With heaps of experience and impeccable range, Elisa Canas is an incredibly talented all rounder voice. That’s why we thought it was only right that we asked her to be the next interview for our ‘Who’s That Voice’ series. Read below to find out what makes Elisa such a success.
How did you get started as a VO actor?
I was awarded a scholarship to the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London when I was 13. I booked my first VO jobs while I was training and continued from there.
What was your first gig?
I think it was a TV promo for Nickelodeon. It was quite a long time ago now!!
What other memorable gigs come to mind?
One of my first ‘lead’ VO roles was for Disney on Ice when I was about 17. I voiced the part of the narrator which was pretty cool. I was still training full-time so getting out of ballet and going to the studio was something that I looked forward to so much. Being in the studio is still my favourite place. Years later I became one of the Disney Channel Global Promo VOs. Voicing to picture from the Disney studios remains one of my favourite gigs to date.
What do you love about your job?
There are so many things. I love the creativity of it. I love the satisfaction I get when I nail a read. Because I started in the industry at a young age, a big part of my social life is made up of the friends I’ve made throughout the years. Some of my best friends are producers, writers and fellow VOs. I love that the industry isn’t really about ego and just about doing the best possible job, whichever side of the glass you’re on.
What are you up to presently?
Every day is different which keeps it fun and exciting. Currently in the UK, I’m one of the imaging FVOs for the Hits Radio Network and the Station Imaging FVO for the Tindle Radio Group. I’m also the station voice for various radio stations in Europe. Imaging is something I branched into fairly recently. I’m really enjoying it.
I have various TV commercials running at the moment here and in America. I did a pretty cool campaign with Always recently which has just been relicensed. I do in-store advertising for Superdrug, Asda, Hobbycraft and various other stores and pretty much every day I’ll be working on radio ads, corporate narration, e-learning or station sound stuff.
Any VO idols/mentors? What are some of the biggest lessons you may have learned from them?
I was lucky enough to work from an incredible post production facility in Glasgow at the start of my career and many fantastic VOs passed through. I learned a lot during those days. Lewis Macleod is a legend of the art. I used to love it when he came in. Such a laugh! My mentor is Philip Banks. Another giant of the VO world. I got to know him during those early days and he has helped guide me throughout the last 20 years of my VO career. The lessons I’ve learned are innumerable.
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
Oh jeez! I’ve no idea! But probably something much more sociable. The obvious downside is that an awful lot of my time is spent alone in a recording booth and I love being around people. It’s why I enjoy in-person sessions so much. I’ve had a ridiculous amount of hobbies over the years because after a day in a ‘padded cell’ talking to myself, I like to get out and about and fill my time with other activities. So…maybe a stunt person?! Then I could put my diving/climbing/skiing/kickboxing skills to good use!
Has technology/home studios changed the way you work?
Loads. When I started out it was all about the ‘fax and dial’. I had an ISDN line, a fax machine and a massive computer. All sessions were directed, either in person or ‘down the line.’ Now pretty much all my sessions are linked up over broadband and way more of them are self-records which are handy from a time management perspective but not as much fun as getting on the line and having a good old chat.
You’re extremely talented at Halloween themed voiceovers, how did you get into this super fun side of the industry?
I think I might have just been messing about on the line one day with a producer who had sent me a halloween script but was looking for a straight commercial read. I just started doing it as a mad witch! We had a good laugh and played around with it. The client was happy, it went to air and that commercial led to other requests for halloween bits. Now I do loads!
Do you have a favourite Halloween voice to do?
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
- Get clear about which area of the industry you’re interested in working in. Commercial/Audiobooks/Animation etc. They’re all their own worlds.
- Commit fully if you want to make it your career. Availability and reliability are key.
- It’s a business like any other. You’re gonna need to be business savvy and that means accounting, sales & marketing, negotiating and all the rest. The bit in the booth is just one part of a whole myriad of skills needed to make it work as a career.
And now…onto the more serious questions!
If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose, and why?
Flying! I’ve spent an obscene amount of time on hold to British Airways this week. No more airline call centres? I choose that!!
If you got to choose a song that would play every time you entered a room, what song would you pick?
The Simpsons theme tune.
And finally….If you were a brand, what would your slogan be?
“It’s good to talk”…but I think that one might be taken!