VAM 042 | Interview with Juan Carlos Bagnell, Commercial VO Casting Director, Part 2

VAM 042 | Interview with Juan Carlos Bagnell, Commercial VO Casting Director, Part 2

Welcome to episode 42 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

In this episode, I continue my interview with my good friend and commercial voice over casting director, Juan Carlos Bagnell. You can find more of his insights on his blog at In this segment, we discuss some of the most common misconceptions about commercial voice over and how to avoid them. Including:

  • The “quality” of your voice is not as important as having a business mindset.
  • Does your plan for getting into voice over pass the “bank loan” test?
  • There is no sound bite solution to becoming successful in professional voice over.

Later, we talk about Juan’s approach to teaching how to succeed in commercials, including his method of analyzing scripts and the importance of understanding the advertising mindset. It’s very insightful!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #42 Here (MP3)


15 Responses to “VAM 042 | Interview with Juan Carlos Bagnell, Commercial VO Casting Director, Part 2”

  1. Pat says:

    I like the places this interview is going!

    The concept of bringing one’s relevant and established skills to the table (particularly theatre and singing) in voice-acting work has been looked at in previous episodes. As the business mindset was being discussed here, I was curious: have you observed people with some kind of previous business training apply those skills when entering or continuing a voice-acting career?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      There are people who enter the voice over world who do have previous business skills and/or degrees. There don’t seem to be as many in the animation, video game, anime field as they are in the more narrative based types of voice over like commercials, promos, trailers and industrials. Probably because it takes a high level of dedication to develop the acting skills necessary to work in animation, video games and anime and few people have the inclination to study both acting and business principles. I don’t know for sure.

      Regardless, however, whether you come from a business background or not, you need to treat your voice acting career as a business. That’s the only way to become financially successful at it.

  2. Jack De Simone says:

    AWESOME INTERVIEW! crispin u should have more INTERVIEW people.. juan is a really cool real street guy!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m sorry but I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying you’d like to hear me do more interviews with people in the voice over industry?

  3. Jack De Simone says:


    Listening to this, makes me realize, juan is a very smart guy.

    i totally agree with BRANDING, MYSELF…

    my brand is HIGH PITCHED HOWLER MONKEY, SPONGEBOBBY, GOLLUM, CREATURE, TERODACTYL. it’s really hard for me to be.. CRISPIN, lol ur way too “classically rich” for my brand, lol, with all that natural bass in ur voice, haha. (I can consciously manifest a bass… but not naturally.

    i Could do Voice OVERS, but i would SOUND EXACTLY like OPTIMUS PRIME…everytime, lol; …i think i’d be just way too CARTOONY, and if they asked me to Tone down the “CARTOONY”, i’d struggle with it… lol.

    it’s interesting, crispin, that we as actors, have to accept, a specific “personality ” brand, “stereotype”… just like robert deniro, is always…robert deniro, lol.

    #selfbrandingftw (oh wait, i’m not on twitter, lol, jm)

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Juan is absolutely a very smart guy. That’s why I wanted to get him on the podcast to share his expertise and insight. I’m grateful he took the time out of his busy schedule to join me.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

  4. Kalyn McCabe says:

    A lot of points rang true to me.

    I recently watched a video put up by Studio Center Total Production. They’re currently holding a contest for the ‘next great voice actor’ or some such like that. They held open auditions, and people came in and read a few commercials. It was really interesting to see how some of them put on a cartoony voice for a “In case of a heart attack” read, found it to be a bit off-putting.

    But most of them were good and a wide variety of talent.

    Juan is a great interviewee. Definitely bookmarked his site and following him on twitter.

    Much love,
    ~ Kalyn

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Glad you found the interview useful. I find Juan’s view of the commercial industry as a whole incredibly savvy. Plus he’s able to articulate his ideas coherently which is many times lacking in the commercial world.

  5. Angelican Marcos says:

    This is a nice podcast interview with Juan Mr. Freeman it was very informative of understanding my “brand” when doing commercial voice over. Might I also add that you Mr. Freeman sound almost similar to Juan is he a tenor because he sounds like your voice range I don’t know is he a baritone..? I was sooo confused on knowing which one is who from part 1. But I already know what your voice sounds like and it’s just confusioning when Juan talks then you laugh, when you talk Juan laughs I’m sorry… if I made this sound confusioning.

  6. Eric Rivera says:

    Can’t stop stressing the importance of script analysis. That’s one thing I learned here at the University. It was the first thing we covered in Acting I, Scene Design, Lighting, & Directing I.

    As always, thank you for your time & wisdom.

  7. Terance says:

    All this talk of finding your brand fascinates me as much as discovering your character type. We all know your character type to be older brother characters Crispin, but what is your brand in the world of commercial voice over? Also what would be someone like Yuri Lowenthal’s brand in commercials? My vocal range is very similar to his so I’m curious to hear your answer.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      One of my main character types in animation is older brother, but I do have others.

      In commercial my brand is more educated and helpful sounding. I recently did a Wells Fargo spot where I was the helpful bank teller. I can play young fathers, I’m good for bank and insurance commercials as well as some technology stuff. As I age I’ll probably be more appropriate for luxury car commercials. Sometimes, however, I do do more charactery sounding stuff like my recent Mountain High commercials where they wanted me to sound more like the “Old Spice” guy, or when I do commercials where I voice match Ben Stiller for Madagascar commercials.

      I don’t know what Yuri’s brand might be because I haven’t heard him in commercials. However, knowing his personality my thought would be casual young guy-next-door.

      Brand isn’t so much about your range as it is about your personality and attitude. Yuri is a tenor, but that doesn’t mean all tenors are casual young guy-next-door types. You have to find your own brand based on your personality. That’s why it can really help to take class with a professional who knows how to help you find your brand.

      • Terance says:

        Very interesting. As always thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to educate the masses. Without this podcast, there would be so much I wouldn’t know about the world of voice over. I also enjoyed the webcast you did with the VAA this weekend. It was very informative.

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