“I’ve come to realize that in life we sometimes experience special moments and encounter special people who greatly impact who we are."
This is how Cradle mom, Cynthia Frierson, described her chance encounter with an advertising executive a few years back which led to her change in careers into the field of voiceover talent. She had been chatting with a friend on a Metra train heading home to the south suburbs when her voice was “discovered.” Several phone calls, interviews and lessons later, and Cynthia has found her new niche. She has done several TV and radio commercials and has even recently been featured in a television show.
Cynthia and I also connected rather coincidentally. It’s a typical Tuesday in April. I’m plugging away at numerous projects when my phone rings. Someone who had called our main number has been transferred to me as she has expressed an interest in helping with our advertising. I take the call and am a bit skeptical. Lots of people call us out of the blue looking to sell us something. I have taken many of these calls. But this call is different from the very start.
Cynthia introduces herself as a Cradle Mom who would like to offer The Cradle her talents. I feel an instant connection. She has a warm and engaging voice that just draws me in. She goes on to explain that she and her husband adopted their son 36 years ago. “And I have always kept a warm place in my heart for The Cradle, the work you do and where my son came from.”
She explains that when her son was small, she served on one of The Cradle’s auxiliaries, the groups of volunteers who were active in supporting our work “back in the day.” “I really enjoyed the connection and work we did as an auxiliary,” Cynthia explained. In fact, when she became president of her chapter, they not only had a very successful fundraiser but began an effort that continues to this day as the Volunteers for Adoption Education – a speakers’ bureau of individuals with personal adoption experience who speak at area high schools. Cynthia realized they were on to something quite powerful when one of her fellow auxiliary speakers shared how proud she was to do her first presentation at Thornton High School in Harvey, IL. "I’ve done something extremely worthwhile today by explaining to young people what adoption is really all about," she explained to her family that evening.
Cynthia went on to say that she had seen our spot on TV on multiple occasions and had wondered if she could help with any future advertising efforts. I explain that for now, we are all set with our TV spots. But I thanked her warmly, saying we should keep in touch. I will certainly keep her offer, her enthusiasm and her talents in mind.
Just a few weeks later, I come across the perfect project for us. We are in the process of transforming our Adoption Learning Partners’ online courses into short segments that can be readily viewed on a mobile phone. We needed to narrate them. We need voiceover talent.
I sent Cynthia a quick note to ask if she could help. I warn her that rather than a 15 second TV spot, we are looking for several hours of narration. She is intrigued and quickly says “I’m in!” I timidly ask if her offer to do this on a pro bono basis would still hold, knowing how much longer she would be reading. She instantly replies “Absolutely! I’m a Cradle Mom and totally dedicated to the organization.”
When we meet in person a few weeks later, I once again feel a real connection with Cynthia. She explains how she has studied the 60+ pages of text and tried to really immerse herself into the stories and concepts being taught. She explains that she could personally relate to much of the narrative because of her personal adoption experience.
It was a long afternoon in the recording studio. The studio professionals warned us that most voiceover talent would need several days to read this very extensive script. But Cynthia just replies “we are here and we will do this today!” And that we did!
Each story relayed, each concept described was delivered with utmost care. And a warm and caring tone permeates Cynthia’s delivery.
This is a personal gift she is giving The Cradle and giving the adoptive and foster families who will be taking the courses.
Thank you, Cynthia, for staying connected and keeping that warm place in your heart for The Cradle alive and giving!
By: Joan Jaeger, V.P. Marketing and Communications for The Cradle