Monday, December 26, 2016

What's it Like to Audition for a Yu-Gi-Oh Voice Over Role

How many of you had that moment where you were curious if you can make THAT voice you just heard? That happened to me when I was watching 1st Generation Pokemon and heard Pikachu’s voice. Somehow I thought to myself, “huh, I wonder if I can do that?” After watching how many episodes later, one day, I decided to repeat after the character and the voice just came out. No, I did not practice. Years went by and I didn’t think there was much to this minor ability. Then at New York Comic Con 2016, I saw a sign for a Yu-Gi-Oh voice over audition/contest. My thoughts went back to the time when I was doing Pikachu’s voice. I questioned whether or not this was something I wanted to try. I thought about it for a day or two and I said “why, not? It won’t hurt.” I did for the experience; to see what it was like. It was definitely an eye-opening experience.

The contest was on Saturday and Sunday. On late Saturday afternoon, I was curious enough to see how much interest it generated and if I can still try out. The applicants capped to 100. The lady managing the applicants gave me a registration form to take home. Even with the form, I was still undecided on how much commitment I wanted to put into the contest.

At home, I kept staring at the form, wondering if I should fill it out. Somehow, I decided to fill out the form and sleep early because I wanted to wake up early to make it to the contest. It opened at 10am, which was the same time as the opening of the convention. I made it to the contest area and had to show my application, State ID and have my photo taken. On the line, there was at least 20 people in front of me. Of course, there were people behind me, but I didn’t notice how many more until I was close to the front.

When I realized that it was almost my turn, I decided to turn around and look behind me. Good lord! The line went so far back that I couldn’t even tell how far it went! Then I looked at my watch. I realized that I waited almost two hour on this line. I continue to wait, until it was my turn. The lady there told four of us to go in at the same time and we continued to wait inside the room until it was our turn. The person in front of me was the first in our group of four. While the three of us waited, during the first person’s turn, we heard him do his voice over. I think the three of us were genuinely surprised about that. It was completely unexpected.

It was my turn to go inside the sound box (well, I’m calling it a sound box because I was in the box). The director asked me if I was a fan of Bakura and my response was “Bakura? Maybe the bad Bakura.” My character was a fan girl of his. The director explained to me what the process was: I had to listen to her instructions, then the 3 beeps and lastly say my line. After the first try, I do remember hearing LOUD laughing. The director said “We got some laughing going on here.” I think she was pleased about that. After my second try, the director told me to hold the script still. I think I was bouncing too much in the box. Then during my last try, I seriously tried to keep the paper from moving! The audition was over and it was probably 5 minutes max.

Ok, so that’s how my audition went. It was enjoyable, but I did learn two things from this. 1) I learned that I do like making people laugh, and 2) I have a newfound respect and appreciation for actors and actresses in the hardship they go through to make it through the door. When I turned around to see the line, that’s when it hit me. Is this what actors go through to find work? The person behind me, who was he was trying to be an actor, said yes. Man, those two hours of waiting on line, I could have earned $20 doing a desk job. My career job search is nothing like this. This experience made me realize that you have to seriously be dedicated to this career path if you are willing to wait two hours for a four minute audition that you won’t even get a rejection letter from. In regards to making people laugh, honestly, it felt good to hear and know it happened. Even if they thought I sounded crazy, just receiving the reaction makes it a positive experience. So, would I do this as a career? Probably not. Would I go to another contest/audition? Absolutely! It is fun making silly voices! Until the next contest!

© 2016 Linda Thai
Photography by Linda Thai
For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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