Debby Kotzen’s Naked Voices – Chicago’s only exclusively voiceover agency – now has 200 exclusive talents on its roster with the addition of two talent agents, “thus enabling us to offer a greater range of voices to fill the growing list of client needs,” Kotzen says.
“This merger of all the best people will knock it out the park,” says Laurie Haverkamp, who earned her reputation casting commercials for leading national advertisers.
Haverkamp joined Naked Voices July 2, followed by almost all of her talent, after spending 10 years with Innovative Artists and its predecessor agency, Voices Unlimited. Innovative on June 29 closed its voiceover department and became a satellite on-camera agency for its L.A. headquarters.
Brett Sechrist, who specializes in animation and interactive projects, had joined Naked Voices some months earlier. He moved here after eight years in L.A., most recently as an agent with AVO Talent, a voiceover agency where he represented such notable voice actors as Marcia Wallace (“The Simpsons”) and Kath Soucie (“Rugrats”).
“Laurie and Brett possess dynamic energy, fresh ideas and extensive contacts, which will hopefully launch Naked Voices into Chicago’s top voiceover talent choice,” says Kotzen, owner since 2000 of the SAG AFTRA franchised agency.
Among Haverkamp’s some 100 exclusives are improv actor David Pasquesi, who voices spots for State Farm and International Delight coffee creams and is featured in Woody Allen’s new “To Rome with Love” feature; Robyn Moler, the voice of Kellogg’s Special K and Aldi; Ross Dimun of Coors Light and Leah Mortensen who’s heard on Similar and Roc moisturizer spots.
Haverkamp finds business is very good, “with some really great accounts coming from agencies outside of Chicago,” she says. The agency is currently auditioning for Orville Redenbacher and KFC commercials.
Sechrist books for TV shows, video games
Naked Voices has been handling more and different types of assignments from L.A. “through Brett’s good relationships with L.A. casting directors,” Kotzen notes.
Two of Sechrist’s recent bookings for some of those different projects were young actors represented exclusively by close associates Big Mouth Talent. (The two companies share an office suite.)
Big Mouth’s Sean Giambrone, 13, was hired for a Cartoon Network pilot, a rarity, as this was the first time Cartoon Network producers went outside of L.A. for talent and one of the few times they hired a young actor for a role usually reserved for seasoned performers; teen actor Jack Schulurf won a continuing part in the “Walking Dead” serialized video game through a San Francisco agency.
Closer to home, Naked Voices’ client Eleni Pappageorge was hired by Evanston-based producer Chris Granner of CG Music for the voice of the Wicked Witch of the West for a “Wizard of Oz” pinball game.
Naked Voices is located at 900 N. Franklin. Phone, 312/563-0136.