All Fun and Games in Voice Over

Leslie Aguirre-Baehr

From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a voice over actress. As a kid, it was all for fun – it started with singing and playing, without any sort of consciousness that I would actually try doing this at age 30 for real. It began with fun and games as a child, which I now know has been the key to success in my life and for feeling peacefully fulfilled as an actress.

I was 10 years old when Grandpa gave me a Sony cassette tape recorder with a blank tape for me to record anything I wanted. My little brother (who was three years old at the time) and I began recording ourselves, making up different characters and stories. I interviewed him when he pretended to be “Señor Piojito”, and I sang and performed my favorite songs for him. We recorded everything together and couldn’t stop cracking up when we would listen back to the recordings. The fun we had doing this is one of my favorite memories.

Thankfully, my mother kept those cassettes, and to this very day, we listen to the tapes on our stereo (yes, we have a device that can play cassettes AND vinyl), and there is something so special about that voiceprint we made together that has stayed with me through my life. I am still amazed by how easy it was for me, as a kid, to improvise or change my pitch, cadence, and volume. When doing voices with my brother and singing for him, it was all fun and games. I loved it. 

When I was 13, I started singing in front of bigger audiences. When I was in middle school, I performed in my first concert that celebrated our teachers. I sang the Spanish version of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, and kept singing from there. For several years, I sang toccatas with my talented musician friends who invited me to sing along. Nowadays, those friends, Izcacel and Alejandro, are both very successful musicians in Mexico and Alejandro even started recording us many years ago. 

After a wonderful career in journalism in Mexico and Chile, I decided that I wanted to train in both singing and voice over. I had a calling for song and VO, and one day, a good friend gave me a meaningful piece of advice. “Honor your artist, Leslie”, he suggested. 

At age 33, I found Edge Studio and I began training (specifically with Ernesto de Villa Bejjani). It has been an incredible journey in voice over, and in time I have only gotten better. It’s taken a lot of effort and work, through classes, accepting feedback, trying and not always succeeding, developing resilience and curiosity, of course, with a little fun and games mixed in. 

Through all of this and as I have developed my voice over career, I have continued to record my own music (with the help of Izcacel, my talented music producer friend in Mexico). Our music has helped me promote my brand as a voice over artist and on social media, and it’s been six wonderful years of consistently booking clients while producing music at the same time. I’ve even written three original songs, because… why not? 

My music has helped my agents submit me for animated voice over projects, and my singing ability has only helped me show off in my VO career. Because I took the time to train properly in singing and in voice over, I have gained an advantage as an actor. By embracing the fun and games of my childhood while recording myself on those old cassette tapes, I’ve learned how to transform myself now as an actor, and am ready for anything.