Kent Springborn Jr.
Often considered by some to be a lesser form of acting, voice-over artists put just as much work into their roles and auditions as screen and stage actors do. Providing a voice to a character in a video game, animated feature, or anime can be challenging yet rewarding.
“It gives the audience a way to connect with the characters,” said Sean Chiplock, a voice-over actor since late 2009, who has voiced the character of “Revali” from “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” being his most well-known role.
Unlike plays, television series, or movies, fans don’t learn who voices the characters in an upcoming video game or anime until close to the release date. As a result, those involved in voice-acting have to keep tight-lipped about their roles until they get permission to announce them.
Even though he keeps quiet about his upcoming roles in video games and anime, Chiplock interacts with his fans and often speaks openly about his previous roles. His accessibility is all due to his audience and is his way of showing appreciation to fans. “My career only exists because the audience exists,” said Chiplock. He also interacts with his fans to gauge the audience reactions to his roles.
When Chiplock was younger, he and his brother would provide their own voices to characters as they played video games. Chiplock came to the realization that he could take this creative past-time and evolve it into a career. “I could take all this time I put into providing voices to characters and get paid for it,” he said. Chiplock was, however, more concerned about being able to maintain the creative enthusiasm he had as a kid when he first began his journey to become a voice-over actor.
While he considers voice-acting a blessing, it can also be a struggle at times, since he has to be able to meet deadlines for auditions at all hours of the day. Chiplock does a lot of auditions from his home, and he finds it difficult to direct himself in those auditions. The number of auditions he records and sends out differs depending on what audition slides, specific sets of lines that one must learn prior to an audition, is sent. “It can vary wildly at times,” he said. “It can be three to four a week or it could be three or four a day.”
Being able to perform whenever possible is key to getting auditions and landing roles, according to Chiplock, and he sometimes must sacrifice free-time in order to audition for roles.
His dedication to his craft has paid off, as Chiplock was recently able to announce that he was cast in “The Nonary Games” voicing “Santa”; and “Persona 5” as the voice of “Yuuki Mishima”; as well as voicing the “Great Deku Tree”and “Teba” in “Breath of the Wild”. “Teba” is one of his favorite roles since he was given creative freedom in deciding what voice he would give the character.
To get into voice-over acting, it is important to look for opportunity everywhere, according to Chiplock. One shouldn’t be afraid to work with smaller studios and to not be afraid to say “no” to role auditions when starting out.