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Bahni Turpin finds success in voice-over acting field


A multi-talented performer

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the moment may serve as a reminder of the different career avenues and versatility that women participate in. One of the most competitive and sought-after careers for entertainers is voice-over acting. While the profession has proven itself to be very competitive, Bahni Turpin’s hard work and dedication have allowed her to showcase her raw talent.

Turpin is an Audible Hall of Famer, the recipient of six Audie Awards, multiple Earphone Awards, and two Odyssey Awards.  Some of the audiobooks Turpin is well-known for include, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (2009), “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas (2017), “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (2016), “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot  2010), and “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi (2018). In total, Turpin has voiced more than 400 audiobooks. In 2016, she was named Audible’s Narrator of the Year and Publisher’s Weekly Narrator of the Year.  In 2018, she was inducted into the Narrator Hall of Fame. She has also done voice-over commercials and film narration and appeared in the film Daughters of the Dust, as well as smaller television roles. 

The Pontiac, Mich native attended Howard University and then briefly transferred to New York University to continue her acting study. While in New York, Turpin received a scholarship to study at the Lee Theatre & Film Strasberg Institute. Afterward, she began waiting tables and acquired her Screen Actors Guild card. In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles and continued to wait tables while auditioning and landing small roles in film and television. Her introduction to the voice-over field came while participating in theater work. 

“I don’t consider myself a voice actress. I am an actor. I act on all mediums. What is necessary beyond talent is a thick skin. You’ve got to be determined, you’ve got to really want to do it. Because otherwise, it’s not worth the rejection that you’re going to experience,” Turpin said. 

“Audiobook narration is not where I finish. It’s not the end of me. It’s wonderful work, I love it, but I want more, I want to act more in film and television.”