Born and raised in the Dominican Republic from a young age, Jane Santos knew that God had great plans for her. After starting her career working in local tv shows, she made her way into cinematography to later move to Los Angeles, California, without knowing that she would become one of the world’s most influential voices.
“I always said I wanted to do something with my voice, but I didn’t know what,” Santos said in an interview for HOLA! USA. “Then, I opened my eyes when a young Dominican girl heard my voice when reading a letter in the movie ‘Santicló’ and she told me that she had loved it.” According to Santos, that was her aha moment.
After attending an audition for the book “La fiesta del Chivo,” written by the Peruvian Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Santos debuted as an audiobook narrator. Later, she became the official voice that gives life to the stories of the most important women of the 21st century, including former United States First Lady Michelle Obama and Melinda Gates, Isabel Allende, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Margaret Atwood, among others.
Known as “La Voz de Oro Latina,” Santos lends her voice to the United States of America’s Vice President, Kamala Harris, in the book entitled: “Las verdades que sostenemos.”
As this multi-talented actress comments to HOLA! USA, the stability she has in the industry is attributed to collaborating with important authors. “It has been the trust that authors and publishers have placed in me,” she comments. “I always asked God to guide my path because the gift of acting and voice acting has been He who has given it to me.”
Jane Santos has been walking the path that she has asked God to guide for more than five years. Last January, she also presented the book “The Queen’s Gambit,” coinciding with the premiere on Netflix of the series based on this same book.
“The process with the authors and producers varies a lot,” said the actress, referring to whether before starting to record her voice she meets to discuss the expectations of each project. “It all depends on the availability of the author. We often encounter, especially if they want to know me more, and at other times they ask for recordings of my voice and then give the seal of approval.”
The Dominican says that choosing a single author as a preference is hard since they have all left traces in one way or another. However, she dared to name the book that has most marked her heart and soul on this occasion. “Each author has his or her authenticity, and the styles are very different,” she tells us. “But if I have to choose, for many reasons, it would be the first story that I had the honor of narrating, and because it is a Dominican story.” According to the actress, her investigative process for that book, began with someone very close to her, her grandmother. “I spoke with her and asked her. And that, for me, was an exceptional bond.”
“Another book is the one written by Michelle Obama since it marked a before and after in my career,” says Santos. “And of course, now, the one written by the first female Vice President of the United States.”
Despite her successful career on American soil, Santos does not forget her roots, and talking about her family is like touching one of the most sensitive fibers of her being. In tears, the actress commented to HOLA! USA that her loved ones have been her greatest motivation, and how difficult it has been for her not to see them due to the pandemic. “I am very family-oriented,” she tells us. “Everything I do is for my family. And one of the things that have hurt me the most is being away from them. There is nothing in the world, no fame, no money that can replace them. Although they are proud of what I do, those special moments you never get back, that’s why talking about my family touches me deeply. ”
“My family is very proud of me. And they let me know how they feel,” she says, adding that they will always be there for her. “I would love to give my mom and dad a hug right now,” Santos says with a broken voice.
To date, Jane Santos does not know if in the near future she will go from narrating books to writing one; however, she assures that she has a lot to tell and does not rule out the possibility. “Maybe yes! It has crossed my mind. I like to write poems,” she says.
Santos doesn’t know about taking breaks, and she will soon return to the recording studio to lend her voice to another author. Her preparation process could take days, and according to the Dominican star, this is fundamental. “There are two phases, the pre and when you are in the studio,” she explains. “In the pre-phase, I receive the script, read it, and research the author and his or her style — in case it is unfamiliar. In the script, I see if some words need to be intoned in a certain way. I consult with the producer or author. If it‘s fiction, it’s a different job since I have to shape all the characters. The qualities, the character, and so on.”
For the second phase, Santos tells us that she could spend hours working nonstop while in the recording booth. “From 9 a.m to 5 in the afternoon, non-stop. That‘s why I don’t talk during those days when I get home, and I stay disciplined. I hydrate and eat well, take care of allergies. I don’t smoke; I don’t drink alcohol. I am always cautious because if something happens to me, it shows immediately,” she explains.
Jane Santos says that she always gives her best for each book and tries to evolve in each project. The actress also took the opportunity and used HOLA! USA as a platform to send a message to all immigrants who want to succeed in foreign lands. “It is good to be compassionate, to give to others and forget about ourselves; however, it is also important to have compassion with ourselves and ask yourself ‘what can you do today?’ Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not postpone. What did you do for yourself today? Did you have a coffee? Indulge yourself and honor the present moment. In the United States, we work so much that we enjoy very little,” she concludes.