Alumni Interview: Kelly Roza, Voice Over Talent
We recently spoke to Kelly Roza, our 2006 alumni from Sekolah Sri KDU (Secondary) and former Principal’s Award Recipient on her journey as Voice Over Talent and mother who is looking to enroll her son to Sekolah Sri KDU. Read Kelly Roza’s story below to learn more about her career and journey:
“A famous Italian actress, Sophia Lauren once said that when you become a mother, you are never alone with your thoughts. A mother always must always think twice – once for herself and once for her child, and I speak on behalf of many parents or mothers, that we always want what is best for our children. As a mother, I wish the best, if not greatest, for my son especially when it comes to his social and academic development and growth, but I have also grown to realise that manners and a kind personality starts at home and is one of the most important skills to have when it comes to early childhood education.
Being a mother has got to be my favourite job and career but realistically, being a mom does not pay bills. While I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Mass Communications, during my internship I quickly realised a typical nine to five desk job was just not for me, not something I would ever see myself to come around liking of loving, I definitely needed something more flexible and just as exciting where I can exercise my creativity.
But my love for Mass Communication and the industry remained burning with desire and it started as early as the age of 16. My mother would bring me over to her friend’s studio with intentions of turning me into a singer, but that was not the case for my stage fright! I remember being extremely nervous that my voice was shaking, and I just couldn’t pull it off but while trying to get over my nervousness, I spotted some scripts left on the script stand and asked if I could read them and give it a go and since my trial and error, I was called for multiple jobs after. Since this career and passion started as early since I was a student, I didn’t really take it seriously until I was in college. I remember having an “Introduction to Radio” lecture and the students had to produce radio public service announcements and advertisements and my very own lecturer who is well-known radio DJ, thought that I had a special talent and would not believe it was my voice that he heard when reviewing our projects and assignments. He was made me realise my talent which kickstarted my career and passion in voiceover industry. The rest? History.
You may not think about it much, but throughout your day, voice overs surround you. The advertisements you hear on the radio or television are done by voice talents. Even the voice you hear to welcome the seminar’s speaker or the audio of the movie you just watched is also a product of voice over. I sing, do jingles, corporate reads, IVRs and voiceovers for just about anything and everything!
If I were to be honest, I never actually planned to do what I do today and become a voice over talent, and I have always felt like the career chose me instead. As soon as I graduated from my degree programme, I was offered a full-time job to do all copywriting and voice over work for all the video projects of a company. It started off with smaller projects and it eventually grew me enough that brands were hiring me – enough for it to become a full-time career. I am blessed and lucky even to work with multiple renown brands all my career. It has been a great journey these past years but when the pandemic hit, it was tough. I couldn’t do many voiceovers as I did not have my own home studio set up. I did lose out on many VO jobs because of that, but there were clients who still insisted on using my voice and were willing to compromise on ‘sound quality’ as I could only record using my laptop and a basic microphone as well as under a heavy blanket, a recording trick to cut off the echo and reverb. Some even agreed to phone recordings. The reason why I never got around to getting a home set up before was because the editing side of VOs were so foreign to me. However, during the second MCO, I decided to get my own professional home recording set up and learnt the skills on basic editing so I don’t lose out anymore and will be able to provide the best to all my existing and future clients, studios, and agencies alike.
I want my son to have the same opportunities, and to be able to explore his interests, likes, and dislike and discover what’s best for him, and what’s his calling. Walking inside of Sri KDU again after years, I was amazed to see the school so well maintained. It looks as it did 16/17 years back, but of course, with newer and modern upgrades. I remember Sri KDU having such a positive vibe. It was a positive school environment that allowed students and teachers to feel emotionally and physically safe, which also encourages attendance in students. I want my son to be as excited as I was to go to school because I remember loving Sejarah lessons with Mr. Sara as he was always so passionate in teaching, funny, and extremely engaging. He was someone with a field of knowledge, deeply stirred by issues and ideas that challenge and changed our world. When he speaks, you listen! Sejarah can be a tough subject as there is so much to learn and remember but the lessons were always what our class looked forward to. I will always remember Mr. Sara for his passionate and effective teaching methods, and I’m also thankful for Mrs Tai, my homeroom teacher who was one of the reasons why I was nominated for the Principal Award. In Form 4, I was not very focused in school, but Mrs Tai went out of her way to help guide me to focus on school. I guess she saw the potential in me and helped steer me into the right direction. She was always very kind and motivating.
As a mother, I can’t wait my son to experience what the school offers. I hope they continue to keep the school in the best shape for future learners too. With a nice positive learning environment, I am sure my son and other learners will be just as motivated, engaged, as well as have a higher overall learning ability and an all-round development. I always believed that the biggest mistake is not realizing that a mistake is an opportunity to learn. Failure is not a show of weakness or incompetence, just the opposite. It is ok to hit a speed bump in the road, but it’s important to just get up trying again. It’s definitely an opportunity to revisit again and try again. Mistakes are a way to learn and is necessary and a culture of perseverance is important.