In June 2020, Ramon was inducted as a Golden Voice, AudioFile's lifetime achievement honor for audiobook narrators.
What helps you achieve an emotional connection to a book and the characters?
Everything is personal, and everyone is me. I bring myself right into it. I think as an actor I’ve developed a sensitivity for language, and (because I read so many scripts) a mechanism to find what parts of me connect quickly to what I’m reading. Because it’s both art and work, I find I approach a book open to possibilities and “ready to play.” It’s different from when I’m reading a book just for enjoyment, when I let the author’s words take me on a journey. When I’m working on a book as an actor/narrator, I’m considering myself as a catalyst for the listener to take the journey. It can take a lot out of you, emotionally and physically, but I think that kind of human heart is what can make the experience of audiobooks so thrilling.
You narrate a lot of audiobooks for children and young adults—what do you enjoy about the genre?
I love to tell coming-of-age stories (whether it’s a war-torn landscape, an urban jungle, a wizarding school, or a fifth-grade diary). I think those are the ones that made the biggest impression on me when I was growing up. And I love the openhearted storytelling that is the mark of the genre. YA stories come from a place of truth, energy, earnestness, and a soulful tenderness that I really connect with. And I love that kids connect with those stories, too! My young nephew is convinced I lead other lives—he asks me questions about siblings I have from books. (He’s sure I’m actually Greg from Wimpy Kid!)
Tell us about a time you’ve gotten feedback from a fan.
My mother tells this story: Once, she was at a rest stop on a road trip to Vegas. One of those little malls in the middle of the desert somewhere. She was paying for something, and the cashier needed her name for the old-school paper credit card form she was filling out. When my mom told the cashier her name, a giant, leather-vested, shaved-headed Harley rider who overheard her said, “De Ocampo? As in Ramon de Ocampo?” My mom was surprised and said, “Yes, I’m his mom.” The rider said, “Man, I listen to his audiobooks all the time—my kids and I are huge fans!”
Red, White & Royal Blue AudioFile Best of 2019 Romance
Hello Universe AudioFile Best of 2017 Children & Family Listening
I'm New Here AudioFile Best of 2017 Children & Family Listening
Lost in the Sun AudioFile Best of 2015 Children
��Stealing Air AudioFile Best of 2012 Children
Storm Runners AudioFile Best of 2011 Children
Photo by Elsie Rose Photography
Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.
Let us recommend your next great audiobook!
No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.
If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.