We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Walker Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The main draw for me was being able to set my own hours. Another plus is that your return on investment is often much higher when you work for yourself than when you work for someone else. But it is important to remember that what you get out of it depends on what you put in.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am both a music composer and a voice actor, and while I’m equally passionate about both, having the ability to change focus can help with burnout. Trying to balance both sides of my career can be challenging, but I’ve gotten used to bouncing back and forth between music and voiceover, and sometimes I even get to do both for the same project.
In 2020, things became slow due to the pandemic, so I took the opportunity to upgrade my equipment, and start my own audio production company with my friend and fellow freelancer Andy Frank. We call ourselves Givit Sound (see what we did there?) and together Andy and I cover all the bases for game audio production. I take care of voiceover production, Andy does audio design and implementation, and we both write music and produce sound effects as needed.
There are a lot of freedoms that come with owning your own business, like deciding your own hours, setting your rates, and of course working from home. But it also comes with plenty of challenges. Countless documents detailing finances, production schedules, contracts, etc. – sometimes it feels like my job is managing spreadsheets!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Friends who visit often want to go see tourist spots like the Walk of Fame in Hollywood or the Santa Monica Pier (and I’ll oblige), but I like to take people to small venues like Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, or Button Mash in Echo Park, or an authentic ramen spot like Jinya Ramen. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I met Michael Winters, he was already a working professional in the game audio industry. At that time, I was just a grocery store clerk with a passion for voice acting and writing music. We met working on an animated YouTube project together, and he told me that I had the potential to do creative work full-time. Mike taught me all the basics, shaped me up into a professional, and within a year he helped me obtain a position as a full-time composer at the game audio company he worked for. He later got me connected with my first voiceover agency. Mike felt compelled to help me because he saw my creative passion, and wanted me to reach my potential. That’s why I try to do the same for others whenever I can.
I’ve also had a long working relationship with Mashed on YouTube (youtube.com/mashed). Over the years, Mashed has given me the opportunity to gain experience in a plethora of styles and genres, allowing my music and acting to grow. The team at Mashed has been a joy to work with, and I look forward to many more years of collaboration with them.
Other: email: email@example.com