When Frank Alcazar hit the gas in pursuit of a voice acting career about a year ago, he knew it was something to be taken seriously, and there was no time to waste.
At 56, Alcazar had the passion, the maturity and the professionalism, but he also knew his dream required persistence, consistency, and resilience
“I almost feel like maybe I haven’t paid enough dues because I’m so young in this game, so to speak,” he explains. “But I also feel like I’m ready and willing to learn everything I can, and do my absolute best. I understand the caliber of people I’m going to be with.”
Voice actors are artists who use their voices to create characters, tell stories, communicate vital information, and connect with customers. You hear them on TV commercials, movie trailers, documentary films and educational videos. And like other actors, they compete for jobs or “bookings” in a showbiz-like world that happens mostly online with clients, agents and talent scouts.
Alcazar is an Atwater native, a retired Merced County employee, and a married father of three grown children. He’s also a seasoned musician, vocalist and jazz/rock guitarist, and a former recording studio owner. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he also dabbled in voicing jingles, radio advertising commercials, and even a promotional video voiceover for a resort hotel on the island of St. Kitts.
Last January, he decided to take the sporadic voiceover work he had been doing as a side job over the years to the next level. It really helped that he already had his own home recording studio complete with a custom vocal booth and a shotgun microphone that all the pros use.
Confident of his ability, Alcazar dove into formal training, and started participating in online pay-to-play audition sites. He created a commercial demo reel and a promo demo reel that were both professionally produced by industry expert Chuck Duran. While marketing those around, he also joined associations and groups because he wanted “to be part of the community.”
In September, Alcazar was one of 12 hopefuls who attended a prestigious “Masterclass” workshop at Hollywood’s historic NeueHouse on Sunset Boulevard with Joe Cipriano, one of the most recognized voices in America, along with top agent Brett Winn and post-production wiz David Alden.
“After that Masterclass, I really feel my game went up a notch because my confidence as a public speaker improved. We were in front of a screening room. There was an audience. There were agents, casting directors, people in the business. … Just being around that professionalism, and the knowledge that they have. Even my fellow participants, some of whom are doing popular podcasts and other things. I was a little bit in awe.”
Eleven months after Alcazar’s deep dive into a voiceover career, and about $10,000 of investment spent, it appears the effort is paying off in terms of recognition and opportunity. This month, Alcazar received word that he has been nominated for the “Outstanding Promo Demo — Best Voiceover” award at the 10th annual Voice Arts Awards of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS) on Dec. 10 at the Beverly Hilton. It’s one of the event’s lower-tier award categories; however, it’s still a national recognition.
Meanwhile, Alcazar’s commercial demo landed him a spot in the SOVAS’ coveted “Speed Dating With Your Demo Reel” — an event on that same weekend in which a select group of voice actors have a chance to meet face-to-face with agents, casting directors, TV producers and ad agency executives and make their pitch for work.
But wait — there’s more: Alcazar also voiced a script to enter the SOVAS “Audition Spotlight” competition, and amazingly he was selected among 40 callbacks out of 1,816 submissions. On Dec. 7, Alcazar will join that distinct group to audition live in front of a panel of judges. They will select six finalists who will compete for the top prize: A booking to produce a paid voiceover promo for CBS News LA.
All of this is leading to where Alcazar wants to go, and that’s in the direction of an agent and more top work in the industry.
“I’m stoked about the nomination,” Alcazar says. “There’s something to that because there’s a voice on that demo. And it was selected, and that just gives me a lot of encouragement. Sometimes you ask yourself: ‘Am I any good?’ or ‘Do I have a future in this?’ … You can pitch out 50 auditions and hear nothing back, and then maybe on the 79th audition, you get a positive response. And that’s the way it is, I imagine for every actor in L.A. You just have to stay consistent, resilient and persistent. Those are the keys of doing OK.”
Alcazar adds that he will be fine with whatever happens during the upcoming competitions in L.A.
“I’m still going to proceed into 2024 doing the best I can, learning more, and hopefully getting more bookings. I’m in this for the long haul.”
For more information about Frank Alcazar and to listen to his voiceover demos, go online to: https://alcazarvoice.com.