Let’s hear it for the voice Jaser A. Marasigan
The voices behind your favorite anime series revealed… For a cartoon or anime lover, this may be the best job in the world – dubbing that is! “Ang maganda sa pagiging dubber is nauuna mo ng mapanood yung mga anime,” says 12-year-old Kathlyn Rose Tolentino, a first year high school student at Bulacan Ecumenical School. Kathlyn is a dubber for the local cartoon network “Hero TV.’’ Born into a TV and film dubbing family, Kathlyn remembers how she would tag along her dad to the studios. “Nakikita ko na yung ginagawa nya. Mahilig din kasi ako sa anime kaya nung tinanong ako ng tatay ko kung gusto kong ma-try mag-dub, I said yes right away,’’ Kathlyn says. In her first dubbing experience, all Kathlyn remembers was the fun of it all. “Ang saya niya kasi makikita at maririnig mo na sa iyo yung boses nung anime character,” adds this pre-teener who has fully embraced the profession of her father Neil. After school in the morning, she goes to the ABS-CBN studios for her dubbing job.
VOICE ACTING AS AN ART Working as a cartoon dubber is similar to being an actor. The only difference is that it’s the voice, not the image, that comes out onscreen. Can anyone then be a dubber because physical attributes do not matter in this job? Not really because an effective dubber still must know how to act and give life to a character just by using his or her voice. “Voice acting is an art,” says Creativoices CEO and managing director Pocholo Gonzales. “Parang kanta yan, may techniques, styles and skills na kailangang matutuhan. It’s not really about voice, secondary lang yan, it’s more about acting, kailangan mabigyan mo ng buhay ang script, kahit na anong ganda ng boses mo kung wala kang voice acting, wala rin. And it doesn’t mean na kapag pangit ang boses mo pangit na ang acting mo. Sa voice acting walang pangit na boses.
Kahit pangit na boses nagagamit kasi minsan yun ang hinihingi sa karakter,” he continues. For anime fans, quality dubbing is extremely important. Since many of these animated programs have been imported from other countries, there is a need to translate the script into Filipino and hire the voices who will give life to the characters. Creativoices, the first voice talent agency in the country, holds annual workshops where they discover the next great voice actors or actresses. The workshop called “Voiceworx,” runs for two months with eight sessions, and are conducted by Creativoices co-owner Brian Ligsay, actor and voice talent Alex Agcaoili and Danny Mandia, considered as the “father of modern dubbing’’ in the country. In the workshops, not only the voices but the personalities of the students are enhanced. “It’s more of a craft. It’s an art. Mas mamahalin mo kasi craft mo yan, kumbaga sa painter nag-drawing yan hindi para kumita, para sa kanyang artistry. Iba kasi kapag pera-pera lang, at the end of the day, if you’re really good, money will come,” adds Pocholo Gonzales, himself a voice talent before putting up Creativoices with friend Brian Ligsay, a former discjockey.
I WANNA BE A DUBBER! “Sa dubbing, hindi pwede ang mahiyain,” admonishes John John Gementiza, who has been dubbing since he was 10 years old. A second year Nursing student at the Far Eastern University, John is the grandson of comedian Matutina. “Pina-try lang ako ng lola ko na mag-dub hanggang sa nahasa nang nahasa. I was in Grade IV then. Alam ko na para sa TV siya kasi mahilig din naman akong manood ng cartoons,” he shares. John’s most recent works are for the anime series “Digimon’’ and “Negima.’’ A cartoon series requires about six dubbers and it takes about a month to finish. Jill Fernandez, and Macky McRae, both products of Voiceworx workshops, say that this is a dream come true for them. “It’s a fun experience kasi matagal ko nang gustong mapasok sa dubbing ever since Grade 5. Meron akong classmate who was a child actress dito sa ABS-CBN, siya rin yung nag-dub kay ’Sakura.’ Tinanong ko siya about dubbing. Simula nung in-explain niya, nagkaroon na ako ng interest,” says Jill, a sophomore Communication Arts student in Miriam College. Macky, a third year Education major at the University of the Philippines, says that it is also about the prestige and pride. “It’s something unique and different, something that I can be proud of because not all people can do what we do. People think yung normal voice lang ang ginagamit. Hindi nila alam that there’s a technique, it’s an art, it’s our form of expressing ourselves. It’s something different from what everyone else is doing and it’s fun to do. And yung samahan among the dubbers, it’s like an extended family,” she relates. The three student dubbers also share another talent – balancing their time between studies and dubbing. “Priority pa rin yung studies. Dubbings are usually scheduled thrice a week. Ako, what I do, pag nasa school ka, dun ka mag-aral, pag nasa bahay pahinga. Minsan gumagawa rin ako ng homework dito. Basta dapat hindi ko na sya pinapaabot ng bahay,” shares John. Macky’s mom, meanwhile, never fails to remind her daughter to keep her priorities straight. “Academics always comes first, once na na-clear ko ang academics, then I can do anything I want. Kapag natapos ko na yung projects ko then I can come here sa ABS-CBN to do my work,” she says.
To be a successful voice talent, Jill says that one must know how to act and how to speak. “Kailangan versatile ka. Kaya mong iba-ibahin ang boses mo. At kailangan may passion ka rin sa ginagawa mo.”
The Unseen Faces Behind the Mic By MARIA ALINA CO
September 20, 2009, 1:02pm
Without voices, it must be an awfully dull world. Can you imagine Naruto fighting Sasuke without dialogue, or endless static on your favorite radio station? That would be such a bummer, right? That’s because voice gives emotion, color, and spark to what we see on the screen. They render clarity to the story unfolding before us. However the voice-over talents in cartoons and radio are often faceless and nameless. They hide in the dark, in a manner of speaking. That’s why we’re putting the finest voice actors in the limelight this time. And guess what, they’re not only talented and already making waves in the industry, but they’re also very young and personable. Playing while working At only 13 yrs. old, Kat-Kat Tolentino has voice-acted and dubbed for over nine TV programs.
She was only eight when she auditioned for the first time. “I used to tag along my Dad in ABS-CBN for his dubbing sessions. It was fun watching the shows on TV, so I told Papa I wanted to try it out.” Her father, Neil Tolentino, is a Dubbing Writer and Director for Hero TV. “My first audition, I cried. My Papa said I wasn’t good enough. I flunked.” The next year Kat-Kat landed a lead role as Shahaku in the anime Three-Eyed One. “Among all the shows I dubbed, this is my favorite. It was my lucky project since I had more after it. Plus it was very challenging since Shahaku was a little boy.” Sweet and girly, it’s hard to imagine Kat-Kat as a young magical boy with a third eye. But she does it by being in character. Dreaming of taking Theater Arts or Music someday, Kat-Kat manages to juggle her school and dubbing career. “It’s really fun because it’s just like playing with your friends and making voices.
The best part is you get to earn money at the same time. Like me, I’m only 13 but I bought my own cell phone and I get to help out in the family budget.” Dubbing Contest Champions For Jill Fernandez and Ed Jaluag, it took talent and a lot of guts to join dubbing contests like Hataw Hanep Hero. “Imagine dubbing in front of a huge crowd! It was an exhilarating experience,” quipped 18-year old Jill. Luckily, she bested 600 contestants and bagged the prize: a scholarship in Creativoices where she honed her voice-acting skills. After graduation, Creativoices Owner and the Voice Master Pocholo Gonzales cast Jill as leads for Bokura Ga Ita and Negima, both anime series that aired on Hero TV. The rest is history. Currently, she is the voice behind Lemon Angels’ Tomo on Hero and Boys Over Flowers’ Ha Jae Gyeong on ABS-CBN. “I enjoy what I’m doing. I like the shows and the bonds I form with my fellow dubbers.”
For Ed, a 24-year old Video Editor, winning the fourth Hataw Hanep Hero saved him from resigning his job. “I was into Theater in high school. At work, I got bored not being able to express myself.” A toy-collector and a cosplayer, Ed was naturally drawn to dubbing. After finishing the workshop, Ed landed one of the lead roles and a total of 25 minor roles in ABS-CBN’s KimPossible. A Nice Voice “People used to always say I had a nice voice, and so I thought I was a natural to get into the voice-acting industry.” But it was only when Albert, 20, joined the workshop that he realized he still had so much to learn. He is a student DJ in RX 93.1’s Radio1. He is also the President of the Society of Young Voice Artists of the Philippines (SYVAP), an organization that aims to promote voice acting as an art and career. Jill and Ed are among the 200 members of SYVAP. “I continue to learn in SYVAP and realized there’s much more to voice acting-- from dubbing to DJ-ing, hosting events, reciting poetry, storytelling and radio dramas. A voice actor is anyone who expresses himself creatively through his voice,” Albert says. Founded by Pocholo Gonzales, SYVAP serves as a venue for aspiring voice artists to hone their craft through volunteerism and teamwork. “The secret to being a good voice actor is to treat it as an art. Then if you’re good, the money will just come,” Gonzales said.
Living Their Dreams Voice acting is a tough craft, but a lot of fun, especially when you’re passionate about it. “When I dub, I forget all about my problems because I’m not myself but rather the character I am dubbing. I can become an anime, a super hero or a beautiful Korean, whatever the role requires,” Jill shared. For Albert, one just has to believe in himself. “Being a voice actor really boosted my self esteem. I have become self-confident. I just love being heard and I want to share this to others.” Ed added, “I love dubbing. I can do this every day of my life and will never feel like I’ve worked a day.”
The Big Idea A Manner of Speaking
You may have heard Pocholo Gonzales’s voice in a multitude of dubbed cartoons and soap operas, or in dozens of radio and TV spots. Today, however, the Creativoices Productions founder and CEO also speaks in the flesh as an inspirational speaker. Mr. Gonzales has been invited to take the podium at over 100 schools and universities. Whether he’s tackling guerilla marketing, personal branding, or youth advocacy, all of his talks tie into his own core philosophy, which he’s dubbed “Pochology.” “Inspirational and motivation [have] expiration, “said Mr. Gonzales, who regards public speaking not solely as a career but as a calling. “Your message will expire immediately unless you touch [the listener’s] lives.” As a public speaker, he’s best known for his informal approach and accompanying multimedia rich presentations – his entrances are always preceded by his own introductory audio-video presentation. “I let the video speak for itself, but it’s very dangerous because it creates very big expectations among the audience,” he said.
“So, you have to establish that and sustain it. If you don’t get them in the first minute, you’re dead.” Mr. Gonzales’s style is fashioned after Scharamm’s Interactive Model, a theory by communications studies pioneer William Scharamm. The speaker also borrows references from personal heroes like Dr. Jose Rizal. However, Mr. Gonzales generally keeps the topics close to home. “I’m a passionate motivator, but I don’t talk about other people’s business or other people’s lives,” he said. Instead, he draws from his own life to establish a connection with the crowd. Knowing one’s audience is the cardinal rule of public speaking, but he added, “You should also know yourself, [because] at the end of the day, you’re there because of what you know.” Mr. Gonzales showed a knack for performing at an early age, when he’d mimic voices he heard on the radio. “We didn’t have a TV,,” he recalled. “[That was] my only means of entertainment.” Little did he know that his childhood pastime would lead to a successful career in voice acting, with dubbed parts in top-rated shows such as Meteor Garden and Chabelita, as well as directing stints for local channels like Hero and Cinema One.
In 2003, his spot-on impersonation of broadcaster Mike Enriquez for the “Wikang Bansa” radio ad earned him the Best Voice Actor award at the annual Philippine Advertising Congress. With Rex Bookstore, Mr. Gonzales was involved in the production of the firs audio books of Filipino classics such as Dr. Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo; Francisco Baltazar’s Florante at Laura; and the epic Ibong Adarna. More recently, Mr. Gonzales voiced an in-development Facebook application. He will also be the only Asian panelist among other industry pros for this year’s Voice Over International Creative Experience (VOICE), set to take place in Anaheim, California this June. “For me, voice acting is the most magical thing in the world, he said. “Anything you say can create something out of this world.” Apart from acting, speaking, and running Creativoices, Mr. Gonzales has also founded the Speech Work Training Center for Voice Acting. The latter as already seen over 500 graduates “I want to promote voice acting not just as a career or something that can be your bread and butter, but [also] as an art form,” he said. Four times a year, Creativoices holds Voiceworx, a two-month workshop for aspiring voice actors. In July, Mr. Gonzales plans to launch a mobile counterpart, the Voice Act-
Voice it out Voice actors make good money making the right noises
By Miguel Camus | Dec 21, 2012
In the Philippines, a name that has become synonymous with voice-overs is CreatiVoices Productions. It is a company cofounded by Pocholo “Voicemaster” Gonzales, himself a longtime voice actor. Doing voice-overs has grown into a lucrative part-time industry due to the continuing expansion of the electronic media. “Before, voice acting was just for radio,” says Gonzales. “Now there’s also the Internet, PodCasts, video games, and cartoon and TV show dubbing.” The most popular of these voice-over applications, he says, are audio- book recordings, animation or TV show dubbings, original content (pre-voice recording), and radio and TV advertisements. Voice-over talents, who are paid on a per project basis, can actually earn some P30,000 to P50,000 for doing audio books alone, which are mostly textbook translations; about P10,000 to P20,000 for radio and television advertisements ; P500 to P1,000 per episode for anime and soap opera dubbings; and up to P30,000 for original content creation. So how does one get into the voice-over business? Gonzales says that voice-over training is a prerequisite no matter how good the aspiring voice-over talent is, and he emphasizes that doing voice-overs is not just a hobby but an art and a profession.
Indeed, this was why Gonzales decided in 2007 to put up the Philippine Center for Voice Acting, the first and only professional voice acting school in the Philippines. He established Creativoices itself with an initial capital of only P20,000, but it has become almost an industry by itself. As the training arm of CreatiVoices, the center conducts a two-month voice acting program for a selected number of students using modules imported from the United States. “When you train with us, in one day I can make you create 20 voices,” says Gonzales. He says that although the center does not guarantee voice-over jobs to students who finish the program, it gives them support in landing voice-over contracts. In fact, almost a quarter of his stable of 400 local voice-over talents are graduates of the program, and a lot of his talents find work with other voice-over companies. He explains the industry practice: “Even among my talents, there are no exclusive contracts. In my own case, I’m not exclusive to my own company; I work with different recording studios as well.”
Considering that projects don’t come regularly, he also cautions voice-over talents to treat doing voice-overs strictly as a “sideline” profession. Active in the industry for over 15 years now, Gonzales has done voice-over projects for hundreds of radio and TV commercials for practically all of the major telecommunication companies, fastfood chains, beverage companies, financial institutions, and government agencies as well as politicians on the campaign trail. Some of his former students at CreatiVoices have done very well themselves upon finishing its voice-over training program. For instance, Jo Carol Fernandez communications sophomore at the Miriam College in Quezon City, has done many voice-over projects for anime shows since finishing the training. She says she dubbed voices for major characters in the shows Bokura Ga Ita (26 episodes) and Negima as well as for other projects outside CreatiVoices. On the other hand, Mark B. Aragona, writer and financial consultant, received an offer to do three advertisements for a large telecom company barely a month after finishing his voice-over training. “Let’s just say I made five times my investment for those ads,” he says. Aragona likes the fact that doing voice-overs is very flexible in terms of time. Although some projects can take up to an hour, he says, doing 15 minutes of voice-over work for an advertisement is already long.
Voice actors like Fernandez and Aragona are able to cultivate and hone their talent for professional voice-over work through CreatiVoices, which has since grown into an agency with 10 full-time staff and some 500 local and international on-call voice actors. The company has not only given the voice-over industry a common face but now also enjoys instant recognition as the industry leader. Says Gonzales of people wanting to go into doing voice-overs: “If you have a job, and if you’re really good and I want you to take the character, I will wait for you.” And he tells aspiring talents to see doing voice-overs not just as another job but also as a way of having fun, like what he himself does. CREATIVOICES 3/F Left Wing, Light Blue Bldg. 1745 Dian St., Palanan, Makati City Telefaxes: (02) 239.6468
The article of Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales, CEO of CreatiVoices Productions talking about freelancing was published in the September-October Issue of the Student’s Digest. In his article, the VoiceMaster emphasized how freelancing enables individuals to do what they love to do and at the same time, handle projects simultaneously. Also, he gave an advice to freelancers not just to focus on freelancing and instead, consider entrepreneurship as well to open more opportunities. The Student’s Digest is approved by DepEd.