In this brief interview, Marika Casteel discusses her experience as an actor, what kind of VO work is out there, and how to put your best foot forward on your career path (Class link for her Pro "Meet and Read" group below).
Aaron: Sally says you’re one of her heroes for having over 20 years as an actor in the Bay Area, in everything from on-camera stuff, to voice over, and live events. What do you think keeps you going for all this time?
Marika: The word “consistency” just popped into my mind. I think when you just are consistent, you put one foot in front of the other, and whether you're sure about that step or not [laughs], but you're out there taking those steps … you get some road behind you and some jobs. So I've been open to things. I did not have a fixed way I saw myself. There's work here in voice over, great! How do I approach that? I’ve done modeling before, which you know, I'm only 5’1”, but hey they hire real people for that, so ok what do I need to do that? And so I’ve just kind of been open, and I think that has really helped.
Aaron: As far as voice over work goes, because that’s what we’re primarily interested in, what kind of work do you find the most that you voice for?
Marika: So I do a lot of announcer work, so you’ll probably hear that. You know, just… I don't even know how to describe it but, “this is the product, and we’re here to talk about the product” and that sort of thing. Also some “real people” stuff, but really I do a lot of announcer work and spokesperson, and then tags. I love to do tags, which you have to have a little speed for, but have still clarity. And I love to do that. And also there are a lot of video games here in the Bay Area, so I've done some video games, and promos, and also some looping for movies. There’s just all kinds of stuff, so once you get in a start to meet people and learn about things, you find out about opportunities that, you know, aren't spoken about all the time, which is cool.
Aaron: Do you have any advice for voice actors that are just starting out right now?
Marika: Take class! I cannot under-score that. That has been my foundation, absolutely, because I think there are one or two things that can happen to us as performers, as creatives, either our ego gets in the way or what’s going on in our head gets in the way, and that’s where class comes in. When you have that foundation of knowing what you’re doing when you get in the booth in front of the mic with your voice, which is your instrument, you can step into any situation with confidence, even if you’re feeling nervous. And also when the client is throwing things at you, you know you have that foundation to not only get through it, but to deliver what they want and also bring what you know you uniquely have. That’s what you learn in class! I cannot under-score that. I’ve learned so many things about myself and watched other actors and learned from other actors, and watched what they learned about themselves and their craft. It just all goes together in a little “acting soup”. It’s Fabulous!
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