When I started imitating commercials (especially taglines) when I was seven or maybe eight years old, my mom eagerly predicted: my daughter's going to be a news reporter or broadcaster some day.
But then, several years of acting in plays and joining declamations later, I found that speaking in public made me nervous! Never mind the plays, I was never a nervous performer (I had the knack of blocking the audience out when I performed. I also had a band in college), but addressing an audience was altogether a different thing,
So yeah, several years later, my mom found that her oracle was not the best one.
Instead of taking up Broadcasting, I got lost into and fell in love with Film and Audio-Visual Production, which is more of behind-the-scenes.
After graduation and years of working, I never knew my hobby as a child of faking accents and repeating commercial taglines would resurface. Until I found I can do voice-overs.
I guess I owe it to making plugs and observing professional VO talents during my first job. I liked imitating them for fun. Eventually, when our talent could not make it, while I did have to beat a deadline, I had no choice but to do a dummy. Kind of like a voice guide.
Until a client (a sponsor) asked our team to do a TVC. But they can't afford to pay for a VO talent. The client was a well-known motel. My co-Producer asked our superior if my voice will do. He said, well, let's see.
Fortunately, my voice-over passed. Credit it to a "bedroom voice". Hehe!
I eventually forgot about that. But my interest came back when an office mate told me of a VOICE ACTING WORKSHOP, called VoiceWorx in Creativoices Productions.
I enrolled. Though the tuition caused me almost all of my savings, I can say that it was all worth it.
I have since earned back the tuition...and more.
Today, I have gained the confidence that I need to be a good voice over for commercials. I enjoy doing voice overs so much! I feel challenged by every word, pause, every intonation, breath and every syllable.
When I voice, I'm just playing. I like expressing myself through my voice and hearing it on TV or the radio.
Without my hobby as a child, encouragement from former officemates and Creativoices, I wouldn't have done it.
But it can never be my full-time job. Voice over always has to be a part-time job, that I learned in VoiceWorx.
And yes, I guess it helps a lot that whenever I voice, I get to be an eight-year old all over again.
Maria Alina Co is currently a voice-over talent of Knowledge Channel and Star World Philippines. She also does freelance voice work for other companies.