I really wanted the job, but when they didn’t call I realized I had an opportunity to create something of my own.
Failure is inevitable. However, it is not the failure itself that shapes our lives but, how we deal with it. As actors and above all artists, rejection is an unavoidable part of our day-to-day lives. From not getting that call back after the audition we were so sure we nailed, to being released from a part we were put on hold for; failure is part of the game.
It is no secret that if you acquire great drive and passion you can turn your failures into success. Personally, I have found myself truly devastated by rejection only to find myself weeks, or months later in an even better position than where I was before my failure occurred. What got me there? Luck? Possibly. Divine timing? Maybe. Determination? Absolutely!
Mike Delay is the founder and owner of Real Voice LA, a boutique voiceover studio in Los Angeles. With clients including Warner Bros. and Hotwire, the studio first opened its doors in 2017 and is quickly making a mark for itself in LA. With a plethora of top voiceover professionals teaching and recording at the friendly and well facilitated studio, Delay created Real Voice LA after a failed interview inspired him to be his own boss and create his own dream.
With an enthusiastic team and a great sense of community, Delay used his drive to overcome adversity and create his ideal career.
Alixandra: What inspired you to start Real Voice LA?
Mike: Believe it or not, the real push I needed came in the form of a failed interview. Katie Zeiner, our Commercial Director, and I have been working RVLA unofficially since 2012. She was teaching classes at various locations and we produced demos together in my home studio. From 2015-2017 we partnered with an acting studio called AK Studios to try to grow our reach and expand our services a bit. As AK lost their lease, I went looking for more work. That led to an interview at a brand new VO studio. It was an amazing studio with great engineers, and an awesome staff. I really wanted the job, but when they didn’t call I realized I had an opportunity to create something of my own. I realized we were already doing everything we needed to support a business. We just needed a location. 6 months later we opened our doors.
Alixandra: What does Real Voice LA offer that no other Voiceover studio offers in LA?
Mike: On the studio side: Affordable quality. As an audio engineer I take pride knowing that we have the same, or better, recording gear than studios that cost twice as much an hour. As an artist myself, I wanted to make things reasonable for VO actors. You shouldn’t have to own an ad agency that employs dozens of people just to have access to a quality VO recording and demos. On the education side: A fresh perspective. When it comes to training, I wanted to take a slightly different approach. Rather than dig into the usual grab bag of coaches and instructors already teaching at every other studio, workshop and event in town, I wanted to find working voice over professionals that wanted to start something new and grow with us. That allows us to provide a new perspective from other studios in Los Angeles.
Alixandra: What is your number one tip for talent branding or rebrand themselves as Voiceover artists?
Mike: Build community! Attend workshops and classes and be active on social media. Build relationships naturally and be easy to work with. This is a weird industry. You never know when someone you were in a workshop with will become a producer on the next hit animation show. You have to do some work though. Very, very few successful artists just get plucked out of their bedroom after buying a USB microphone at Best Buy. It’s a hustle.
Alixandra: Can you describe a day in the life at Real Voice LA?
Mike: We’re so new, that every day is different from the last. Monday we’re recording demos, Tuesday we’re doing classes, Wednesday I’m researching stuff like “how to run a small business”, Thursday we have an ADR session and then Friday we do an audio post mix for a client. We have a lot to learn! Every week is a new challenge and new opportunities to grow.
Alixandra: How does Real Voice LA open doors for their clients?
Mike: More than anything, we want to be the place to build your community. Whether it’s just the support from fellow voice actors, or knowing that you can come back to a comfortable space to record the national commercial you booked. This is a studio built by artists for artists. We’ve already seen people teaming up and working together on projects because they met here. We hope to continue to be able to be a hub for that kind of community.