Personal Note: The mic fiasco of 2021 ends with this episode! Praise Chuck because this was the episode I bawled over when it all began. I sincerely had the best time chatting with Joel and loved listening to his stories. I was so glad his audio was perfectly fine, and it was my audio that was messed up. Unfortunately, it just took me forever to edit this podcast so this episode is LONG overdue.
In this episode of The Game of Nerds Podcast, we sit down with amazingly talented Joel Gibbs. He is known as the man of 1000 voices. Technically it’s 783, but who’s counting? Joel has been doing voice acting since the ’70s in the Philadelphia area. I was beyond honored that he sat down to chat with me about his career. This man’s resume is astounding. He is not only a talented voice actor, but he’s also been a director, radio, and podcast host, to name a few. We first talk about what we’ve been recently obsessing on. Joel jumps right in by talking about all the fun characters he’s been getting to do recently. I finally got to watch the new Tom and Jerry movie that at the time was just released on HBO Max. I’m still unimpressed as when I first saw the trailer. Joel talks about how the ventriloquist Paul Winchell, and Hanna-Barbera era cartoons like Tom and Jerry, were really the inspiration behind his love for voice acting. He loved doing the voices of different characters and entertaining people with them. As a child, it started with puppets and eventually moved on to mimicking his teachers’ voices for the other kids at school. His first paying job was doing an Ed Sullivan-type voice for a car or shoe commercial. It wasn’t until a few years later that he realized voice acting was going to be his career when he mastered Don Vito Corleone, aka The Godfather. While it took him a while to be known as the “go-to guy” for voiceovers on the East Coast, his talent was a huge driving force in his success. His most favorite jobs were head shop commercials in Atlantic City doing the perfect impressions of Cheech and Chong.
Joel fondly remembers when he couldn’t turn on Atlantic City radio without hearing his voice on the radio multiple times in a row. With over 40K projects done in his career, he has no regrets on any of his projects. The only hard part he’s run into is clients not knowing what they want. Thus, it’s hard to get the right recording. He does offer some great advice for those interested in getting into voice actors if you have talent and passion. While there are a wide variety of different courses now available on voice acting due to the pandemic, Joel does suggest going to programs with actual successful professionals like Nancy Cartwright. She is known worldwide for being the voice of Bart Simpson and other beloved animated characters. Ultimately though, it does come down to talent and practicing that talent. Once you’ve nailed doing the voices, you need to build your own recording spot. The remote home office was common for voice actors before the pandemic even started. Most companies won’t pay for an actor to travel to record, so the home recording is the way to go. As with most cases, if you want to play with the professionals, you have to have equipment like the professionals like microphone and software. Recording equipment isn’t cheap, but the price can affect your sound quality in some cases. Case and point, Mic Fiasco of 2021. We saw this also with SDCC 2020 with the Bob’s Burgers panel, where they talked about making home recording studios with egg crates in their children’s closets. Joel has no complaints about the job, though, and even states he really doesn’t see any cons to the career either.
On top of being a talented voice actor, he’s also a great host for podcasts and radio programs. I asked him, “Which is easier, doing interviews with celebrities or doing voiceovers?” He says they are very different but allow him to express himself in the same way. He’s gotten to have some amazing conversations with great people by keeping it real. We talk about how sometimes people forget that celebrities are real humans and by treating them with kindness sometimes you get a whole new side to them. My favorite podcast though had to be talking to him about his favorite celebrity moments and the things he’s learned from interviewing. I learned so much and to hear his story about Julie Andrews had me in a puddle. Joel will definitely be back for more podcasts in the future so we can hear more about his wonderful stories.
Learn More About Our Guest: