Skip to main content
amanda utter portrait

Embrace Community, Face Anxiety & Overcome Despair With Amanda Utter

In this Inspirational People interview on the Share Life podcast, I'm speaking with Amanda Utter, a freelance voice-over talent.

Amanda Utter is known for her delightful personality and charming spunk as a voice-over talent. Her versatility can be heard nationally on network TV, radio, Pandora ads, and Sirius XM for companies like YouTube, Dell Computers, Discount Tire, Capital One, Chevrolet, and Facebook. We originally got connected when I owned my marketing agency and we hired her for different video projects. I've always been impressed at how consistently she markets her freelancing services, a key attribute of all successful entrepreneurs.

Watch or listen to our conversation below where we discuss Amanda's backstory, systems, mentorship, how she overcomes difficult moments, how she manages her anxiety, and why family and community are vital.

Discussion Highlights

  • Amanda's theater and performance background
  • Knowing how to connect to a script and character to do compelling voice-over
  • Amanda's reflections since she recently turned 40, particularly about living an engaged life
  • The power of having people catch us when we feel like crawling up on the floor and crying
  • The importance of taking babies steps when we're in dark seasons
  • On being a gold-start inflicted anxiety person
  • The challenges of being an isolated mother and the importance of community with other mothers
  • Despair and feeling like the difficult seasons won't ever end
  • Prioritizing activities to effectively manage anxiety
  • The relationship between overthinking and playing
  • Outsourcing what we're not good at doing ourselves
  • Her mentorship with a movie industry screenwriter, William D. Wittliff
  • The expansion of Amanda's business to include voice-over coaching
  • The inspiring power of courage
  • Perfectionism versus good enough
  • Ancestry, history, and learning how women got through challenging circumstances
  • How perspective impacts how we interact, act, and connect
  • List-making and getting stuff done
  • The seasonality of life

Connect With Amanda Utter

Listen To This Discussion

Click here to listen in on Anchor directly, or click play below to immediately begin streaming.

You can also find this discussion on Pocket CastsStitcherItunesSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and wherever you listen to podcasts under the name, Share Life: Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter or Jason Scott Montoya.

Watch This Conversation

Click here to watch this discussion on Youtube directly, or click play on the embedded video below to begin streaming the interview.

Click here to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

Click here to find this video on Rumble.

Additional Resources

Unedited Transcript

Jason Montoya 00:00:00 In this inspirational people interview on the Share Life podcast. I'm speaking with Amanda Utter. Amanda, say hello.
Amanda Utter 00:00:07 Hello,
Jason Montoya 00:00:08 <laugh>. Good to have you here. Amanda Utter is known for her delightful personality and charming spunk as a voice over talent. So she has lots of voices and a lot of different, um, interesting things. Um, I'll, uh, we'll share some of those examples at the end of the podcast. Um, her versatility can be heard nationally on network, tv, radio, Pandora ads, which I have heard your voice on Pandora, and I wondered, is that Amanda? And now I know it is <laugh>, uh, Sirius XM for companies. Uh, and so you've worked with a variety of companies, including YouTube, Dell, discount Tire, capital One, Chevrolet, Facebook. So you, your voice is probably, uh, been heard by many listeners. So we originally got connected when I owned my marketing agency, noodle Head Marketing, and we hired you for different video projects. So I've also, since that time, since I shut down my company in 2014 and became a freelancer, you've consistently, uh, reached out. And, and I've always been impressed with your marketing, um, for your freelancing voiceover services. So I think that's one of the most critical, uh, factors for succeeding as, uh, as a freelancer, as an entrepreneur. So thank you for joining us today and sharing your life. Tell us about you and your story. How, how does this all begin?
Amanda Utter 00:01:23 Well, um, thank you for having me here. And it's nice of you to say that, um, you've liked my email marketing because sometimes as an email marketer and a freelancer, you're worried that you're annoying people by consistently doing that, even if you haven't heard back from them in forever. So that's a, a good feeling for me. I appreciate that feedback. Yeah. Um, you've been a part of it for like 15 years, so thanks.
Jason Montoya 00:01:44 Yeah, <laugh>.
Amanda Utter 00:01:44 You're welcome. Um, so I have been a voice actor for about 15 years. I've always been involved as an actor in some way, shape, or form. Um, I think my first entrance when I really, really knew I wanted to be an actor was in the seventh grade when I, um, I beat out all the boys to play the lead role of Scrooge in my middle school play <laugh>. Nice. And, uh, I just felt empowered and I loved it, and I kind of just kept going. I've always been in theater. I, I, um, was a radio TV film major in college and a theater minor at TCU Goho Frogs. Okay. Wow. And then, um, I moved to Austin after college and started working for the Austin Film Soci, excuse me, the Austin Film Festival. Yeah. Which is where
Jason Montoya 00:02:28 You're now, right? You're based outta Austin now. Yeah. Yeah. Yes.
Amanda Utter 00:02:32 So, um, a friend of mine there, a colleague named Kelly Williams was a, uh, representative for the cartoon. Do you remember Wallace and Grommet?
Jason Montoya 00:02:41 Oh, yeah. The, the Kelly Mason. He
Amanda Utter 00:02:43 Was, yes. Yes. And so he was a, um, representative for them, and he said, you have a unique voice, I want to record you for them. And so I did it, and I was like, this is awesome. And ironically, while I was a radio TV film major in college, I never did the radio component. I always did the film, film and the TV part, which looking back was a poor choice. But I, um, I mean, I loved it, but I wished I had more experience with the radio. Anyway, I got into it from there. I, uh, took classes, did a demo, got an agent. And I've been going for, I mean, I probably, I think I worked with you right out the gate of my career. Um, and then, like you said, you've been getting my marketing emails for 15 years now. So, um, yeah.
Jason Montoya 00:03:22 Now, how, how does, uh, yeah, how does that, you mentioned like theater, like, but you're doing voiceover. How do you connect the dots? Like if someone wasn't, you know, in new about that kind of industry, how do they, how do those two layers, those ideas connect?
Amanda Utter 00:03:36 Well, the, the biggest thing is knowing how to connect to a script mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you may not realize that, you know, only a 30, 32nd script can have as much detail in it as, you know, a stage play script, and you have to analyze it. You have to figure out the character. It's not just having a good voice, it's knowing how to connect to the listener. Because the challenge is, is that nowadays there's 4,000 channels and you can swipe right or click off or whatever. And so you have to learn to be human and truly connect to the listener, like a one-on-one feeling while they're driving down the road on 35 with, you know, horn tonking and the radio going, and I've gotta get your attention and I've gotta be earnest. So that's how it connects is still being an actor, but being a real person.
Jason Montoya 00:04:21 Yeah. So, uh, Atlanta is a huge hub for movies being filmed here. And, uh, I've been a movie extra on a few different movies, <laugh>, um, just to kind of experiment it. Um, I was on American Maid with Tom Cruise, so I had a cool scene with him that was, that was fun. I'm, I'm no actor, but, but I, uh, I was an extra, so, um, have you ever had an interest in, in doing that side of it, or do you prefer to just have the voice of it?
Amanda Utter 00:04:47 I used to think I wanted to be a movie star, but once I got into, um, my major in college, so I guess the good part of me doing the radio, tv, film part minus the radio, was that I realized I didn't wanna do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I got into acting and I, uh, like in front of the camera and I just, it didn't excite me. It, it, it, I was turned off by it. Yeah. Um, I like the anonymity of this. Yeah. I like to be able to, uh, be creative and then be done and then go to the grocery store and not be recognized. Yeah. I also don't like the rat race of all of that. That's not my personality at all. I, um, I, I just, I'm not saying I'm not competitive. I'm a very competitive person. No one even wants to play games with me because I, I will cheat my children.
Amanda Utter 00:05:34 I'm very competitive, <laugh>, but I don't want to compete as far as like an artist. I want to just do my best and, and not have that, um, move to la like a kind of feeling it didn't excite me, and I'm not talking bad about it necessarily. I'm just saying it didn't work for me. Yeah. And so it was good for me to figure out that that wasn't for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have been in the film world though. Um, I worked for a, a screenwriter for a long time as a personal assistant, and so I did get to see it from that perspective. And, and his job was similar where he worked from his own office, did his own work, and then kind of gave it to the next person. Yeah. He didn't have to get knee deep in all of the politics of it.
Jason Montoya 00:06:11 Oh, okay. Cool. So, where, you know, what is, like, when you think about audio, and the example I can think of is, I'm trying to think of the distinction between like a video presentation or story versus a audio. Um, and I hear, you know, the example that comes to my mind is when in the presidential debates, you know, when we went from radio, uh, debates to television, it really changed the dynamics in some really interesting ways. But how would you kind of distinguish audio, uh, from its other, from other mediums in terms of its uniqueness, both its strengths and, and whatnot?
Amanda Utter 00:06:46 That's a good question. Um, I know what you're saying as far as like, when presidents used should be on the radio and you didn't know, maybe FDR was in a wheelchair, and then all of a sudden you would see them in real life. So that does give a, you can't hide behind the mic. Like you could, you know, back in the day. Um, I, I think the difference here is that you can be any character you want, uh, without having to worry about what you look like. And you, you can, you can play more. Um, you can, you can literally be anything, you know, if you, if you see, um, I don't know if you've ever met a voice actor of one of your favorite cartoons or something similar in real life, but it, there's often a disconnect Yeah. Between what they look like and what they sound like. Yeah. Um, so I find that to be really interesting. I like that you can just completely play pretend and not have to prove it by your physical self. I think it gives you a lot of freedom. I mean, they do say, you know, that old adage say again?
Jason Montoya 00:07:46 Well, I was gonna go ahead, you finish, and then I'll tell my, my,
Amanda Utter 00:07:50 Oh, I was just gonna say is that, that old adage of like, you have a face for radio, but I, while that is negative, I think that it gives you a freedom to, uh, to play more.
Jason Montoya 00:08:00 Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking of, uh, the Simpsons, Bart Simpson is played by an adult woman, um, right. So who would've thought, I mean, unless you knew who the actress was. So, um, so there's a lot of one, I guess it gives opportunities for voice, voice actors to do a lot of different things, um, even outside of who they literally are <laugh>. Right?
Amanda Utter 00:08:21 It does. And it also doesn't pigeonhole you, you know, if you mm-hmm. <affirmative> see a actor, you recognize them over and over again, and you play the game of, oh, I've, I've seen that person. But if you just hear them and maybe they change their voice, that gives you more opportunity as a voice actor. Now, I don't do cartoons and animation. I do commercials and narration, but I still am able to, um, be different characters throughout that and, and sound different.
Jason Montoya 00:08:43 Yeah. Yeah. So I'd be curious, you know, what do you think about the idea of, you know, I wanna talk about living better and working smarter, kind of two of the ideas that I tend to, um, gravitate around. So what does that mean to you? What does it mean to live better?
Amanda Utter 00:09:00 I think, um, you know, I just turned 40 last month and I've been thinking a lot about this and doing a lot of, like, reflecting. One of the biggest things that has helped me live better and just feel better, um, is to be an engaged person. Like, engaged with life. There's the whole Netflix and chill stay at home kind of mindset, which believe me, I love a good Netflix and chill, but I feel like to really live better and live be my best self, I need to, you know, join the, the club or the community yoga class, or be in nature. Like, I need to be engaged in the world around me to really feel connected to other people and connected to the world. Because otherwise I feel like you can get in a little hole of like, just your, your dark room. And that is, um, that's not a place to thrive. Um, I also think as far as living better and being a part of a community is I'm surrounded by a really, really awesome family. Um, yeah. You know, from my, my husband and my kids to, like, my parents and my sister and her family, we are very much like a team unit. And so, and are
Jason Montoya 00:10:08 Y'all locally in that same area?
Amanda Utter 00:10:11 We are. I mean, my parents are an hour away. My sister's 30 minutes away, but none of it is too far that we can't get together if we need to. And so it gives me like a safety net feeling mm-hmm. <affirmative> where, um, you know, I know my AC might go out in August and I know someone might get sick and the bad things are gonna happen, but I know that I've got people there to catch me when it's all falling apart and I wanna like, crawl on the floor and cry, which I do. I'm a big curl up on the floor and cry kind of person. Um, it just, it helps me get through the moment. Yeah. Um, so having that, having that community and being engaged in the community and then having that safety net of being surrounded by a really strong core unit.
Amanda Utter 00:10:48 I also have, like, lifelong friends that I've had. I just feel really lucky with that. And that makes me live my life to the best ability, because otherwise I, like you can have all the success in the world, but I don't have anybody to share it with mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so if I, if I can share my success with my mom, who's always very proud of me, or, um, you know, even if it's nothing, she's like, you're the best <laugh>. Um, or, you know, my, my husband is there to, to watch our kids do something cool. I mean, it's so much more meaningful when you have somebody to do it with and, uh, be engaged with. Um, that, that is how I find
Jason Montoya 00:11:23 My happiness. Well, I mean, I got this Right. Better together on my shirt here.
Amanda Utter 00:11:27 Yes, exactly.
Jason Montoya 00:11:27 And so I think that's what you're saying, but what you're also saying is like the antithesis in a many ways to the spirit of, of what it means to be American. We're so independent and individualistic and isolated. Right. As a, as a sort of a culture. So I'm curious, how does that clash with the culture? Like, do you find yourself like having to fight against, uh, those tendencies or do you find that your community kind of embraces that as well?
Amanda Utter 00:11:55 I think my community embraces that. Um, I've always had support of my parents, no matter how far-fetched my ideas were, or, um, you know, I'm, I'm from a community where like, I went to the same high school as my, my dad. I went to the same college as my parents and my grandparents. There's a lot of things where people do the same things over and over again. It's the same community you're friends with, the people who, you know, your parents were friends with, and I love that. Yeah. But I decided to not live there, and I decided to have a job that is completely different than my parents' job and, and those sort of things. And they've supported that. So I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I've always had an independent streak. I've always done things my own way. I'm the youngest, you know, kid of the family. They just kind of washed their hands in me and said, I mean, we'll, we'll pick you up from jail. Like, I don't know, <laugh>. And so to, to have to have that kind of freedom and to be supported in it is still the American dream. But I still have that safety net of people who love me regardless. And, and at this point, they're just, you know, along for the ride and they just, um, like I said, my mom's proud of me as long as I'm not just, well, I'm always making a fool myself, but
Jason Montoya 00:13:04 <laugh>, she's gonna love you no matter what <laugh>
Amanda Utter 00:13:07 She is. I mean, she'll, she'll say, oh gosh, Amanda over and over again, but that's not new. And it's, um, she likes, she just says she's been laughing at me and with me since I was little. Yeah.
Jason Montoya 00:13:16 Yeah. So my experience, uh, is a little different than yours cuz me and my wife, we got married. Uh, we are from Arizona and then we, we went to Hawaii for honeymoon, and then the day we got back, we packed up everything. We moved from Arizona to Atlanta, Georgia, which is where we now live. And as you can imagine, we were on our own. We didn't have that family support, and it was very difficult for all the reasons that, that you described. And on the other side of it, um, it was definitely a growing experience and lots of moments on the floor crying, like you said, <laugh>. But, um, I am curious, what would you say to that person that is on the floor crying? Like, or that, you know, they're just in a dark place or they're in a isolated place. Um, what would you say, how would you encourage them?
Amanda Utter 00:14:01 I think take baby steps towards something that sounds safe. Um, you don't have to do a big jump. I think a big, you know, you could be on the floor crying and, and think that's all falling apart and you think it's too hard to get to the front door. Well, you don't have to get to the front door, you just have to sit up. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, you just can do it one step at a time. You, if you don't have the community around around you, you don't have to feel like, well, if I don't have everyone around me, I have nothing. That's not the case. You just find one person that you can connect with. Maybe it's a good babysitter so that you can feel like you have a sense of community and a village to help raise your kids. Maybe it's a, a mom's group.
Amanda Utter 00:14:39 I definitely joined those here as a, as a young mom because I didn't have people around me who had kids my, my kids' age. Um, so I think it's that baby steps towards your goal rather than thinking you have to automatically take one giant leap there, because that's way too overwhelming. Yeah. I, I, um, have, I am a gold star anxiety inflicted person, and so like I am, I'm all in on an and on anxiety <laugh>. And, and so if you, like I said, if you think it's too big, it's, it's too much. So I would say take baby steps towards your goal and, um, you just get your, you know, like I said, if you're on the floor, just try to sit up, then try to get in the chair, then try to do this. It doesn't have to be all at once, cuz um, that's too hard. Just look for one outstretched hand.
Jason Montoya 00:15:27 Yeah. Yeah. I like that. And, and, and I, I can relate to that too in terms of, um, if there's, if there's one person that sort of extends the hand back, um, it can change, it can be life changing. So, but I do, in terms of anxiety, I guess I'd have a couple questions, but one is, um, particularly as, as a mom, you're, you've in raising kids, uh, there is an anxiety, I think, but for parents, but I, but I wonder if it's more so with, with, um, with mom in terms of the reliability of not having to raise the child, like being isolated as a parent. Right. So having the support of your, your spouse and your family because of the kids in terms of raising them versus like, I could imagine being in a situation where you don't have that support system and trying to raise kids and the anxiety I'd imagine is just even worse. Uh, what would you, anything you would add to that or say about that?
Amanda Utter 00:16:25 Well, while I do have my family around me, my, my sister also had young kids at the time, and my mom's an hour away. So when I would wake up in the middle night and have a kid throwing up and then have a big job the next day, they, they, while they were near, they weren't like across the street. So I still had to do a lot on my own. And I was still very isolated. I, they were a phone call away, which I could definitely do, but they couldn't always be there for me. Yeah. All the time. And my husband is a very supported spouse and partner, but he also, you know, has a job and had to leave. Um, the weight of motherhood, the mental load, the emotional load is so overwhelming. And even with a great support system, um, yeah, I found help by going and joining a mother's group, and that made me feel less alone.
Amanda Utter 00:17:13 The women in there were a wide variety of people. Um, it really, the only thing we had in common that we were moms of young kids, but we were just so thrilled to be around other people that didn't care if your kid was screaming, crying, all of the above. That really helped, uh, my anxiety. I also got on medication and talked to a therapist because it was so isolating and it's, it's the load of it. The mental and emotional load is the isolating. You can't unload that. Yeah. Even if you have people around you, you can't unload the worry or the guilt or breastfeeding or, you know, the fact that your kid only wants you like that. Yeah. That is a, a lonely path for a while. Yeah. But what my mom always taught me that was really helpful is that it's a season and that season will change. And so I just reminded myself, okay, this is just now, this is not always, I will get my life back, meaning I will get to go work more, be with friends, more those things. This is just a season.
Jason Montoya 00:18:08 Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting because I think it hits on the idea of despair. Um, if we feel like it's never gonna end, you know, that's very <laugh> overwhelming, but what, what would you, uh, how would you kind of relate to or, or con um, think about overcoming despair?
Amanda Utter 00:18:26 Well, I mean, I've been there and, um, I had to talk to a therapist to overcome my despair. Yeah. I had a lot of postpartum, um, anxiety and depression issues and with both of my kids. But the first one, we really didn't know that it was because we thought this was just having a newborn. You know, we didn't know what the hell we were doing. Even with family around us, they still, you know, they, we didn't know what we were doing. And I thought, well, this is just, this is just where I am now. And then by the second one, um, which was not much after, we didn't space our kids out real well, which, whoops. Um, but, uh, the second one I realized that it wasn't normal and I got help and that was what the therapist had to help me. Therapist and medication. Yeah. I'm all for it.
Jason Montoya 00:19:11 Yeah. For and, and anxiety. What's, um, like what are some ways that you handle that or work through it?
Amanda Utter 00:19:20 Um, recently I have like a, uh, I have several things I do throughout the day to make sure that I'm doing okay. And I do a lot of self check-ins. I, in the morning, I go on a walk every morning with my dog. I don't take my phone. I don't listen to music. I'm just out in nature. I mean, nature, it's like my neighborhood, but it's, it's nature. And I do yoga. I really make sure that I'm eating well and resting. I try to take care of my physical health so that my mental health is followed by it. Um, that, that is, I, I feel like I, I self-talk throughout the day. I'm my own best hype man. Um, just to try to get like, you're doing a great job, or look at you. Yeah. You, you know, kinda like when you, I talk to my dog on our walk when I'm like, oh, you didn't bark at that dog.
Amanda Utter 00:20:05 You did such a great job. It's kind of the same for me. I'm like, oh, look at you. You, you breathe through it or you know, you, you calmed yourself down or whatever it is, you handled the situation. Um, that's how I, right now, along with medication, um, that's how I, I try to make sure that I'm doing my best. I also have a, um, my partner, my, my husband Ryan is really good about, um, when I come and tell him like, I'm just having a really hard day. He understands what that means and tries to extra step in, you know, like say, you go do what you need to do. I'll take the kids, I'll take dinner, I'll do whatever. And, um, that's, it took some learning because at first it was just, just like, uh, yelling in tears when we didn't know how to communicate that need. And now that we do, um, it's, it works really well for me and I feel supported.
Jason Montoya 00:20:57 Yeah. Yeah. And that's one of the interesting things for me, like in terms of my dealing with my own anxiety, also learning like anxiety is, is a fear of the unknown. And I think for me, it kind of grew into the point where the unknown always became anxiety inducing. Um, where I almost lost the other side of it, which is excitement, like being excited for surprises and unknown. Right. And kind of learning how to play again and be more fun. Um, so do you, do you re do you have, uh, would you agree with that? You talked about playing even in your voiceover,
Amanda Utter 00:21:31 So Yeah, I totally agree with that. I'm definitely an overthinker and it's hard for me to play. Um, yeah. And I agree when you say that it takes the fun out of the exciting times because instead of being excited about it, I have found four different ways that it could go wrong and how I could solve those
Jason Montoya 00:21:46 Problems
Amanda Utter 00:21:47 <laugh>. Yeah. Um, and so, I mean, you might want me around if we're like on a stranded island because I have already thought through that.
Jason Montoya 00:21:53 Yeah. <laugh>. But,
Amanda Utter 00:21:54 But if it's just a birthday party, it's supposed to be a good time. It's not supposed to be, you know, like, well, here's eight different ways the cake could go wrong, or whatever it is. Yeah. Um, so I do agree with that. And it is a challenge for me to play, which I think is one of the reasons I am not as involved in animated voiceover as I am in, you know, narration or commercial, which is very factual based. And I can still play a character, but I am not, um, I'm still too in my head to Yeah. Really give it my all.
Jason Montoya 00:22:24 Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. The, um, I mean, I think for me, you know, just the order of business, like having structure and those types of things are helpful, but it's kind of like, I want control. I'm a bit of a control freak in the sense of the controller helps me cope with my anxiety <laugh>.
Amanda Utter 00:22:42 Sure.
Jason Montoya 00:22:43 Yeah. So, on the flip side of it, you know, talking about work, what, what, how do you think about working smarter? Like what does that mean to you?
Amanda Utter 00:22:53 Um, well, I think the first thing that, well, with working smarter, I think it kinda depends on if, what your definition is. And is that like geared towards money or is it geared towards trying new things? Um, I, you know, we're both freelancers and many senses, so I have to find the balance between making money and trying new things. So, um, the first thing I do is outsource things I'm not good at. Um, I grew up outsourcing things to my sister. She's kind of like a, a Martha Stewart person. And I am like, I'm not crafty and I don't, you know, bake pies and everything. Like she can do anything. She can, like, take some trash and make it into an art form. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I've outsourced things like that that I'm not good at. Ie. Birthday parties and crafts Yeah. To people who are good at it.
Amanda Utter 00:23:39 Or maybe I outsource. Um, you know, if I don't know the technical side of something, I find those people who are better, better than me at it. I always think, well, if you don't know, do it. You don't have to, you know, don't lie about it. Just find the people who are better at it than you and let and learn from them. Um, the other thing is, is like I was saying on the balance of is it about money? Is it about trying new things? I was realizing that there was a little bit of a void in my day where I was lonely. Even in my, I'm in my booth all day. I, um, sometimes have directed sessions, but even then that's, um, not a video. I don't see anybody's face. I'm not, yeah. Really, like, I'm only talking about work. And I got an opportunity to become a voiceover coach, um, like about a year ago. And I had been doing that since, and it doesn't pay as much as I could maybe make in an hour doing, you know, a corporate narration video. But it gives me a connection to people. And it also reminds me why I like what I do, because I'm teaching other people how to do it. And I'm inspired by that. And so that to me is also working smarter, even though it's not, I'm not making as much money, but I'm filling the void of the loneliness that just sitting in the booth all day was, was doing.
Jason Montoya 00:24:52 Yeah. So, I'm also curious based when you said that, um, how did the pandemic affect you and your business? Was it actually a good thing? Or was it Yeah,
Amanda Utter 00:25:01 I had the best negative monetary year of my life during the second year of the pandemic. Even the fir and I was virtual teaching. Like my kids were virtual learners. Yeah. And they were home with me. I, my husband is also a teacher, so he was virtually teaching his class, like outside <laugh> and we were all trying to finagle it. So I was like our, you know, um, I wasn't the teacher, but I was running the show behind the scenes. But, uh, I lucked out and I think that voice actors were some of the only actors that were able to still work, because I have a studio in my own home and people were consistently making videos. The first half of the pandemic, it was all like, we're in this together was the message, and we can do hard things. And then it got to, you know, the message we're changing, so then they had to redo their video or their marketing. Um, it did not affect me negatively. It affected me in a good way. I, I had people finally respond to emails that they had never checked, and then I got on their roster. Um,
Jason Montoya 00:25:57 Yeah. That's,
Amanda Utter 00:25:58 So I feel kinda bad about that.
Jason Montoya 00:26:00 Yeah. Well, I, I can relate to cuz just when I shut down my marketing company, I realize in many ways that transition prepared me for the pandemic that was to come. And, um, so I, when it hit, I was like, oh my goodness, how, how are things gonna change or not? And, um, ended up being, uh, you know, I had a few, a few clients drop off, but then I had others ramp up and then I had new clients. I had one new client that I'm still working with today where they're like, we should probably figure out this website thing, you know, <laugh>, um, it was a law firm that's been around for decades and they, they just never needed it. But the pandemic, you know, finally they're, uh, coming around. So <laugh>, um, got their email marketing and whatnot. So it was definitely a, an interesting transition. Um, and I'm grateful, you know, um, cuz I had kind of gone through that tra that difficult transition with the marketing agency to freelancing. And so I was sort of expecting to have to do that again. And when it ended up being fruitful instead of difficult, I was very grateful. <laugh>.
Amanda Utter 00:27:00 Yeah. It definitely made people pivot as to how they reached their audiences and they now had captive audiences at home who were, you know, on their phones all the time reaching out that people were wanting information. And so, yeah, I think marketing really ramped up a lot to provide that.
Jason Montoya 00:27:18 Yeah.
Amanda Utter 00:27:19 They were wanting that connection. You couldn't connect in person so you had to connect, you know, on your screen or you had to connect on social media, those sort of things.
Jason Montoya 00:27:27 Yeah. So how do you think about, um, mentorship and kind of paying it forward, what you've learned? And you mentioned you, you turned 40. Um, how has that played a role in your life? How do you kind of see it as both the mentor and the mentee?
Amanda Utter 00:27:44 Um, I have been really, really lucky with, um, my first job out of college. My first like, real, real job. I had some, some bouncing around jobs, but my first real one after the Austin Film Festival was, uh, then I got this job through the Austin Film Festival, was working for this guy named Bill Whittle. And you should definitely Google him and find out all about him. He's like a Renaissance man. Um, he is an Emmy nominated, or was he passed away a few years ago, but, um, an Emmy nominated screenwriter, a photographer. He wrote the screenplays for Lonesome Dove Legends of the Fall, all of Willie Nelson's movies. Um, and was also a photographer and deli's photography books. And I was his personal assistant for six years. Uh, I, I started working for him when I was 23, up until the Thursday before I gave birth to my first kid <laugh> at 29.
Amanda Utter 00:28:32 And, um, it was just a real pivotal time in my life. I was also learning to be a voiceover actor at the time, and he really encouraged that. But what I saw from him was he was a little bit of a hoarder. Um, he kept everything you'd ever seen and he actually created a southwestern and writers, southwestern writers and photography collection at Texas State University. It's in their library. Yeah. And he would take everything he had, like if, when we were working on a screenplay for instance, he would keep every revision, every draft and he would save it in a binder and he would put it at this collection so that aspiring writers could go and see how, like, see his method, but then also see how much work he put into it. Mm-hmm. And so he could kind of mentor people forever even after he's gone.
Amanda Utter 00:29:19 Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then on a one-on-one thing though, he mentored me to, to see the creative process and see a creative person succeed and more than succeed, I mean, he was an this incredible man, he was great at everything he tried, but I will tell you, I saw him up at four o'clock in the morning. That's when he would start writing. He didn't just kind of half assets. And, and whenever anybody would ask him for advice, they would kind of get annoyed cuz he would just say, well, if you wanna be a writer's write, and it's like, well that's not really advice, but what he meant was, you have to put in the work
Jason Montoya 00:29:52 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>
Amanda Utter 00:29:53 You have to really put it like, I mean, and if you see, I saw there's so many drafts of the work that he did and the time he put into it to really perfect it. Um, that was an incredible thing to be a, uh, you know, mentored by a person like him. Um, and then now, um, I'm a coach, a voiceover coach, and that to me is how I can mentor other people. And, and like I said, I don't make as much at it, but it inspires me to remind myself why I do what I do. And, um, I don't know. I, I, I think that that's part of the community thing that I was talking about that's a part of, of being part of a bigger picture than just yourself and, uh, realizing that, you know, there's a, it makes you connected to a bigger world rather than be so focused on yourself.
Jason Montoya 00:30:43 Yeah. I have, uh, so in Path of a Freelancer, which is my first book in that I published in 2017, the, I talk about eight achievements to, to succeed as a freelancer. And it's interesting, um, cuz you're doing the eighth achievement, which is we share what we've mastered and, um, and part of that is building a beyond you system to continue to carry that forward even beyond your time and energy. So I suppose that tells, that tells me that you'll soon be having a course, uh, on voice acting soon.
Amanda Utter 00:31:13 I would like to do something like that. It's been ping pong, ping ponging around in my mind, <laugh>, uh, but I don't know exactly how I'm gonna do that yet, but it's definitely something that I'm thinking about. I've also been, um, writing some blogs on, you know, my tips and tricks for voiceover. And, um, I think I wanna, I know I definitely wanna do something with that. I just,
Jason Montoya 00:31:35 Yeah.
Amanda Utter 00:31:35 I don't know when that's gonna happen.
Jason Montoya 00:31:37 Yeah.
Amanda Utter 00:31:38 So how it's next on my list.
Jason Montoya 00:31:39 Yeah. Well, the, with the coaching, how did that, um, how did that start? Like what was the
Amanda Utter 00:31:44 Trigger for you? Uh, a company reached out to me to become a coach for them. It's called such a voice. And then, um, so I've kinda gotten my feet wet through them and then now I'm doing my own coaching as well. Um, yeah. And I just, I love it. I love meeting new people and I've met people from all over the world. I have met people at all stages of their life, which is really interesting. I've had, you know, people in high school and college all the way up to people who are 70 and who want to start a whole new career. And it's been really inspiring to me because I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, most of the parents had got a job when they were like 25 and that was their job forever. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and or at least in that field.
Amanda Utter 00:32:26 And nowadays you don't have to do that. You can try new things all the time and you can reinvent yourself. And I'm seeing these, these students of mine reinventing themselves and I think it takes balls. And I love people with balls. I I love people who try new things, even if they're gonna fail. It's like, what's the worst that's gonna happen? My favorite part that when I teach people at the beginning of voiceover and how to not be afraid of, of trying and jumping in is that my favorite tool on the keyboard is the delete tool. Nobody has to know what I said. If it's awful, I get rid of it. Yeah. You know, it's, it's gone. And so, um, I want to teach my students to not be afraid that way.
Jason Montoya 00:33:05 Yeah. So it sounds like you don't have, you don't struggle with a perfectionistic tendency, then you just try put it out there and, and then
Amanda Utter 00:33:13 I'm all about being good enough, good enough. I don't have the energy to be perfect. Say it again.
Jason Montoya 00:33:19 Yeah. Have you always been that way or is that a, a recent development?
Amanda Utter 00:33:22 No, I've always been just a good enough person. I, I feel like I'm surrounded, like my husband is a perfectionist. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the lawn has to be a certain way. The plant, the picture frame has to be hung a certain way. I'll slap that sucker up there and move on with my day. Yeah. You know, I want the job done. I wanna be good at what I do. That does. Not to say that I'm gonna like send files to a client that are, are not great, it's going to be well done. But I'm also not going to spend forever nitpicking over every detail that's, you know, they can tell me if they don't like something. Um, yeah. And I'll be happy to fix it. Uh, but I, I think good enough is the only way I can get through life.
Jason Montoya 00:33:59 Yeah. Yeah. I agree. So let's, let's shift gears to talk about stories and narratives. What are some stories or narratives, whether fictional or historical, personal or, um, I created by someone else that have really connected with you or have resonated with you or have shaped who you are as a person?
Amanda Utter 00:34:19 Well, I am a big, um, like ancestry, historical kind of Yeah. Nerd. Yeah. And I, I love learning about my ancestry. I love listening to other people's stories about theirs. And I think one of the things I really like about it is finding out how someone got from point A to point B. Whether it's like an immigrant story to the American success story, um, or, um, I always really like listening to, you know, a lot of history is written by men recording what men do. Yeah. And I mean, I'm not, that's not a negative, it's just that's who's usually doing the work. Those were the qualified people back in the day. But I love to find stories of especially like my female ancestors and what they did or what their lives would've been like because no one was really talking about that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, that's what I gravitate towards.
Amanda Utter 00:35:11 I even like hearing, like there's one story that I really love. My, my great-grandmother. My dad's grandmother, nanny Ruth, when I met her, she was just a feeble old woman. She was like 94. Yeah. But when I did all this family research on her, I found that she used to be in a, um, she was an actor, she was a performer and a musician. And she used to travel in the, I don't know if you've ever heard of the Chatauqua, I think I'm saying it right. <unk> Um, it was like a, um, um, a traveling show that would go all across the Midwest. Yeah. And it would, I'm trying to remember exactly. Yeah. I think it was the Chatauqua movement. They would have like entertainment and culture for communities and they would go around and they'd have a speakers and they'd have my aunt, my, excuse me, my grandmother played the piano and a quartet and she wrote all these love letters that I found to my great-grandfather.
Amanda Utter 00:35:58 And it was just finding out that she had her own story and her own life besides me as a little girl, knowing that she was just this old woman who kind of just sat around <laugh>. And those are the things that I'm drawn to and that I get really inspired by that. Like, you can't judge the book by the cover of what you just see at one point in your life. She had a whole, you know, a whole past that was rich and adventurous. Yeah. And I wanna leave behind those rich and adventurous stories. And I want my grandkids to find love letters, um, you know, to my partner that I found from her. Because when you see pictures of them as old people, they don't look like they're writing love letters to each other. They don't look like, you know, they're barely breathing <laugh>. And so it's really neat to see that and to add a personal, um, connection there. Yeah. And, and like I said, same with like the women's stories, um, uh, from back in the day, I always think, you know, how did our foremothers travel across in a covered wagon? Cuz they would've left my ass on the side of the road. Yeah. I mean, they'd been like, we, we can't take you. You're awful. Um, those are the things that inspire me. Those are the narratives that I I get into is the people whose stories weren't told.
Jason Montoya 00:37:01 Yeah. And is it, is it historical, um, across the board or is it more personal history that, that you're more interested in?
Amanda Utter 00:37:10 I would say both. I mean, yes, I'm definitely interested in my personal family history because I like to make that connection. But as a woman and as a mother, I find any stories about women and, and particularly mothers, um, and what they went through and how they survived. I'm real big on like people who survived despite rough circumstances. And maybe that's connected to my anxiety where it's trying to teach me if they can do that, I can do this. You know? Yeah. If they can do that, then I can parent in the year 2023 with everything at my disposal. Yeah. You know, if they can cross the, the continent in a covered wagon, pregnant and with eight kids, then I can probably handle this. Yeah. <laugh>. I really think there's some connection there.
Jason Montoya 00:37:49 Yeah. No, it's interesting. I, I've been listening to this new podcast called, uh, the Witch Trials of JK Rowling and it's interview with her and, and in the first episode it tells us a lot about her history and her story. A lot of which I didn't know, I knew, I knew she, you know, was single, a single mother raising her daughter, and she came up with the book, but I didn't know that she lived in, um, in South America. I didn't know that she had this abusive relationship. I didn't know that the script was stolen and she was from her boyfriend and she was having to smuggle it <laugh> to get it copied so that she could leave this relation. It was just this crazy story. But it's like she ki I think of like the movie the, uh, gravity with Sandra Bullock. It's like one thing goes after one thing goes wrong after the next, and, but yet she survived and struggled through that. And, um, it very, it was very inspiring to hear that.
Amanda Utter 00:38:40 Well, and in this day and age with social media, all you see again are the highlights. Yeah. And so you don't know maybe the struggle that's going on behind, uh, behind everything. So that's why I like to kind of get, you know, go in deep and find out the, the real stuff. Um, I think that that makes us human.
Jason Montoya 00:38:57 Yeah. I like that. Any other, uh, on the narrative side of things? Anything else you would share?
Amanda Utter 00:39:05 Um, no. No, I don't think so.
Jason Montoya 00:39:08 Okay. How does narrative play a role in the work you do? In terms of like how important is narrative in terms of using it for the type of, uh, spots you do or the That's a big
Amanda Utter 00:39:21 Question. Yeah. Because storytelling is really a big part of voiceover. Yeah. You are a storyteller and, um, you have to pick your perspective. You have to know who you are and who you're talking to, and you very much have to create a scene. And, um, I mean, you could have a little bit of a backstory. You don't have to create like, you know, write a, a novel about it, but you do have to be able to embody, um, the character, even if it's a 32nd commercial, you know, that you still need to have all that backstory to connect to the listeners. So narrative is very important. Storytelling is, I mean, that's what I do.
Jason Montoya 00:39:52 Yeah. You mentioned perspective. Tell me more about that.
Amanda Utter 00:39:58 Well, within voiceover, your perspective has to, it it influence influences how you react to the copy mm-hmm. <affirmative> and that, you know, how do I feel about this copy? Do I agree with it? Do I, am I curious about it? Am I skeptical? Those perspective influence how going to perform it and how we're going to connect to the listener. And it al it also helps you realize, okay, what does the listener need from me? So it's, it's, uh, very much a big part of what I do is finding how I feel about the copy and what my perspective is.
Jason Montoya 00:40:29 Yeah. Yeah. Cool. So let's talk about systems. What do you, when you think about systems, what do you think, how do you use them? How did they play a part in, in, um, in your work, in your life?
Amanda Utter 00:40:43 I am a massive list maker. I get a super big high when I scratch off something that I've done <laugh> and it that, that I was like, I've been productive. Check, I'm, I'm, yeah. You know, going throughout my day, look at me, I'm not wasting my time. Um, I mean, I will put down like take a walk, check <laugh>, uh, you know, fold the laundry, anything to make me feel better. So those, um, lists are really what I do. I not only run my own business, but I also run my household and the kids and signing up for doctor's appointment, summer camp, what, you know, the, the, uh, permission slip for the field trip. Like I do all of that. Yeah. Um, and so I have to have consistent lists. I have a bigger list that's my yearly goals, down to my monthly list on what my, you know, outside of my day-to-day things are gonna be that I want to accomplish. And then it's the weekly stuff. I mean, I have like four or five working lists at any time. Yeah. And then I go down to a, a daily one that I write out my schedule so that my mind will calm down and I know I'm safe. It's okay. As long as I follow this list, I will get to where I need to go.
Jason Montoya 00:41:46 Yeah. I can relate. Um, I think as a freelancer that's kind of conceptually what I did was when I started was, okay, this, this is the list of things I need to do. Maybe it's weekly, monthly, daily, uh, to keep the train the train going, you know, to keep things moving along. Yes. Um, but where did you learn that list making and and following? Is that something you've always had or is that something you learned?
Amanda Utter 00:42:08 No, my mom is a list master. Um, she ju that's just how she taught me how to do things. She, she actually, I could tell she didn't sleep well last night because I woke up this morning and in my text messages she had written a list, taken a picture of it, like a to-do list for me that she thought of things I needed to do for my kids for this sport, this, some stuff they're doing with sports. And she literally made a list, took a picture of it, sent me the text with the picture of my list, and then wrote and then followed up with a text message on what I should do and how I should do it. So I come from list makers. Yeah. I come from people who are, um, very much forward thinking and we like to plan, I like to get excited about my plans. Um, and again, you know, I'm, I run my own business. I am the only employee. So if I don't remember to monthly, like you, the reason we're connected is because of my, um, email marketing and I put that on my calendar. You know, every month I do this and, and those sort of things. So I have to do that. I have to rely on that or it doesn't get done cuz it's, you know, you're looking at the only employee.
Jason Montoya 00:43:17 Yeah. And do you make your, are you a physical list person or a digital list person or both?
Amanda Utter 00:43:24 Both. I use, um, I use physical list making for my day-to-day and my weekly stuff and everything else is online. I love a shared calendar with my husband. It is the only way our marriage survives because if he has to constantly ask me what we're doing, you know, it won't, it won't work. Yeah. Um, I can just say, look at the calendar and please circle back once you've read everything. Yeah. Um, so I have to use both. Um, there's not as much satisfaction in a digital calendar or a digital list because you cannot cross it off effectively with that pin, you know? Yeah. I wanna be able to, to see it. I know you can, you know, erase it or do a variety of different things, make it bold instead of line through it. It doesn't have the same physical effect on me, the same high as it does when I actually cross it out.
Jason Montoya 00:44:09 Yeah. I was, uh, on Instagram yesterday, I saw this, uh, I can't remember the name of it. It was, it was a tablet, it's a touchscreen tablet you put on your wallet or on your refrigerator and it has a, the calendar synced into it and then it has the list on it. Oh. Uh, you see a both and then it has a, you know, everyone has their own, each person in the family. So it's a way for the family to kind of be on the same page. So I thought, oh, I might want to get one of those <laugh>.
Amanda Utter 00:44:34 Yeah. So that sounds very fun to work with.
Jason Montoya 00:44:36 Yeah. So, uh, anything else on the system level that you wanna dive into?
Amanda Utter 00:44:43 No, I just, I love a list. I mean, if you wanna get me a a, a gift, get me a a piece of paper, a pad of paper with my name on it so that I can constantly Yeah. Add to it or some of those really good, I really like a good pin to scrape, to scratch off the list with mm-hmm. <affirmative>, those like red felt temp, temp ones. Those are, yeah. That's where it's at.
Jason Montoya 00:45:03 Ah, yeah. It's interesting the power of a list. Um, I read, there was some research I was looking at a few years ago about, um, hospitals and doctor, like hospitals using these lists that they put on in different rooms and surgeons using them before they, you know, as checklists for the, for the surgery or air pilots using this, this pre-flight checklist and just how effective it is in, in terms of generating the desired result and preventing all the negative outcomes, uh, syphilis will do. So
Amanda Utter 00:45:33 Yeah, it's a positive thing. It's not a negative and I think that's what gives you a good attitude about it.
Jason Montoya 00:45:38 Yeah. So we've talked about a lot of things. Um, what else do you wanna share that you haven't gotten a chance to? What, what additional wisdom do you have for us?
Amanda Utter 00:45:49 I don't know if it's wisdom, but, um, I mean, I am 40 now, so I do know a little bit, but I think kind of what we touched on earlier about, um, being in different seasons of your life, it's really important to realize that it's not permanent. It things are just a season. Allow them to be a season, allow yourself to grow and try new things. You know, I I hate those lists that are like, you know, 40 successful people under 40 or something. It's like, I Yeah. Don't wanna have to be done by 40 or I don't wanna have to already have my act together by 40. I mean, I spent my thirties raising kids and trying not to drown. Yeah. And just like
Jason Montoya 00:46:26 40 is like when your skin started.
Amanda Utter 00:46:28 Yeah. But I, I think that that's not always the message that we're receiving mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I want to just encourage people to know that it's okay to have a season. It's okay to be done with that season and move on to something else. You know, you're not stuck in a lifestyle, you're not stuck in a, a job or a relationship, a friendship, whatever it is. You know. Um, I think a big gift you can give yourself is to allow yourself to know that it's not permanent and you can, you know, grow and have another chapter.
Jason Montoya 00:47:01 Yeah. Yeah. That's cool. Well, tell us, uh, you're a voiceover talent. You're doing voice coaching. Tell us how people, uh, can learn more about what you're doing and how they can work with you on either capacity.
Amanda Utter 00:47:15 Well, you can find me on my website, which is amanda utter, and my email is amanda amanda utter Um, right now I'm coaching, I'm working on, um, I just had a really cool national spot on Monday for Thrive Pet Healthcare. So you'll be hearing me on the radio and web campaigns, um, with that, which I'm looking forward to. Um, I was channeling my dog Cooper when I was working on it, <laugh>, um, find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, all at Amanda Utter vo I would love to connect and, um, you know, it's fun to meet people in this virtual world, even like meeting you, you know, through a job and then seeing where it goes. Yeah. I like, it's all part of that community that I was talking about. I like, um, having my community expand and, um, being supported by them no matter where they are in the world. I think it's pretty cool.
Jason Montoya 00:48:09 Yeah. Yeah. That was cool. And if someone was like, so talking about the voiceover for example, what would be some triggers like, oh, I oughta reach out to Amanda. What are the type of things It's more
Amanda Utter 00:48:21 Specific. Well, if you are a, a production house that needs a voiceover for your explainer video, if you're a, any sort of freelance creative who needs I, I do everything from the real flashy national commercials all the way to like in-house work. Do you have a a a a phone line that needs your phone line read, you know, press this for this, press this for that. I do those, I do in-house training. I do HR videos. Uh, not all voiceover is sexy and flashy. Plenty of it is behind the scenes that only your company sees, and I'm fine with that too. Um, my longest clients are kind of competing. One is are ironic, uh, uh, that there are other ends of the scale. One is Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the other one is Specs Liquor <laugh>. And those are my two longest clients. So I'm really willing to do all of this. Um,
Jason Montoya 00:49:11 Yeah, well I'm, I'm looking forward to the ad where you talk about both in the same one, <laugh>,
Amanda Utter 00:49:16 You know, I'm waiting for that to happen too. <laugh>, I'm gonna see if I can get them connected and somehow
Jason Montoya 00:49:21 Make it
Amanda Utter 00:49:21 Some sort of communion.
Jason Montoya 00:49:23 Yeah. Now, um, what about the voice coaching? What would be a trigger for someone to go, you know, I oughta reach out to Amanda.
Amanda Utter 00:49:29 Well, you don't have to already know anything about voiceover. You don't already have to be a voiceover actor. If you are great, uh, I'm here to help you with your auditions. I'm here to help you, you know, tweak what you're working with. But if you even just wanna get started in it, I can get you started in voiceover. I can in introduce you to it. I can show you what it's about and see if it's a good fit for you. Um, I would really encourage people to try if they're interested because, you know, you never know until you, until you do try. Yeah. And I'm a good hype man. I'm a good cheerleader. I'm also gonna offer constructive criticism, but we'll have a good time while we do it.
Jason Montoya 00:50:02 Yeah. So you mentioned your website. Um, um, I will put the links to the notes and your social media. Um, and, you know, what is the best, uh, where are you most active on social media?
Amanda Utter 00:50:16 Uh, probably Instagram. Okay. I'm trying to be, and I'm trying to be more active on Instagram and, and TikTok right now. Um, so either way is great. Um, I've just branched out from my, I'm, I'm keeping them separate from my personal Instagram and my work stuff. Got it. Um, yeah, cuz you don't, you know, my clients don't need to know that my kid just lost their first tooth. Like that's, yeah. That's not for them. So Instagram or TikTok is great.
Jason Montoya 00:50:40 Now tho those are visual mediums. Is there a social media that's really audio oriented?
Amanda Utter 00:50:46 I don't know, but that's a really great question. Yeah, it is. A interesting part though of voiceover is learning that you are not the star. And what I mean by that is because you are usually paired with a visual. You're usually paired with actors or something flashy on the screen. The only time you are really, you know, the only sound that's coming there is the radio and even then mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of times you have music in the background. So, um, it's a really good lesson to learn that it's not about you, it's about Yeah. Uh, the listener and all the different ways that the brand is trying to connect to the listener.
Jason Montoya 00:51:21 Cool. Well, thank you so much for sharing your life with us today.
Amanda Utter 00:51:25 I have enjoyed it. It's good to get to know you outside of just working. I didn't know you had five kids. Yeah. Now I'm glad to
Jason Montoya 00:51:31 Know. Yeah. So it's, it's an adventure that.

Podcast - Inspirational People

  • Created on .
  • Last updated on .