Morgan Walton had his demos produced by SAV early in 2019, and since then has hit the ground running in his voice-over career! Let’s check in with him and see how his VO journey has looked so far and ask if he has any tips for our current or prospective students.
What is your background; what were you doing before you got into voice-over? Technically, just before I started training in voice-over I was a stay-at-home dad and a trophy husband, (at least, my wife loves calling me that!) However, I have been an actor and performer since I was five years old, working primarily in the theatre world. Like most performers, I have had a myriad of occupations from being a collections agent, a truck driver, a certified nursing assistant, to being a Game Master for an escape room. Part of being a Game Master was VO, so that was a great job.
How did you find out about VO, and what about it struck you as something you could do and excel at?
Since I was young, I have always loved doing voices, and as a performer, most of my work has been as a character actor. Taking all the skills and knowledge that I have amassed over 30 years of performing, it just made sense that voice-over would be a great avenue to pursue. When I really started to look into VO and learned that it was mostly done from home, that was the tipping point that made me say, “I have to do this.” It affords me the flexibility to still be a stay-at-home dad (which I love) and allows me to use my artistic talents.
How would you say your experience in theatre has helped you in VO?
Oh my Odin! Ummm “short” answer, because this could be a whole post itself!
Theatre opened up my world and allowed me to explore avenues of scripts and characters that I would have never thought possible. What it has helped with my VO journey is the ability to quickly look over a script and find the small nuances that give you an interesting read. Like the saying goes “the devil is in the details”. When you are preparing a script in any capacity it is easy to find how 80-90% of actors would read it, but after spending the majority of my life finding the one thing in a line that will make it more impactful or playful (just ask my coach Kelley) working in the theater has given me the understanding and freedom to take risks with my reads and while in the booth.
I like the quote from Jack Nicholson, “If you get an impulse in a scene, no matter how wrong it seems, follow it. It might be something and if it ain’t: take two.” I also KNOW that the biggest help theatre has given me is the ability to fail over and over and over again and still get back up, learn from it, grow, and try it all again. This business will test you in many ways, however, it is your spirit and drive that will see you through. That is what a lifetime in theater has helped within VO.
How did you first come into contact with Such A Voice?
I had been talking about wanting to do VO for a while and my wife found an “intro to voice-over” class at our local community center, so she signed me up and that is where I met the amazing and talented “Jazz Hands” of Wendy Shapero. A few months after that class I signed up for the SAV program.
What was the most valuable part of your training with SAV?
I absolutely loved the one-on-one coaching aspect. Getting real-world info and coaching from an active working professional is key and something that should be an ongoing practice in your career. Kelley Huston is a VO BADASS and I count myself very fortunate to have been able to learn from her. We clicked and were able to utilize our time in a way that set me up for great success.
Is there anyone in particular (at SAV or otherwise) that has been a mentor/role model in the industry?
Besides Kelley, which I cannot sing her praises enough, within the SAV world I would say, Heather Costa. She is a wealth of knowledge and insight. Her “Ask Heather…” segments are wonderful and well worth your time. Outside of SAV would be The VO Bosses Anne Ganguzza and Gabby Nistico. I found Gabby’s YouTube page about a year ago and watched so many of her videos, that even now when I go on YouTube usually the next suggested video is one of hers. The Bosses are incredible, and if you are not listening to their podcast you are missing out. One other Mentor I have is Everett Oliver of myboothdirector.com, he is a brilliant character/animation coach and honestly one of the most caring people I have met. He is always good for a kind word, an inspirational meme, or a butt-kicking if needed. The whole VO community is full of amazing and caring individuals that truly just want to see you succeed. #communitynotcompetition
What advice would you have for folks currently going through their VO training?
Trust your coaches, and they will guide you to a sound that will get you noticed. Take in everything they tell you, make sure and take good notes that you will remember and can reference often. Do the homework – you really get out what you put in. Practice, Practice, Practice.
Honestly, the best piece of advice I can give is something that Nancy Wilson told me, “This is ultimately your journey and you have to choose what is best or right for you.” She is right, it is great and worthwhile to seek advice and counsel from other artists, professionals, and coaches, but this is your career and life you are creating. Take control of it and if you feel it is time to jump and do something then do it. Failing is a part of the journey, so stop being afraid of it, embrace it, learn from it, and grow!
What kind of projects have you been working on?
The majority of my projects have been corporate e-learning and training materials. I just finished up one for Callebaut Chocolate and another one for PF Chang’s Restaurant.
How would you describe your sound?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a “Dad Bod Thor”-type with a Muppet? Well, that’s me! You’ll get an honest “down home” warmth with a subtle strength and a zaniness that will make you giggle and probably roll your eyes (that is the dad part). That is my sound!
What is your absolute dream VO project?
My dream VO project would be a featured voice on a cartoon or movie that my kids and future grandkids would get to hear and be excited to tell their friends about, and/or something that would make my family say, “Hey, I guess you weren’t crazy for doing this!”
Check out Morgan’s website and social channels at the links below!
Facebook: Morgan Walton Voice Artist
Eager to get your start in voice-over? Check out our introductory webinar to learn more about how to get started!