When it comes to having a career in Hollywood, there are many ways to go about achieving success. It is an industry that is constantly growing and evolving, especially with the explosion of digital media. It’s not just A-list celebrities on the big screen who are considered the epitome of success, or having “made it”. If there is anyone who has well and truly proven this, it is Noveen Crumbie.
The successful voiceover actor also known as “Queen Noveen” is an inspiration to the next generation of creatives. You may even recognize Noveen as the voice of the global E! Entertainment Network along with the Golden Globes, but her extensive career also spans into the world of animated series and video games. Most recently, Noveen has brought to life Layla, a character from the highly anticipated video game, Redfall.
With just an initial trailer released, individuals are already enamored with both Layla, and the woman behind her. Having taken to TikTok to reveal her own industry secrets, Noveen’s videos have gained more than 500K views, as she gives an inside scoop on the world of voice acting.
Noveen is an example of industry progress for underrepresented communities everywhere. Over the years, as Noveen has risen in an industry typically unavailable to women of color, she has garnered self-confidence and unique tips and tricks that have led to her success- and she is ready to share her secrets with the world. Drawn to her passion and radiance, each of her characters have become larger than life, and usher a community of fans to each franchise.
On top of Noveen’s role as Layla, her additional roles include MGA’s Rainbow High as Naomi Storm, Liz from the famed friend group of Lego Friends, and Jordie from ‘Mermaze Mermaidz’. While Noveen remains the hidden voice of Hollywood, her characters continue to be the focal point of trailers, episodes, advertisements, and more.
From Rainbow High to ‘Redfall’, Queen Noveen has made a name for herself as a successful Black woman in Hollywood, proving to be a strong asset in a craft that predominantly consists of white males. Bringing her fire and charisma to each of her roles, Noveen has created an allure around both her work, and herself as an individual.
She was also kind enough to speak with us about her industry secrets and the advice she would give other creatives looking to make their mark in the world of entertainment – there are more ways than one to reach success!
When did you first fall in love with the acting bug, and where did your career begin?
I first fell in love with acting in 2nd grade when I performed in my first play in titled, ‘The Little Clown Who Forgot How to Laugh’. My parents said when the show ended, I was so thrilled and excited by the experience, I ran up to them yelling, “I want to do it again, I want to do it again!”. Since then, I’ve truly loved it and continued to pursue it as a career.
Today you have a very successful voiceover career, in video games, on TV, and more. How did you get into this specific area in the industry?
I attended college in NYC and LA at AMDA: College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts for musical theatre and dance. Voiceover wasn’t a career even on my radar. I didn’t know much about it initially, but throughout my college years, I was always complimented on my voice so I decided to try voiceover after I graduated. I began classes, and my career soon took off. Voiceover has always felt like a natural talent I didn’t know I had and I’m glad I’m making the most of it.
Can you tell us about your character Layla in ‘Redfall’ and what the video game is all about?
Redfall is a first-person shooter game that takes place on the fictional island of Redfall, Massachusetts. After a failed scientific experiment, vampires took over the island and that’s where my character, Layla Ellison comes in. She came to Redfall as a student to study biomedical engineering at Redfall Technical University. During her internship at Aevum Therapeutics research facility, she volunteered to be part of a medical trial that inevitably went wrong. It knocked her out cold, and she woke up with a killer headache and wild telekinetic powers.
She can easily summon this purple swirling aura, creating a ghostly elevator to aid her allies in reaching higher places to attack enemies, or a large purple umbrella used as a shield to deflect enemy attacks. Layla and the other heroes of the game fight to take down the vampires and their cultists in hopes of making Redfall a little more safe for the citizens left, and themselves.
@noveencrumbie Characters I have voiced in video games and animation… 🎙🤩🎮 #voiceover #animation #videogames #queennoveen #redfall #fridaythe13ththegame #reddead2 #rainbowhigh #lolsurprise #creed #enchantimals #legofriends #sinkingcity #ozaria #myloft #mermazemermaidz ♬ That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
You have also become quite the sensation on TikTok, sharing your industry secrets with 500K fans and viewers. What kind of tips and secrets do you share on your account?
I recently shared a video on TikTok of my Top 5 Voiceover Tips for anyone wanting to get into the business. One, voiceover is everywhere. So listen more closely and repeat it out loud. Two, take classes! It teaches you the foundation and all that it encompasses. Three, keep your demos short, simple, and to the point. Put your best voices first and show your range. Four, voiceover auditions require only your lines, not the reader’s lines. Five, join a voiceover community. This industry can be very difficult so having a support system that can encourage and share knowledge is very important. I also share content of what it’s like voicing award shows, reenacting projects I’ve voiced, and being on The Ellen Show!
Although Hollywood is slowly starting to diversify and recognize the need for more inclusion, it is still not equal. As a Black woman in a predominantly white, male industry, what has your experience been like in navigating these barriers?
There aren’t many opportunities for people of color available to begin with, and it really starts with the kinds of projects being created. This industry has always been predominantly white, so the need for equality and diversity really begins with what’s available for us to authentically audition for. I think it’s essential for us to see POC (people of color) in animated films, TV shows, commercials, video games, etc because that in turn creates more opportunities. But most importantly, it depicts a realistic view of what the world actually looks like. As Viola Davis has said, “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” But I do hope the industry recognizes this flaw and change happens much sooner than later.
@noveencrumbie My Top 5 Tips for getting started in Voiceover! 1) Listen to VO & repeat out loud. 2) Take classes. 3) Keep demos short and simple. 4) Read your lines ONLY. 5) Join a VO Community. 🗣🎙👏🏾 Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @noveencrumbie! #voiceover #queennoveen #vo #demos #tips #audition #voiceacting ♬ original sound – Noveen Crumbie
Who are some of your role models in the industry, and how have their careers inspired you personally?
I have always been a huge fan of Selena Gomez. As someone who absolutely loves Disney, she has been a role model to me since her days on the Disney Channel, her countless films, animation projects, and music. Much like she has, I aspire to work on a variety of genres throughout my own career. I also really admire the way she has carried herself through the ups and downs of the industry. She is widely known to be very successful, especially as a woman in Hollywood. Selena has instilled valuable life lessons that are very important to me – not allowing negativity to control your mindset, doing what’s best for you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and always being kind to yourself and others.
What would you say is the larger impact of seeing more women of color on screen and behind the camera?
Growing up, I participated in my high school’s theatre department. However, I was never cast as a lead, a supporting role, or ever put in front during dance competitions in show choir. One year, we even did The Wiz and no one of color was cast as a lead. I wanted so much more than to be a musical transition as the yellow brick road, or continue dancing my heart out each year while never being an option for dance captain. It was always the same white students at the top of the cast list. Sadly, there also wasn’t anyone in the higher grades I could look up to. This is why it’s important for me to use my platform so that even the young students of color have someone relatable they can look up to knowing yes, they can do it too.
You are also a voice-over artist in the Rainbow High series, as well as L.O.L. Surprise: House of Surprises. Can you tell us more about the characters you play?
I voice Naomi Storm in the ‘Rainbow High’ series. She and her twin sister Veronica attend the rival school, Shadow High. Naomi is confident, fierce, and ambitious. She and her sister revel in creating tension and drama when it comes to sabotaging Rainbow High. Voicing Naomi called for more in depth research and practice on my part in order for me to give my strongest performance. Naomi Campell was someone I drew inspiration from, because not only did my character share a first name with her, but she fully embodied those characteristics, helping me bring my character to life.
In ‘L.O.L. Surprise: House of Surprises’, I am the voice of Sunset. She is a traveler and an explorer. When it comes to the sun and the outdoors, she loves the beaches, music festivals, and the desert. But most importantly, she’s a travel influencer, exploring the world to uncover and share stories, being sure to document it all along the way. Sunset’s the ultimate adventurer, and she loves to try new things. She’s easygoing, friendly, and never has a plan because she just goes wherever her travels lead her. I have become more like Sunset when it comes to traveling to places on my bucket list and enjoying the adventures along the way!
Can you share any info on some of your upcoming projects, and where fans can expect to see and hear you?
Redfall, including one other highly anticipated video game I’ve voiced, is set to release in 2023. I can’t say what it is just yet so you’ll have to stay tuned! I also voiced my third Enchantimals character as well as another brand name animation series coming very soon. Besides that, Rainbow High and Mermaze Mermaidz release new episodes on YouTube every other week. You can also catch me voicing promos on the E! Network for the Emmys, Oscars, People’s Choice Awards, and more.
What advice would you give to especially other young women of color wanting to break into Hollywood?
Having a community of friends you trust to provide guidance, insight, and support towards your mental health is very important. This not only helps your career but is also a source of much-needed support when it comes to the highs and lows of the industry. Hollywood is all about who you know. So building relationships with writers, showrunners, casting directors, etc is a smart way to build a solid network of friends. Whether that’s networking at different events like film festivals or theatre productions, attending classes and workshops, or simply being an extra on set. In this industry, rejection is heartbreakingly normal.
For people of color, creating long-lasting relationships is vital when it comes to finding work. Hollywood can be a very white pre-determined platform, thus people of color have to put in extra effort to prove themselves more in order to be seen and heard.