Jas Patrick, (jaspatrick.net,) is one of the hottest young talents in the voiceover marketplace today, with over a hundred jobs booked in the past year alone. It would be easy to call him a rising star, but the 'rising' bit seems unnecessary at this point. With a voice that defines credibility, it's not hard to see why Jas is in demand.
I recently had the pleasure of coaching Jas and completing his new suite of demos, which you can hear at the following links: goo.gl/EAwj5N, goo.gl/jZrcSs, goo.gl/UspL3p. Additionally, I've already hired Jas for a radio spot, and hope to have the chance to do so again.
Today, I chat with Jas about his ascendance in the industry, and his perspective on how to get traction in voiceover.
How did your interest in becoming a voice actor develop?
I've always done voices and accents and characters ever since I was a wee little kid. I loved and still love cartoons and video games. It's just always something I've done and people would laugh when I did characters or accents so I got a lot of gratification from making people laugh or get excited to hear a funny or cool voice I could do.
Do you remember your first job?
Absolutely! There are really two "first jobs" that I will never forget. I had done some acting and things for videos in music career throughout the years and what not, but my first job as a titled "legit" voice actor was for the Lane Motor Museum. I did eight radio spots for them--two were a French accented character for their French exhibit and the other six were an Italian character for their Italian exhibit. I was super nervous and tried really hard to get the spots as "perfect" as I was able!
The other "first job" was for Snickers and they wanted an Irish accent for an internal video over in Europe. I'm particularly proud of that one, because I got it in my first week--I believe it was day 5--of going full time, full-on voice acting and I got it off one of the big p2p sites! The other really cool thing was the Snickers gig was on the 4th of July, and so my wife and I call that our own personal independence day!
Previous to that week, I just studied the industry; listening to podcasts, reading blogs and learning about the industry and how to audition, set up profiles, etc. There was this sort of unanimous theme in the interviews with the big voice actors that if you got a job in your first week, you were super lucky and definitely doing something right, so getting that gig in my first week really made me feel amazing and I'll never forget it!
You've achieved a great deal of success very early in your career. Why do you think that is?
I think some of it is the fact that before I did even a single audition, I studied every podcast, blog, vlog, video and so on of anyone I could find that purported to know the tools, skills and steps to "making it" in the voice over industry. I would walk my dog Seamus for a couple of hours every morning and just listen to the learning resources online that are free to anyone willing to listen. I highly recommend checking out the resources sections of numerous online repositories of "how-to" videos and blogs and things about the voice over and voice acting industry! Don't neglect searching on YouTube as well! Some of those are all really great! If you follow the logical steps for you from all those resources and make sure you have great gear and a quiet soundproofed place to record, you will do well also!
The other thing I think helps me is that I really work hard. Every day. If I get an audition, I knock it out immediately. I will come home from class late at night and always do any auditions I missed. I'm really relentless with it. Be a machine. Great work ethic WILL help you, believe me.
I also train my tail off. I'm in three classes I physically go to for various acting and techniques and things like that and I also do a skype session for accent training online--so, the more serious you are, the better you will become. Of course, I also trained with a highly respected coach; BUT only after I had done a great deal of work and training on my own.
I most assuredly recommend getting yourself a great coach--but be disciplined and bring your A-game to said coach! Get yourself in good shape before you try to run the marathon, in other words!
What has been your biggest or most high-profile job to date?
I did several commercial spots for GORE-TEX which turned out really cool! I did a video for the Jordan National tourism board that is a gorgeous video, and I really am proud of how it turned out! A couple of my super favorites are for video games, including Clash Royale, and I did a really insane character for Heroes Of Newerth that I actually play from time to time--when I'm not slammed in the studio!
But if you just want some big names, I've done Coca-Cola, Ford, Deloitte, Sony, Marriott, Samsung and so on and so forth. I'm still on the hunt for Blizzard and Nintendo and Sega, though! I'd love to do work for them!
What's your dream VO job?
A Blizzard game for video games and pretty much any character for any of my beloved TV-MA cartoons like Archer or Bojack Horseman or South Park or something along those lines! That would be a bucket list sort of thing for me.
But as far as a more on-going deal..? I'd honestly love to do more TV Narration stuff. I've done a bit so far--small things, nothing major; but I really enjoy doing it, so I'd have to say TV Narration would be the dream career.
Did you make any mistakes when you first started out?
Sure! False contrasts, left breaths in, put inflection where none was needed, gave just plain old bad reads and so on and so forth! But if you mean did I go down a "wrong road" before winding up on the "correct path"..? I honestly don't think I did--or at least not so much as it seems to have done any real harm or what not, you know?
I've worked hard to be friendly and pleasant to work with, turn around my jobs super fast and always over deliver--I don't quibble over adding a line or something, you see what I mean? So, I suppose I work hard every day to correct any mistakes before they can become blunders. But, we're all human and we make mistakes, just how it goes!
What is the one most critical piece of advice you would give to new talent?
Pretty much what I said above, really! Work hard, be super nice, go out of your way to do a great job and don't have a bad attitude! Study hard, practice hard and learn whatever you can whenever you can! This business is organic and you always need to learn and stay on your feet. But also, enjoy it! Have fun with it! Let YOU come out in your auditions and your projects! Make the words come to life and put your energy and character into what you read! Even if you don't get THIS job, you might get called for another one! I guess I'd end with saying, don't be too hard on yourself, though. Work hard, yes! But don't beat yourself up or obsess over an audition. Do the audition, then forget it. There will be thousands more just like it. Put everything you have into the five minutes or whatever it takes you to record it, then let it sail away. No tears! :) And best of luck to you!