Join us for an exclusive journey into the world of voice acting with Charles Collings, also known as NovaCharles. All Ages of Geek is on a mission to spotlight indie creators, and Charles’ story is truly inspiring. Stay tuned to learn more about this incredible Indie creator!
Hey there, all! It’s Charles Collings, known in online spaces as NovaCharles. I’m an Italian-American voice actor based in the good old Big Apple, working my way up to a hard-fought legacy, one role at a time! I’ve had a passion for expression and performance since the golden years… childhood. But I could never quite seize that chance, so this was my alternative!
Whenever I’m not doing voiceover, you can usually find me ranting about anime online, ranting about video games online (mostly Sonic, I’m not sorry.), sometimes drawing, sometimes writing, and SOMETIMES martial arts. I’m here to create, inspire, flourish, and most of all, WORK. So just give me your time and let’s create something legendary!
What initially inspired you to become a creator, and how has that inspiration evolved throughout your creative journey?
Buckle up for the long haul, y’all. I’ve had acting in my blood for a while, but could never quite insert myself into the proper spaces in school due to my social anxiety and a low physical self-image. That anxiety may persist nowadays, but voice acting seemed like an easier way to push past all that with anonymity! I did voices as a kind of stimulation thing when I played video games. Back in the day, spoken dialogue was more scarce so I’d often fill in the blanks myself. But once I’d seen series that had voice acting, and found out that they’d played TONS of characters in other things I’d happened to like… well, it snowballed. And here we are today!
Can you share a specific moment or experience that fueled your passion for your current creative project?
Usually whenever I come across a standout performance in an anime or a video game in either language! I’ve had several, and each one has filled me with such pride that we’re able to call this art a job. The most recent example is when I finished Attack on Titan recently and just got to bask in the emotion displayed from such top dogs like Trina Nishimura, Jessie James Grelle, Rob McCollum and one of the GOATs in the industry, Matthew Mercer. No spoilers of course; but the pride and passion I feel from stories of fiction, from the expressions of the art… it fills me with a passion and a want to do it myself.
What challenges have you encountered as an indie creator, and how have they shaped your approach to your work?
A hurdle I’m still trying to work past is just getting my voice out there. Using the resources I’ve been given. You’d never know it by talking to me, but I have a LOT of trouble integrating into communities. There’s just too much anxiety in my mind, and I don’t feel like I exist on the same wavelength as other people. It gets to the point that I have trouble believing that I’ve done a good job when someone says so. The main thing I tell myself is that EVERY creator goes through this—I’m no different. I’m just dealing with it in my own quirky, dysfunctional manner!
Are there any particular creators who have significantly influenced your style or approach? How do you incorporate those influences into your own unique voice?
Oh, I’ve had MANY. I have two main VA inspirations that remind me that “I still can” whenever I waver too much. First is Daman Mills; someone who, amongst regularly working anime dub actors, has one of the most insane ranges I’ve ever seen. Putting Blade from Honkai: Star Rail against Lyney from Genshin Impact… you’d never be able to tell they were voiced by the same person. Or for a more drastic example… Milk Cookie from Cookie Run Kingdom against Douglas Bullet from One Piece: Stampede. His talent and ability inspires me to keep reaching far with my range, discover new heights and abilities, and help me achieve my niche. The second one is a bit more personal—I feel inspired by someone like Lindsay Sheppard (I’ve seen she’s been interviewed by you guys before, in fact!) for a couple reasons. Sheppard is a diagnosed autistic who I’ve come to realize faces very very similar problems to me. I myself am undiagnosed but I’ve forever held a sense of social ineptitude that I frequently think hinders me in this job. She is a wonderful reminder to me that yes, even with these tremendous worries and flaws, you can STILL make it with perseverance. If she ever sees this, just know I’ve never expressed my gratitude because I’m simply too much of an awkward goober to know how to do so. But here I am doing it now!
How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and adapting to feedback from your audience or collaborators?
That’s a tough one to manage for sure! In voice acting, you gotta manage what you want versus what the directors and audience want EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. My personal key is to take what they give and grant it with some flair. Throw something out. You never know what might stick. Every piece of feedback is like a plank of wood that makes a stronger foundation, as well. You have to be comfortable with a lot of stuff in voice acting, so to me, feedback only helps ASSIST the vision rather than work against it.
Can you recall a memorable success story or milestone in your indie creator journey that stands out as a turning point for you?
Not a story, but the overwhelming positivity and feedback I’ve experienced for my roles and projects! “Please Don’t Hate Christmas” in particular is REALLY loved not just because of me but because of my stellar castmates. Getting to be a part of something people love… even if I’m always striving for more, I’m grateful enough that I at least have that to cherish.
Rice’s Twitter: Ricelovecoffee❤HeartCage is funded! (@RiceOtomecoffee) / X
What role do setbacks or failures play in your creative process, and how do you overcome them to keep moving forward?
Well, for voice actors, failure comes by a LOT more than success. Statistically, more auditions miss than hit for us, and I’m no different. Your favorite voices are no different. Lots of stuff I send will get tossed. And if you want a chance in this industry you have to accept that. Love the process, love the art, love the work. One thing I keep in mind is that even failure can change your destiny, but no one ever said it needs to be for the worse. You fail to cross one road… another one might just open!
How do you manage your time and energy to sustain a consistent creative output while juggling other aspects of life?
Simple answer? I don’t. Hahaha! But seriously, it is a challenge. There are times in my life where, unfortunately, my passion just cannot be a priority. But for voice acting there’s always an open lane. With each opportunity missed, ten more open up, so there’s no stress over having to keep things consistent. What is for you will not pass you. I also just… think about voice acting all the time, try to make it a part of everyday life like reading aloud brochures or books and stuff like that! The simple things.
Have you found any unexpected joys or rewards in the indie creator community, and how has it contributed to your overall experience?
I’ve literally never found a single creator that didn’t turn out to be an amazing human. The feedback and praise is honestly really rewarding, and each new project gives rise to more and more connections!
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be based on your own lessons learned?
I’m gonna steal a key couple of words from Joe Zieja—JUST DO IT. To be frank, I don’t believe in the word “aspiring”. If you put SOMETHING out into the world; you ARE a creator. Simple as that. Voice acting is much the same. There shouldn’t be an excuse to really get started: the work is there, so TRY for it. The passion is there, so TRY to seize it. You will never know unless you go and chase your dreams. I realize that’s very cheesy and shonen-y, yes, but can you blame me? I’ve been bred on the stuff, for crying out loud!
What are your thoughts on All Ages of Geek? What are some things we should change/do? What are some things you enjoy about our website?
All Ages of Geek looks to be a really promising… well, geek hub! From retro to modern, to all spaces of entertainment, I’m quite amazed and impressed that you guys even try to give indie guys like me a chance. Quite humbled too. I enjoy how you all strive to influence and engage with the community you’ve all held! You’re doing great work for us nerds across the globe!
Goals for 2024?
To just be in more stuff! Wanting to work more is kinda boring and simple, yes, but it’s the truth. I want to tell more stories, meet more people, push past my own personal flaws, and just MAYBE have a chance to have a spot up at the top. In voice acting you have to love the job as well as the art—And I’m a lover of both, all right.