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BW communications grad rises as national voice-over artist

Christy Harst '98 has made a career out of being "heard and not seen" as the voice of many iconic national brands.

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The silky, expressive voice of Baldwin Wallace University graduate Christy Harst '98 has been featured by a host of major brand ads, including John Deere, Delta Faucets, Sherwin Williams, American Greetings, Kleenex, Wendy's, AT&T, Alaska Airlines and YouTube TV.

Traveling through Cleveland Hopkins Airport? That's Harst you'll hear periodically announcing, "Only ticketed passengers or those with legitimate airport purposes are permitted on airport grounds."

Honing the power of speech

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After doing both on-camera and voice-over work for 20 years, Harst decided six years ago to focus full time on voice work. She runs Christy Harst Voice Over out of a broadcast-quality studio in the Fairview Park, Ohio, home she shares with her husband and two children.

While national ad campaigns are highly visible, Harst happily lends her voice to other projects. "Television commercials are lots of fun, but so are medical training programs, on-hold messages about deicers and narrating the proud history of a church," her website proclaims.

She also recently partnered with fellow BW grad and WBWC 88.3 The Sting alum Craig Cooper '96 to voice a promotional video for his non-profit, The Cooper Foundation, which assists children and young adults with disabilities by funding therapy, a summer camp or equipment to help with everyday living. You can take a listen here.

Competing against the odds

Voice acting is highly competitive. "Being a female also adds a layer of challenges," Harst notes. But her confidence and determination were buoyed when she was the only female nominated for the 2018 SOVA (Society of Voice Arts) Awards in the "promo voice-over" category, which is perennially dominated by men. 

"I didn't win, but that experience showed me that I have what it takes to not only compete but compete with men who typically have the advantage," she recalls. "Since then, I have been working hard — through coaching and workshops — to learn how to use my voice to stand out from not only other women but men."

Her success as a voice-over artist has made her an in-demand speaker and podcast guest.

Standing out at BW

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At BW, Harst stood out as a hard-working, four-year starter and two-year captain of the volleyball team (pictured here in mid-serve for the Yellow Jackets), all the while racking up as much hands-on experience as she could for her chosen career field, including internships with MTV in New York and at Cleveland's WKYC-TV and WCLV radio.

She also took a leadership role with campus radio. "Working as the News and Operations Director at WBWC 88.3 The Sting while majoring in broadcast communications helped me understand what is expected of people in my industry, how to be a professional, and the value of hard work and dedication. The skills I learned at BW allowed me to succeed at internships, then at my first job, and now as an entrepreneur."

Harst is also grateful for the ongoing support she's received from fellow alumni and Phi Mu sorority sisters. "I have been hired by several former classmates," she says. "The BW community is strong and generous. I'm not sure I would be where I am at today without BW, its staff and the friendships I made during my time there."

Find out more about Harst's work at christyharst.com

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