just, I love them. Like they're just so much fun. So I go to this fortune teller, and she reads the way I smoke a cigarette of all things. So she's looking at my ashes as I'm smoking a cigarette, she gives me a cigarette, I start smoking it. And she says to me, pack your bags, get ready because you're going to be really famous.

Anne: Ooh.

Pilar: And I was like, what?

Anne: Who doesn't like to hear that?

Pilar: I just, I, but I was so, you know, I was so like, you know, I was so -- I was depressed, and I was going through the whole divorce proceedings. I had been working for Morgan Stanley as an assistant. And, you know, that was just the, the world of finance. I didn't even understand --

Anne: Oh, from fashion to finance.

Pilar: Yes, exactly. And then she says this to me, and I'm like, oh, maybe I'm going to be a shoe designer. Maybe I'm going to be the next, you know, Manolo Blahnik. And I was like, I can't, I couldn't imagine that one at all. So my cousin and I, we left and we just laughed it off. So I, I, so I stayed a couple of months, a couple of extra months, and I thought, well, maybe I could live in Colombia. So I go back to New York after three months, and I'm, I get my reel together.

And I met a party at my parents' house, and there's this really good friend of my mother's. And she says to me, have you read the book, The Celestine Prophecy? It's by James Redfield. And I was like, no. So I read it. And it was a game changer for me. That's all I can say. It, it just completely changed my perspective. And I started thinking, well, maybe I could do this. Maybe I could work in television. And I had a very good friend of mine who was my vocal coach. And he kind of turned into my mentor, and he started telling me, he said, you know what? I want you to start visualizing what it would be like to stand in front of the camera. I want you to see what it would feel like, what the lights would feel like on you, what it would sound like, the people walking around you, how it would taste if like you were drinking something on set, what it would smell like, and what you would hear and what you, you know, all the five senses and really do like a little meditation about it.

And I wasn't into meditation back then at all. But The Celestine Prophecy talks about that a little bit, a lot, actually. So I have my reel, I speak to a couple of networks. I write letters and there are two that are interested, and one of them says, okay, great. We are interested. We want to see you. So I packed my bags, and I pay for my ticket, and I go down to Colombia.

Anne: So when you say you wrote the networks, okay. So that's a very broad description. So what specifically? 'Cause that's like, you're marketing yourself. I mean, you've been marketing yourself I feel since you were out of the womb. Right? So in reality, you're sending letters and what are you saying in those letters? Hey, I'd like to meet you? I have acting experience?

Pilar: Yes.

Anne: I'd like to meet you?

Pilar: Exactly. Exactly. Actually you just said, I didn't even realize that, you just turned the button on for me.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: So I was constantly doing that without even realizing.

Anne: Without knowing.

Pilar: Yeah, because what I had was, it was just a letter with my real back then. It was VHS. Okay?

Anne: Yup.

Pilar: So I'm really dating myself, you know, saying I have this experience, I have this training, and I'd really like to do TV. And one of the things I learned a long time ago was you can talk about your strengths. There's no need to lie, but you don't have to say, I don't know how to do this.

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: You can say, I'm very eager to learn. I'm very eager to get into the business because I realized as I was going down there that yes, I had worked in television as an extra. I had worked in film by then. And so I understood how the camera worked. 'Cause it was -- we worked on an entire summer, over a period of weekends on a feature film. So I knew how it worked, but television is very different from film because it's like, boom, boom, boom, here's this scene, set it up, do the scene. And then you've got a whole bunch of other things to do. So it's a lot busier than film. So I didn't, you know, long shots, you know, close-ups, I was still very much of a newbie. So I basically just concentrated on what my skills were. And these two people, they kind of said, yes, you know, one of them said, there's a possible role for you. And the other one was like, okay, well we'll meet you when you come down here. 'Cause I realized I had to go down there. Like they weren't going to sit there and say --

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: -- oh yeah, we'll hire you. So that's why I, I made the decision. I packed my bags, and I go. So I get to Colombia and I'm staying with a friend in Bogotá now. 'Cause now I'm staying in the capital. Before I had been staying in Ibagué where my family is from, and I call up the producer and uh, I make an appointment and I get there and I'm like, I'm, I'm really excited. And I'm like, okay, this is it. This is the start of something big. And I get there and she said, that show has been scrapped. And she points to her, this shelf and all the episodes are there. And she's like, that's been scrapped. They're writing a new show. You're going to have to audition for it. And there's nothing, you know, I don't, I don't have anything for you.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: So I'm like, oh my God. So what do I do? I start envisioning what my life is going to be like. So I start making like a little list. Okay. I need an apartment. I need a job. That's my most important thing. I need an apartment and I need a car. So the first thing I would do is that I would call her on a weekly basis, this producer, and I would say, hi, how are you? How's it going? And she knew immediately why I was calling. She like, I don't have anything for you. So I was like, okay, great. That's done. Then I started going out and looking at apartments in Bogotá of where I wanted to live.

I mapped out, I walked around a lot. I, you know, I was, this was basically, I was friends were taking mirrors, going in taxis or I was walking, and I found an area that I wanted to live in. And so everybody posted their little -- they did newspapers, but they, you know, they would post it up on the window, and I would look and I would take a look, and I finally found one and I was like, oh my gosh, this is really great. Did the same thing with cars. I went to the car dealerships. I looked at all these cars, and I found the car that I wanted, and I keep calling this woman. And so once a week, and then one day she called me.

Anne: Here's the thing. You must've had a good relationship with her if you actually spoke to her, right?

Pilar: Yes, yes.

Anne: Usually producers, if they're very busy, that somebody else is either taking their calls for them or screening their calls. So if you were actually able to talk to her, you must have had a great relationship, which I think that's a key factor.

Pilar: We developed it. It wasn't something that just started out that way. I mean, I always went through her secretary first. Yeah. So it wasn't like -- this was something that developed on a regular basis, but I wasn't like stalking her --

Anne: Right.

Pilar: -- or being obnoxious about it.

Anne: Right, right, right.

Pilar: I was just saying, hey, I just wanted to see. And because I was, you know, this was the lead --

Anne: Keeping top of mind.

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: See how I'm -- we're transforming all of this into the current day marketing.

Pilar: I love it. I love it. This is awesome.

Anne: This is also staying top of mind with the producer. There you go.

Pilar: Exactly. Top of mind. So she calls me and she says, I have something for you. And I'm like, oh my God, this is it. This is it. I get to the studio. It turns out it's one episode of a children's show.

Anne: Okay.

Pilar: And I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't live on this.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: What are you going to do? And I talked to the director, that director, and I kind of, we just started talking, and you know, she knew who I was and she said, oh no, no, no, no, no. You're still being considered for this new show. Don't worry about it because I actually -- just going back a little bit -- I had auditioned for the new show. So, so, okay. So she called me up and she said, I want you to audition for the show. I auditioned for the show. And then she calls me.

She said, I have this for you. And it was a children's show. So I was like, oh no, what am I going to do? And she said, no, no, no, no. You're still -- the director for the children's show said, no, you're still being considered. Because this was much smaller than what it is today. You know, in the very first time I went and I auditioned, it was very different from the way I auditioned in New York. So, you know, in New York you get given sides and now you memorize it, but you, you're allowed to have it in your hand. And back there, you, you know, you definitely had to memorize the whole thing. And I was panicked and this guy helped me and it was great.

A couple of other weeks go by. And then they call me in for a second audition and that's with the director. He was very stern. And I was really nervous. A couple of weeks later, she called me, and she said, you got the job. So all this work that I had been doing, I, you know, I'm shortening it. I had been looking for the apartment. I'd been --

Anne: You'd been having a vision and meditating --

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: And manifesting.

Pilar: Exactly. So once I had all that ready to go, when the call came, and this is over a period of three months that this happened, I was like, okay, great. Now it's time. I can get the car, and I can get the apartment. I can rent the apartment out because now I, now I have somewhere to go because I have a job.

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: And so actually it was really funny. The head of the network called me, and I, I -- it's kind of amazing that I think about this now -- he called me and he said, I, I, I have to tell you that -- and he kind of called me apologetically. And he said, you're going to be really -- this character, you're gonna be really ugly, and you're going to be really nasty.

Anne: All right.

Pilar: So I was like, please, you know bring it on. Right? So we start filming, and it's a whole new experience. So I have to start from the beginning again, and I'm learning camera angles, and I'm learning how the business works. And the show comes out and literally, Anne, overnight -- the show comes out like let's say on a Thursday. And the last show that what they did is that they dovetailed the old show, which was one of the most well-known shows in the history of Colombian television. It was called "Café -- Café con Aroma de Mujer." they're redoing it now. And so then ours came in. So we had that huge audience, which had seen the show, and everyone had been glued to the television. And then they saw our show.

Anne: Right.

Pilar: And I was the first one who spoke on the show. It was really cool.

Anne: And you were an ugly, horrible personality, right?

Pilar: Exactly. I was just, I snarled, I was a snarler. And so it's kind of like a good luck thing. It's kind of like when somebody says that's a kind of a good luck thing in a film when somebody says the name of the film in a film, it's good luck. And in television, in Colombia, it's like the first person who speaks, that's a good little sign. It's like a good luck charm. So, so I was the first person who spoke, and then literally the next day, I was being recognized --

Anne: Wow, that's great.

Pilar: -- on the street.

Anne: That's fantastic.

Pilar: It was the weirdest thing. And so I was like, oh my gosh, what that lady said was true, that fortune teller.

Anne: Right?

Pilar: A year before practically it came out. Yeah. It was over a year that she had said that. And I thought, this is so interesting. So basically I manifested my way into this job.

Anne: Well, I love that. I think there's a lot to be said. I mean, I, it's a new year, you know, and, and I talk all about how being grateful and then really writing down and thinking and manifesting and about what your goals are. I really believe that it comes true. You actually incorporate the steps to make it true. And interestingly enough, notice how I kept noticing all the marketing things that you were doing, which you weren't even realizing at the time. You were developing a relationship. Right? You were keeping top of mind. You were setting goals in place so that you could achieve them to get where you needed to be. So, congratulations. I mean, that's, that's a great story.

Pilar: Anne, where were you, where were you in my life? I wish I could have called you out, like brought you back from the future in. My life would be like, you know, but yeah, exactly. So I started working, and I basically did this over and over and over again --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- because in Colombia, telenovelas only last a year.

Anne: Oh, that's what I was just going to ask. How long did the show go on, a year?

Pilar: Yep. So yeah, because it was actually a little bit more. We do, we did a lot of episodes.

Anne: Is it a daily? Like a --

Pilar: Yeah, yeah.

Anne: Okay. Daily for a year?

Pilar: So it's a daily, but it's not because it's actually prime time. 'Cause it always came out in prompt time. So they're, they're not exactly soap operas. They're, they're like prime time soap, operas. Let's put it that way. That's what they call them. And really they're more like series.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: Because they're not, they have a beginning, middle, and an end.

Anne: Got it.

Pilar: They don't last for 20 years like they do here --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- or 30 years. So, you know, there's a story. So, you know, it's like a poor girl meets rich guy. Then he does something to her, and then she makes it on her own. And then she's great. And then they live happily ever after, or there's a tragedy, you know, and so, you know, all kinds of different stories. And I got to play all kinds of different characters. I became known as the bad girl because I was one of many bad girls on that first show with, "Eternamente Manuela," and then I became this super duper evil person. And it's so funny because on Instagram --

Anne: On that show or on other shows?

Pilar: No, on that show.

Anne: Okay.

Pilar: That's what really established me as the resident bad girl. They showed "Eternamente Manuela" after many years. And there're all these people on Instagram who were like, oh my gosh, that was you. You were such a bad girl. And they're constantly giving me snippets and stuff that I didn't see. It's so funny. 'Cause like when you're working, you don't have time to watch your own show. You just don't. That's one of the things that -- so I never saw the show, that the entire show.

Anne: You have archives that you can post, or is it mostly your fans that are posting --

Pilar: It's a little bit of both. I have some that I post, but most of the time, they show me things, and I'm like, oh my gosh. And I remember filming it, but I don't remember, you know? So it's really fun. It's really great to like kind of like walk down memory lane. I was doing that a lot this past year.

Anne: Yeah. That would make sense that you would be, if it's like a daily thing, and you're in and you're just working all the time, it would make sense that you don't always get to watch. It's like, interestingly enough, the VO BOSS podcast only has weekly episodes, but I don't always get a chance to listen to them after we produce them. So every once in a while, when I get a free moment in my car, I'll listen, and I'll be like, oh, okay. And it brings the memories back. Well, that's a pretty decent episode.

Pilar: Yeah, exactly. And then you can look back and go, oh yeah. Right. That's interesting. Oh goodness.

Anne: When we're in the middle of the manifestation, we're in the middle of the execution, right, you just have to give it up to faith that we're doing a good job and that our listeners and fans are drinking it all in and liking it. And if it were anything, otherwise they would let us know. So.

Pilar: Exactly.

Anne: Yep.

Pilar: Exactly. Barrel along.

Anne: All right. So you are a star, a telanova star. And are you doing any other, are you doing any other shows at this point, other than your daily series?

Pilar: Well, I did the first show, then I go and I do a second show. And then my second show, I'm playing a gringa. So "hablo así, hablo muy trabada así, con un acento así." And I just, I had a ball. I dyed my hair blonde. I was a blonde.

Anne: Wow.

Pilar: I was a blonde, Anne.

Anne: Wow!

Pilar: Oh my gosh. Blondes do have more fun. I'm here to tell you blondes do have more fun. I had so much fun doing that show, and I did so much improvisation on that show. It was amazing. 'Cause I had the latitude. I would sing because I played this housewife who's being cuckolded by her husband who fell -- who falls in love with the lead. So I sit there and I sing away, and I start singing away in English. And it was so much fun to improv on that show because I could do it. And they would let me, 'cause I was playing an American who spoke Spanish.

At the same time -- that was a nightly show -- at the same time, I was doing a series, which was an hour weekly. I got a wig. I got a wig for the show. And so I was this very -- the other woman, she had -- American with an accent. She had blue nail polish. She was, she was really cool. She was really modern, wore these little mini skirts. The other series, she was a recovering alcoholic. So she was very prim and proper lawyer. She had a little sort of Lulu Brooks brown haired bangs. And there were people who did not know that I was in both shows, and that was so much fun to do. So then I added that to the roster at the same time.

Anne: So you're doing all TV at this point.

Pilar: All TV, but here's the thing. I'm doing a lot of interviews.

Anne: Makes sense.

Pilar: The interviews, I love doing live interviews, but the way -- when I would have the most fun was when I was doing live interviews were when I was doing radio. I had so much fun doing radio interviews. So I always asked my agent -- like I really liked doing them because there was just something so much fun about the spoken word. So I, I keep doing these shows, and I, I had a band going where we would do these jazz nights every Friday night at this place. And I added theater. And at one point I was doing two shows and a musical. It was a Colombian musical. And so I was doing everything at once. And then at some point along the lines, I did an animated show. So they asked me to do an animated show. And so that, I got to do like a whole, that was a whole different world for me. And that's when I really kind of --

Anne: Started voiceover maybe.

Pilar: Yes, that's when I started voiceover. Thank you.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: And um --

Anne: Sounds like voiceover to me.

Pilar: And it, it was so much fun though. 'Cause it was different voices and I got to really play around with it. And since they didn't really know what they wanted, I got to do the voices. I got to give them voices.

Anne: So let me ask you a question. Now you're doing an animated show, and you're doing voices. Had you in your acting, your previous acting experience or had you had opportunities to do voices or were you training so that you could create different voices for different characters for acting?

Pilar: None whatsoever.

Anne: Okay. So these were --

Pilar: No, no.

Anne: -- just things that you just brought out to life and --

Pilar: They just asked me to do it. So I did. So they would say, well, let's try this. She's a little bit younger. So I would, I would do a younger voice. And so let's try this person 'cause they're this loud, obnoxious teacher. So I would do this loud, obnoxious teacher.

Anne: Had you played around with voices --

Pilar: No.

Anne: -- when you were young?

Pilar: That's not true. My mother would say absolutely because I used to be -- I was a great mimicker from the time I was a kid.

Anne: Got it, got it.

Pilar: I had a very good friend of mine's mother was German. So I would speak with the German accent and you know, I hear nothign, I see nothing.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: I would -- I was a great mimic when I was a kid.

Anne: You know what's so interesting. I just want to break in a little bit.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: Because I find that where we are in life today, a lot of people that, that kind of tend to follow their heart, follow their dreams end up doing a lot of the same things that they do when they're children. So if you're mimicking, right, when you're a child, like I taught my dolls and I was this teacher for 20 years in front of the classroom. And I do e-learning today. So it's just so interesting that things that I loved when I was a kid, I just brought right through to my, up to my adulthood and to what I bring to my work. So, you mimicking and probably you acted. Did you -- I put on little plays too.

Pilar: I can so see you doing that, Anne. I don't know why. I can see you as like a little mini Anne with, with her little glasses --

Anne: As a mini Anne.

Pilar: -- just kind of, sort of like a little, like a little chorus and kind of like conducting your dolls. Right?

Anne: Yeah. I did. I loved it. I loved it. And I brought it right up. I still do that today. It's so interesting. I think if everybody looks back to their childhood, if they're following their heart or, you know, I always say following my gut. I do both. I do it in my business and in my personal life, I follow my gut, and I really believe that we bring those things from our childhood, and it brings me a lot of joy. I'm pretty sure it brings you joy too.

Pilar: I agree. That's so interesting that you bring that up. I really, and truly -- I hadn't, I kind of knew that on an intellectual level, but if I, if I really feel it in my gut, that is absolutely where I get joy --

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: -- was from when I was a kid, and I would do that and I would make other people laugh. I would make my mother laugh all the time, you know?

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: Wow.

Anne: So then yeah, so now you've transitioned, or not necessarily transitioned, but you've added to your repertoire some animation and voiceover.

Pilar: Yes.

Anne: Wow.

Pilar: Yes.

Anne: Without even knowing it.

Pilar: It was just, it was, it was there. The opportunity was there, because I lived in a -- Bogotá is a place where everything is together. That's not really the case anymore, but it used to be that Los Angeles where it was where you did film and television, New York was where you did more theater.

Anne: Yeah.

Pilar: And theater, yes. Theater, was in the 50's, there was more television. And then I don't know why or, or what I mean, and I don't know the history of this, but it just became more of a theater town, and you know, then, you know, slowly but surely, they started doing the studios in Queens, and then more film and television came, and now there's a whole bunch more voiceover. And there always was that, but I feel like LA was the big place for all that stuff. And so Bogotá kind of did -- had everything. So I had a lot more opportunity --

Anne: Interesting.

Pilar: -- to, to kind of --

Anne: Broaden.

Pilar: Yeah, yeah. Broaden my horizons that way. So I basically just went from show to show to show. I never really stopped. There was one show that I did. It was the last show that I got to play a bolero and ranchera singer. I was hired on the basis of, I actually did a, uh -- back in, I was on a, this thing called Restaurant Row in New York, Cabaret Row. It's called, Don't Tell Mama. And I did this show called, um, I can't remember what it was. It was, it was a revue. And I played this character called Nora the Dominatrix. There was this one song that I had to sing. And it was "you ache for the touch of my lips dear, but much more for the touch of my whips, dear. I can raise welts. Like nobody else, as we dance to the domination tango."

Anne: Love it.

Pilar: So it was, it was so hysterical. And I was, I was all decked out in this whole dominatrix costume. And that was a whole, I actually, to get the costume, when I lived in New York, I went to Patricia Field, which back then, which was on 8th Street. And I walked in and I had to look for like, like I was looking for, I didn't know what I was really looking for. And this one, beautiful, beautiful, tall transvestite comes and says, can I help you, dear? And she had this long blonde hair. And so I'm like, I have no idea what I'm looking for, 'cause I don't know what a dominatrix looks like. I'm supposed to dress like a dominatrix. So there's this woman and she's kind of mousy. She's got a long raincoat on, and she's looking around and the salesperson's helping me.

And then she comes up to me and she says, what are you looking for? And I said, well, I don't really know what a dominatrix looks like. She said, I'm a dominatrix. And I look at her and I'm like, oh, and I'm like, do you mind if I get my pen and paper out? She starts telling me what a dominatrix does. She gave me all this information. So I get the outfit and, you know, dog collar, little short shorts, you know, the whole thing, the fishnet stock and a whip.

Anne: Yup, yup.

Pilar: So for the audition that I did for the, back to what we're talking about, for this show, I wore that whole costume, and they were like, you got the job.

Anne: Yep.

Pilar: So --

Anne: You walked in, you got it.

Pilar: Exactly. And I'm wearing like a little, a little blonde wig. So I had to sing when it was my turn to sing and I don't know why this is, but it was, it was really kind of a unique situation. It was my responsibility. So I would hire these guys, which of course the network paid for. But I, I would hire these -- a mariachi band, and they would come to the studio, and we would sing this song or wherever. And then I would learn the song for that week. And so it was like a little performance. So it was like, I was doing like a little play within the show, and it was such a great experience because I didn't have much time. So I had to -- it was like learning copy.

Anne: Sure.

Pilar: It's like, I had to, I had to learn the song quickly and have it as if I --

Anne: And deliver.

Pilar: And deliver. So it was like, it was all of what I'm describing was just great practice for what I do today.

Anne: So now do you come back to New York after a certain amount of time? Or how long are you down in Colombia?

Pilar: Nine years.

Anne: Okay.

Pilar: I'm in, I'm in Colombia for nine years. And so I do all these different things, and my father passed away in '99, and that's when I realized kind of wanted to be near my mother and my sister. But I'm thinking, I don't know if I want to go back to New York. I'd like to try something different. And I thought, well, and I'd always been in love with Miami, because it was so beautiful --

Anne: Yup.

Pilar: -- and just like, Ugh. So I wanted to go to LA, but I was too scared. I was like, it's just too big. It's just, there's just too much. I thought, let me try Miami. It's another market. Let me see what it's like.

Anne: All right.

Pilar: So I get to Miami, I have cousins there and I, I live with them, and I'm like, well, you know, I've been a telenovella actress for the past nine years. I've got all this body of work. I'm set, and I get there, and I don't get one job for a year. And I'm like, oh my gosh, I'm starting again.

Anne: And here starts your life in Miami.

Pilar: Yeah.

Anne: And actually this is a good segue for part two. Part two. So yeah. So we're going to be continuing the story, which is a very interesting story, because I can draw so many parallels to see how you've evolved, how you've grown, and it really draws so many parallels to the voiceover industry and how you can grow as an artist anywhere really, whether you're doing voiceover acting, in television, theater on the stage; it really is such a wonderful, I guess, reveal, Pilar, of your career and how we can, we can learn from that.

So I'd like to give a great, big shout out right now to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and network like a BOSS. You can find out more at Pilar, I cannot wait for our next episode to continue the conversation. So thank you so much for being with me today. And we will come back for part two in the next episode. Take care, BOSSes. Bye!

Pilar: Thank you, Anne. This was a pleasure.

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.