Episode #131 — Video Game Actor & Podcast Host Andrew Morrison

Dire Straits was onto something with “Money For Nothing.” And no, we’re not talking about that kick-ass video, though that was definitely new and exciting when it came out in the mid ‘80s. Seriously, it looked like a video game, but then the characters were watching TVs playing Dire Straits in concert. So meta! (We’d like to give the ‘80s video creativity award to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” but they are automatically disqualified for that scene when Alice in Wonderland’s body becomes a cake and they slice into it. The stuff of childhood nightmares.)

Right, so Dire Straits was onto something with “Money For Nothing.” Somebody is always looking at someone else’s job with the mistaken impression that it’s easy and simple to become successful at. Generally speaking, we try not to take such a cynical worldview here at Why? The Podcast. After all, our main goal in life is to introduce our audience to people with interesting jobs or hobbies that other people wouldn’t necessarily think they could do, though they might be inspired by some facet of it.

That being said, we totally get how someone could go all Dire Straits about our job. Podcasting is a piece of cake! (Not a Tom Petty/Alice in Wonderland piece of cake, though.) We met through a Craigslist ad under “Boz Scaggs Enthusiast Seeking Same for Light Chit Chat,” found some microphones at the dump, randomly call people to ask about their jobs, and then the kudos rain down. Sorry, that should be the Kudos Milk Chocolate Granola Bars® rain down.

For this week’s episode, we spoke with someone who has a fascinating job that people probably have some preconceived notions about. Andrew Morrison is a voice over actor and podcast host whose work has run the gamut of voice jobs, including video game acting and animation. Lest you think his job involves reading things out loud for a few minutes and then chilling for the rest of the day, Andrew is here to let you know all the nuances of voice work. And he does so happily on his brand-new podcast, The Voice Over Coffee Shop.

Andrew shared with us that there are lots of different specializations when it comes to voice work, including animation, video games, commercials, educational training, audio books, and even phone recordings. He’s been in this career for about three years and was eager to learn the ins and outs of all these variations. After meeting with voice actors who specialized in different areas, he decided to make a podcast out of it. That way, we all can discover the nuances of voice work and get some great stories, too. (Even if some people can’t discuss detailed specifics of who they’re working for because they’ve signed NDAs. Oh, the intrigue!)

One of the things Andrew pointed out to us is that during the pandemic, a lot of people decided to give voice work a try. But not a lot of people stuck with it when they discovered it wasn’t a reading gig — it was a business. And Andrew conveyed this fact without a hint of malice or glee at anyone’s failings. He and the entire voice over community are happy when someone wants to make it in their industry, and lend support whenever they can. They know it takes time to get established and promote yourself to get gigs.

Andrew shared with us some of the voice work he’s done and what, exactly, casting is looking for when hiring someone in his profession. How much acting and improvisation is allowed? Does he have to produce a lot of sound effects when working with video games? How does one get voice over gigs around the world and how has the pandemic affected his work? For the answers to all of these question and more, tune in to this week’s episode.

And if you want more after listening to Andrew’s velvety tones in the interview, be sure to check out The Voice Over Coffee Shop. He makes voice acting sound so nuanced and inviting, we’re almost tempted to switch careers. But we’re committed to scouring the globe for fascinating people to introduce to you. If we stopped, where would you get your Behind the Music references from? The streets? We can’t — we WON’T — let that happen. And speaking of, we heard that there’s going to be an MTV reboot of that show, but it will be on one of the new streaming services. Look, we absolutely cannot justify subscribing to another streaming service. But if that as-of-now-unnamed service wants to hook us up, we’d be happy to promote your programming for nothing and get your shows for free. (Hit it Sting: “I want my, I want my, I want my MTV…’s Behind the Music.”)

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