Voice Over Artist Offers Career Advice to Teens


Photo Courtesy of Paul Dockstader

“I had been doing funny voices and impersonations of famous people or characters from cartoons and movies since I can remember,” stated Paul Dockstader, a voice over artist, who started working as one in late 2013.

Dockstader has performed in many roles from radio commercials for health insurance in Santa Clara County to introductions for Oklahoma Weather Tracker TV. He has even been the bad guy in a video game.

He started because his friend  is a sound engineer for a voice over studio and offered to teach him the business through various classes for commercials and animation/video games. After taking those classes he went to other workshops and classes with casting directors, agents. and other voice over actors and actresses.

Being a voice over artist has various challenges being a voice over artist, “The biggest challenge I face is easily trying to get steady work. It would be great to have a show to always work on or even do a series of commercials for a big company; but the reality is that there are a lot of very good voice actors already out there who have been doing this work for a lot longer than I have and are established with many of the companies I am trying to get work with,” Dockstader stated.

“Another big challenge is doing as many auditions as possible, you have to be able to do the audition and move on to the next; never dwelling on whether or not you got the part,” added Dockstader.

Along with his other job he has done a bunch of voices; a teddy bear that wanted revenge, an Internet commercial for dog accessories, an electrical company YouTube video, and a cartoon where he played three parts, a monkey, a bear and a lion.

Advice that Dockstader gives to young teens or children aspiring to be a voice over artist include the following:

“1. Get started at an early age. This way you learn the business and believe it or not one of the big trends in voice acting is using your regular everyday voice and there are roles for kids out there.

“2. Stop yelling or screaming, even at sporting events. It strains the vocal chords.

“3. Practice. Practice. Practice. Believe it or not, you need to practice to get down any character voices or even accents of people from around the world. Whenever I meet someone from a foreign country I listen very carefully to catch their accent and even for phrases they would use back home.

“4. Have fun! Remember, you are talking into a microphone doing silly voices, acting like a hero or villain in a video game, or just talking like you would normally and when it comes down to it; it really is a fun job.”