Anne Cloud. Sweet Gypsy Voiceover. Taking your story where you want it to go.
Article by Anna Gilstrap
Ever fantasized about living on the open road? Quitting your day job, selling your house, living in a van, and shaping your life into a never-ending road trip? It’s an idea that crosses the minds of many, but rarely comes to fruition.
Not for Anne Cloud — she created a reality out of this dream nomadic lifestyle.
Anne lives in a remodeled school bus with her husband Nick, and their three children — Elliott, Hattie and Juniper. They travel from place to place, seeing the sights and enjoying each other’s company; and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
How it all started
The Cloud family’s journey began at the end of a vacation to Victoria, British Columbia, in July 2017. When the trip to visit friends was coming to a close, they weren’t ready to go home; so they started looking for ways to continue the fun. They drove past Mount Walker in Washington on their way back to Denver and decided to have a look around. There, they met a French family who forever changed their worldview.
It was a husband and wife with a toddler who had quit their jobs, sold all their possessions and obtained travel visas to visit the U.S. They converted a one-ton cargo van into their new home on wheels and spent their days driving around and exploring.
“Their energy and enthusiasm for life and the freedom that their particular life afforded them were infectious and contagious,” Nick said. “It proved to be a transformative encounter for us.”
Anne and Nick immediately went home and looked up vans for sale. They settled on a retired school bus. At the time, they were a family of four about to welcome a fifth, and the bus seemed like just the right size. It just needed a major makeover. Just a month after that fateful meeting, they had the bus and were ready to make their new life vision a reality.
First, there was lots of work to do. They ripped out the seats, and began transforming that old bus into a modern tiny home on wheels — a labor of love that took two years.
Why living in a school bus?
Before the bus, Anne and Nick were homeowners with a comfortable income from Nick’s construction company and Anne’s voiceover work. By most metrics, they were living the American Dream; but they longed for more.
“We were not satisfied with the typical modern American routine of being physically apart all day and then spending weekends frantically trying to catch up on chores, extracurriculars for the kiddos and all the other myriad of things that pull at our time,” Anne said. “We wanted to spend more time together.”
More quality time is just one of many values the Cloud family holds fast to in their roaming life. They opted out of a typical American lifestyle to pursue minimalism, nature connection, simplicity, adventure and really living while they and their children are young.
“We are getting more and more comfortable with ourselves and our choices, and living life outside of the mainstream,” Anne said. “Living in a bus house has forced us to be more thoughtful about all sorts of things.”
How voiceover fits in the mix
Voiceover acting by nature is a career of creativity and flexibility, so it falls right in line with Anne’s way of life. She can work from wherever she happens to be that day in the professional-grade mobile studio that travels with her.
Her workspace is a renovated cargo trailer they pull along on all their adventures. It’s equipped with a Sennheiser 416 microphone and a WhisperRoom Sound Isolation booth to silence any background noise and focus solely on Anne’s voice. It also has a top-of-the-line WeBoost to guarantee she has strong wireless internet connection no matter where the road takes her.
Anne’s voice is not the only thing about her with a sweet gyspy vibe — she’s got the gypsy soul to match. She takes people’s stories where they want them to go, just like she takes herself to where she feels called in that moment.
“Anne is a shining star on our VO Chateau roster,” said Celia Siegel, the brand builder and talent manager who runs Celia Siegel Management. “She not only is greatly talented but also has a big heart and a free spirit that comes through in her sound. She’s so authentic and appealing that it’s like having a new best friend — and that really sells right now. Plus, everyone has wanderlust currently, so Anne and her lifestyle allow us to live vicariously in the wide open world at a time when so many of us are limited in our travels.”
Sweet gypsy voice, sweet gypsy life
Anne and Celia met at Late Night Secrets With Rhonda.
“Anne asked me if I would use the bus in the brand and I said absolutely,” Celia said. “I just love branding people like Anne who have something so unique and are willing to share it.”
The branding process helped Anne in more ways than one.
“Working with Celia didn’t just change my brand or my business,” Anne said. “She got into my soul a bit and helped me start believing in myself in a new way. Now I’m comfortable in my own skin to a degree I wasn’t before. My time with Celia really ignited my confidence in being exactly who I am and it has been unbelievably good for my career but also my life.”
“I feel incredibly lucky to get to be on this amazing adventure with my family and still be able to work full-time just like I did when we were living standing still,” Anne said. “We believe that we only get one chance at life and we think that the path we’re on is our best chance to make the most of it.”