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Dumb Friends League’s Got Talent: Catherine & MJ

Voice-Over Actress Catherine Sheehan-Wachter, Sit Stay Shop volunteer

by Mary Janak, volunteer

Catherine

The next voice you hear on TV or radio—or when you call your bank for your account balance—could be that of Catherine Sheehan-Wachter, a volunteer in DFL’s Sit Stay Shop.

Catherine is a voice-over actress and loves the job’s creativity. “You never know from one session to next what you’ll be talking about,” she says, “from ice cream to how to decorate your home to a super high-energy commercial for a New Year’s Eve party in Las Vegas.”

She’s been doing TV and radio commercials, recorded phone messages for companies and other voice- overs since 2000, succeeding in a highly competitive profession. Her many clients include T-Mobile, HGTV, Hyundai, Office Max, Capital One, McDonald’s, State Farm and Subway.

Catherine often gets a script just a minute or two before she has to record. “You have to quickly sight read and interpret. A client expects you to voice the exact delivery they are looking for right from the start,” she says.

You also have to switch on a dime. “Clients can say, ‘put more smile in your voice, can you sound younger, can you sound more purple?’ You try a lot of things to find exactly what clients are looking for.”

Catherine says her career is anonymous. “I was sitting in a car dealership, a commercial came on for Transition Lenses, and none of the people watching knew it was me. And you can imagine my surprise when I call someplace and hear myself answering the phone!”

In between recording sessions, Catherine is mom to two cats—Elliott, from the Dumb Friends League, for five years, and Mica, a feral kitten from her veterinarian, for seven years. “They are my best friends!” she says.

Listen to Catherine—sweet with just enough sassy—at catherinesheehan.com!

Mountaineer MJ Jarvis, Special Events Coordinator

MJ

When she is not at Washington Park at 3 a.m. setting up for the annual Furry Scurry, you may find MJ preparing to climb a 14er. To date, MJ has climbed 37 of Colorado’s 53 mountains standing 14,000 feet or greater. She discovered this passion seven years ago when her uncle, with whom she was living, “suckered her into climbing Long’s Peak.” Incidentally, Long’s Peak is a Class 3 mountain, not exactly for beginners! Her uncle told her that her dad would be so proud of her if she climbed the mountain. So, the three of them travelled from Chicago to Denver to summit Long’s Peak and that was the start of MJ’s climbing career.

Needless to say, MJ fell in love with Colorado and moved here 5 years ago. She loves the challenge and sense of accomplishment from climbing. To train, MJ does rock climbing in gyms and goes on fun hikes. The most difficult mountain for MJ was Pyramid Peak, not because it was classified as a Class 5 mountain, but because she did not summit the first time. Instead, she learned a valuable lesson: It is important to know when to turn around due to a change in the weather.

Her father and uncle come out each year for their annual climbing trip. Next on their list is Mt. Princeton as a warm-up for Little Bear (another Class 5). For MJ, climbing is both empowering and humbling. She has a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when she reaches the top of a mountain on her own two legs. When she looks out at the vastness of the scenery, she realizes she is just a speck in our universe. Her team, which now includes her fiancée, wears their signature Hawaiian shirts on each climb. This began as a joke, but the shirts are also practical as they are bright and wick moisture. MJ plans to summit all 53 of Colorado’s 14ers!

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