Karen-Eileen Gordon

Karen-Eileen’s Story

“It takes a village…and I’ve got the entire village living within me.”

“It’s a ginormous thrill as an actor, to get paid for walking in other goddess’ pumps. It’s the way I remind myself and the audiences how connected we truly are. Some of the characters that I play are out-there crazy and so different from me; others are very close-to-home. I embrace all of it.

My audience is everywhere; even at the Paris bank where I worked in the currency exchange department. People would come to the bank to trade their dollars for francs and if they were rude, I would suddenly become a Parisian woman with very limited foreign language skills…I felt utter joy speaking to them in broken English with a French accent.

Voices are my thing. I can’t explain why I know how to do them, or how I make them part of me. I have always just been able to reproduce the accents or dialects I hear. Back when I was a student at Nova High School, I was part of dozens of National Forensic League tournaments all over the country. My job was to do humorous interpretations of published plays. I chose “Adaptation” by Mike Nichols and Elaine May and won. I became 17 different characters.

Perhaps channeling those voices are God’s gift to me. This is how I have used it:

I’m a working actress. Part of the fun of going to Los Angeles from here is getting on flights that have stops. I like to have a break and walk around in the Atlanta or Houston or Las Vegas airports and get a yummy snack. Southwest flight #2073 is one of my favorites. I am a Southwest fan and I daydream about doing my stand-up every preflight on the intercom and making the passengers roar.

For a decade I was based in Los Angeles. My first acting job was as an extra in a commercial. You know, most actors start that way, and even some very-working “A-Listers” still love to show up as extras on sets to stay connected to where they started. For my first job, I played a fan watching a swimming event. We worked 12-hour days in the broiling sun for $50, and I was thrilled because it was my first paycheck in the acting world.

Years later, I got the part of Florence in the STARZ Original Drama “Magic City.” This was a huge break for me, and I had the glee of playing this sassy New York character for two full seasons. A big dream moment was getting to choose my entire 1959 wardrobe, right down to the girdles and the pearls. Remember the part in “Pretty Woman,” where she picks all the clothes? I was her that day. I loved living in Los Angeles. It’s a performance-centered place with huge creative energy. We have some of that in Broward, too, but you have look for it.

I love the stage, and I’m reworking the one-woman show I created. A character’s voice is a huge part of my work. When I narrate an audiobook, I feel the same passion and excitement of acting on film or television because I’m always a storyteller. It doesn’t matter if my audience is connecting through a screen, from a theater seat, or via headphones.

I’ve worked as a voice-over actor for a long time, and in the last two years I developed a mad crush on audiobooks, and formed my company EarBliss™ Audiobooks where I create audiobooks for authors and publishers. I become the London princess, the Paris seductress, the soothing yoga instructor, the Mexican mom, the fast-talking Cuban chica, the feisty New Yorker, the authoritative American. I am a teenage female werewolf with a lighter voice, and a sexy Puerto Rican man with a low, gravelly voice. I am mature. I am a wise ass. I am all of it, because we are all of it. I also get to teach others how to launch killer voiceover careers, and that’s a massive joy.

You know, some audiobooks have so many characters that in the recording studio, I often use a spreadsheet to keep them all straight. My record is in Dragon Heart where I do 43 voices in one book.

It’s nice to be back home in Broward. My parents are here. My brother is closer. I like the peaceful, mellow spa-like vibe where I live in Weston. It lets me recharge then go out into the world with a reservoir of calm.

Watch Karen Eileen Gordon’s One-Woman Show.

Listen to a few of Karen Eileen Gordon’s voices in Dragon Heart.

That economics degree I got at Harvard when I was still figuring out my path helped me set up EarBliss™. I got a recent massive boost in starting the business through the Broward College Innovation Hub. I got to be part of this business incubator, through an intense six-month program called Start-Up Now. The Hub is a collaborative resource pool of top-of-the-food-chain advisors, investors, mentors, faculty, staff and students—and plenty of one-on-one training. I set up my entire business there.

People who want to be actors or start a business often ask me what I wish I knew when I was just starting out. I tell them this, and it’s delicious:

“Always be a sandwich: you are the filling, your mentor is the top slice of bread, the people you mentor are the bottom slice of bread.”

Karen-Eileen Gordon's Bag

Karen-Eileen’s Treasures

“The Tree of India mist spray is for my throat chakra, which is also known as the Vishuddha chakra, the 5th chakra. It soothes the neck and shoulders region. This spray has frankincense, ylang ylang, sandalwood, rose jasmine.

I always carry lipstick. This color is Candy Apple by Well People.

The little green purse contains a little bling in case of emergency. The chocolates purse holds my Earbliss business cards. And the coffee monster holds my travel angel who keeps me safe all the time.

I love my Kate Spade wallet and my fabulous gold spiked backpack.

For snacks, I carry snack bars and pastilles candies made with flower extract.

The notes of gratitude are with me so that I can share them with people.”

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