5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent – Matt Young

Voice Talent Matt Young

Today’s 5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent are answered by Matt Young, a professional voice over talent and Production Director with Entercom in Buffalo, NY.

1. The beginning: When did you know you wanted to be a voiceover talent; how did your career begin (please include what year it started) and then when did your passion for voiceover develop into something professional?

It began for me in March of 1987. I had wanted to get into it in some capacity during my Junior year of college in 85/86, but was already committed to a different major and quite possibly would have had to change schools. Through a friend I was able to get a meeting with a program director at a local station who felt I presented myself in a professional enough manner to warrant me making him a demo tape. This was February of ’87, I was hired to do weekends shortly thereafter. It was quite a rapid turn of events to say the least considering I had almost no experience in the field. I realized in the fall of that year that I could make this a career as my skills started to improve through repetition.

2. What is the one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you when you first started out in voiceover?

That this is a very unforgiving business and that workload and looming deadlines can sometimes stand in the way of creativity. You also have to be careful with your opinions and ultimately know your place. There are times when a client will very much rely on your input, and other times when you are simply there to read what’s on the script.

3. What do you see as the biggest professional or personal obstacle you face that impacts your voiceover business and how are you working to overcome it?

At this point, especially over the last decade, there is an over abundance of voice over talent available to clients. The biggest reason is obviously all the corporate consolidation that has taken place since February of ’96. What I try to do is educate my clients by demonstrating how my engineering skills can give me an advantage over the competition in terms of overall sonic quality in my finished product.

4. What personal trait or professional tool has helped you succeed the most in your career so far?

Attitude is key. You have to be flexible to people’s needs, and at the same time try to encourage and coach the best out of them if you’re in a situation where you’re producing as well as voicing with someone else. I’m in a position where I’m not just the main voice, but also working with people who might not have the skills to be doing voice work and I have to know how to coax the best performance out of them. The main thing in these situations is to be positive and try to bring out their best qualities, or know how to adjust the session to fit their abilities. Working in a studio, whether a broadcast facility, or a full scale production house can be nerve wracking to people. Get to know you’re clients, where they grew up, attended school etc. This may sound silly, but tell a joke, get them to laugh, then do a take right away. Odds are it will be best take because they’re much looser in that scenario.

5. In your development as a voice over performer, who has been the one particular individual or what has been the one piece of performance advice (maybe a key performance trick, etc.) that you felt has had the most impact on your actual voice over performance and why?

Not an easy answer as there have been many people over the years that have shared their expertise with me. If I can go back to square one, it would be John Piccillo who not only gave me my first job, but also helped train me in how to properly project my voice. I was afraid of being too loud and over the top, and he just said “be too loud, and I’ll teach you to bring it down to a better level”. It’s almost as if I had to work backwards to get to an acceptable level, but it worked. I still give that advice when working with other talent.

One Response to “5 Questions for a Professional Voice Over Talent – Matt Young”

  1. […] University of Dayton (working in radio there while in school), I was surprised to find my friend Matt Young had gotten an on-air job in Buffalo radio. He sounded great and has worked pretty steady in radio […]