We had the good fortune of connecting with Andre Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andre, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
This question really starts to hit you when you make the switch from amateur to professional. For a quick definition, Let’s define amateur as unpaid acting for passion projects and student films, and professional as running a business working paid work as a primary source of income. When you start a creative profession, you initially start it because it seems like the best way to mold work and life together; the sort of thing people mean when they say “if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life”. But I’ve found it’s not always that simple. Sure, you start out with a few paid gigs and classes that you genuinely enjoy and power through like no other, but once your work as an actor and your free time also being an actor start to blend together, you find yourself in the feedback loop of being at work ALL THE TIME. And it is exhausting, not just for you, but for other people too. Ask any working professional in the voice acting community, and they will tell you about people who ONLY talk about voiceover, and literally nothing else. One-track minded people generally come across as, well, desperate and mind-numbing. When I spend every waking moment overanalyzing my performances and worrying and trying something desperate like detaching myself from the work itself to treat it like “work work” (meaning I focus on the technical skills rather than the undefined nebulous magic that is performing), everything falls apart. I deliver wooden performances, and every part of my “free time” is spent either in destructive avoidance, forcing myself into the studio, or worrying alone, criticizing my every move in the industry. And the reality still is that I am still incredibly fresh and new and learning every day. But when it comes to work and life balance, maintaining a healthy intake of the stuff you enjoy about the craft (or maybe something entirely different!) and not making your entire life one-track-minded makes you breath easier. Voice acting isn’t “work work” to me, but it’s important to treat it separately regardless, and have faith in yourself that you’ve done what you could, and that no manner of squeezing every ounce of your life into something you want so bad will not burn you out and make you desperate and miserable. Enjoy your work, and enjoy your life. Don’t make your work your life. You are you. If you are not okay, your work suffers and your life suffers. Self care is crucial, especially since one’s mood effects this profession so much when actually working.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think I’m most proud of just my persistence. Acting has been something I simply do. My attention and circumstance might fluctuate, but at the end of the day, if someone asks me to get behind the mic, I can and will do it. It’s a reassuring mantra and it keeps me going. It was not at all easy to get where I am professionally. I literally started auditioning for voice roles on my phone, then graduated to a USB Yeti mic, then an XLR mic, and now I’ve upgraded to a VocalBoothToGo studio with ADR capability and all the cool bells and whistles. But it’s not just about equipment; developing networking skills, not being desperate and being myself, and practicing my craft to perfect it to a science, while at the same time remaining humble to the facets I have yet to learn. It’s been a crazy journey, and I still have a long way to go. Overcoming obstacles is all about persistence. Practicing the skill and working through rejection are the 2 major pillars at work here. Practice the skill and always know you’re learning is important for remaining open minded, easy to work with, and sane. Likewise for working through rejection – detaching myself from audition expectations has been crucial to keeping myself grounded and not burning out. The best thing I ever learned was we as actors are in the audition business, not the acting business. We train and audition until we finally get that call. Until then, humility and patience are what we need. I want the world to know that I’m looking forward to what it has in store next for me. I’m curious and keen to explore!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve already done this actually! Had a friend from the UK I’ve known for a while fly in and explore Los Angeles. I’m always a sucker for the classics – beach walks, the Santa Monica Pier (I was unfortunately too busy for), the hike to the Hollywood sign, Hollywood boulevard itself.. Next time, I would probably tack on some North Hollywood parks and rec areas, and top it off with bar visits in Beverly Hills! I would add the Beverly Hills shops as well for a daytime activity – gorgeous area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout Griffin Puatu, a fellow voice actor. He really helped me in my early early career, teaching me the basics and fundamentals I needed to know to navigate the industry professionally, and helped me get my first professional demo I still use today. I was able to get my first agent because of him, which was the catalyst to really take this career seriously. I’m thankful for how he basically opened the door for me to the world of professional voiceover in Los Angeles. I’d also like to thank Alex Baghdassarian for being an excellent collaborator and friend. I’m grateful for his friendship because we often tinker together and talk about technicals and setups and noise floors and all the VO junk, but at the same time bond over stuff like the same video games. It’s really nice and reassuring to know someone who understands you and is there to help. A level head, and a fantastic and knowledgeable colleague.