Born and raised in San Francisco, Bettina Devin was fortunate to have parents who believed in the value and necessity of on-going and never-ending TRAINING, and put their money where their mouths were.
She began studying classical singing (Bel Canto) as a 15-year-old, and eventually applied that training to her burgeoning passion for Broadway and Jazz repertoire. Her formative influences came from a diverse group including Dionne Warwick, Julie Andrews, Ella, Sara, and Streisand.
Imitating them helped to forge her mixed style of singing, a versatility which turned out to be a curse as well as a blessing. It made it harder to categorize her style in later years in L.A. when record companies were looking for specific marketing hooks for artists, but also, most undoubtedly paved the way for her versatile career.
In the 80's in L.A., she worked for a company that produced demos for would-be songwriters from all over the company, that called for vocalists who could sing in any style. She was called on to record vocals in the styles of R&B, Country, Jazz, and Pop. Her first headlining gig was at the premiere jazz room in San Diego (The Catamaran), a popular venue for the likes of jazz greats like Sara Vaughan and Carmen McRae.
Soon thereafter, she landed a voiceover agent in L.A., and moved there. She continued to sing in L.A. at well-known night spots, including The Playboy Club, Vine Street Bar and Grill, and Le Cafe.
In 1981, Bettina auditioned for and was accepted into the venerable L.A. acting company, Theater West, where her role as the 18-year-old virgin, Anne (she was 30!) in their production of Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" helped initiate her friendship with the inimitable Betty Garrett (On the Town, All in the Family, Laverne and Shirley). In 1984, the Emmy-Award winning composer, Billy Goldenberg (Ballroom) chose her to be Guest Artist with the San Francisco Symphony for the San Francisco Ballet’s 50th anniversary and participation in the Olympic Arts Festival.
Having more of a taste of what it was like to act on stage, without the demands of being all-in-one singer/producer/marketer as she was for her club act, Bettina began to focus more on acting and voiceover. Her first starring role on film (Mark Sobel/Nancylee Myatt's "Little Secrets") came as a result of her affiliation with Theater West. Soon thereafter, under the tutelage of her acting coach, Joan Darling (Chuckles Bites the Dust), she started booking roles on T.V. and film Paramount's "Grease II" with Michelle Pfeiffer, "Who's the Boss?", "Alice", "The New Love American Style", and "Throb" (with Frasier's Jane Leeves.)
A move back to the Bay Area led to her long-standing and still vibrant working relationship with 2-time Emmy-Award winning songwriter, Rita Abrams.
In 2004, she landed the role of Idina Menzel's clueless Mom in Chris Columbus' film version of the Pulitzer Prize/Tony Award- winning musical, "Rent”. Columbus was just coming off a long list of hit movies including "Harry Potter", "Mrs. Doubtfire", and "Home Alone".
Bettina's voice can be heard on many regional and national commercials as well as on CD Roms for Disney, Lego, and Leapfrog, for whom she created 100 voices. Hers was the voice on the theme song for the NBC-TV mini-series "Moviola". On the Disney/Pixar CD Rom "Jessie's Wild West Rodeo", based on the Toy Story character of Jessie, she recorded the voice of Jessie. Her ability to access the childlike part of her voice has made her a natural for such Disney Records recordings as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Goldilocks". But her considerable acting skills have contributed to her creation of multi-characters on voice-over projects like the feature, "Film Noir", for which she voiced 8 characters, ranging from a 6 year old girl to an elderly Eastern European woman...as well as the voice for the leading female character.
Since moving back to Northern California, Bettina has built a solid career in the film community in the fields of casting and producing, as well as establishing herself as one of the most sought after acting/dialect coaches in the area. Her jazz CD, “Dangerous Type”, released in 2004 and produced by Gualtiero Negrini, continues to be played on top jazz stations across the US.
A 2007 diagnosis of a rare voice disorder, Spasmodic Dysphonia (Diane Rehm/Scott Adams, Robert Kennedy, Jr.), threatened to end her acting and singing careers. However, using the very singing technique she teaches, she managed to triumph over the disorder, and continues to be a busy on-camera and voiceover actress, as well as acting and singing coach. Her personal battles with physical challenges has helped her evolve into a sought-after motivational coach, focusing on the arts, pushing her to her mantra, “Never Say Never”.