Eight Questions: Interview With Ray Chase

Ray ChaseRay Chase is an actor, and co-owner of Funsplosion, a Youtube comedy vertical, and Dawn Machine, a new media production company based in LA.

Ray also became one of our go-to voiceover guys after the excellent work he did as Boricio Wolfe in the Podium Publishing production of the Yesterday’s Gone audio books.

You can see his stuff at: youtube.com/funsplosionyoutube.com/raychase, and raychase.com.

What is your daily creative routine like? 

I wake up way too late, and in a panic get ready for a slew of auditions at the VO agency.  After those are done, along with any other running around to voiceover recording sessions, getting props and availabilities of actors for Funsplosion is usually the next priority. Once rush hour hits LA, I try to be off the roads and back in the office working in my booth. I spend at least a few hours narrating audiobooks and doing odd jobs for audio producers that come up. Finally at night is when I can focus on writing and working with our production team on what we’ll be shooting for the weekend.

If we have a production day to film something for a client, then my day is very simple. Wake up really early, and spend all day on set making that happen. Come home exhausted.

What does your creative space look like? What are some of the must-have devices and apps that make up your creative toolbox for your audio work and your YouTube videos? 

My creative space is a three-story office building in Hollywood – pretty weird and unrelatable, I must admit. The bottom is our green screen studio where my voiceover booth is located. Second and third floors are where our staff works and edits.

For voiceover I use Reaper for audiobooks and Audacity for auditions. For production we like to use Asana as a way of getting everyone on the same page. GrubHub is great for on-set lunch!

You’ve got a great group of people at Funsplosion. How did you come to work with them?

Most of the people at Funsplosion are people I’ve known since our days at USC. Many of them were on improv teams with me and have continued in comedy, others have discovered comedy after college. We are also doing a lot of collabs with youtubers and viners, and we’re all united by a common goal! I love getting in touch with new people everyday and interacting with the community.

How does the group write sketches? Is it collaborative? Do different people specialize at specific sorts of humor? And how do you all determine who stars in which videos?

Logan and I are responsible making sure the tone of all our stuff is consistent, so the lion’s share of writing is just the two of us working off each other. We always welcome any ideas and input from people who work with us, and many Funsized ideas are completely unaltered by Logan and me. I’d love to get more writers involved with us because that stuff is hard.

How do you go about determining which voice to use when narrating an audiobook?  

First, I have to make the determination whether this a book that should be fully voiced or not. Some books don’t lend themselves to a lot of wacky voices, so I tend to stay very close to the narrator’s voice for those. If there are a lot of voices, I then need to make the determination of who are the main characters, and who are paired together. You don’t want to end up giving a pair of characters who always talk to each other similar voices! From then on, it’s a matter of using as much of my vocal range as I can, and make sure it’s evenly distributed throughout the cast.

Do you have any tips for writers on what makes a good audiobook (things which people might not pick up on if they’ve never considered their book as written word only)?  

I don’t think there’s too much an author can do to make a book more audiobook-friendly or not. Just little things like not say “he said” too much, and avoid long lists of numbers! It’s surprising the amount of audiobooks I’ve done that have what amounts to a full minute of straight readings of numbers.

What is the best creative advice you’ve every received? 

The best teaching I got was in clown school, where we were forced to always reach for a 10/10. There are times when you might think you’ve pushed yourself as far as you can go, but usually you’re only at an 8/10 or below. Reaching for that full potential can unlock so many surprises. It might not be what ends up on the printed page or in the final edit, but you discover so much on the journey there that it’s always worth it.

What’s next for you?

We’re looking to expand Funsplosion more fully, especially in regards to marketing. We have other content verticals that we’re working on — music, reality, etc. As for voice acting, I’ll be in a few very prominent video games next year, so look for some announcements in the coming months!

What do you want your legacy to be? 

Legacy?  I’ll wait until I’m actually successful until I answer that question!

CHECK OUT MORE INTERVIEWS WITH ARTISTS IN OUR 8 QUESTIONS ARCHIVE.

About David Wright

Dave is the co-founder of Collective Inkwell, in which he and Sean Platt re-invented serial fiction. Hailing from the quaint town of [REDACTED], Dave's renown for putting children in jeopardy (in his fiction, anyway) has made him world famous.

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