About The NATIONAL Voice Talent Foundation

We're all about YOU.

The NATIONAL Voice Talent Foundation is the operating arm of The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation, a  non-profit incorporation founded in 2009 by Englishman Stephen James and supported on a voluntary basis by him and his wife Deborah Smith. 

The Foundation is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 Public Charity, and as such is dedicated to providing affordable opportunities for existing and aspiring performers initially in Louisiana, Mississippi, the Gulf Coast, and further afield. Since the onset of COVID-19 and the use of Zoom for workshops and seminars the Foundation's appeal expanded to a worldwide audience, with several members from across the USA and further afield having participated in the Foundation's activities and events.

The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation received its status as a 501(c)3 Public Charity in early 2017 and within months was re-branded to The NATIONAL Voice Talent Foundation with the formation of two additional regional branches: National Voice Talent Gulf Coast and National Voice Talent Southwest - to provide donors, volunteers, and associates with the opportunity and the infrastructure to support the performing community, and the community-at-large, through its programs of education, opportunities, and youth and community support. 


Whether you are a performer on-stage or on-screen, on-camera, or behind-the-mic, and wherever you are in the world, you will benefit from the resources which The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation provides.

Join us by registering as a web-site member and don't forget to follow us on Facebook.

The NATIONAL Voice Talent Foundation - PROGRAMS


The voice-over workshops program is where NVT began. The program was launched in New Orleans in mid-2009 to provide affordable education for voice-over and other actors - both experienced and novice. The workshops program has expanded to venues in the cities of Baton Rouge and Biloxi also, and are usually a sell-out in all three locations; all in professional and secure surroundings. Since the outbreak of Covid19, workshops have been held via Zoom, and have been attended by participants across the country. The two-hour workshops cover all aspects of being a voice-over talent, including script analysis and critique, elements of voice health and technique, and discussion of industry topics.

This workshop is provided at no charge to registered subscription members of The Foundation, to provide opportunities and experience to both novice and established professional performers.

The Productions Workshops program began in 2009 and was extended to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2018, and subsequently worldwide via Zoom in 2020. The program was initially devised as a means of using our talents to support the regeneration of New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, with our first production of "It's a Wonderful Life" as a radio-play on stage.

Such was its popularity that "It's a Wonderful Life" was a repeated annual success over the following 10 years, providing opportunities and valuable education and experience for approximately 200 performers from the region - from novices to stars of Hollywood movies- and raising tens of thousands of dollars to support the community in the process.

We are delighted that the success of he program has also spawned independent radio-play groups which also support independent theaters in the region.

Formerly the Hollywood South Awards® and to be re-launched in 2021 as the Hollywood South Honors®, the NOLA Voice Talent Awards Program serves to recognize and honor those throughout the movie and related industries in Louisiana and Mississippi (Hollywood South - the region also covered by the New Orleans local branch of SAG-AFTRA) who have gone the extra mile in their career as performers or contributors to the success of the industry in the region.

We are delighted to see that other organizations have also emulated the program, further enhancing the profile of Hollywood South for its wealth of talent. We have also been able to advise and even donate financial support to such organizations.

The Foundation's Find your Best Voice® Program has been successfully extended to youth with occasional Saturday morning youth workshops as well as series of coaching sessions with youth organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Successful individuals participating in this program subsequently receive a scholarship to receive private coaching from an NVT Accredited Voice Coach.

Exceptional individuals who participate in the Find Your Best Voice® voice-over program can receive a scholarship to be coached as voice-over coach in their own right and received the accolade of NVT Voice Coach (AVC). As such, AVCs are eligible to coach in the NVT Find Your Best Voice® workshops and may be invited to direct NVT production.

Occasional open audition opportunities from our sponsor, NOVA:The New Orleans Voice Agency

All of the above programs exits not only to support individuals an organizations throughout the USA and beyond, but also to lend our expertise to the community as a whole.

Wherever you are in the world, join The NATIONAL Voice Talent Foundation now via the link on our Membership page.


Thank you to our designers, Alexandra Keaton, Todd Schmidt, and Mark Fowler

ACCOLADES to Todd Schmidt, who designed our new logos as part of the re-branding process of the Foundation, Mark Fowler, who has designed the posters for most of the productions of "It's a Wonderful Life", as well as the basis for logo of the Hollywood South AwardsTM and to Alexandra Keaton, world acclaimed artist, for designing our poster for the 2018 production of "The Whistler".

Todd was designer of our initial logo, which featured the crescent moon and fleur-de-lis. A golden version of this logo has since been incorporated into the Hollywood South Awards logo, designed by Mark Fowler. 

Todd Schmidt designed the new NVT logos (see towards top of this page) as a 21st-century representation of the nationwide development of the Foundation, and featuring a sound-wave against the backdrop of the New Orleans skyline, and which can be modified as new regional branches are developed..

THANK YOU TODD, ALEXANDRA, AND MARK, for your generous support.

The yellow and blue logo from which the Hollywood South Honors logo is derived, was originally designed 2016 by Mark Fowler; it and its derivatives are copyright (c)2016 and 2020 The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation, Inc.  "Hollywood South Awards" is a registered trade mark® property of The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation, Inc. Use of this or any derivatives are prohibited by law.


About our Founder: "Helping people to help each other"

Stephen James is a voice-actor in every sense of the word: from voicing commercials and video narration, to performing both fiction and non-fiction audio-book narrations, to performing and directing live radio drama on stage - Stephen has performed in just about every genre of voice acting.

He is one of the region's most active advocates for the film industry in Louisiana and Mississippi (the region know as "Hollywood South") and even dedicates his professional expertise to volunteer as CEO of The National Voice Talent Foundation - a non-profit he founded in 2009 to provide affordable education and opportunities to performers and to support the community.

Also a prolific writer, Stephen studied English, Art,  and Drama at college, where he trained to be a teacher; while he has been involved with voice-over since the the mid-70's. Stephen emigrated to the USA in 1997 at the culmination of an illustrious career in public relations and marketing, and decided to develop his abilities as a performer by concentrating on voice acting. He was an active member of Media Guilds International in Las Vegas and became a Member of the Royal Society for the Arts.

Following his move to New Orleans, where he subsequently married his wife Deborah, Stephen formed The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation in 2009; dedicating his work to providing affordable coaching to actors and voice performers in the New Orleans region, and to encouraging them to use their talents in support of the community.

Since then, Stephen has developed the non-profit Foundation by providing hugely-popular Find your Best Voice® workshop programs across the length and breadth of the Gulf coast states. The nominal workshop fees go direct to the Foundation, through which Stephen has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for local communities from productions such as the annual radio-play production of "It's a Wonderful Life" (which recently enjoyed its 10th year) and The Hollywood South Awards®, as well as the  radio-play revival series of "The Whistler", launched in 2018 and with a "return" production in March 2019.

Louisiana's favorite voice coach
Stephen has worked with hundreds of students across the USA, not only along Gulf coast states but also for students as far apart as New York and Los Angeles and, in 2015, was awarded "Louisiana's Favorite Voice Coach" by the USA entertainment industry publication "Backstage", following the publication's independent survey of his peers. Stephen has also been selected as a judge for the SoVas Awards (Society of Voice Arts and Sciences) in 2018, 2019, and 2020_.

Stephen was appointed to the Board of Governors of The National Association of Non-profit Organizations and Executives (NANOE) for 2017 and was re-appointed to the same board for 2018. In 2017 Stephen also earned the credentials Certified Non-profit Executive (CNE), Certified Development Executive (CDE), and Certified Non-profit Consultant (CNC).

In the summer of 2019 Stephen was appointed to the board of the proposed South-east Louisiana Performing Arts and Educational Center, home of the Hollywood South Hall of Fame®.

Stephen believes strongly in encouraging people and communities to help each other and is enjoying developing The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation as a nationwide resource through which organizations and individuals can participate in helping to meet his visions of supporting the community while providing opportunities for all performers.

Further information about Stephen James

at: www.stephenjamesvoice.com


Among the many organizations which have benefited from donations and/or support from The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation's programs are:

Allies in Youth Development, Mansfield, TX (International).

Background Actors Guild, New Orleans, LA.

Biloxi Little Theater, Biloxi, MS

Boys and Girls Clubs of America, MS Gulf Coast.

Center Stage Theater, Biloxi, MS.

Common Ground Relief, New Orleans, LA.

Children's Tumor Foundation, New York, NY.

Crescent City Lights Youth Theater, New Orleans, LA.

Deutsches Haus Cultural Center, New Orleans, LA.

The Ella Project, New Orleans, LA.

Gretna Cultural Center for the Arts, Gretna, LA.

Habitat for Humanity, Gulf coast

Joe Jefferson Players, Mobile, AL.

John Schneider Studios, Hammond, LA.

Louisiana Produces - Lafayette Film & Entertainment MeetUp Group, Lafayette, LA.

The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education, Ocean Springs, MS.

New Stage Theatre, Jackson, MS
NOLA Voice Theater, New Orleans, LA.

The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation, New  Orleans, LA.

Tipitinas Foundation "Instruments a-Comin' " program, New Orleans, LA.

Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola, FL.

The Valiant Theatre, New Orleans, LA.

WWOZ Radio, New Orleans, LA.

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