Meet the Voice Actor: An Interview with Joe Goffeney

 

Voicing the characters in Disney’s Animation Matron, Isamu in Konsui Fighter, Sato Yuki in Black Survival, Jin Nijishima in Into the Hoop, Leroy in Glenwood Prep, and so many other characters, comes the incredible voice actor: Joe Goffeney.

All the way from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Joe is a 19-year-old college student in Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a Freelance Voice Actor, a Director, and the Head of Education for Casting Call Club. His participation in acting out roles for animations, video games, visual novels, web series, and audio games has been one of full commitment and dedication towards his dream of pursuing the voice acting career.

I had the immense privilege of being able to have an interview session with Joe, getting to know more about his backstory and how to pursue a career as a voice actor. The passion in doing what he loves was noticeable in the excitement of his voice and his willingness to inform.

Without further ado, here lies the interview:

HCUPR: How did you know about the existence of the voice acting career? What inspired you to follow it?

Joe Goffeney: When I grew up, I was a pretty avid gamer and had grown up hearing voice acting all my life, but I never knew you could do voice acting as a career. It was pretty recently when I was in contact with a guy that wanted to create a fandub of one of the games that I grew up with, which was Final Fantasy VIII. So we tried to gather up some auditions, and I became his Assistant Director, and we had no luck with auditions at first. One of the auditionees had told us that she couldn’t do it, but she recommended a website for voice-over castings called Casting Call Club (CCC). So, I went to CCC, posted the project, and within a few weeks, we had over one hundred auditions. After that, I was cast for one of the characters in the fandub. So, I started out with just the Snowball Microphone and eventually upgraded my microphone, got the soundproof material, and started researching on what it takes to become a professional voice actor. I later got in contact with a full-time voice actor who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and he got me in the right track, orienting me on what was professional or the industry standard, and it kind of just took off from there.

 

HCUPR: When did you exactly start voice acting?

JG: I had never done voice-over work before the fandub, just a fair amount of theatre for the homeschool high school group in Kalamazoo. The first project that I was cast for was for a small animation project and unfortunately, it didn’t take off, but I have a fond memory of just thinking, “They thought I was good?!” and my mind was blown. Nevertheless, the first project I did voices for was auditioning for the fandub, and it was a great place to start.   

 

HCUPR: Do you think anyone could do voice acting or are there certain requirements?

JG: As a teacher in Casting Call Club, I believe that anybody could be a voice actor. Now, I don’t think anybody should be a voice actor. If you’re doing voice-over and you start getting cast, but it starts becoming a burden, you probably should stop while you’re at it. Everybody has those days when you wake up and it’s like, “Ugh, today’s the deadline,” but once you start recording you get your energies up again. As I said, anybody could be a voice actor with the assurance of knowing that’s what you want to do and with practice and patience. Patience is key because you are going to face rejection when you least expect it, and it hurts if you let it hurt, but it should be more of an inspiration while thinking, “I’ll definitely get it next time!”      

 

HCUPR: I have heard about this project you have been working on in YouTube called Tower of God. Can you tell the audience more about this project?

JG: I’m the director of a Webtoon comic dub of a series called Tower of God. It’s about a boy who ends up getting into a scenario where he’s chasing after his best and only friend, and he ends up in a situation where he’s choosing to face danger and the unknown. He starts making friends along the way, but his main goal is to find his lost friend. Afterward, he starts to realize that there are other people who can have a meaning other than just this one person. There are fight scenes, there’s conflict, and everything gets crazy. My team and I voice all of the characters, and we try to release an episode once a week, usually on Saturdays, and it’s just amazing. We have over 50 people who voice characters in the dub and it’s insane! The commitment that we all have is incredible and it’s so wonderful to be able to bring this story to life in audio form.   

 

HCUPR: What are some tips on catching the viewers’ attention when making your own project?

JG: It’s definitely standing out. That’s the kind of thing with YouTube in a broader sense. Every content creator that has been successful is because they stray away from the norm and did something different, whether it’s a small difference or a big one, they did something different. If I just copied the way that Ruka Samuels, a good friend of mine and comic dubber, edits and dubs then, what’s the point? It’s all about finding your niche, and I had done my research. Tower of God was a very popular Webtoon, but it had never been dubbed on YouTube and there was a kind of thirst for that content. I found the niche, slowly developed my style of editing, and I sort of changed it around to make it better due to the feedback from the audience in the first episode. So, it’s all about finding your niche, being different, taking feedback to put out what people want to watch, and enjoying yourself at it. Pour your heart and soul into it.   

 

HCUPR: I know that you are a college student. How do you balance your studies with the so many projects that you get cast for in addition to editing and directing your main project in YouTube?

JG: Well, it’s not easy. I’ve actually been very fortunate that my classes have not been as big of a workload as a lot of other people have, so I’ve been lucky in that perspective. If you think that you’re overloaded, you’re going to start to feel overloaded, and it starts to get into your head. Then you’re going to start moping and dropping some of those things. It’s all about determination, perseverance, and patience. What you have to do is start to develop a schedule and think: “Okay, Monday mornings I am going to edit Tower of God and go to class. Then I’ll come back, do the recordings, do some homework, and if I have time, do more editing.” You start to develop a plan that way. Otherwise, if everything is sort of lose and you don’t know what’s coming next, then you’re just going to start procrastinating and nothing is going to happen. Even if you don’t stick to the plan 100%, as long as that plan is there and you don’t abandon it, you’ll find yourself much more organized and able to juggle everything at once.

 

HCUPR: What has been one of the most difficult moments that you had to cope with during your trajectory?

JG: There have been times when voice-over drama happens. To put this into perspective, I am a moderator at Casting Call Club and I was previously in charge of project verification, and before then I was helping out with both audio and project verification. Now, I’m the Head of Education and during that time, there has been a lot of trouble in the website and even off of the website, inside the voice-over community that sort of gets to you a bit. For example, when you have a big group of people for a project, you have a lot of different voice actors from a lot of different places in life, so some of the actors are really well-known voice actors who are really popular on YouTube and have been getting cast in PS4 games, but then you have some actors that have just started. When a voice actor starts causing trouble either in Casting Call Club or on Twitter and there’s this big drama storm, you’ll find that people tend to take sides and it sort of gets into your head too because you have a side, but then you see that your friend starts to defend this person, and you tend to second-guess yourself and doubt what’s going on. I don’t know if it’s the most difficult moment, but it’s one that happens somewhat frequently. Nevertheless, it always works itself out and it’s never been to the point where you think it’s impossible.  

 

HCUPR: You are the Head of Education at Casting Call Club and you have been participating in giving classes for the Voice Acting Community. What do the classes consist of?

JG: I’ve recently taught a six-week course at Casting Call Club and now I’m in the middle of teaching a thirteen-week course, and the classes are just the basics of Voice Acting. For the thirteen week course, the one we’re going through right now is that we’re learning the different sounds when doing a voice-over. For example, we’ll spend ten to fifteen minutes on the letter “p,” and we talk about the pronunciation of tricky words like “probably.” We’re basically talking about what words can be your weakness and how to combat that weakness and then we do some tongue twisters in the form of a class. People chat while the lesson is going and the students really feel united as a class and they’re even becoming friends. Once they complete the 101 class, which is the basics, we’re going to be opening up more classes for these people, like the 201 class which will be all about acting and how to act in front of a microphone. So, we’ll have many opportunities in the upcoming future and it’s all really exciting to try and see where we go with it.    

 

HCUPR: There are many people that would like to pursue a voice acting career and are just beginning to do so. What advice would you give to those that are starting to develop their career?

JG: I think the biggest weakness that people have when they first start voice acting and the biggest reason why some of them stop is that of rejection and disappointment. There’s this one friend that heard about voice-over, and he was excited to try and give it a shot. He bought the necessary equipment and auditioned twice for two different roles for a project on Casting Call Club. Unfortunately, he wasn’t cast and that made him stop voice acting. That’s really sad for me because that doesn’t mean anything. This is how everybody starts. I probably get cast for 10% of the things I audition for, but I am still going strong as I go on, so it’s all about determination. I think the most helpful way to not get sad about rejection is the following: when you audition for something, expect to not get cast and expect to just gain experience from that and move on. You can go back, listen, and check up on the project, but don’t be like “Oh gosh, today’s the deadline,” and keep checking your emails. Just don’t expect to get cast because chances are you’re not going to and it’s going to hurt, but if you don’t care as much and you don’t get cast, you’ll be like “Oh well, it’s a bummer, but it’s fine.” The biggest way to do that is to audition for more and more projects because you will eventually get cast. Just be the best that you can be.

 

Joe Goffeney will be a special guest at a convention in Kalamazoo, Michigan called Dokidokon. It’s their second year doing the convention and last year, special guests were invited that are coming back this year as in the Harp Twins, an amazing harp duo with a YouTube channel; Justin Briner, the voice of “Deku” in My Hero Academia; Clifford Chapin, the voice of “Connie” in Attack on Titan and “Bakugo” in My Hero Academia; David Matranga, the voice of “Bertolt” in Attack on Titan and “Todoroki” in My Hero Academia; Micah Solusod, the voice of “Soul Eater Evans” in Soul Eater, and so many other incredible guests will be there.  

Joe will be having 3 panels in this convention. The first one will be in “Anime Impersonation,” a fun contest where he’ll play a voice from an English dub and a few people will try to imitate that voice to pick a winner amongst them. The other panels will be about “How to Become a Voice Actor,” “How to Use Casting Call Club,” and many other exciting things to look forward to.

Dokidokon will be from July 27-July 29th this year of 2018 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Don’t wait and get your tickets now!

 

It was truly an honor being able to interview Joe and Her Campus UPR team sends him and all the voice actors in the world our best wishes throughout their journey! To follow Joe Goffeney, please check out his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube account!

Aimar B. Galarza is an undergraduate English Literature student in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus aspiring to become a future editor. She has a passion for anything to do with books, film, writing, music, and acting. She enjoys playing the piano and guitar and has also participated in various musicals as a dancer, singer, and actress, one of them being "Homeroom the Musical" which was presented in Ponce, Puerto Rico and later on presented in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Last but not least, she's also a voice actress on YouTube (AimyAngel) who's collaborated in fan dubs, audiobooks, and animated episodes.

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