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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

May 30, 2023

Anne is joined by special guest, Ian Russell, a multi-award-winning voice actor. They discuss his career in the voice over industry, including his journey to success. They talk about the importance of social media and authenticity in character creation. He advises aspiring voiceover actors to be careful not to violate non-disclosure agreements and to use social media to support their profiles. Anne and Ian also discuss the importance of respecting specified ethnicities and the limitations of casting notices. They highlight that authenticity and believability are essential in video game casting, and that having an acting background is a serious advantage. Tune in to hear the full conversation. 
It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let’s welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza.
Anne: All right. Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and today I am so excited to bring very special guest Ian Russell to the podcast. Hey Ian. Yay.
Ian: Hey, Anne.
Anne: welcome. For those of you BOSSes out there, we'll tell you a little bit about Ian, and then he's gonna continue on telling us about his journey, he is a, a multi-award winning, seasoned voice actor working in commercial, corporate, video games, audiobooks. His voice can be heard for companies including Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Nestle, Heineken, Club Med, Phillips, and a bunch more. He was the recipient of the One Voice Male Voice of the Year 2020 award. And also in that year, he was also best character performance. Is that correct?
Ian: Animation, yeah.
Anne: And then continuing in 2021, he won Gaming Best Performance for One Voice Awards. And in 2022, the SOVAS Outstanding International Audio Description, Museums and Cultural Sites. Wow. That is fantastic. Ian, so honored to have you here on the show to talk about your journey and your wisdom. So , let's start.
Ian: Well, good luck with that.
Anne: Well, let's start telling people about your journey. How did you get into voiceover, a little bit about yourself and how you got into voiceover.
Ian: It's a long and winding road, which is a Beatles reference, but the first ever voiceover I ever, ever did was for a radio station in Liverpool. And it was a friend of mine worked at the radio station, and they had a pre-recorded interview for Paul McCartney when he bought and set up the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in Liverpool. It was his old school. And rather than having a boring interview where it was just Paul McCartney and some radio guy , he asked me. I was, we were in a local acting thing together, and he asked me to be the voice of Paul McCartney's teacher.
Anne: Wow.
Ian: When Paul McCartney was a kid. So we linked the questions, you know, and it 
was like, oh yes, that McCartney he was always playing around with a guitar. He'll never amount anything. So it was that kind of -- we made it funny. I didn't even know what voiceover was, but I did it anyway. And it was fun. I didn't get paid or anything. I was doing it for a mate, but I still have the magnetic cassette tape, shows how long ago it was.
Anne: Yep. There you go. .
Ian: And then 30 years go by, and I get married, and my wife's stumbling around for what she can buy me. And we, because you know --
Anne: What happened 30 years though? That was a long time.
Ian: Oh, sorry. I, I went off and got a real job. I was, I was working in sales and sales management in the northwest of England and in Belgium and Holland and in and around Oxford.
Anne: So International for sure. Yeah.
Ian: Yeah. That's a whole other story, which we could get into another time. But that would use up our 30 minutes, would be nothing left . So anyway, so my wife's like, oh, well what do I buy him for Christmas this year? And I had done a bit of sort of community theater stuff as a young man, just explained with the Paul McCartney thing. And so she found a one day introduction to voiceover.
Anne: Uh-huh.
Ian: In London. It's a place called the Show Reel. And she bought me that for Christmas 2012. It's 10 years almost to the day.
Anne: Wow. Yeah.
Ian: And then two years later, we've had the credit crunch and the bank -- I was working for a bank at the time and they were trying to offload people, and I had to reapply for my own job multiple times. And in the end I'm like, I volunteer as tribute . Let me go, you know, I'm done here. I'm older than all these young guys. I don't want to be rushing around half of the UK seeing multimillionaires coming home at night, barely seeing my kids, writing reports 'til midnight, and then doing the same rinse and repeat tomorrow. I'll have a heart attack and die. Let me go. And two years later, they eventually let me go. And so my wife's American and we said, well, what are we gonna do now? ? Well, let's sell everything and move to America. Be near my dad, says my wife. So that's what we did.
Anne: I love that. Let's do it.
Ian: And I said, well, what am I, what am I gonna do?
Anne: Let's sell everything and move.
Ian: I'll give that voiceover thing a go. And I went to the guy in London and I said, does anybody get hired for this? And he went, yeah. And I said, would anybody hire me? And he went, I don't see why not. And that was the ringing endorsement that I had to come off and start. So 2014 I started properly, I would say.
Anne: Wow. Wow. And so when you started, what was it that -- I assume you, you got coaching, you got a demo, and then you started working, and so you started working and were successful in which genres?
Ian: I think I'm a product of the internet age. You know, I live in the metaphorical middle of nowhere. And everything I do is via the internet, pretty much. So I started probably the way a lot of people start. I didn't know anybody and I didn't know anything. I had some experience, life experience that helps for sure, the sales and having done a bit of community theater and all that. But I knew no one and I knew nothing. So I started searching on the internet, and I paid money down to online casting and, and started throwing mud at the wall. And I think in that market you do a lot of explainers. You do a lot of corporate. You do a lot of e-learning, e-sort of things that, that sort of thing.
Anne: And of course in the States now, you know, that accent of yours doesn't hurt you. I had a very good friend when I started and she was hired all the time for e-learning. Because I think for us listening, and you gotta have some sort of interesting -- like an American accent is, we hear it all the time. But a British accent might be something that, oh, that makes it more interesting. And so she was high in demand for e-learning and, and those explainers and corporate things. And she was always so wonderfully like natural and conversational about it. And it was just a pleasure to listen to her all the time. And I remember thinking, gosh, I wanna aspire to be that relaxed and that friendly in my voiceovers. And so I can totally see where that just, it lends it. It's also a very large market. And so everybody kind of gets there, and it's a good, good place to start off. And I know a lot of students that I work with, they start off in corporate or e-learning.
Ian: Yeah. There's masses of it. And it's relatively easy to find.
Anne: Exactly.
Ian: You might not get the best rate, but it's relatively easy to find.
Anne: Now, you won these awards, but these awards were not for corporate or e-learning. It was for gaming and character performance. And so let's talk about, 'cause I know when people start out, they're very concerned about you know, what's my niche? Like, where do I start and how do I know what I'm good at? You evolved into becoming an award-winning voice talent in gaming and characters.
Ian: Yeah, I know.
Anne: So let's talk about that.
Ian: How does that happen?
Anne: Yeah. How does that happen?
Ian: I'm gonna say I got lucky, but we all know that that's hard work meets preparation and all of that. But in 2015, so a year after I'd started, I booked a role in a significant video game called Payday 2. And the role is utterly -- it's this South African mercenary. He speaks like that, he's Locke, his name is Locke. And I have been performing Locke for Starbury Studios for seven years now.
Anne: Oh wow.
Ian: And it was the performance of Locke that won me the video game award last year. And we're still making content. And at the end of this year, we have Payday 3 coming up.
Anne: Ooh. Get ready, BOSSes.
Ian: And so there's a lot of chatter around who's gonna be in Payday 3. You know what it's like with a lot of --
Anne: NDAs.
Ian: -- casting for voiceover. It's --
Anne: You can't tell --
Ian: -- NDAs -- Well, well, if I knew something, I'd be able to tell you, but voice over casting often happens right at the end. So nothing, I can't say anything. I don't know anything. So.
Anne: So seven years.
Ian: I'm like a mushroom.
Anne: Wow.
Ian: Yeah. So, so that was my first video game thing. And I think a lot of younger folk, they're growing up now with video games and animation and it's a very aspirational genre for people to get into. And I think I got one, and I'll keep the story very short, but Locke, the character, has his own Twitter account, which now has almost 12,000 followers.
Anne: Do you have input into that account?
Ian: It's mine.
Anne: Okay. Okay.
Ian: It's all mine.
Anne: Now, was that something that maybe was requested of you through an agent or the company or --
Ian: No.
Anne: -- you just created it? That's a very interesting marketing um
Ian: Well, it was suggested to me because I went on a charity stream as Locke for Payday, and the guys that were running it said, you might want to set up a separate account because you don't want your personal account flooded with teenage boys --
Anne: Yeah, that makes sense.
Ian: -- swearing at you. Frankly.
Anne: Yeah, yeah.
Ian: Asking you about Locke, you know, what's your favorite color, that kind of thing. So I set up a separate Twitter account for him then; that was 2017-ish. And that, that's kind of just grown from there. And I don't just use it for Locke. I use it for Locke. But I, all my video game stuff I promote on there because they're all video game players. So they're interested.
Anne: I love that I'm talking to you about this right now because I wanna know, is the content monitored at all by the game company or the people that hire you at all? Or if you were to say something that maybe wouldn't be appropriate for your character, I would imagine that that's kind of a line that you walk.
Ian: For sure, it is. I'm pretty sure there have been several occasions where I've written something, and I've had the wherewithal to go, no, don't do that. Don't say that. That would be silly . The only thing that Starbury said is, because they own the character, they own the IP of the character, that I can't monetize it for myself. I have run charity fundraisers and things like that, but if I'm gonna do anything out of the ordinary, I go through them and say, hey, I'm thinking about about this; what do you think? I don't think they've ever said, no.
Anne: That's something that's so interesting for those BOSSes out there that are thinking about getting into video games or character animation. I mean, there really becomes -- it can have a celebrity attached to it, and that becomes more than just voicing. Right? That is voicing. And then also it becomes a marketing effort. It becomes something that is outside of your voiceover persona that is of concern, I would think, for you to make sure that you're not gonna say the wrong thing or make sure you're not gonna do something that spoils any new things coming out or disturbs any NDAs.
Ian: Yeah. I just basically assume that everything I've ever done is under NDA until it's public.
Anne: That's very wise, very wise.
Ian: I really don't, you know. It's just, it's easier to do that than to go, oh, I've been cast, I can't...
Anne: I think no matter what we do, we should consider that, even doing a lot of corporate work and e-learning, it really all should be considered.
Ian: It is one of the challenges with video games, because whilst we get cast often towards the end of the process, it can be months before the game is actually shipped. And I have got the list, but I've got games coming out this year with my voice in them, and I am burning, burning up with desire to tell people because I am so excited about it. And I just can't. And it's just really, really one of the hard things, you know, that you have to bury that.
Anne: Yeah. Yeah. So you got hired for this one game, it became something --
Ian: Yes. So the thing about the Twitter was, so a little while after that I had auditioned for a role in a Warhammer game called Inquisitor Martyr for one of the -- there were only gonna be three player characters. It was one of the player characters. And I got shortlisted, and they asked me for a second audition and I did that. And then they came back and they said, okay, it's down to two people, so can you do a third audition? I'm like, I almost didn't want to know. You know, me or the other guy. And if I don't get it, I know the other guy got it. And I'm like, I was so close. But , what I did say was, look, you must make the right casting choice for your game. But please know that I have a Twitter account with 10,000 followers who are all game players. And I promote any game I'm in on that Twitter account. So I just want you to know that.
Anne: I like that.
Ian: Don't let that influence your casting decision in any way at all, but know that I've got it.
Anne: Hey, that 27 years in sales, I think it served you well. I think it served you well. That's fantastic. I love that.
Ian: So I booked that. I don't know that, that's why I would like to think it was just because of my awesome acting talent. But it taught me a lesson that you can use these things to help support your profile, particularly in a high profile thing like animation or like games. You see like the anime guys that are doing that; they're always at cons promoting themselves. And you know that the anime companies are loving that. Because that sells more anime. And the video games is the same. So.
Anne: Now would you say that your award also was something you were able to use as a marketing for more characters and more work?
Ian: I'm gonna put it the other way around. I can't draw a direct line to -- I won this award in August last year in video games, and then suddenly I get cast in a lot of games. What I think happens, this is what I think happens, a lot of casters in video games are younger people. I mean, there are older ones as well, but they're very tech savvy. And I think that you --they get their auditions in, and if you get shortlisted, and you may not know you've been shortlisted, but they're gonna create a shortlist, and I think they pop over onto Instagram or onto Twitter --
Anne: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Ian: Right?
Anne: And look at your profiles and --
Ian: They wanna, who's, who is this guy? Is he an umpti or whatever. And they see the awards and they see the interaction with a game community from my case. And they go, oh, he knows what he's doing. He's obviously done it before. You know, and you can say that til you're blue in the face in a pitch proposal, but nobody reads them, I don't think. But when they see it on Instagram or they see it on Twitter, it makes a difference.
Anne: Yeah. It's validation for them.
Ian: Yeah. It's that whole trust.
Anne: Right? That maybe they're picking somebody that has that little bit of trust. Yep. That you've got these experience.
Ian: Well, and you think how many -- as, as the game studios get bigger, how many multimillions of pounds they've got invested in a game. And it has to ship successfully, otherwise the company goes pop.
Anne: Absolutely.
Ian: That narrative story to a two or three talent generally telling the story is a big decision for them. So I do think they check. I have no evidence directly for it, but I absolutely think they check.
Anne: Especially I think as a lead character. Right? I mean, there's more responsibility than just the voicing of it, because like I said, there's a persona attached to it, that can be attached to it, and the potential for that character to be able to sell more game, new releases of games.
Ian: I kind of figure if I can help sell 10 or 20 or 30 copies of the game, I'm getting out someway towards paying my own fee.
Anne: Now -- right? Now, lemme ask you though, in terms of, let's say compensation for games, right? What are your thoughts about that? I mean, do voices for big games get paid better? There's really no royalties, residuals, like that kinda sucks.
Ian: No. It does. Yeah. If I was being paid union royalties for Payday 2, I'd be a wealthier man.
Anne: Yeah.
Ian: It's just the, that's the way it is, Anne. I don't have any control over it. So all I can do is negotiate the best fee I think I can for each individual one. But that's the other thing you've got, if you like AAA games at the top of the feeding frenzy, and they can afford to pay a great deal more. And at the bottom, you've got one guy with a 40-watt light bulb who's making a game, and he wants to get a voice in it, and he just doesn't have the budget. So you have to ask yourself then, is this a game that will further my profile? Do I want my -- you almost, you talk about the celebrity element of it. Do I want my name attached to this game?
Anne: Absolutely. Yeah.
Ian: And there are games I want attached. There are a lot of games out there that the content is marginal, should we say? Not safe for work is the phrase. . And there is no value to me as a talent in attaching my name to a game like that, because it would impact -- if I wanna be in a big AAA adventure game, I think it taints a little bit, my profile. So I, there are games that I will avoid and I will ask. There's one game I'm in and they have a safe for work version and they have a non-safe work version. And I said, uh, nothing to -- if you want this character in both versions, count me out. But they said, no, we can just write you into this one. So, they did that.
Anne: That's great. Look at that. That, you know, and that's interesting that you bring up these things that I never would've thought of, because obviously I'm not doing video games, but I love that you brought that up.
Ian: But you could, Anne.
Anne: Well, I could if I wanted to. I mean, you did it. So what made you, I'm gonna say, what made you audition for that first game? Did somebody suggest it to you? Did they say, oh, we're looking --
Ian: The Payday one? No, it was an open audition. It said South African mercenary.
Anne: And you said, oh, I can do that. Right?
Ian: Yeah, absolutely. I was so naive that I thought I could do everything.
Anne: So you said, I could do that.
Ian: Yeah, I can do that.
Anne: Okay. So I have to tell you my little story.
Ian: They cast me so great.
Anne: That's fantastic. I have to tell you my story. My story was a long time ago, like when I first started, I was on one of the pay-to-plays and they had a audition out, and they said it was for a phone system and it was for a British accent. And I thought, well, I can do that. I was naive , and I got it. And literally I worked for that company for 10 years. And it wasn't until like I actually spoke to somebody on the phone, because we had communicated, got jobs from them all the time onto this. And then it became not a cool thing to do because what accent am I doing? And it started to become that sort of a thing. Well, you're not a native. They didn't know. They said, oh my God, we thought you were native --
Ian: Oh, really?
Anne: -- British. And, and it was because I just, I didn't know any better, and I made the mistake. I didn't read that where it said they wanted native. And I said, oh, I can do that. I'll give it a shot. I'll throw my audition in. And I got it. And they employed me for a good 10 years before it was like, oh, now Anne, we just need your English. You know? Not, not your British. So, but it's so interesting that you kind of on a whim just did it. And I think that really speaks to having the confidence to kind of just put yourself out there, and even for things that you don't think you're good at, because they think when people get into this industry in the beginning, they're so concerned about, oh my God, I think I should do this, and I'm no good at character, or I'm no good at -- and I think that really, you don't really know until you try.
Ian: Well, let me share another quick story for you.
Anne: Sure.
Ian: So I auditioned for another game called Road Redemption, which is a motorcycle game. And you drive along the road and you have an iron stick and you're trying to hit other people off their motorbikes. And I auditioned with a sort of a Ray Wins, yeah. Come over, we all gonna hit you with a steel bat, you know, that sort of thing. And I thought, yeah, that'll work. And they decided that they liked my take on the character. So we got together on Skype . Who remembers Skype? And we are chatting, there's three of them, and there's me here. And they're like, what's your Australian accent like? Alright, where's that, right out of left field.
Anne: Where'd that come from?
Ian: Where'd that come from? And he said, because it's this sort of Mad Max kind of feel to the game. And they said, you know, what's your, and I said, very bad. I said, any Australian will immediately notice. You know, I can put another prawn on a barbie kind of thing. But everybody will, they will know, he's not from Australia anyway. So then we're on Skype and you hear tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. And they've sent me a line on the, in the chat. Read that in your Australian accent, whatever it was. Hey, I'm gonna hit you in me iron bar, mate, you know, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Read that one in your Australian -- yeah, this shrimp's gonna really get you, you know, anyway. And at the end of it, they said, yeah, okay, we're gonna use you for the game. And I said, okay, do you want the Ray Winston thing or do you want this? Oh, we want the Australian thing. Okay. Well, I, like I said, they went, yeah, but Australia's such a small market for us. We're not worried about that.
Anne: We're not worried that people in Australia are gonna complain . Well, it's true.
Ian: Right. And Locke's the same thing with his South African. And where it led me to in my head was video games, even if they're sort of set in an earth-like environment, are fiction. And I think a lot of game makers now particularly, but certainly back then as well, the acting performance of the character outweighs --
Anne: Is more important.
Ian: -- the absolute accuracy of a given accent.
Anne: Very interesting. Especially now because now it's a casting thing. Are they casting a native UK or a native Australian? And I think that we are all in a spot, like are we going to audition for that?
Ian: Well, with that rider of there are accent issues and there are ethnicity issues.
Anne: Yes. Absolutely.
Ian: You know, I absolutely would not put myself forward for a British SWANA or MENA or -- I can't say African American because that's American.
Anne: Yeah, no, I get, I get that.
Ian: British Black, I think.
Anne: I think if they're, if they're specifying -- yes. If they're specifying ethnicity, then I think, yeah, absolutely. It's something that we respect.
Ian: PGM, person of global majority.
Anne: Yep. Absolutely.
Ian: That's, that, that works well for me. So there are things that I just will walk past now that maybe 10 years ago would've been acceptable.
Anne: Sure. Yeah. Things have definitely changed over the past just a few years.
Ian: This could be quite controversial, but I've seen casters ask for a minority ethnicity, and then in the sides it makes reference to, I don't know, America or Great Britain or whatever. And you're like, the ethnicity of of this character does not match the character in the script that you are portraying. And I fear a little bit, what's been the motivation for that?
Anne: You know what, interestingly enough, I know that you say that that's a very inter -- I had that with an e-learning, believe it or not, they had the characters, it was a character based e-learning, and they were all different ethnicities. And mine was a mixed ethnicity, but then they said, don't perform it in any kind of accent. And so I thought, well what is that there for then? You know what I mean? And that was a few years back now. I would kind of hope that if they're specifying ethnicity, that they try really hard to get that so that there can be authentic and genuine. Yeah.
Ian: Yeah. And at the top end, some casting directors at the top of the market will challenge that sort of thing. They'll go back to the studio, they're in a strong enough position to go back to the studio and go, really? Does that work? Are you sure? And they will challenge that if you like the mass market, often the person hiring the voice and directing the voice is a part of the studio itself. So. Johnny at the back, go and get a voice actor, will you, for this character. I think a lot of that is kind of left to the voice actor to work out for themselves. If you have an any kind of an acting background, and you are auditioning for particularly indie video games, you are already streets ahead because the guys in the studios have never hired anyone before. They don't know who to hire really. It's kind of like, we'll know it when we hear it kind of thing. So if you can make a performance, if you can create a character that's believable within the universe of the game, you are already streets ahead.
Anne: It's very interesting that you bring up the casting directors for video games. And you know, it's not necessarily, I think, the talent agents of today that you think of for commercial and broadcast. For video games, you do have to make it authentic and believable. And these people may only be casting for their game, and maybe they've never cast for another game, or they don't have a lot of experience . But that's a great point. And so I think that even more so now, the marketing that you employed, having followers on Twitter, maybe putting your awards on your website so that it's out there and it's known, that definitely has an impact. Because your casting directors may or may not be as experienced as somebody who's casting like 10 commercials a day. Right? That's all they do. That they listen for voices and they cast, whereas games, they're so into their game that they know their characters, and they're listening for just that character to come alive, what they believe the character is like.
Ian: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. I had a beautiful testimonial from an indie guy, he put on Twitter, it was on Twitter, his casting notice. And he said, the character is 60 and British from the southwest of England, and he's got early signs of dementia. And he said, but there aren't many older British actors. You know, I've always found it a struggle to cast older actors. So when I wrote to him, I said, , I am 60.
Anne: I'm old. .
Ian: So anyway, so I got cast of that surprising, surprise me though. He actually cast me as a second character that he was struggling. I said to him, you said you were struggling to cast this. Have you've got anything else that you're struggling to cast? So he sent me, said, yes, I'm struggling to cast this. And he sent it to me, and I thought, I can have a go at that. So I sent it back and I said, do you mean something like this? So I didn't put it as though I was auditioning. I just said, do you mean something like this? And he went, oh great. Was that you? And I went, yes. He went, okay, yeah, you are hired.
Anne: I love it. I love it.
Ian: I booked two characters. But he said, you might just, it's a real kind of bigging myself up, but you might be, he said, the best actor I've ever auditioned.
Anne: Awesome.
Ian: And I'm like, aww.
Anne: What a wonderful, what a wonderful compliment.
Ian: Oh. That is on my Instagram. If you check -- care to go.
Anne: Yeah. There you go. . So I love that.
Ian: Oh, and I know, what did I wanted to say about, you talked about casting directors. So Bianca Shuttling, who's one of the big casting directors in LA, she goes looking on Instagram. She's very open about that. If she's not got someone in her little pool of people where she goes, she gets -- she doesn't go to agents, she goes to Instagram.
Anne: Wow, there you go.
Ian: That's where she goes.
Anne: There you go. I love that.
Ian: There, you learnt it -- you heard it third or fourth here. .
Anne: So let me say, because I really think that there's that business savvy that you have, which, BOSSes out there, do not discount the value of being business savvy and marketing savvy. Because I think that that's gonna get you opportunities that otherwise you would not already have. But I do wanna address the acting part of it because you don't just get these roles over and over again if you're not a great actor. So what do you attribute your acting prowess? Have you, just because you've been doing it for years, have you been working with coaches or what do you attribute it to?
Ian: I owe it all to my mum.
Anne: Ah, okay. Well, there you go. , I'd like to thank my mom and my .
Ian: Well, yeah. But in this case, my mom was a very prolific community actress herself.
Anne: Got it.
Ian: So my first living memory is a smell, and it's not the smell of the grease pain. It's that kind of musty damp wood smell that you get backstage in an old theater. And I have the image that follows it, but -- and I must have been maybe around two or three years old. There's no words involved in this memory. So I basically grew up --
Anne: In the theater.
Ian: -- in the backstage. Yeah. One of those things. So it was happening all around me all the time. And I did try and become a proper professional actor as a young man, but I couldn't figure out how to earn money doing it . So.
Anne: Same thing when you start off doing voice acting, right? It's kind of hard sometimes. How do I even get money? How do I even get started? Yeah.
Ian: Yeah, yeah. It took me another 27 years of sales and management --
Anne: Well, there's your overnight success. Right? And I love telling that to people. They're like, you're so successful. Like, how did you do it? And people think it's overnight, but I think obviously you've evolved so nicely into your success, and it well, well deserved.
Ian: And now it pays two -- pays me and I hired -- my wife works for me now.
Anne: There you go.
Ian: So that Christmas present 10 years ago has employed both of us now.
Anne: Yeah. So that 10 year overnight success in voiceover, I mean actually, actually it was a little less than that.
Ian: Yeah, that's interesting. Because I got my first nomination, and I was --
Anne: In 2020, right?
Ian: -- 2019, I got nominated. I didn't win anything that year, but I thought I was ahead of the curve at that point. You know, and then it all went a bit quieter after that. But the last two years, so years nine and ten, or if you count it from 2014, years seven and eight, really have my career, iIt just looks entirely different now. And it is for the people out there, the BOSSes out there, you know, if you are three, four, and five years in and you're making your way, keep going. Because it is my view that in another two or three years, if you are booking regularly, suddenly something will click, something will change, and bam, away you go.
Anne: I was just gonna ask you what's your best advice? But I'll tell you what, that was a golden nugget of wisdom right there . I think so many people, they give up so quickly, and they get their demos, and they're like, well, why am I not working? And they get so frustrated and down and yeah.
Ian: Took me three months to get my first booking. I worked for three months for nothing.
Anne: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Ian, it has been such a wonderful pleasure having you in here.
Ian: Are we done?
Anne: Yeah.
Ian: Already?
Anne: Well, I, I can probably talk to you for another three hours, for sure. But I appreciate you coming and sharing your journey. I think ,BOSSes out there, you can learn a lot from this wonderful gentleman. And thank you so much for being here with us today.
Ian: You're very welcome, Anne. Anytime.
Anne: I'm gonna give a great big shout out to my sponsor, ipDTL. You too can connect and work like a BOSS. Find out more at And then also I'd like to talk to you about 100 Voices Who Care. It's your chance to make a difference in the world and give back to the communities that give to you. Find out more at to commit. All right, you guys, have an amazing week. Ian, thanks again, and we'll see you next week. Bye-bye.
Ian: Bye-Bye.
Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.