If you’ve ever been on Route 1 in July, you know many Washingtonians vacation at the Delaware beaches. But did you know it’s a Lewes woman who narrates their daily commutes on the D.C. Metro?
Randi Miller, 57, moved to Lewes in 2014. She entered a 2006 contest to become the voice of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on a whim.
She was working at a Lexus dealership in Alexandria, Virginia, at the time, and her coworkers encouraged her to throw her hat in the ring. People were always telling Miller how nice her voice was, and she had done a few small voiceover projects in the past. Still, she was hesitant.
“I wasn’t going to do it, but people kept pestering me,” she said.
Miller recorded her entry on a CD using her computer’s built-in microphone and mailed it via FedEx the day before it was due. More than 1,200 people entered the contest. Miller’s father had been trying for years to break into voiceover work and submitted 20 entries to the WMATA contest himself.
When she got the call that she’d made the top 10, Miller’s mother advised her not to tell her father. She broke it to him gently only after finding out she was going to be in the Washington Post.
“That was awkward,” she said.
Miller and the other finalists were sent to record several more announcements in a studio setting.
“I was terrified to eat because I was afraid I’d burp through the whole thing,” Miller said. “So I had red wine and French fries, and that actually worked great.”
On Feb. 1, 2006, Miller joined her fellow finalists at the Chinatown Metro station for the announcement of the winner.
“The whole world was there,” she said. “There were cameras all over the place. “
She had no expectation of winning.
“Then they said, ‘The winner is…’ and it was me! I couldn’t believe it!”
The amateur had beaten out many voiceover professionals. Stunned, she was immediately whisked away for television interviews. Miller wasn’t paid for the job, but was instantly famous regionally.
“The irony of a person who works at a car dealership being picked to voice public transportation is not lost on me,” she said dryly.
The gig also opened doors to other voiceover jobs. The very next day, a software company in California sought Miller out to voice their program. The WMATA started getting so many calls for her that she had to get an agent.
Her rise to D.C. fame came with perks. Miller was invited to speak on the National Mall at Capital Pride in front of more than 250,000 people. She was appointed a judge for a WMATA art contest and a “Funniest Fed” comedy contest. The Mautner Project, a nonprofit dedicated to improving LGBTQ women’s health, featured her as the voice of God at their annual gala.
Not one to waste an opportunity, Miller parlayed her WMATA win into a career. She has ongoing contracts with the National Cancer Institute, voicing educational videos on YouTube, and with the University of Maryland, narrating e-modules. She recently recorded for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
She found her smooth voice worked in other outlets, landing a radio gig at Lewes’s WGMD, where she reported the news for two years. Now, she has her own streaming station, Prizm Radio, where she hosts a morning show and broadcasts live on location throughout the area.
Miller is also a Jeep enthusiast and a dog lover. Her constant companion is a handsome Catahoula mix named Trevor.
You can listen to Prizm Radio at prizmradio.com.