This is the story of my student, Ra Palacio, and his journey into the world of voice over. Ra recently booked an awesome voice gig for The Beast, a brand new 500 horsepower supercar created by Italian automaker Rezvani:
Ra is not afraid to bring everything he is to a script… and his life reads like a page from the movie Straight Outa Compton.
Ra always knew that he was different.
From the time he was 10 years old, the inner city streets of Los Angeles held no appeal for Ra. While other boys in his L.A. neighborhood were slipping into gangs and violence, Ra opted to stay in his room and dream.
With Ice Cube, Tupac, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony blasting from his radio, Ra began turning his feelings and experiences into songs. Not only did music come naturally to Ra, but he taught himself how to use ProTools to record and mix his music. The result is rap that’s deeper, more heartfelt and spiritually inspiring than most.
“…you just have to wake up and do you.” — from This is My Story, by Ra Palacio
With undeniable musical talent, Ra pursued the dream of becoming a rap star, but after a few years decided he didn’t want the lifestyle that went with it. So Ra packed up and moved out of L.A. and took a job with a medical device company in Orange County. He got married, had a couple of kids and figured his dream of performing was over. But dreams, like crying babies, can only be ignored for so long…….
When his company formed a basketball team, the organizer of the league asked him to voice an ESPN style podcast that was broadcast to the entire company of 4,000 plus people. After hearing Ra’s voice, an astonished VP said, “you shouldn’t be here Ra, you should be doing voiceover.”
“I just started Googling voiceover classes and found Such A Voice…” – Ra
One day, while watching The Croods with his 4 year old daughter, a movie short came on about voice over actors who worked out their home studios, and the lightbulb went off in Ra’s head; “I knew I could do that, so I just started Googling voiceover classes and found Such A Voice.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
In just a year, Ra has developed a sophisticated level of voiceover, which he credits to applying acting skills to the delivery; “like you’ve said, I don’t deliver the lines until I feel them.”
“…I don’t deliver the lines until I feel them.”
With The Beast audition (and subsequent booking), Ra chose to use the approach of a self-reflecting voice inside the driver’s head; “ I asked myself, what does a voice inside my head sound like? How would I feel about driving this car? I knew I had to be the dangerous part of this guy’s personality. I got very close to the mic and envisioned that it was the driver’s ear.”
“…I knew I had to be the dangerous part of this guy’s personality. I got very close to the mic and envisioned that it was the driver’s ear.”
Ra is now doing voiceover full time and auditions every day, and says: “You have to have an undying passion for it [voiceover] because the rejection can be hard. I used to worry about what the spot was supposed to sound like. Now I’m just me.”
If you want to know more about Ra, visit: www.ravoiceover.com
You can also email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Wilson is a busy voice-over actor in Los Angeles and is currently training with the legendary comedy group ‘The Groundlings’. She just booked the role of “mom” in SAG/AFTRA’s Old Time Radio show, Father Knows Best. You can find her on Facebook and on her website: www.nancywilsonvo.com.