Voice Work pt 1 – The Beginning

So through M.C.A. Hogarth’s Patreon, I’m involved with the Discord channel dedicated to her and her works–which allows me contact not only with her, but an immense group of amazing friends and talents who I adore more than I can ever explain. As I sat this weekend and realized that I’d run out of blog posts scheduled, I asked what I should write about.

Since I’m also working on several audiobooks for Micah, the answer seemed to be a resounding “voice actor stuff.” Despite having no idea what anyone would want to know about my life as a voice actor/narrator, this is me trying to do what my friends have requested. ❤

So if nothing else, I can tell you how I got started. I’ve always loved telling stories, either reading other people’s book aloud or telling my own. I was the kid in school who hesitated to read aloud because I knew if I started, no one else would ever volunteer again and I would end up reading for the whole class period and then people would think I was showing off. (Inwardly, I didn’t care if I read all class–I enjoyed it and did it well, and most of my other classmates hated it. But this was grade school. Small child logic applies.)

I read lessons in church, and routinely was told I had a wonderful speaking voice. I always attributed that to my father: being raised by an actor and radio personality had instilled public speaking into me from an early age. Personally I hated my voice (and still do) but if others wanted to say they liked listening to it, that was great for them.

At first, I dabbled in voice acting on YouTube, being in videos for friends (or with friends, or both) and lending my voice to them. I had a talent for accents, and for the most part it didn’t matter if they were good or not. I bounced my way around and gained myself a small modicum of Internet fame. (Very small.) But the tipping point was finding out that websites like ACX existed–places where people like me could lend their voices to book…and get paid for it. That was mind-boggling. Sure, I knew audiobooks were a thing; Dad listened to them on long car rides. But that I could just sign up for a site and do it? Amazing.

Micah was actually the one who introduced me to it, as she was looking for narrators for her books. As the desperate fanboy I am, I immediately made a profile and made it Evidently Clear that I had one and was More Than Willing to be a voice for her. Reasonably, she did not respond to this. (I’m sure I was upset about this at the time.) But having my profile up meant that other authors could see me, and ask me to audition for their books. My first two projects were authors who found me rather than the other way around: one asked me to audition and the other simply offered me the contract outright. I was astounded.

And of course, as we know, in time I got a chance to work with Micah. I was entirely unfamiliar with Alysha’s universe prior to voicing ALYSHA’S FALL, but given my love of her books in general, I was happy to jump in wherever I could. Deep in my heart of hearts, I wanted to voice the Dreamhealers series (then duology) but knew that she was looking for a most masculine voice than I could offer.

I absolutely fell in love with Alysha and the characters–but struggled to keep myself motivated. I was in a bad place mentally, and in an apartment I was growing to hate. I’m pretty sure at that point I was out of a job and still floundering on what to do. I bent my deadline a little but got all the work done–but was not asked back for the next Alysha projects, which broke my heart. Instinctively, I wanted to be mad. Truthfully, I wasn’t surprised.

It was some time later when another Alysha project came up for production, and I reached out to Micah. I thought maybe I’d done something wrong, or disappointed her, or something else and wanted a chance to make it right. We discussed my difficulty with deadlines, and I vowed to be better. And with EITHER SIDE OF THE STRAND, I picked back up the Stardancer and her crew.

And, of course, now I’ve been offered the chance to do Dreamhealers. My wish comes true, all these years later.

I still struggle with deadlines. I should be done with MINDLINE by now and I’m not. We make things work, and I keep trucking along, but the reminder of those early days sticks with me. This is something I love and want to do. This is not something I’m going to let depression and apathy take away from me again. (And at least in the present case, we’ve had to rework the timeline on delivery anyway, due to budget reasons.)

…well this turned into a whole story I didn’t expect. But I’ve kept you here long enough. We’ll talk actual shop next week, hm? 😉

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