Some career paths are well-known: doctors and cops, for example, get heaps of screen time—and, in real life, most people have at least rubbed shoulders with these sorts of professionals. But there are scads of different ways to make a living, and one aim of Work Stew is to showcase as many paths as possible.
One day this thought led me to focus on the voice in my GPS not as the disembodied presence with whom I have a very complicated love-hate relationship, but rather as the voice of a real, live person. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I was eventually able to connect with Karen Jacobsen, the person behind the voice, for a brief phone interview. Karen forgave me my cursing, explained how she became “The GPS Girl,” and filled me in on what she does with her time when she’s not bossing me around from my dashboard.
About Karen Jacobsen: Karen Jacobsen is an Australian-born singer, songwriter, and voiceover artist. Before moving to New York, she performed regularly on Australian television, and her voice has been featured—singing and speaking—on thousands of television, radio, and online commercials. Karen’s voice became world-famous in 2002 when she was chosen as one of the options (“Australian Karen”) for the text-to-speech system used in millions of GPS units. These days, Karen is focusing on her singing; over the years, she has released six albums on her independent label Kurly Queen, and her latest is a CD for kids called Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun with Supa’ K. She has also recently published a book, The GPS Girl’s Roadmap for Your Future.