The next step in your life, depends on how you speak up.
Voice strategist, speaker and advocate for positive change. I help action takers, doers and those who want to make a difference, strengthen their voice to to speak up and be heard.
My teaching approach comes from 20 years experience as a Voice Strategist, Presentation Coach and Director. My skills have been utilized at places such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Paramount Kings Dominion, Hanover County School System, Virginia Opera, the Miss America Organization and in corporate, university and healthcare settings across the nation.
Individuals and groups come to me to help them:
Improve their voice to increase connection and authenticity.
Deliver powerful presentations on-camera & in person.
Develop a stronger voice to speak on podcasts and LIVE platforms.
Inspire others by sharing their story.
Learn to connect with their audiences.
Get cast in a broadway show.
Launch an amazing online course.
Speak like and become a leading entrepreneur or coach.
Hi! I'm Cathy,
They have faced fears, sometimes buried deep down, that they were:
Born achievers afraid to take action
Use the facade of perfection to avoid criticism
Afraid to be on camera
Scared to speak up in a crowd
Incapable of connecting with people
Unable to match their voice to their feelings
I'm here to tell you -
You CAN overcome any of your fears and achieve all that you have dreamed.
I have seen it happen for my clients.
Your voice is powerful. Communication is everything. The impression you make starts when you walk in the door, but more lasting is the sound of your voice. It can make or break the deal.
You want to help others....you want to share your story...your mission...but first you have to uncover your WHY. Then, we can work on HOW.
Confidence, Authenticity and Resilience are vital to staying relevant....to making connections.
YOUR VOICE IS YOUR PLACE CARD IN THE WORLD -
THE VERY ESSENCE OF YOU.
MAYBE YOU'VE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT THAT WAY....
Think about it, without your voice, how would you accomplish the things you want? You use it for everything. As simple as to convince your kids to clean their room, persuade your boss you deserve the raise, or flirt with your spouse to plan the vacation. You have to communicate effectively for people to WANT to do what you need. Whatever the goal, to market, encourage, persuade, empathize, inspire, your success is dependent upon your voice.
So what's my story?
Clients love my fun, relaxed approach, helping them discover the power of their own voice. You have a story that can be told through speaking or singing and the way you carry yourself every single day. I help strengthen your outer voice so you can share your inner passion.
Where did I learn how to do what I do?
It didn't hurt having strong women in my family. One grandmother left her one room school house in the small, country town or Brookneal to head to the big city of Richmond, VA and become a charge nurse. My mother was President of her graduating RN class and is a beautiful artist. My other grandmother was an entertainer through and through, most notably singing on 1930's radio shows and tap dancing on toe shoes and roller skates! (OUCH!)
I started performing as a child in the church choir and always loved a good musical. Spending years in piano, dance and voice training, I received a degree in Vocal Performance and moved to NYC living for a time with my cousin, a professional Opera Singer and his wife Susan Almassi - the Assistant Choral Master of the Metropolitan Opera. What an education I was receiving listening to Renne Flemming from the basement and passing Placido Domingo in the lunch line! I began touring the nation in National tours and onboard luxury cruise liners around the world, from Fiji to Abu Dhabi, in production casts and my solo show. During a stint at home while visiting parents in Richmond, VA I met my husband and soon left the hustle and bustle of entertainment life on the road. However, I wasn't ready to give up a performer's life and continued acting in roles such as, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, the Narrator in "Joseph...Dreamcoat", and performing for Virginia Opera, creating The Richmond Divas, music directing for Royal Caribbean and different theme parks, appearing in commercials and infommercials on TV and radio and opening my own vocal studio. You never know where life will take you!
A few years later, my life changed drastically as we were blessed with boy/girl twins. However, one week after birth, we lost our daughter, Lola, to a tragic sequence of preventable, medial errors, miscommunications and mistakes. It was a moment in time, where life stood still and I was left gasping for breath, trying to understand how something so precious could be gone so fast.
It took months to find my voice again. When I did, I found a renewed desire to use my voice, not only to sing.... but to speak. I had to believe Lola was meant for something greater than solely being in my arms and maybe I was meant to share it. Medical error is the third largest leading cause of death in the U.S. I stopped asking why and started asking what. I began to use my voice to focus on prevention for all those families who didn't have the chance. My husband and I now travel the nation bringing awareness for Patient Safety to medical and physician assistant programs at medical schools, universities and healthcare systems. I designed Lola's Pledge and Lola's Song Project.
The problem, was, I was the Richmond Diva who was petrified to speak on stage. I can sing, in character, anytime, anywhere, but to speak, as myself, on stage, was another ball game. However, in true performer style, I jumped in without a net. The thing about the theatre is, you can create any illusion you want. Relying on my fishnets and false lashes, I utilized the skills I perfected as a performer - confidence, physical strength, illusion and the mindset- "I'm in control of the audience's reaction" mindset. Then, I began to fly.
It wasn't always the most articulate patter, but it was authentic. I became increasingly aware of the need for effective communication and the role our voice takes in successful relationships. Communicating had been my life's work. There was no mistake. I made the choice to believe what happened to my daughter, happened to me - because I was the one who could do something about it.
The skills we use to sing are the same we need to speak. I had a full studio of students learning to sing but when it came to speak, they were lost. They mumbled, they didn't know what to do with their bodies and their posture. Their breathing changed as they stopped supporting their sound. They didn't see the importance of everyday speech. I found myself constantly saying, speak like you sing and sing like you speak. My clients now focus on: Controlling their breath, projecting their voice and storytelling.
CATHY - THE MENTOR AND TEACHER THAT LED ME TO THE PERFORMER I AM TODAY!
Cathy quickly transformed me to a confident vocalist and performer. She found the qualities that made my voice unique and helped me hone them to stand out. She built me a strong technical base so I can sing healthily and taught me valuable lessons on the acting and emotions within songs. Without her guidance, I would not have made it through the intimidating and overwhelming experience of auditioning for college Musical Theatre Programs. Cathy was the mentor and teacher that I needed and led me to be the performer I am today! Cathy remains a role model and coach to me, only a phone call or text away when I need her. Without a doubt, I would recommend Cathy to anyone who is looking to boost their skills and confidence.
ALLY DODS - Vocalist