We had the pleasure of chatting with voice actor jay “foleyexpress” foley all about their journey as a voice actor, artist, and cosplayer! Check it out to learn more!
1. Tell us about being a voice actor? What inspired you to start?
I’ve always loved doing voices and quoting things in repetition as a child. It became something my family noticed a lot from me, especially in middle school. Around that time, I got into the Dragon Ball series through the airing of Dragon Ball Z Kai on Nicktoons. I was around for the hype of the old Z dub on Toonami but I never truly got invested in DBZ until Kai came along. I had fallen in love with the voice acting and would constantly quote and repeat whatever I heard that I thought was delivered well or was memorable. It inspired me to one day pursue something like that.
2. What has been your biggest success story as an actor?
So far, I’ve mostly had success in working on projects made by friends and associates. However, one notable success is that I booked the very first role I ever seriously auditioned for: A teenaged version of the Mario villain Bowser in the YouTube web series “Nintendo High”. This was a role I felt I had to throw my hat into the ring for and was honestly baffled and taken aback when I was cast for it. The project has gone on to become something sort of a passion project for me and some of the episodes have even hit over 1 million views, namely the first episode.
3. Goals for 2024?
Many of my goals in 2024 are personal goals I want to set for myself but in relation to voice acting, I want to be able to take more classes and workshops, hone my skills better, book more roles no matter how big or small, hopefully make some demo reels (Starting with character and commercial for now) and get my name out there.
4. Tell us about your art and cosplay!
I haven’t worked on much art as of late (One of my goals for next year is to draw more again and find my long-lost art drive again haha) but as far my cosplays go, I’ve been cosplaying since 2016. I’ve wanted to cosplay since I was in middle school but was unfortunately unable to ever get the means to do so until much later in life. Ever since I started, however, it’s become something I do as both self-expression and something fun to do in collaboration with the people in my life, be it my close friends or my longtime girlfriend.
5. Dream role?
I have many roles that I would love to book but the one that’s always been at the center of my dreams and aspirations as an active voice actor is to one day voice the character Kilik Rung from Soul Eater in an animated adaptation that closely follows the manga from start to finish. The original manga was still running alongside the first anime adaptation at the time and instead of creating a filler arc in order to let the manga continue and widened the gap between adaptations, the studio took liberties and continued on with its own canon, similar in vein to the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. This led to characters like Kilik to have smaller roles in the overall narrative and less time to shine. Kilik has been one of my favorite anime characters since I first watched the original anime in high school over 10 years ago. Seeing a character that not only looked like me but bear a name that comes directly from my culture (Nigerian-American) made me feel seen, represented in a good light and appreciated. I hope Soul Eater gets an anime reboot so I can one day voice and do Kilik Rung justice with my vocal performance.
6. Advice for new actors?
To any new voice actors looking to jump in, there’s no linear path to this occupation. And at times, you will stumble, stagnate or feel frustration in your craft. Rejection comes with the territory. However, if you truly want this and want to commit yourself to this as a dedicated profession, you have to be willing to put in the work, deal with the rejection in a healthy way and stay motivated. It’s not an easy path but one that is fun, enriching and rewarding if you’re truly committed to sticking it out. But most importantly, remember to have fun with it. It’s a fun thing to do and can open the door to many possibilities and opportunities that were likely once foreign to you.
7. Where can people support your work?
You can mostly find me on Twitter at @foleyexpresscs, on YouTube as theluigifan1, on TikTok as foleyexpress/majuniorvstheworld and Instagram as cinnasunshine!