Visions of Voice ActingBy Joseph Jackmovich | August 17, 2011 | Interviews | 3 comments | Share
The path to working a dream job is seldom easy. This holds especially true for the field of voice acting, where the path to success is often mysterious and sometimes based on sheer luck.
For one California man, his journey is just beginning.
Raymond Macias is a 21-year-old native of Los Banos, California and plans to become a voice actor for video games. He said his passion for voice acting began over a decade ago, when he discovered how much fun it was to make his friends laugh with the different voices he would make.
“I love doing voices all the time,” Macias says. “Throughout high school I really enjoyed making up voices and making people laugh.”
However, making the decision to become a career voice actor wasn’t the first one Macias considered. After contemplating a major in computer science, Macias wanted to stop being indecisive about a career and remembered his talent for doing voices.
Macias found videos of voice actors having a great time doing what they love to do. A little more research into the field of voice acting set a goal of being a paid voice actor in Macias’ sights.
“I realized I had this natural talent to do voices,” Macias says. “I started to do a lot more research on how I could get into the business… and just recently I decided I was gonna take the plunge and start practicing everyday.”
That plunge came in the form of a video voice demo for the popular League of Legends game. In the video, Macias introduces himself as a voice acting hopeful and proceeds to recreate some of the voices heard in the title. He closes the video with voices from two proposed characters, adding in some of his own unique voice to the mix.
Macias opted for the video because as an amateur, voice acting lessons can be expensive. He hoped the video would provide him a medium to demonstrate his natural abilities while getting awareness and constructive feedback.
Awareness was certainly what Macias got. On the League of Legends subreddit (which has almost 20,000 subscribers), Macias’ video is currently ranked the #15 highest post of all time, with 199 comments talking about his first foray into the field.
“I’ve had a ton of feedback, really an overwhelming amount of feedback,” Macias says. “The stuff that I’ve really been trying to take away from all this feedback is that I have to practice more and I need to put more emotion into what I’m saying.”
Macias, who holds voice actors like James Arnold Taylor and Steve Blum as his inspirations, says that voice acting is critical for any medium that requires their talents. He says that the contributions of a voice actor create a connection to fans that is invaluable to the experience of the game or film.
“I would hope to make a character or voice a character that people would remember,” Macias says. “That people would walk away from it saying ‘that character was so awesome and so believable.’”
Being a voice actor holds the simple pleasure of becoming an incredible person and bringing that character alive through their voice, Macias says. Being able to voice a mythical or heroic character really lets the voice actor immerse themselves in the character and experience, allowing the voice to become more emotive and therefore more immersive for listeners.
“I would hope to make a character or voice a character that people would remember.”
That emotive hook is the core of being a voice actor for Macias. While several talents are important for a voice actor, he emphasizes that bringing emotion into a work is what brings that character or scene alive. As the voice actor only has sound to express the dynamics of character, listeners must be able to feel that emotional presence through the delivery alone.
A good voice actor is going to bring real emotion,” Macias says. “A good voice actor is going to portray the emotion of the scene and really grab you… so you can feel it through the voice without even having to look at it.”
The future for Macias is more voice practice, more voice reels, and more awareness of his work so he can someday break into the field of voice acting. You can check out his video voice demo for League of Legends above or check it out on his homepage here.