Imagine having only your voice, with no gestures or expressions, to convey every emotion you wish to release. Imagine these emotions are not what you are truly feeling, but you have to express them anyways. Imagine doing this, completely isolated in a dark room.
That is what voice actors do on a daily basis. They have very little stimuli: there is no scenery to pull from, no props to use, no actors sharing the scene to work with. They have to trust their abilities completely, and use only one tool to do this. It takes a specific talent to excel in such a field, and that is exactly what Canadian voice actor Mike Goral is.
Goral has many achievements in his years as a voice actor, with an extensive resume. He has worked with networks such as HGTV, ESPN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, and many more. Despite his success, he remains humble.
“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I enjoy working for myself. It’s very rewarding. No two days are the same. I love all my clients. I get to work with wonderful people from all over the world, and I have many loyal clients who have worked with me for several years. Nothing beats working with nice people every day.”
Goral has been a voice actor for over twenty years. Back in the early 90’s, he started working at a local radio station in Burlington, Ontario, a neighboring city to where he grew up. He had always wanted to be a radio DJ, but found it wasn’t quite what he wanted.
“I finally got my shot at being a radio personality. Once I got a taste, I realized I didn’t really enjoy it, so I started hanging around the production room, and watching what the commercial producers did. This fascinated me almost instantly,” he explained.
This experience proved to be an excellent learning opportunity for Goral, and he eventually began producing commercials. Although, as it was early in his career, he wasn’t allowed to voice the commercials himself.
“The bosses wouldn’t let me, so I had to get whatever DJ was on the air at the time to voice the commercial for me. Well, it turned out one day that the usual DJ scheduled called in sick, and the department needed a male voice to do a local nightclub commercial,” said Goral. “I got my big chance. The rest is history.”
That it is. Since that time, Goral relocated to Los Angeles, and now Scottsdale, and has done voice work for commercials, video games, documentaries, and television programs.
He recently worked with Spirit Communications as they promoted their introduction of their Gigabit service for broadband and OAJ, which is the Jacksonville Regional Airport out of Jacksonville NC. For this, he worked alongside producer John Peace. They had worked together previously on countless automotive campaigns, and various other parts.
“Mike is a very enthusiastic and reliable voice talent. He’s always a pleasure with which to work. His work ethic is very high and he completes projects quickly so that we may meet our clients’ deadlines and expectations,” said Peace. “There are many qualities that earn Mike the title of talented voice actor. Versatile, Flexible, easily directed. Also, Mike will work within the client’s budget, which opens up the door to more for more exposure and the opportunity to make the most of his fiscal potential by working in volume. Mike has never declined a project because he ‘didn’t feel right for the job’. He’s eager to tackle anything.”
Goral really does enjoy his job, and wants to go for any project. He auditions on a daily basis, and overcomes any challenges presented to him, including the feeling of solitude that comes from working in a room alone on a daily basis.
“I have many great colleagues, but I don’t see them every day. It’s fun to get together with them when it’s possible. Many of them share that feeling of isolation. That’s why seeing old friends at industry conferences and agency parties is so much fun,” he said.
Even though being alone for extended periods may be difficult, Goral says it is worth it. He has been a professional voice actor for a long time, and has no plans of slowing down. Hearing his voice through the speakers of the small screen is a good high.
“What’s the highlight of my career?” he concluded. “Hearing myself on a commercial on a major network during an NFL game.”