Michael Apollo Lira
"I do voices" and other fun faux pax things to say
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
"I do voices!"
"My friends say I have a great voice and should get into voiceover!"
"I do a really good Solid Snake impression - check it out: METAL GEEAARRRR"
David Hayter: if you're reading this, I'M SO SORRY. I love your work in Metal Gear Solid and the X-Men movies were fantastic. I keep trying to send you a (NON-POISONED) fruit basket for the holidays but your manager has blocked about fourteen different phone numbers I've used to try to contact you.
If any of those these are things you happen to say (including the David Hayter stuff), chances are you say them because: of your sense of tongue-in-cheek humor, you love the hobby side of voice acting, or it's just so early in your journey that you haven't quite stuck your head into that rabbit hole yet. Mmmm...rabbit.
Wait, rabbit hole? Bring back David Hayter!! At a glance, voice acting IS doing voices and impressions, right?? It's getting creative, having fun, and reading things in unique or interesting ways! It's narration, which, if you haven't tried yet can be really challenging if you're even just trying to sound NORMAL! It's a LOT of things! Flavors for all palates - except Popcorn Flavored Jelly Belly - that has no place in my heart or on this mortal plane.
Under the hood of it all, if you're serious about making money from your work, is said rabbit hole. You will hear this over, and over, and over, and over......and over again. And then some more probably (staaahp). If you are serious about making income from something like voice over, then you will need to start your own personal voiceover business.
Yeah - a business. But it gets to be YOUR business! All customized to who you are, your style, quirks, and skills! You get the ability to brand your business exactly the way you'd like to! Those aren't the shackles people think of that come with business ownership - that's freedom, baby!
So that's the rabbit hole people have to stick their head into and explore. And from there, previously curious people will usually either have a "mother of God" moment and quickly egress from whenst they came, or their tenacity takes them on a much more complicated and longer journey than expected. But this I say unto you, fellow person - that journey comes standard equipped with air conditioning and a mind-boggling deluge of scintillating things to absorb. You're absolutely going to make friends along the way. And the latest statistics show you're 26% MORE likely to survive that journey than a couple of lost little hobbits!
Voiceover is fun and simultaneously challenging. It rewards creativity, skill, and thoughtfulness. It comes with a life-long learning curve - and I find it satisfying to continually improve on what I do. I'm constantly learning new things from the people I meet as well. And you'll also get to connect to your listeners through a really unique avenue!
And all that being said - it's a great thing if you "do voices". It's practicing, listening, learning, emulating, and refining your skills as a voice actor. So much of what we do is nuance. And a lot of the roles cast are going to require specific details in how you speak or present something; be it an idea, an emotion, a product - the list goes on. So in a very big way, you're imitating someone (even if it's a quirkier or more boring version of you! YOU do the best version of YOUR unique god-given voice) when you're delivering your lines. Though it's a bit of an inside joke to say "I do voices" in this world, just remember - some of the best jokes are often about something that's true, ironic, or both. And for what it's worth: I LOVE doing voices.
If you're interested in that rabbit hole of voiceover: everything under the hood - the business side of it, what you need to know, how to acquire clients, CRM, and what any of that gibberish even means...I'd highly recommend checking out and following a savvy and Super voiceover talent named Joshua Alexander of Seattle - first of his name, Super of mortals, smiter of SEO, guider of voicelings. He runs a very successful, well-oiled machine of a voiceover business and - get this- he's a fun and friendly person.
He's very up-front and transparent about how he runs his business - and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with other voice actors through his weekly Instagram livestreams as well as through the groups that he manages and participates in. He's somebody who has been shown a lot of kindness from the community and he believes in paying it forward.
If you're curious and want to learn more through some of the resources he's created, you can find:
His Facebook group: "VoiceOver Drive: Your VO Business. Breakneck Speed Forward" for great discussion and resources - including connecting with a mentor!
His Instagram: SeattleVoiceOverArtist - every Monday he livestreams business updates, answers questions, and provides insight and advice that can help you with your career.
His learning bundle The Super VO Business Video Package for helping you get started (or get better at) running your own successful voiceover business.
Access to the same (and customizable) tools he uses for his daily operations and has made available.
There are a ton of resources out there for curious minds - just ask Google! But you'll also find that there's a lot of noise to sift through in the process - and sometimes conflicting information as well. Find what works for you! After all, it's YOUR business!
But I'll say this - it's really, REALLY nice when somebody who already has it down offers to share their insights and experience in an easy-to-absorb format.
Good luck out there everybody, stay safe, and keep learning!
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