Joshua Passmore, owner of Starman Studios, produces English dubs for animations, films, and video games from all over the world. He shares his experience about getting started as a voice actor, booking jobs, and chasing your dreams in a dynamic industry.
What's in this article?
Experience with running an studio
What's the hardest part of running your studio, and how do you overcome this challenge?
I found it difficult to keep a consistent flow of work. COVID-19 wreaked havoc in many industries, including the entertainment industry. We spent countless hours to keep projects coming in to help the VA community have a somewhat steady stream of income.
A big lesson I’ve learned is: being in talks with companies is hopeful; nothing is set in stone until a contract is signed. We must make sure that clear terms are established for our roles and responsibilities, compensation, deadlines, and other important information that is critical to a project’s success.
What do you like best about running Starman Studios, and why?
There are so many fun and exciting aspects to running a studio that narrowing it all into a singular answer is difficult. StarMan has given us the ability to help the community, and our amazing team is capable of accomplishing not only our own dreams but the dreams of others. It definitely a labor of love, but this community is worth it. Anyone who’s on the team believes in the studio wholeheartedly.
What's the greatest challenge of directing a project, and how do you overcome it?
There are a few major challenges that has happened recently:
Getting yourself Ready for your VA Journey – Building a Home Studio
My first home setup was on the affordable side and I always recommend that for aspiring voice actors till they start booking constant work to see if this is an industry they want to pursue, and if they want to devote themselves to before spending lot of money on more expensive equipment.
Once you’ve gathered your gear, there are several ways you can start building a list of clients or finding jobs:
Dealing with Rejection
The first thing to know as a voice actor is that you’re going to get a lot of rejection before someone takes a chance on you.
I’ve submitted audition after audition and sometimes got nowhere. You must have faith in yourself, a great support system and know that you have to work hard and keep training till you start booking on the regular. As the saying goes voice acting is 99 ‘no’s’ before you get 1 yes and it’s our job to audition regularly.
More Useful Tips for Aspiring Voice Actors/Directors
What are the most important traits that a VA can have when working for your studio?
Professionalism, kindness, and humbleness. Coming in with a good attitude and just being a nice person can get you so much further in this industry than being hard to work with or having a bad reputation. Toxicity is a trait that we don't tolerate and only hinders your career in the long term.
What advice can you give to VAs who hope to land gigs in a competitive media industry?
Tip 1: Be open to learning
It's easy to tell someone to work hard, and it's true. Take classes. Take as many as you can. Learning and growing is vital to your success. If you're unable to, practice reading scripts or plays. First comes the acting. Then comes the voice.
Tip 2: Be resilient
My teacher taught me to always audition for everything you can get your hands on. You will absolutely get 99 no's before you get that 1 yes. It’s important to not get discouraged and keep fighting for this career if you really want it.
Tip 3: Know why you’re in it
Don’t come into this industry thinking you’re going to be famous it doesn’t happen that way for everyone. The job itself is really rewarding. Every role, every character you voice has the potential to change someone’s life. When I was a kid, cartoon characters were my friends sometimes my only friends and without them, I would have been super lonely. I had the opportunity to actually tell some of these actors what they meant to me. I could see them fighting tears back because when they got into the industry there was no being famous for this job. No one knew who you were.
To everyone reading...I believe in you and hope you all accomplish your dreams. Remember, this community can be beautiful and can help you though even the darkest of times.
Just remember the golden rule: Keep Moving Forward!
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