We are super lucky to have this time with Cristina! She has been working with voice over jobs for quite some time, and you may have heard her work! Join us we dive in and learn more about her and her exciting work!
(1) What first drew you to this line of work?
I actually started working professionally when I was eight years old. My parents are both singers and musicians, so we were constantly in and out of recording studios. My mother decided to get into voice over when I was very young, and I would often accompany her on her auditions. One day, a casting director (Ned Lott) asked me if I wanted to audition for the part she was trying out for as they were looking for a younger voice. I said, “SURE!” and got the job. It was quite a large one, and moving forward that company would continue to call me in for projects. I continued to work all through lower school, middle school and high school. I took a short break for two semesters during college, but I missed it so much that I decided to come home and work for a recording studio. I went back to school at UC Berkeley so I could be closer to my voice over opportunities. I continued to work for that studio for six years, holding positions such as: talent coordinator, casting, voice over, voice over directing, and even some sound design! So I guess you could say I grew up in studios and never left!
(2) What do you see as the hardest part of your job?
Voice actors work primarily in isolation (home studios). One of the hardest parts about this career is that you are often alone and being in a vacuum is not ideal for progress. It is important to continue studying, take classes, connect with other talent, and see agents in person if/when you can. Also, marketing and learning how to negotiate rates is challenging and takes quite a bit of time. Most people do not realize that being a voice actor requires you to be an entrepreneur. You are not going to just be “discovered”. You have to put in a lot of work in terms of preparing your marketing materials, creating your website, creating your demos, developing your skill set and networking.
(3) What do you enjoy the most?
Happy clients and viewers!! When your work really brings the project together or makes someone laugh – that is the best feeling!
(4) Do you have a favorite role so far?
Probably Annie from League of Legends, Darcy from Bunsen is a Beast, Moanica D’Kay from Monster High… shoot! I love them all!! So I guess the answer would be NOPE. I love all the fun characters that I get to play!
(5) What do you do in your free time?
Read and walk. I just love to read. Sometimes I read AND walk with a good audiobook. That is so lovely and relaxing. I would do that all day if I could sometimes!
(6) Is there a role that you have taken that you did not as enjoy as much as you thought you would?
NOPE! Everything has been a joy so far!
(7) What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
It is important to treat voice over as a profession. It is NOT just “talking” or something you can just pick up with no education. To do it properly and become successful, you should expect to invest some serious time and money in order to prepare. You would not expect to start practicing law and representing clients without an education would you? How about being a dentist? An architect? I think people often assume that in the arts, it is all about “natural” talent. Sorry, it is not! Talent is such a teeny, tiny, minuscule part. The majority of success in any field comes from hard work, study, practice, and getting a proper education. This applies to music, art, and dance – all of the above. You do not necessarily need a fancy degree, but you WILL need to study and prepare. It is a business, and it is very important to treat it as such.
Lastly, it is important to realize that EVERYONE wants to get into voice over. Seriously! Get ready for some of the stiffest competition you will ever encounter! Do not expect to go full time anytime soon. Best to stay part time initially honestly. That will allow you to invest (without stress) in your demos, website, training, and your marketing materials. Those are all absolutely necessary investments, and if you are trying to do it while scraping by – everything is going to be a lot harder.
(8) Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Doing more cartoons, video games, promos, commercials and toys here in LA! Just more of what I am doing now would be awesome. I love it so much!
(9) Growing up, what was your favorite thing to do?
It was a toss-up between dance, reading, and singing.
(10) Do you have a favorite quote?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi
Written by Rebecca Hill