Lisa Leonard Help and Healing VO
Lisa Leonard Help and Healing VO

My Year as a Foster Mom for Dogs: Basset Hound Rescue

“How could you?”  “Isn’t it so hard?”  These are common things I hear when I tell people I’m a foster for Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue.  I foster because there’s a need for fosters.   For every foster home found, another dog can be removed from a kill shelter or rescued from an abusive or unsustainable situation.  It feels good to know I’m helping save and improve dog lives.  I know that foster homes are an important part of the dog rescue mission. My own dog spent several months in a foster home before I found her through Wags Rescue in Pennsylvania..  That foster mom inspired me and now, years later, I’m proud to call myself a foster mom.   read more…

I Appreciate You (and “Ted Lasso”)

Happy New Year!  Did you make any resolutions?  I’m trying to express appreciation more often.  I want to let people know that they matter.  Not just friends and family, but strangers as well.

This is not a new goal.  I’m happy to say I made some good progress on the appreciation front in 2021.    On Christmas Eve, my friend and I drove around to look at holiday lights and decorations.  Close up photo of candle with image of many other candles in the distanceOne neighborhood was full of luminarias.  Streets in every direction were lined with those white bags containing votive candles.  I was captivated.  And grateful to experience some holiday joy during another challenging year.  It was a cold windy night in Southeastern PA, and we saw volunteers in reflective vests lighting hundreds of these candles.  I had to say thanks so I rolled down my window and let the teenage boy know his efforts were being appreciated.   I’d like to think that made him feel good.  (And perhaps provided a bit more motivation to continue doing what might have seemed like a thankless task.)

Then I thanked the worker at the Chinese Restaurant take-out window who prepared orders and checked out a non-stop line of customers.  “Thanks for being open, I’m sure this is a hectic night for all of you.”  She said, “You’re welcome.  Happy Holidays.”  That little interaction made both of us smile.

For some friends’ birthdays last year, I recorded video messages from their friends and family.  Then I edited them together into 30 minute long outpourings of love and appreciation.  One of the video recipients was so touched she said, “it would be great if everyone could get one of these every 10 years.”  Another friend said, “thanks for giving me a chance to hear all this nice stuff now.  It’s the kind of thing people usually say at a funeral when it’s too late.”

Somehow the art of a good “thank you” or “I appreciate you” has gotten lost lost in our fast-paced society.  Perhaps we can all try to be a bit more expressive in this new year.

And on the off chance that Jason Sudeikis  might be reading this (or anyone involved in making my favorite show “Ted Lasso,”  ) I want to thank YOU for Ted’s character’s oft-spoken phrase, “I appreciate you.”  Let’s hope this expression is catching on and we’ll all get more comfortable telling people what they mean to us.

In closing, I want to thank YOU for reading this blog post.  I hope you find my words inspiring and/or helpful in some way.  And I want to thank everyone who has hired me for voiceovers.  I am so grateful I get to do work that I love.  Commercials, Medical Narrations, eLearning Modules, Phone Recordings, Awards and Event Announcements…I enjoy it all and feel lucky I get to do it year after year.  I appreciate you and the faith you have in me.

A Look Behind Our VO Booth Walls

screen shot showing percentage of voice actors who are in SAG-AFTRA and those who are not.

Colorful pie charts and interesting facts can be found in the State of VO survey results which were just released.

The VoiceOver industry is one that I’m so proud to be a part of.  Beyond the “getting paid to use my talents and do something I love” aspect, I get to collaborate with other voice actors.  Most of them are kind, creative, fun people who also love the work. read more…

Self Care is Not Selfish

photo of flowers on massage table with candle burning in backgroundThere’s a meme and phrase that’s having its day in the sun and I couldn’t be happier:  Self Care is not Selfish!

Ask any mental health professional and they will tell you you must prioritize your well-being. In doing so, not only will you be healthy, but you’ll be able to be a better employee, partner, parent, friend, etc.  To elaborate with a few more similar phrases that I’m hearing a lot lately, “You can’t serve from an empty vessel,” and “You must put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help anyone else.” read more…

Gold-Medal Life Lessons: Part 1

action shot of Team USA's Alexis Sablone

https://www.facebook.com/USASkateboarding/

It was the first time I had ever watched Skateboarding on TV.  Knowing this was the first Olympics to include the sport, I was curious to witness this historic event happening in Tokyo.  In 20 minutes of viewing, here’s what ran through my mind:

Oh NO, she just fell!
She better be careful…not wearing a helmet!
OMG, I could NEVER do that!
Ouch! Looks like that really hurt!
She fell too? Yikes, is the Olympic Skate Park cursed? Damaged?
My concern and empathy for these skateboarders quickly turned to admiration when I realized the life lessons that they were reminding us of:

read more…

More Reasons to Join Clubhouse

Now that Android users have access to Clubhouse, I’m sharing a few more reasons why I love using the app. Clubhouse logo with text that reads "Why I Love Clubhouse, Part 2"

Authentic, Supportive People:  I pride myself on being a good reader of people.  I can usually spot pretense a mile away.  In my several months on Clubhouse, my sense is that most of the people who talk are speaking authentically.  I’ve been brought to tears in some of the rooms where speakers shared their survival stories (abusive pasts, discrimination, workplace harassment) and what inevitably happens is that one person’s vulnerable share will lead to another’s, and another’s.  Clubhouse allows people to connect in a real, human way and through these connections we can all learn from and be inspired by each other.   And we can help if we want to.

Comedy Shows and Game Rooms:  Don’t let the above comments make you think it’s always “heavy” on Clubhouse.  There are hundreds of rooms for Comedy and Trivia and plenty of other lighthearted topics.  Some people host Happy Hour and even overnight rooms where things can get pretty hilarious! read more…

Android Users Can Now Use Clubhouse!

Logo of Clubhouse app and text that says "why I love Clubhouse Part One"

If you’re an Android user who’s wanting to join the popular Clubhouse app, you’re in luck! The founders just announced that people with Android devices can now download and start using the free social media platform.  For the past several months I’ve been listening to and participating in some excellent conversations.  Here are 2 reasons why I think Clubhouse can be helpful personally and professionally.

Access to Thought Leaders:  This audio-only platform gives me the opportunity to learn from some of the best.  Sure there are some famous people on the app who give advice and share insights, but I’m also learning from non-celebrity types.  It’s like attending a conference on whatever topic you’re interested in.  You can attend the big keynote speeches or you can walk down the hall and pop into any of the breakout sessions that pique your interest.  In many cases you can raise your hand and be called onto the stage to ask the expert your question.  Or you can take a couple minutes to share some of your own experience so others in the room can benefit.  “Adding Value” is a phrase you’ll hear a lot on Clubhouse.

read more…

Today’s Healthcare Heroes Spotlight: Nurses

nurse leaning against wallOn this National Nurses’ Day, I’m feeling awestruck.  I truly don’t know how nurses have survived this pandemic.  To show up and work under incredibly challenging circumstances day after day, focusing on patients and their families (no matter what personal loss or burnout they may be going through themselves,) it’s just amazing to me.  Much respect for ALL healthcare workers but it’s Nurses’ Week so I’m focusing this blog post on them. read more…

Pandemic Pants and Pep Talks

Do you know what a pants-expander is? It’s a stretchy rubber loop that attaches to the button of a pair of pants. I confess I bought 6 of them because my size 8 jeans just weren’t fitting anymore. Hopeful that my pandemic stress eating will subside and I’ll get back down to my usual weight and size soon, I didn’t want to splurge on a bunch of new pants so I’ve been wearing these goofy looking pants-expanders.
2 pairs of jeans showing pants expanders in use
Clearly, I’m not alone. Sales of stretchy yoga and sweat pants increased over the past year when we’ve been working from home with 24/7 access to our snacks and comfort foods.

I say all that to let you know of a positive experience I’ve just had. read more…

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