I was recently featured on Such A Voice's website as part of their Staff Spotlight interviews. The article in its entirety can be found here or below:
How did you first get started in voice-over?
About 14 years ago, I moved out to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of working on-camera in film & TV. Truthfully, I never had any interest in voice-over! People would tell me that I had a good sound for it and that I should look into becoming a voice actor but… I can be really, really stubborn when it comes to taking other people’s advice, especially when it’s about my own personal life choices. Then about 10 years ago, I was asked by an acquaintance at Pandora Radio to send in a demo. I know it sounds crazy but I was reluctant to do so; I had it in my head that I was only going to be working on-camera. Like I said, stubborn! Long story short, I got on their roster, started recording commercials and promos regularly, found the work to be a lot more fun that I had imagined (and kicked myself for not starting sooner), slowly built up my contacts and repeat clients through P2P sites and other avenues, and before I knew it, voice-over was my full time job.
What is the most memorable VO job you have ever done?
Most of the VO work I’ve done falls within the commercial, promo, and narration realms but a few years ago I did dip my toe into video game dubbing and worked on one of the Blade & Soul games. I booked the job right around the time that I was placing most of my energy and focus on my intuitive guidance business, otherwise I probably would have pursued more of those opportunities. It was truly one of my favorite work experiences. I loved getting to voice different characters.
What would be a dream voice-over role for you?
You know, I’ve dabbled in most voice-over genres but I haven’t really done much animation. It would be cool to work on a show that made me laugh. And was somewhat magical. Perhaps with an uplifting or deeper message. For kids (so my nieces and nephew could watch it) but also for adults. I realize this is getting more specific by the minute. Maybe I just need to write it myself!
What has been your favorite part of coaching at Such A Voice? Tell us a bit about your style.
I think my favorite part of coaching would have to be connecting with my students. I’ve met some really amazing people through Such A Voice! I love witnessing the incredible transformations students go through in the program. By transformations, of course I mean within their voice-over skill set, but I’m also referring to those other transformations; like feeling more confident in who they are and discovering a love for the sound of their own unique voice (even if they always hated it).As far as my coaching style goes, I treat every script as an opportunity to tell the truth of the moment, whatever it is. It doesn’t matter if we’re working on a deodorant commercial or Shakespeare, we still have to be present in the circumstances and tap into the emotional truth. We still get to play and “make believe” just like we did when we were kids. And I tend to utilize imagination and sensory-based techniques to do so. When working with students on scripts, I always aim to be honest, constructive, and encouraging.
What advice do you have for students going through our program right now?
Immerse yourself in the VO universe, absorb as much information as you can, and keep practicing! It really is like building a muscle. If you wanted to get stronger biceps, you would exercise your biceps. You wouldn’t expect to work out once a week and see the same results you’d see if you worked out every day. So much is learned in the actual doing; in the repetition and the hours spent focusing your attention on your area of interest. It’s ok if you get frustrated by your rate of progress, but just keep at it. You never know when things will start to click. Just like lightbulbs can only turn on when they’re plugged into a source of electricity, aha moments and insights can only arrive when we put ourselves in the right place to receive them.
Pandemic notwithstanding, where do you most want to travel?
Oh man, the list is long. But one thing I’ve realized about my travel-enthusiast self – which maybe others can relate to – is that it’s often less about WHERE I go and more about HOW. Meaning, I just love the traveler’s mindset. That’s the part that is most addicting about travel: feeling open to experience, walking around with a sense of wonder and possibility, finding the most common everyday things interesting. I could be in my own city or I could be halfway around the world, it doesn’t matter. It’s that feeling of new discovery.
What is your favorite food?
Zen Bakery’s blueberry oat bran muffins especially when served with spreadable goat cheese and a hot cup of dark roast coffee. [Editor’s note: Yum!]
Anything you’d like to add, or projects you’d like to plug?
About my favorite food? Well, I’m bummed they don’t sell them where I’m living in South Carolina but I’m sure I can find a way to get them shipped out here. Otherwise, yes, I do have a project I’m really happy to share! This year, I published my inspirational message books, Wisdoms Of The Formerly Wilted: Vol. I & II. They’re available for purchase through Amazon and some other places where books are sold. More info can be found on my website: erikadward.com
How I Got Started In Voice Acting
Tips & Techniques For Commercial Voice Actors
More Acting Tips For VO
Four Things To Remember When Beginning Your Voiceover Career
You Are What You Practice
The Call Back
Leaving Los Angeles
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