Voice actor Christy Harst shows SHS students how to find their voices and own their power


Katie Martin

Junior Conner Sutton practices his acting skills while reading the script for The Rocket Report.

Katie Martin, Reporter

Voice actor Christy Harst, a Cleveland native, visited SHS April 12 to share her knowledge and experience with voice acting.

Harst said her childhood dream was to become the next Barbara Walters. At the age of 12, Harst participated in 4-H speaking competitions, and others like it, with the ultimate goal of becoming a broadcast journalist as famous as Walters. 

Her plan to become Walters came to a halt when Harst’s parents told her she had to figure out how to pay for college. Instead of spending time making her dream become a reality, she had to come up with a financial plan. Harst joined her high school volleyball team in hopes of earning a ticket to college through an athletic scholarship. She devoted most of her time in high school doing everything she could to become the best. Her hard work paid off when she received a scholarship to play volleyball in college. 

Once Harst got into Baldwin Wallace College, her dream of broadcast journalism became more achievable. She interned at WCLV classical radio, 98.5 FM, MTV, and WKYC Channel 3. Most of her internships occurred in the Northeast Ohio area and she went as far as New York for her MTV internship. Some of her internships were more favorable than others. She described MTV and WKYC as “cut-throat” and “extremely competitive.” Harst said did not like this atmosphere at all and in her final year of college, her dream started to die off.

Christy Harst speaks to SHS students April 12 about her unexpected career in voice-acting. (Katie Martin)

“I gave up the dream of becoming Barabara Walters,” she said.

Then she started to panic. She had just graduated from college but had no clue what she wanted to do in her life now. Harst said she did not know how to tell her family she just spent four years of her life getting a degree she could not do anything with.

Freshman Rebekah Sears, who attended Harst’s workshop, said this part of her story was most memorable.

Harst coaches freshman Rebekah Sears on how to properly read the script for Thrive’s upcoming production of “Cinderella.” (Katie Martin)

 One thing that really stuck with me is when she talked about wanting to do something completely different than voice-over in college, but after a lot of time, she realized that that was what she needed to do,” Sears recalled. “For me, it got the idea in my head that sometimes things don’t go the way we planned, but in the end, it will always work out, and we will end up somewhere that we really belong in.” 

After college, Harst had many jobs. They ranging from marketing to coaching high school volleyball. It was not until she was fired from her job as a marketing manager that this question kept surfacing in her mind: “What am I going to do?” she recalled thinking.

“I started making decisions out of fear,” Harst said, “and realized that I wasn’t living the purpose that I was supposed to.”

Trying to get junior Courtney Morgan out of her shell and show some more passion and confidence is the Cleveland voice actor’s goal. (Katie Martin)

She was approached by someone, during one of her internships, who complimented her voice and gave her the opportunity to become a voice actor.

Since then, her career as a voice-over actress with national commercial experience has spanned two decades. She has worked for the NFL, “The View,” “American Housewives,” “Dateline,” and many more.  She has also been the voice of John Deere for the last year. 

Harst has her own broadcasting studio in her house so she can work in the comfort of her home and do what she loves. 

My favorite part about the workshop would be getting to work with someone with a professional background in the voice production industry rather than an online presence,” said senior Corey Teuton. 

Teuton was one of a number of students who attended that does not intend to go into voice-acting but still appreciated the experience of learning new things.

Watching senior Corey Teuton practice his voice acting skills are sophomores Tyler Paul and Tyler Brugman. (Katie Martin)

Harst advocates to others to “own your own power.” She told the students who attended this workshop that “owning what you want equals power” and asked those in attendance what they wanted to become. Harst pointed out that many students were not owning what they wanted. She showed them that the confidence of knowing what you want in life gives you immense power.

Jim Boardwine, who invited Harst to speak, is planning a workshop at the Chardon Theater where Thrive performs. The dates have not been decided yet for this summer.