Millions of people around the world who will never meet Kae Marie Denino in person will come to know the Clintonville woman's voice.
She can be animated, believable, convincing, dramatic, elegant, fun, gentle, honest, inviting, knowledgeable, natural, perky, smart, trendy, upbeat or warm -- all with her vocal cords.
Denino is a voiceover production artist, which means she can provide clients wherever the internet reaches with not only the velvet voice she inherited from her parents but also editing, music and copywriting services.
Her voice has been heard on radio and TV commercials ranging from Toyota, Morton's Steakhouse and Whole Foods (she played personified kale, admitting she tastes like "wet shoes"), to local ads for restaurants, spas, retail stores and even a haunted house.
Kae Marie VO Production recently became a member of the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce, as much to support the neighborhood she and her twin 6-year-olds call home as to find clients, Denino said.
Her path to voiceover work can be traced back to when she was 5 years old and was chosen to lead a bicentennial parade in her North Carolina town based on a singing audition for a local radio station.
The following year, the public-address system went down while a large audience was gathered in the gymnasium of her school.
"A teacher walked onto the stage, put her hand over her forehead to shield from the lights and said, 'Where's Kae Denino?' " according to the website for Kae Marie VO Production.
Little Kae got up on stage to entertain the crowd -- "and my voice reached, which was pretty sweet," Denino recalled.
The Columbus native, who grew up in North Carolina, Indiana and Canton, is a graduate of Ron Allan's Big Voice Productions of Gahanna. Allan, who serves as Denino's voice coach, said he has trained nearly 500 students in the "art and business of voiceover" for nearly two decades.
Allan called Denino "extremely talented, versatile, ambitious and spunky.
"I hire her, as I do most of my students, for clients who need voiceover for radio and TV commercials. Kae has a unique set of qualities in her voice that are not a good fit in everything for voiceover. It's not about whatever you would call having a great voice. It's about using the voice you have for the project."
"Everyone kept telling me how nice my voice is, everywhere I go," Denino said.
She knows exactly where she got that voice, too.
"My parents have beautiful voices," Denino said. "My mom is the best receptionist in the world."
Denino, 46, who studied Shakespeare as an undergraduate at Arizona State University and went on to graduate studies at New York University and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, feels she brings more to the work than just her voice.
"I love everyone and I value them and I want to give them what they need, so when I'm talking to them, I come from a place of caring and compassion," she said.
"I've worked with Kae on a few things," said James Mintner of Buckeye Media Services in Gahanna, which offers media marketing services for businesses. "She doesn't sound like an overly trained, overly produced voice. Kae has a voice where she can go pretty young, and that works well for her and will for quite a while."
Denino, who also has worked as a probation officer, said she most recently was employed by a "fancy software firm," which allowed her to save the money to buy her home in Clintonville, then launch a business that lets her stay home with her twins, Tree and Lake.
"I have no idea how many people do this," Denino said of voiceover production artists. "I know there are a lot of us, but I also know cream rises to the top.
"It's rare and it's hard. It's kind of like, can you make money as an actor?"