Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Minnesota and presently live in Korea as an ESL Teacher. I served in the US ARMY and served in Korea for one year which is what encouraged me to move there. My wife is Korean and we live pretty comfortably, but we have plans to move back to the states in the near future. I presently do Voice Over as a side gig, but I hope to develop it into my full-time work. My hobbies are martial arts (gotta stay in shape), playing video games, and sitting down to some good ol’ Dungeons and Dragons with my friends.
How did you get into narration?
This is a fun story. I was working as an English teacher for a nuclear power plant here in Korea (KHNP) and they have E-Learning modules on their website to help them with their English. So, we had a project to record the worker’s scripts in a studio. Here in the city of Busan, the local university has a building that is supported by the government that has a complete recording studio. This studio can be rented out to the public and the sound engineer students work there to help whoever wants to do the recording. After that experience, I had so much fun that I was hooked. I got “bit by the VO bug”. So I did some research and found that the first website that most people recommended was ACX (this is the audiobook creation website for Audible.com). I got my microphone, setup, and started auditioning.
Which character did you connect to the most in this book?
It was, at first, a hard decision between Jericho Caine and Tom Padilla. However, I have to go with the same character that I know Dee chose. That is, of course, Jericho Caine. The reason I connect with him is that he has the same characteristics as me. I’m not as impulsive as he is, but I am direct and interested in just getting the job done. I also like his “run in and figure things out as they go” method. He is also quite optimistic about coming out on top. I also rely on the help and trust of my friends to make it through anything!
What is your process like when trying to tap into the individual characters when recording the dialogue?
I will always reference to playing Dungeons and Dragons on this one. We always use the phrase “theater of the mind” in our quests and when the Dungeon Master creates the world through their words. I use that exact idea to voice each character. Thanks to Dee’s great explanation of each character in detail, I am able to lock in a solid mental picture of the character. With the words that the character says, I try to feel out how they would speak and the mentality that would come with it. Once you’re able to lock in the mental picture, speaking style, and the character’s motivation in the story; the rest just flows.
What are some of your favorite genres to work on as a narrator?
I have to easily start with science fiction. The stories can span from a small town to the edges of the galaxy. I have also been fascinated with the supernatural (and it shows with Dee Rose’s novels). Westerns are quite fun to do because the voices come through quite naturally. I am still extremely interested in anything in the fantasy RPG realm as well with my love for all things D&D.
What advice would you give to aspiring voice actors or narrators looking to get into narrating audiobooks?
I can’t stress this enough. DO YOUR RESEARCH! As voice actors, we have to wear many hats. We have to learn a lot about sound engineering with the use of DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations); knowing which mic to use; and how to treat a space to make sure our sound is the best it can be. Start with Youtube. Oh, and prepare yourself for LOTS of rejection. I always live by the phrase “fail forward”. If you didn’t get the part, there’s always tomorrow. However, this direction has limitless educational opportunities. No one in the industry learns it all. Whatever your initial goal or dream is in voice over, buckle up, you’re gonna get pulled in many directions. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. Finally, connect with voice over communities such as ones on Facebook. The support they offer is there to lift each other up and help you through this crazy audio jungle. Everyone’s voice has a place. I hope that helps a little.
What does the future hold in store for you?
Right now, just working at building up my Voice Over business and grinding away to build a successful brand. I want to get myself out there and help whoever I can with my voice. I’d like to get that that eventual point where I can wake up in the morning excited and ready to record something fun for someone. I truly want to add enjoyment to people’s lives, no matter how corny that sounds.
Any new projects on the horizon?
I am still in close contact with Dee Rose and kicking around the idea of rounding out and taking the rest of his Hangman Universe into the audiobook realm. Other than that, I am working at building up my presence on freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork. I am also keeping my eyes open for any fun character auditions out there in the aether.