Finding his voice: Oxford man makes living behind the mic
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Standing in his kitchen one afternoon, Andy Field was doing something that he loves — trying to make his wife laugh.
Imitating the voice of Glen Waddle, the announcer at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at the University of Mississippi, Field was showing off his bravado.
“I expected her to say ‘Ole Miss’ after I said ‘First Down,’ but instead she said I needed to be an announcer guy,’” Field, 46, said.
The nugget of an idea burrowed in, causing the Natchitoches, Louisiana-born Ole Miss instructor to open up his laptop and find out exactly how one becomes an “announcer guy.”
“When someone asks me now how I got started, I tell them I started the way anyone starts something nowadays: on Google,” Field said. “I Googled how to be an announcer or a voice artist. I didn’t even know what to call it at first.”
That was in 2013. Since that time, Field has left his job teaching to pursue voice over acting full-time, using his range to do commercials for organizations including Walmart, Virgin Mobile and Homewood Suites.
“I took the jump and dove off in May last year,” he said.
Field found success in something he says he often took for granted, gaining traction for his talent in his 29-year history in the Army.
“I always had been a decent public speaker,” he said. “In the Army, I was always the emcee. I kind of fiddled with the idea like everyone does I guess, when you’re riding in your car, that I’d be OK at this, but I don’t live in Los Angeles or whatever. I didn’t figure there was much to it living in Mississippi.”
Now teaching an online beginner’s voice over artist class three times a year to more than 20 students at a time, Field juggles his time between his students and his hobby-turned-career.
He’s probably best known for the voice of HandUnit, a robot from the popular video game “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” Answering a casting role online, Field auditioned for the part on Feb. 26, 2016 against 121 others.
“It was called ‘Untitled Horror Video Game’ and only said this, ‘Please enter your name as seen above the keypad. This name cannot be changed later, so please be careful.’ That was it,” Field said.
He submitted three separate takes and ultimately landed the role.
The voice work has inspired Field to recently move from behind the mic to in front of the camera, appearing in a couple episodes of AMC’s zombie series “The Walking Dead,” ″NCIS: New Orleans” and a role in next summer’s fourth “Avengers” sequel.
“I went and took acting lessons because voice acting is acting, no matter what you’re doing,” he said. “Whether you’re doing commercials or video games or corporate narrations, it’s all acting. Right now, I narrate for a law school study guide, and I have to act like I know what I’m talking about. And the law student is learning from me, the ‘seasoned law professor’ that’s been doing this awhile, because I know law inside and out, right? Even though I really don’t. So, it’s all acting.”
In his studio, Field was cutting together an audition for Facebook on his computer, submitting multiple takes to try and be the voice of their next ad.
“You can do all these auditions from Mississippi,” he said, almost talking to himself. “Phone message systems to local commercials across the U.S. I love the variety. I get to do different stuff every few minutes. If I’m sitting down doing auditions, I’m talking about Facebook one minute, law one minute, diapers and then dog medicine the next. I stinking love that.”
Field said he couldn’t be happier with his career change at this stage in his life.
“If you’re getting paid to do what it is you do as any sort of artist, regardless of the genre or the style, then you’re living your dream,” he said.
For more information on Field’s work, visit his website at andyfieldvoiceover.com.
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com