Talking Shop One Day: Moe Egan,
Mike 'The Mic' Jablon & Lau Lapides
By Stuart Grimes and A.J. Cawley
Creative Assistants, lau lapides company
As creative assistants on the lau lapides company team, we interact with many aspiring voice over artists - from "newbies” just entering the field to seasoned professionals - who use their voice to pay the bills.
Our unique perspective gives us the opportunity to listen in on actors and voice over professionals when they have incredibly deep discussions about their craft and their business.
We have acquired a new appreciation for what professional talent has to experience before they step in front of a camera or microphone. And we are awed by the amount of intense mental and physical preparation involved in what we used to think was relatively simple. Their work impacts all facets of their life, both professionally and personally.
BREEDS CREATIVITY AND FREEDOM
What have we specifically learned while listening into these private dialogues? That the actor's craft is a series of building blocks leading to success.
A common theme running through these discussions is personal creativity, and freeing oneself from obstacles or barriers to success.
The following notes from a recent conversation particularly stand out. While these three voice actors started their career journeys at different places and at different times, they share many commonalities.
Former radio personality and current voice actor Moe Egan finds voice over work "insanely empowering,” and noting that "you grow a backbone when you don’t have a safety net."
Since her voice pays all the bills, all the responsibility falls on her. Egan literally cannot afford to lose focus or get lazy in her work ethic.
She accepts responsibility for motivating herself to be successful, because she knows she will not be able to pay for family necessities if she does not keep her eye on the ball, stay on track and motivated.
And Moe finds the work to be very liberating. She explains, "There is a lot of distance to fall, but there’s also a lot of room to move.”
'RIDE THE WAVE'
As a professional voice over artist for over 30 years, she likes the description used by voice actor Bruce Miles: "Either you learn to ride the wave, or you watch from the beach."
And going off the beaten path herself to pursue voice work encourages her kids to think outside of the box, as well.
You do not need to go a conventional route in choosing your career, Moe believes. You can follow your heart and passion and still make money.
She knows personally that hard work and dedication will lead to results.
MIKE 'THE MIC' JABLON
Mike "The Mic” Jablon - actor, audio and VO pro - extols the practical applications of voice over work outside of the booth.
He finds that his professional skills help outside of the business, as well - for instance, improving general communication skills, whether that between family members, co-workers or meeting new people.
By finding your voice in the booth, you become more open and free with those around you, he believes.
Mike also talks about the independence associated with voice over work. And he says that the skill of acting, and all the characters associated with it, is within everyone - it is simply a matter of accessing it.
Through experiences and imagination, all the characters are within, he finds. When actors truly trust themselves, they can unleash what is within them.
Particularly appealing to Mike is the freedom and opportunity to create characters. He loves embodying somebody else.
Fascinated by animation from an early age, Mike needed to perform and has found an outlet in voice over. It is an industry that does not discriminate against age or physical type.
One of Mike’s fondest memories as part of lau lapides company was meeting and chatting with Rob Paulsen - an "A-List" Hollywood animation titan - at the New York Voice Over Mixer last December.
Rob was one of the first talents that Mike heard when he listened to Disney’s Goof Troop as a child. To be able to meet Rob, discuss the craft and listen to his advice was invaluable.
Rob also returned recently to the lau lapides studio in New York to present animation and commercial workshops.
Coach Lau Lapides helps clients find their voice.
She knows that voices are connected to everything in a person, and what they are about. Therefore, to Lau, the process becomes deeply psychological and personal, helping people to open doors to possibilities and choices they never knew existed.
Our personal frame of reference is all linked to our voices, she believes. And working to help find a voice becomes an amazing journey. The entire process becomes therapeutic for both the client and the teacher.
According to Lau, "Seeing yourself, hearing yourself and listening to yourself is all really about finding oneself.”
It is imperative for a voice over artist and actor to discover who they are and to become comfortable and accept it before they can truly be successful and express themselves fully, she says.
A main obstacle to overcome is the fear associated with speaking, and of revealing too much of oneself to strangers. The goal is to turn the weakness of fear into strength.
And Lau believes the only way to limit oneself is to limit your outlook or mentality.
TOOL FOR INNER DISCOVERY
All three artists have used voice over to enhance themselves, and as a tool for inner discovery.
While they have taken different routes to the same destination, a love and appreciation for voice over work is shared by all.
This has been a brief glimpse at one of the recent conversations at lau lapides company. And it all happened in the span of 10 minutes! So can you imagine what happens in a full day?
ABOUT LAU LAPIDES COMPANY ...
Lau lapides studio is a division of the lau lapides company, a boutique coaching firm designing fresh and innovative speaker and communication programs to meet the needs of clients including CEOs, managers and associates from all levels of an organization. With voice over studios in Boston and New York City, the studio division offers one-on-one voice over coaching, voice and speech accent reduction, workshops, and New York City Voice Over Showcases, where voice actors meet personally with talent agents and casting professionals.
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