Steven Edwards finished up his training with Such A Voice in 2017, and since then has been extremely busy putting his voice-over talents to use in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as internationally. Steven has a penchant for doing good in his community, and VO has been an invaluable tool in advancing some of his projects on that front. Let’s hear what he has to say!
What is your background; what were you doing before you got into voice-over?
I actually write, direct, produce, and act in theatre as well as use the arts (coupled with technology) to help people in vulnerable communities. I design programs for young people and adults to help them with social anxiety, self-esteem, making better choices, etc. That was my main focus before I came into voice-over.
How did you find out about VO, and what about it struck you as something you could do and excel at?
I came across an email by Dan Levine and it spoke a little about the possibilities of VO – it was always my dream to do a cartoon so I was curious about how voice-over could help me reach that goal. I got in touch with Dan and joined the Such A Voice program shortly after.
What was the most valuable part of your training with SAV?
I love that I can appeal to an international audience but still keep my voice my identity. When you hear most artists who come from my country (I am from Trinidad and Tobago) on interviews and other platforms internationally, they try to hide their accent and sound “North American”. My training with Such A Voice has taught me that my unique voice is important and it needs to be heard.
Is there anyone in particular (at SAV or otherwise) that has been a mentor/role model in the industry?
Nancy Wilson stands out off the bat. Nancy taught me everything that I know and she was an amazing coach! To this day I always let her know what I am doing. I look back or listen to some of the early lessons and I remember her telling me, “Don’t be afraid to experiment – you have nothing to lose!”
The other person is Angela Castonguay. Angela and I only had a couple of sessions together but she made a great impression on me. She always seemed to have fun with my voice and always wanted me to do things more expressive, more over-the-top. When I felt I was getting too theatrical she would say, “No! Push it further!” and those are the things that help me do all types of voice characters. Nancy made me the artist I am today and Angela made me feel free to take my voice out into the world.
What advice would you have for folks currently going through their VO training?
Take it seriously; every minute of your classes count and make sure you work on your craft. Make it fun, but work hard at it.
What kind of projects have you been working on?
I am currently working on a children’s platform with content and characters that are original and Caribbean. I also do some classic stories like “Horton Hears a Who” (I loved doing all the voices in that project). I direct other voice-over artists for games, podcasts, etc.
All these things just don’t exist for people in my country – the stories they are exposed to are usually from some North American influence so I am very glad to be given this gift to create something for the Caribbean.
Tell us a bit about ‘Theatre for Tots to Teens’ – how does VO fit into that project, and what is the idea behind the project in general?
Voice-over is in everything that we do in “Theatre For Tots to Teens”. From the characters to the stories to the games, everything we do has voice-over in it and I am very proud to be working on such a wonderful project. [Seriously, check this project out! They are creating original Carribean content for youth ranging from 3-16 including audiobooks, animation, video games, and of course theatre. We love to see people putting their VO talents toward a good cause!]
I know you produced a film recently – how did your experiences in VO help with that project?
Well the film is “Toco Tim and the Turtles” it was a short film shot on a smartphone, but it has officially been selected in over 30 film festivals worldwide including India, Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Europe, and the United States of America. It won two awards in India and People’s Choice Awards in Trinidad and Tobago. I voice Toco Tim in the real-life and animated versions, and that is something I could not have been able to have done without the training at SAV.
Eager to get your start in voice-over? Check out our introductory webinar to learn more about how to get started!