As a voice actor, Stacey J is always on the go and consistently doing auditions. She’s currently the face of Disney’s® resort TV and has recorded commercials for Toyota®, McDonald’s and Clairol® among others. Stacey, alongside her co-host Chuck Duran, host an online show VO Buzz Weekly, where they interview voice-overs big and small, bringing a face to the voice.
After using the Kaotica Eyeball for over 3 years, Stacey finds that her agents are consistently booking her gigs. When we asked her why, she said
“wherever I am, I can count on the Eyeball to give me consistency in my auditions. I can also use my studio mics on the road as if I was at home.”
To say that Stacy J Aswad has had a successful run in the entertainment business as a VO actress, TV host, producer and scriptwriter, dancer/choreographer and spokesperson is like saying Texas ain’t small.
She is the face of Disney’s “Top 7 Must Sees” and “Must Do Disney” TV shows and has an award-winning web series, VO Buzz Weekly. Her voice has been recently heard in projects for Netflix , Toyota, The Ellen Show, McDonald’s and Subway to name a few. She is a 5-time national champion in artistic rollerskating and also a gourmet chef and baker. Not to mention a fitness buff, animal advocate and a few more things that makes one wonder how she manages to get it all done in a 24-hour day.
Stacy was gracious enough to give us her time and insights on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as big as you can imagine it.
So how did you get into the voiceover business?
Well, I started my background as a dancer/choreographer. I did that for a long time and performed professionally all over. And then I got into the on-camera world as an actor and host and did a lot of TV and film.
Currently I'm still the on-camera host for Disney World. I'm kind of the face of Walt Disney World. And so that kind of led to me coming out to Los Angeles and when I got out here I realized that the voiceover was another element of my career that I wanted to get more and more deeply into.
And so that's how I met Chuck (Duran). Actually, he did my voiceover demos and it just kind of started from there with agents and then I started working in commercials and promos and narration.
"Growing up I used to love to listen with my family to radio shows and I used to love hearing that storytelling where I could really let my imagination go wild and listen to the story and how vivid it was without having any images."
I just remember thinking that's such a cool medium.And so when I got the opportunity to do that myself I mean I took all my childhood games that I used to play with my sisters and voices that I used to do and just stories we used to tell and then I got to do it for real and get paid. And so that was a really exciting thing. And I just I love the variety of it and the pureness of storytelling.
How is the VO community as a whole?
Having worked in the on-camera world as well as the voiceover community, it is a global industry full of exceptional people of really great integrity.
"And it's a really supportive, inspiring community."
You know we all want to work and we all want to pay our bills and be creative on a daily basis but I always operate from a place of there's enough work for everybody and I do believe that the projects that you're meant to get to come to you. I just really love that.
So did you have any early inspirational people within the industry who set you on your path?
Like a lot of people, I grew up watching cartoons and just realizing how talented and crazy and wild it was that there were people creating all these voices and creatures. So obviously people like June Foray. She's such an incredible influence in the industry. She’s just this petite woman with such talent and such graciousness. Then from doing VO Buzz Weekly and getting to meet a lot of other icons in the industry that really blazed the trail.
If you could go back and give advice to your younger self just starting out what might you say to her?
"That really the only limitations out there are the ones you put in your own way. I think you're able to dream as big and be as happy as you can imagine."
Obviously, there is a craft to voiceover. So being able to get connected with people that are at the top of their game and legitimate coaches is really important.
Learning to get comfortable with the sound of your own voice and the possibilities that your voice as an instrument has is really important. So I think you can do that with a coach and in workshops and in settings with people that know what they're doing so that you can really have that technique.
And I think it's really about not putting a timeline on it for yourself. Not going, ‘oh gosh in six months or a year I have to be here.’ Sometimes people's journey happens overnight and sometimes it takes five years or 10 years.
And I think if it's really something that you have to do it's part of who you are and you're not who you are without it then you just have to dig in and just be relentless and persistent and patient all at the same time.
Do something every single day that perpetuates your dream, whether it's through networking or studying or you know auditioning. Whatever it is that's going to get you three steps closer to where you want to ultimately be you need to do that. But you need to be ready to work and put in your time because it's not a quick fix. If you really want it then it’s like the old saying, it's a marathon not a sprint.
And then I think when things come together and it's like that classic when preparedness and luck come together it's when you're ready. So when those doors open you're ready to just run through them not even walk, just run through and fly.
So how has the eyeball impacted your art?
Well. there's times when I actually do leave my house and I know I'm going to be gone for a bit. Undoubtedly, that's the time when something comes through that someone needs back within the hour. And you don't have time, especially in Los Angeles.
When I know I'm going to be gone for longer than a minute I always bring my small laptop and my Eyeball on my USB mic and I always keep different kits with me.
There have been many times where I've had to pull over in a neighborhood or something and record. And it's incredible. I can get something out in a few minutes and it can be the difference between booking that gig or not because there are deadlines.
One crazy story, I was with a friend who was having an operation and I had to be at the hospital for a while and I literally went into the bathroom of the hospital to record some spots. Like the public restroom and I got really lucky because no one came in.
"I was able to literally use the changing table. I laid out paper towels and put down my laptop and my eyeball and hit record."
I recorded a bunch of spots and I think I actually booked one of the few that I had recorded in the public bathroom of a hospital. So there you go.
So I really appreciate all of the incredible pains that you and your team took to really create this Eyeball because I think it's so important to give people options to be able to do their best work.
But you know it's about keeping a balance and we have to stay connected to the things that make us happy and who we are. And so by being able to have the freedom and the flexibility to take something so portable but so effective with me like if I need to hike or I need to do something, that really helps me stay creative and energized. I get to stay tapped into my soul and my creativity which only helps my work. And as the saying goes, good work takes time.
We started VO Buzz Weekly and now we are just finishing our sixth year. We went on YouTube a couple of years into it and we thought ‘oh my gosh this is never going to grow’ and next week we're going to hit two million views on our channel.
I love to cook and bake so I like to use the analogy of: you put in the ingredients. You put it in the oven and then you can't open the oven every two minutes going ‘is it done? is it done? Like you just have to let it go. It's going to take however long it takes. So many times you just have to push and keep working and staying in gratitude about it. Enjoy the process and then you wake up one day and you go ‘oh my gosh, look where I am.’