David Babich began his career on the theater side of the entertainment industry, but the acting bug actually played a vital part in his becoming a voice-over specialist for Sony Playstation and more.
A student of musical theater, vocal performance and classical opera at UCLA, Babich studied acting after his 1992 graduation with a degree in voice. He became a vocal coach in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he returned to Los Angeles from the Bay Area and delved into voice-over.
“I took an intro class in the ’90s and became hooked on voice-over,” Babich says. “I did self-made demos recording myself, and it was the worst thing, but that’s how I discovered the passion to do it. It’s actually so much more about acting than my voice and understanding a clear technique for a voice-over.”
Babich attended an agent’s workshop in San Francisco and got lucky when the agent, Joan Spangler, said she liked his work. He followed up with a letter and she signed him on. His first video game was one with Gotham that wound up not being finished or produced, but he found out how taxing video game voice-overs actually can be. But that gig led him on to voice-overs for Sony Playstation products including Legend of the Dragoon, Bloody Roar, Star Ocean and Beast. Babich advises voice-over hopefuls to take acting classes, not necessarily rush to make a demo.
“You need to learn in the booth to act and be believable. It seems like it’s just a voice, but it really is a technique,” he says. Babich also says hunting for an agent is “not a bad thing,” but aspiring voice-over specialists should be cognizant of submission guidelines and realize that building relationships always trumps cold calling.
“And don’t have issues with calling and repeating. They receive so many, they might not have even heard yours yet. You can also submit to casting directors, and there are a couple of pay-to-play sites, like Voice123 and Voices.com, which are somewhat controversial because you pay a yearly fee, but you can start auditioning and submitting without having an agent. I’ve had success with that.”
For more information, visit DavidBabich.com or VoiceLosAngeles.com.
By Jessica Pace