LLL Stefan | Voice Over Career

 

Are you thinking of carving a career in voiceover? Legendary voiceover artist Stefan Frank gives us a peek into the fun world of voice talent. Stefan’s speaking voice is on TV on most continents daily. He’s on many cartoons, games, documentaries, over a thousand TV promos, film trailers, and commercials. Today, Stefan talks about the different career opportunities that are open to aspiring voice artists. He also gives some pro tips to succeed in this emerging industry and emphasizes how continuous learning plays a vital role to stay on top of your game.

Listen to the podcast here:

Carving A Career In Voiceover With The King Of The Voices, Stefan Frank

King Of The Voices – Stefan Frank

We have Mr. Money Man himself. He is the King of the voiceover world. He’s a very old and amazing friend of mine and he taught me everything I know in the world of voices. He is the one and only Mr. Stefan Frank

Very old, I haven’t got that one before.

No, you’re not very old which is old friend. 

That’s easier. I can deal with that.

This is one of those episodes that I’ve been so excited to do because we both have the shared mutual love for the world of voiceovers. For the audiences out there, the voiceover industry is quite a secret society many years ago. It’s got a lot more well-known now, but when I first started, it was this secret little industry that nobody knew about. We use to say, “What’s a voiceover? What’s a voiceover artist?” I say, “They pay me a lot of money to talk.” I have to say that it was me and probably you and maybe ten others in the UK at that time that we literally did every job out there. I know I was doing four to six commercials a week and the BBC segueing staff and all the commercials, cartoons and all the other good stuff you do.

Those were the good old days where there were handful of us and now it feels like the world is wide as a voiceover artist. Everyone wants to do it is because it’s fun. This is my most favorite job of all time being a voiceover artist. I have to say I don’t have to deal with hair and makeup. You don’t have to go anywhere. If we’re lucky like we are we can record from our own home or studios. I have so much joy doing it. For the audience out there who have no idea what a voiceover artist is and no idea what the voiceover industry is, let’s start talking about that. What’s your definition of it? How do explain it to people because I’m sure when you meet people and they say, “What do you do?” and you tell them. They still go, “What’s that?”

Most people know if you don’t know what voiceover is, you’ve probably been living in another solar system. For me, it’s a perennial child’s gig. I’ve been making noise for a living for a long time. I was a singer first and then ended up doing voiceovers because in England they’re like, “You’re an American, can you do this?” I started reading scripts for these guys. I ended up realizing that VO is every imaginable genre around you and you don’t even realize it. It’s radio, TV, documentaries, podcasts, games, film trailers, cartoons, and it goes on and on. The eBooks are huge but I won’t do it because it’s way too much work.

You’re right, everywhere you go, you’re being heard or you’re hearing somebody. For example, one of my most well-known gigs was the voice of Virgin Atlantic for a very long time. The safety video. You’d sit down in your chair and you can do it. Most people endured it many times that whenever I used to get on the flight, which was often, I would sit go, “Hopefully no one knows that’s me.” All the crew knew it was me. I was, “Please, put your seat in the upright position. You’re table trays stowed away and your seat belt fasten tightly.” Every time I got on the plane, it was quite astonishing how people used to get so excited going, “That’s you.”

It guaranteed you only that ever have to make a left turn when you got on an airplane which was a very good thing.

Turning right my body physically, I don’t think I can manage. Saying that though, time does change and suddenly when you have two kids and you’ve got to pay for three flights.

I did it once. I put him in business once and I went, “It is wasted on these guys. They have no idea.” The wife was like, “No, you can’t put them in the cheap seats and give us the good ones.” We have all ride together.”

You probably are all going, “Hold on a minute. This Stefan Frank, his voice sounds familiar.” Stef kindly did all the intros and outros to LA LA Landed podcast. The fabulous voice you hear at the beginning and at the end is the one and only Stefan Frank. I want to know what got you into voices because obviously, you are a well-known singer. Stef, why don’t you name drops. Let’s go back to the beginning on the singing career. He used to sing weird and foreign.

In LA, I used to sing for Berry Gordy’s son, a guy named Rockwell, who had somebody watching me out and Michael Jackson. I ended up singing for George Clinton for seven years. I was the white boy in there. We did the original music for the Tracey Ullman Show which was the first Simpsons also. That got me in after her. I did lots and lots of records with those guys and working for him open up a lot of other doors for me as well. I first came to London, I was singing for a guy name Terence Trent D’Arby.

What was his famous song?

A song called If You Let Me Stay was huge and he had a bunch. I ended up singing for Boy George for seven years or longer.

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How was that? 

It was hilarious because I hadn’t been around that scene before and I got thrown into the deep end and asked me anything about the Pink Mafia in London. I can tell you.

I remember meeting you during that time period, wasn’t it? We became close friends. The world of voiceover usually rolls back then before everybody knew what it was. It discovered you. It discovers the artists as opposed to now which is people are going out there and trying to be the artist. How did you segue into the voiceover industry?

I was living in Hamburg and I was singing lots of records there doing ads and stuff. Some guys came up to me and they said, “We’ve made this movie called Zombie 90 and we will need to English dub for it.” I was like, “Yes, I can do that.” They had written an awful script. It was terrible. I was like, “Let me make stuff up.” I played the two lead characters. I played one like, “Fred Sanford was like that.” I played the other guy Paul Lynde like, “He was a bit whiny.” Those are the two lead doctors in this movie and it goes all the way through. I got to ad-lib the whole thing.

When they showed it to an audience, everybody laughed in the right places. I was like, “Fantastic. This is cool.” If you go on YouTube or IMDB, the reviews are horrendous. It’s like two hours I’ll never get back. It’s the worst movie ever made. My dub apparently saved it and everybody thought it was hilarious. That got me into the first bit of VO. When I came over to London doing Boy George’s band, I started singing ads for other people and they were like, “You’re an American. Can you read this? Can you do this please?”

There weren’t very many of you back then. 

There wasn’t. There was one guy, Bill Mitchell that was huge here.

Most Americans living in London were either bankers. There wasn’t many Americans in the entertainment aspect of the industry. 

You could count the Americans that were here doing on a couple of hands.

All the work and all the jobs are in the States. They were in New York, especially LA. Why would they leave the Mecca to come to little old England to get the odd occasional jobs? 

Get paid a tenth of the money that you would’ve gotten in States.

You almost had a monopoly on the American guy in the industry.

I do, but before the learning curve is huge for that gig because there are so many different genres. You end up doing different actions for things in different mediums and having comedy timing and all these things. I had to learn all of that as I went along.

Do you remember some of those singing impressions of the other jobs you were telling us about? What was it you’re telling us about the with Boy George and you were doing everybody else’s jobs? 

They were singing ads over here like Cadbury and roses.

LLL Stefan | Voice Over Career

Voice Over Career: The learning curve is huge for voiceover gigs because there are so many different genres.

 

Do you remember any of them?

“Thank you, Cadbury.” That was my first big singing out that paid me way better than singing for Boy George.

Any job we talk about of yours you have to do it for the audience if you can remember. If you don’t just make it up.

I sent you a couple of links of some ads that I’ve done so you can play them out if you want.

I’ll sit and listen to them for my own entertainment. What has been the hardest gigs and why?

I’m not big on corporate jobs. A lot of times people want to throw you in that area and you can sit there and describe health and safety issues for people that are on oil rigs.

I’ve don’t done does. It’s boring, that’s why.

It’s tedious. I figured out and I made parameters of what I’m willing to do and what I’m not willing to do. Documentaries are about as far as I’ll go lengthwise. I love doing documentaries. I’ve done some amazing ones. Lots for the States for NatGeo and Discovery, tons and tons of them. I love doing it. My absolute favorite thing is doing cartoons. I love doing cartoons.

What cartoons have you done? Give us some examples. 

I’ve done Thomas the Tank Engine and Chuggington, like, “Steamy was one of the trains and he was like one of those guys.” My favorite one that I’m doing is the number one cartoon in the States called the Amazing World of Gumball on Cartoon Network. I do twenty voices on that one. We’ve won Emmy’s and BAFTA and it’s a well-written cartoon. Every time I go into a session, I get excited about it because I know it’s going to be amazing.

Give us a little teaser on the Gumball. 

“I’m the angry neighbor next door. It’s based on Dennis the Menace and the guy that lived next door over there.” Ironically, I have in real life a neighbor that lived next door to me that was rude. My first gig on this cartoon was to channel this guy that lives next door to me. I have a little more empathy for him after I had to do six seasons of that. There are tons of one-liners in this cartoon. You get a full range of characters that you get to do for it. It’s very good.

What are some of the other characters some of the other audience might recognize?

One is, “This guy was Mr. Robinson. He’s the next-door neighbor.” or “There’s another little wimpy guy that looks like a banana.” or “There’s the construction working guy. He talks like that one of them.”

What’s your favorite type of voice to do?

You get hired because people expect you know what to do. Click To Tweet

I love a well-written script. If it’s a TV ad or a promo or a film trailer, especially if there’s any comedy timing in it then you can fly with it. You will have a blast.

Sometimes females get ask to do male voices. Do you get asked to do female voices ever because you have such a deep voice? Probably not. 

Not often.

It’s a woman who does the voice for Bart Simpson. 

Yes, those guys have had that job for 30 years or more.

Do you think the Simpsons changed the way the industry viewed the voiceover artists? Let’s get into that a bit as far as it made them big stars in their own right like Hank Azaria. I know he was a working actor beforehand but the Simpsons pushed these types of artists to fame in their own right for being the voice of such a well-known series. 

A millionaire pulls anybody’s attention.

Has there been anything bigger than that since?

Family Guys is pretty huge and incredible. What Seth MacFarlane amazing at is he does the dog, the dad and he’ll sit there and he’ll run the entire scene with all three characters in one pass. He’s pretty amazing at that. He doesn’t go back and drop, “Let me get my head together for this character.” He switches from one to the other.

To make it more layman terms, explain to the audience what do you mean by that? 

If there’s a scene that’s got Stewie, the dog and the dad in one scene, he will run consecutively those parts together. He will switch off without missing a beat and writes the stuff.

Seth MacFarlane is a very talented guy. I’ve seen him singing jazz up at the Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel Air which is a famous jazz club. It’s Herb Alpert’s place.

Herb Alpert is the A in A&M Records. We got offered a record deal back in the day. I ended up doing the record on Paisley Park but originally A&M were giving us money to record stuff. Herb Alpert had his own parking space for Charlie Chaplin’s studios as well.

He’s the jazz legend. His daughter Eden runs the Vibrato Jazz Club for him. I’ve been up there for dinner and anyone can go and they’ve had Chaka Khan, they’ve had amazing people like that. Funnily enough, one time Seth MacFarlane was on the stage and I was like, “I didn’t even know he was a singer.” He was up there doing his little jazz Christmas tune’s. He’s quite the entertainer, for sure. 

If he had his choice, he’d be doing Broadway musicals.

LLL Stefan | Voice Over Career

Voice Over Career: There wasn’t any black American doing voiceovers in London back then.

 

Going back to the Simpsons and Family Guy. Those shows come around once in a blue moon. To get a gig like that, you’re probably auditioning a hundred times where you get the role, would you say? 

It depends on who you are. The Simpsons when happened mainly because they were the original cast on Tracy Ullman’s Show. All of those guys were proper actors in the margin. All of them were in the show as well. Matt Groening used to write for the LA Reader. Is it still going on? LA Readers like a throw-away newspaper.

I don’t know. I think most publications are gone.

Nobody does newspapers anymore, but it used to be in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. It was one of the throw-away papers. He did a column in it that was called Life in Hell about this rabbit that used to go through nightmares. That spawns the Simpsons. He used to draw and write them and everything. All the actors that were on the Simpsons got that gig. The Family Guy, they’ve had the luxury of using famous people to cast.

The Simpsons set the precedent to other actors to say, “This is not a D list actor’s type of job. It’s an A list.” The Simpsons pushed the voiceover industry into A list because before then it was looked down upon of, “I’m an A list movie star. I would never do a job like that.” Now they’re all like what the success of Nemo and all these other big DreamWorks animated movies when Ellen came in and did Dory. That set the precedent of, “Will Ellen will do it and if this one will do it, then how much are you paying? This is a pretty good gig after all.”

It makes a lot of people in the VO industry sad because they have some talented people out there. They get looked over because they’re not famous enough to be in those big features. It’s tough to get in the door for some of that stuff.

They only use named actors.

It’s the easiest way to sell a movie. They got tons of fan base and everybody wants to go see them in a movie. That’s how it works.

If there was one VO gig that you wish you’d got, obviously, something in the Simpson’s paying you $1 million an episode.

It’s not even for the money. I’d probably do it for free because I love it so much.

What character would you say would be your most favorite one?

I love Harry Shearer. Harry Shearer does 20, 30 characters on the Simpsons. He’s Ned Flanders and he is the preacher. He does so many. He’s talented and I don’t pretend to be as good as him but I would take his gig in a second if I could.

What’s the lifespan of voiceover artists? Would you say you’re constantly being replaced or because it’s not about aesthetics, which varied in ages? Have you found your voice change over the years?

If I listened to a reel of mine 30 years ago, I’m better but I can still do the same voices. It’s funny that you should mention this because it was a bone of contention that I was only being listed as a 40 to 50-year-old on my last agents.

I do ten-year-old voice in a cartoon.

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I said, “My voice hasn’t changed. I can still do all of that stuff and more.” The agent said to me, “We’re a bit embarrassed to put you up for a 30-year-old job.” I went, “The last time I checked this was a voiceover agency, not an acting agency.” I left him.

For anyone out there, how do we not know you’re not 18 or 85?

The other thing when I came over here, there wasn’t any black Americans doing voiceover. I ended up getting a lot of those jobs as well. That will never happen in the States. People would have been burning my house down in the States for doing it.

Quite an interesting conversation. Why do you think they had you do those jobs?

I could do James Brown and Mr. T.

Give us a little sample because you’re so good at them. 

“You ain’t never heard, James Brown and Mr. T in the room at the same time. They could be the same person. Jumped back and kiss myself.” I’ve done a lot of that. They’re not so much more. I did a game called Driver 2 back in the early days of video games. I had to do all my scenes as a black guy with Huggy Bear, Antonio Fargas.

Did they know that you’re are an old American California white man?

Yes, he was standing in front of me when I was doing my lines and I go, “I know I’d probably get killed in America for doing but this is England.” He goes, “Yes, we’re waiting outside for you.“

You’re like, “They just pay me to talk. I’ll do whatever they need you to do.”

That’s it. I had to do Russian gangsters and Mexican gangsters for a massive NDA game that it’s going to be the biggest game of all time.

Can we get a little sample of what a Russian gangster? 

“The Russians is like this. It’s no problem. I talk like Russian, I come back, I kill you.” “The Mexican is like this. I go into a stereotype or I can go like Pancho Villa.” When you switch back and forth a couple of times it ends up sounding Scottish. I have no idea how to do Scottish until I figured that.

How to learn Scottish? Start with a Russian gangster and combine it with a Mexican gangster.

I didn’t expect that, but it was one of those giddy moments where I couldn’t get out of being Scottish for about ten minutes.

LLL Stefan | Voice Over Career

Voice Over Career: Doing voiceovers is an amazing gig to have. As long as the phone is ringing and you’re going and doing jobs, it’s a fabulous thing.

 

I didn’t know if you have this problem as well. When you are a voiceover artist, you obviously have a very good ear. As a very young kid, I was always doing impersonations and impressions and ultimately that’s what we’re doing. When we’re doing these impressions, which they are, we’re character actoring but without the hair and makeup. I find that whenever I go somewhere where there’s a regional accent, whether it’s up North in the UK or around the States, I end up speaking like them by the end of the day.

I remember I was dating a guy from Manchester when I was much younger. By the end of the weekend, I was coming back to London and going, “What we having for tea?” Because it would rub off. It would get into the sub-consciousness and I would pick up the accent. As soon as I go back to England, within 30 minutes, I’m suddenly very English. I’m suddenly very posh. The moment I arrived back here in LA, I’m rounding my hours again. The little twang comes back. Do you have that as well or is that just me?

No, I get it. If I’m around English people, I tend to reflect. I’m like Zelig. I’d reflect what they’re all about. To make people more comfortable when you’re talking to them, so that’s not such a strange stretch. I forget, and sometimes I come back into the States and they are like, “Where are you from?” I’m like, “I’m from here.” They’re like, “No, you don’t sound like you’re from here.” It takes me a couple of days to acclimate to being back in LA to go back into where I started. It’s like, “What’s going on?” I went to Hollywood High and spent most of my life in Southern California. It’s definitely part of the fabric.

They used to call me One Take Behr because I’d come in and I’d be like “Listen.” What was funny with women and you probably never got this, but in the UK especially you’d go into the studio to do the commercial and it was mostly guys, producers and the people in the studio giving you the direction and they’d say, “Yes.” You’re like, “How do you guys want this? What style you’re looking for?” I could see them start to squirm internally and externally. They were thinking. You can see their brain moving, “How am I going to ask this? This is what I want but I can’t say it like this.” I know exactly what they were going to say.

They wanted me to do it in a very deep, husky, sexy way. I know what my voice is and I know why they were hiring me, but they would never say that. The British producers or people directing these commercials could never say the word sexy. They would always be like, “If you wouldn’t mind. We’re looking for something in that lower range. A little bit slower. Maybe just take it down.” I know what they wanted and I would let them squirm because it would be so entertaining. I would let them go on and on. Right at the very end of the ten minutes of pure discomfort, I’d be like, “Do you want sexy?” They’d be like, “Yes. That’s a good idea. Let’s go for sexy.” In the States, it’s completely different. I’d walk right into the studio and they’d be like, “Give me as sexy as you got. Let’s go.” That was it. They’re straight to the point. The British was so uncomfortable asking for that. Did they ask you to be sexy, Stef? 

I haven’t ever have that one, but probably 95% of my gigs I get hired by people that expect me to know what to do. If it’s a rom-com, “You know it’s just hilarious.” If it’s a splatter movie, “It’s always down here like this with very strange gaps in the way you speak.” Most of my career is dedicated to lying to people because you’re so conditioned to hear these voices but nobody talks this way, even selling kids’ toys. If it’s for playschool and it’s under five-year-old toy, everything’s educational and you’re talking to the parents and it’s beautiful.

You should be buying this for your child because it will help them along the way.

“He’ll be a rocket scientist if he uses this toy.” As soon as they get past five-years-old, everything is “Turbo-charged. You’re screaming and everybody and it’s just like that.” Nobody talks that way either. I probably wouldn’t go into McDonald’s and order like that or film trailers.

That would be quite funny to do a McDonald’s order.

“I’d like a cheeseburger. Not just any cheeseburger, I want you to hold the cheese. That’s what it’d be.”

They’d be calling the cops and they’d be like, “There’s a psycho in counter five.”

“Nut job, line three. Come and get him.”

It’s true. It’s a strange thing but it works.

I told my kids from a young age, anytime you hear something going “It’s hilarious.” It’s not funny. If they have to laugh and push it like that. If there’s ever any film trailer where you’re going to go, “National Geographic gives it five stars.” As soon as they start having to tell you that that’s got any accolades whatsoever. It’s a pig. There’s no way around it.

What I love is when they go, not the Hollywood reporter, which isn’t a proper, established, well-respected publication of reviews. The Hollywood journal or some other made-up title of some journalists.

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It’s like, “Ladies Home Journal gives it five stars.”

You’re like, “I’ve never heard of them.” There’s one person with a blog.

I hate to do myself out of a job but more times than not, you pay more attention if there’s no voiceover. If you’re trying to sell stuff, especially films. The more you say, the worst it is usually.

You used to do a lot of those movie trailers. I always remember it was like, “Hanging in the seat of your pants and on the edge of the cliff.” 

I still do them. “I did IT and IT was scaring everybody here.” I didn’t see these movies. I don’t go to these gigs. In fact, 80% of my gigs I do 600 TV promos a year at least. I don’t watch any television. I can’t stand television. I do it all day. Why do I want it? I don’t want to sit there and watch. I’m a bit of a news junkie. Anybody goes, “Have you seen this show?” I’m like, “30 seconds of it.”

It’s funny how you get typecast in the world of voiceovers as well because you’re known for your style of voice and I was known for mine. I had the deep raspy and I used to get all the sexy stuff. I would enjoy it but pleasantly surprised when I was booked like Barbies Playhouse. I’m like, “You’re booking me for Barbie? Bring it on.” I have such a limited range because I have such a deep voice. Whatever the product is, I find it such a fun gig because you can be so creative. Most of the time when they’re booking you for you as the artists, like yourself, I was booked just for me. You have that freedom. You have a little bit more range to do it your way which is fun because then you get to be creative. Whereas the corporates are, “T&C’s, health and safety.”

I hate it, but I got to be grateful for the whole thing because it’s an amazing gig to have and as long as the phone is ringing and you’re going and doing jobs, it’s a fabulous thing. Over here, it’s more amazing because you never auditioned for anything. You just have the job. That’s it.

That’s the best part of it. They book you for you. They hear your voice. That’s what I do. I said, “Why am I auditioning? Liste to me.” There’s going to be no real difference from auditioning me to what you’re hearing.

How are they going to differentiate from a million people doing the same tagline over and over?

The UK typically will book somebody because they’ve worked with them before. They have a stellar reputation for showing up on time, getting it done and getting it done in a timely manner. People don’t want to book somebody that’s going to take 300 takes and they’re going to have to extend their studio time by another 30 minutes. Especially for someone like yourself who has a built-in studio in your house, it doesn’t get better than that. 

I liked coming out.

Are you allow out?

Yes, they let me out every once in a while under guard. I can get seven in a day and I flop from one studio to another. It’s great, it’s fun.

In London, it’s quite a small, little epicenter of the voiceover studios. There’s all in Soho and there’s one after the other. They all within three or four streets of each other. It is convenient. Whereas in LA, they’re spread out. You’re in the car for 30 to 40 minutes to each place. A lot of the times over here you’d go to your agent and your agent has a studio in their agency and you go to your agents. You do the auditions there with the sound engineer and then they send-off, but then you’re being sent off with one of 50. The probability of getting a job is so much harder.

It’s tough. That’s only one agency and they’ve put the tender out to every agency.

LLL Stefan | Voice Over Career

Voice Over Career: More than your voice, being a voiceover artist is about being a decent actor, having comedy timing, listening to people, and taking directions.

 

There are a lot more jobs but there are a lot more people fighting for the job. In a way, I think the UK was a lot easier. I was a TV personality, so they knew me and they booked me for me. That made it a lot easier. 

Being famous, you get way more money than the average VO.

That was always great. What was your best paid gig that would you say in the shortest amount of time.

I got $20,000 a word ones.

What was that for, a commercial?

It was an alcohol campaign from the government. I had to play a superhero that was climbing up off scaffolding to get some girl’s balloon. It was some drunk man’s fantasy. The only thing I had to say in the ad was “Stand back.” That was all, for $40,000. I was like, “This is great.”

Would you like any other words?

I had one call for something called MoneySupermarket.com. They reenacted Thelma and Louise driving off a cliff at the end of the movie. They used Cindy and Cindy dolls which is the British equivalent to the Barbie. It was this great little thing where they looked at each other and they cried and they drove off the cliff at the end of the commercial. It coincided with suicide prevention month. They pulled the ads after a week. It was good enough. Fortunately, my agent got the money quick. What was cool is I recorded that in a car in Hanalei Bay. I was on holiday and I bring a studio with me everywhere and cars are a killer for sound deadening, they’re good. That was a little bit of a record, send it off and paid the holiday. The house and the flights.

It’s funny how you make it happen. I remember being also in Miami on holiday and somebody asked me for a quick voice, I was like, “Where am I going to go?” This was pre Yelp and pre-Google. You couldn’t log on somewhere and find where the nearest recording studio. I popped down there. I remember having to make a few phone calls and someone said, “Go to this person, call that person, call this one.” The next thing I know someone has said, “Come over.” There I was in some random person. I don’t even know where it was, but it wasn’t the main epicenter of Miami Beach. Anywhere that you’d be familiar with the visitor. I’m in the middle of work, random person’s house studio. I went in there, did it quick and then I took the tape with me and went to the post office. I had to FedEx it back or DHL it. Nowadays, everything going digital. It’s one email and it made our jobs so easy and international.

I sit in my studio and I do jobs with LA, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong every week. I’m sitting in the back of my garden. It’s fantastic. That would have been tough to do. ISDN is about ready to die because it’s antiquated and nobody even wants to sell new ISDN ones, but there are lots of other options for getting your voice to other people and having them direct you over the phone, it’s good.

What advice would you give to want to be voiceover artists? For the people that are reading this and going, “I think I could be a great voiceover artist. I think I have what it takes.”

It’s very funny because a lot of people go, “A lot of people say I have a great voice. Maybe I should get into that.” In fact, do you want to know something terrible? I went and had my eyes lasered years ago. Right when the guys got the Clockwork Orange eye spreaders on me and put the numbing drops in my eye, it gets me down about eight inches from my face and says, “My friends have told me I’ve got a good voice for voiceover. How do I get into this?” This guy wants to have a career change. He’s about to laser my eyes and I almost like, “This is not happening, is it? This is a dream, right? It’s wrong.” It’s not only about the voice, but it’s also about being a decent actor. It’s about having any comedy timing. It’s about listening to people. It’s taking direction is important. Where I’m at, I love it if somebody’s got a vision of how they want it to sound, but more times than not, they expect me to know.

Most often than not, they take that gets used as the one where you do it, how you think it should be done because you do this a million times and the nuances of a script and the voice. You know when there should be pauses or little subtle moments that those things come with experience over time.

I’m still learning, but I’ve learned so much. I think about the first jobs that I had and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I walked in there. It’s taken me decades to become an overnight sensation.

Thank you so much, Stef for coming on the show. You are my brother from another mother. Stefan’s wife, Janice Vee, is a top voiceover artist as well, and the kids as well. It’s the family of voiceovers which I absolutely love. If you want to book Stef for any jobs, give us some shoutouts, Stef, of where people can find you and book you. 

You can get me on StefanAshtonFrank.com. That’s my website. You can have at least seven and a half hours that you’ll never get back of the videos of commercials that I’ve done. You’re welcome to it. All my details are on there.

If you have any comments or questions for Stefan or myself regarding voiceovers or about the voiceover industry, please check out LalaLanded.com. All of our information is there as well as future episodes. You can like and comment on our Instagram @LaLaLandedPodcast. Facebook is La La Landed. Thanks again for reading this wonderful blog with the one and only Stefan Frank.

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About Stefan Frank

LLL Stefan | Voice Over CareerI make noise for a living. I am an American doing Voiceovers and singing all around the world. My speaking voice is on TV on most continents daily. I’m on many cartoons, games, documentaries, over a 1000 TV promos, film trailers, and commercials. Voiced dozens of Promax gold awards and won a bunch of others. It has taken me decades to become an overnight sensation doing what I love to do.

I have a full production recording studio where I record and produce ads, songs, TV promos, network channel branding, and music, complete with Source connect w/ISDN bridging, and another studio while traveling. I voice the parts of Mr.Robinson and 20 others, on the Emmy, and Multi Bafta award-winning, The Amazing World of Gumball for Cartoon network.

Speedy McAllister on Chuggington, for Disney. Diego and Duke, for Ice Age Live, Nearly 100 video games, from Driver 2 to Battlefield Bad co and Horizon zero Dawn to Lego Marvel Superheroes 2. Play by play commentator for Robot Wars (US). Narrated multiple series documentaries for Discovery and NatGeo.

And a few active Huge NDAs, so you never know. (until I can tell you) I also have been Singing, Gigging, recording, and/or Songwriting, with everybody from Boy George to George Clinton, The Prodigy to Thomas the Tank engine. Over 100 records, some in the charts, and years of touring. I have also co-written and performed a comedy album called Dogland. Written several TV formats, some of which are in various stages of production. Many ongoing Music, Animation, Video games and TV projects.

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