Freelance jobs are challenging today due to the lack of proper enablement tools and service. StageMetro has been working hard to change the way a freelancer can work in a sustainable fashion within the gig economy in Singapore.
Meet Rick Chan, our very first voice artist. He has appeared in numerous TV shows, stage productions and even featured in an animated film, Si Lun Chai, awarded “Best of Festival” at the prestigious Richmond International Film Festival.
Check out his Stage here where he is offering his voice-acting and emcee services.
Stagemetro had the chance to meet up with Rick and find out his interesting life story through a short interview.
1. Describe your work experience over the past few years?
I am a professional actor who has appeared in numerous tv shows such as Point of Entry, Mata Mata, Crime Watch, to name a few, stage productions such as Lord of The Flies and also a professional events emcee who rally people to stop by roadshows and charm my guests at formal events. Most recently, I just set up my own home studio and I have started to provide voice-over services!
2. So why did you decided to work independently instead? Why voice-acting and hosting?
It was the end of 2009, for those of us who are old enough to remember, was a very tough year for many people, not just Singaporeans. It was post-Lehman Brothers crisis and H1N1. Despite the job-scarce situation, I was working in a production house as an assistant. My job involves a lot of administrative duties and I had to be fast. I realized it was not really my cup of tea, until I started to provide auditions for people who came in. I realized that I was very sharp at directing people and giving them instructions for them to reach their fullest acting potential. Then, at that very moment, I told myself, why don’t I try acting. I don’t want to just be a witness to people having fun on screen, I wanted to be PART of the screen.
My first acting job came out of the blue. I was a replacement for a short film titled What Could Have Been and I was surprised that I was PAID! The shoot overran and I had to do another 3 more days, which equates to 3 MORE DAYS OF INCOME! I realized it was actually very possible to be a professional working actor. I started to go for all sorts of casting, regardless of the role, I even upgraded my skills through attending programs at New York University (Singapore branch) and Singapore Repertory Theatre.
Many people have said that I have a very resonant and charming voice. I should do voiceover and hosting. My career, went towards the direction of hosting, where I served clients including United Overseas Bank, Overseas Chinese Bank Corporation and Asia Pacific Breweries, to name a few. A very recent addition of doing voiceover, the latter being the craft that I am presently pursuing. I love hosting. I can meet lots of people whom I never have thought I would meet in my life. I can push my ability to sell, convince and entertain at the same time. It’s really an adventure of its own.
Find Rick familiar? Here’s the reason for the title!
3. Share some interesting facts about voice-acting.
People like to think just because you have a nice voice and speaks decent English, you are good to go for voice-over and hosting. They are absolutely wrong! It’s a very tedious process. First up, PRACTICE. I have to master a couple of accents. I messed up a lot during my first few attempts at the standard American accent, and I had to persevere and go back to the basic daily workout. It is a very difficult accent to master, especially with much more pronounced vowel sounds than the British version, which we are taught to learn at school. The retroflexed “R” is also very tricky. You have to enunciate the R, yet not overdo it, as you may end up delivering a Filipino accent instead of an American one. Practice makes progress. I practice my speech everywhere I go. If I see a billboard sign, I would stop and read it out loud in that particular accent I wish to embody, and sometimes, repeating it several times until it I hit the jackpot. There will be stares at me but honestly, I don’t really care! Movie marathons are also not a time for me to relax and unwind – I watch because I want to mimic their speech patterns until I achieve total muscle memory of that accent. Next, moving on from language abilities, you also need to have some knowledge of physics, especially when creating your own studio. You need to find a location that is not to echo-y and quiet enough to record your voice.
When it comes to hosting, it is a lot of human relations skills that matter. After speaking to a number of my contemporaries in the hosting industry, I can strongly conclude that likability factor is the currency to survive in the market, especially for hosting roadshows. I have witnessed emcees who helped increased sales during roadshows being fired, while hosts whose sales appeared average get constant jobs. Lots of improvisation are required as well as you have to change your script from time to time to entice passers-by to come and give you 10 seconds of their attention.
Overall, it is more than a vocation. It is an ever-evolving experience as you learn how to become a better person.
Achievements wise, wow, I have appeared in lots of tv-series, done lots of roadshows, and even recently acting in a motion picture, I look at them as just part of my job. I was very blessed to find out that one of the animated films, Si Lun Chai, was awarded “Best of Festival” at the prestigious Richmond International Film Festival.
4. Why should customers book you?
I am not just your 15 seconds guy. I spend time into researching the brand of your business and create a voice profile suitable that matches the intention of your message. It’s not about how good I sound, it’s about how good I can make you, your brand or your show look. Also, I have my own home studio which I can work at any time and any day of the week.
Presently, for the month of March, I am offering non-broadcast projects (e-learning, internal corporate video, etc) at only $80 for 200 words! For broadcast projects, it’s ONLY $80 for 15 seconds! Loading fees applies! Check out my Stage on the app for more info.
5. Why do you want to work with StageMetro?
They have amazing tech and services that makes it really easy to gig. They are changing how freelancers used to work, so that they can build truly sustainable income. Also, the team is very helpful indeed. Knowing that I yet to have a proper filming equipment, they engaged a cameraman to help me film my behind the scenes recording. They are very patient to listen to what you do and work on ways that I can be more successful. It’s why I joined their service as an independent talent.
Interested in having Rick to do your voiceover? Download our app and book him now!