Vishal Menon is bringing characters to life with his work as a Voice-over artist. A former Software Engineer and Marketing Analyst, Vishal quit his job to pursue voicing and dubbing full-time. Without letting the initial hurdles bog him down, today, Vishal has voiced prominent characters like Duke Simon (Bridgerton) and Brad Pitt’s character in Sleepers among others. Furthermore, his work encompasses an extensive range of audiobooks by celebrated authors like Shashi Tharoor and Manav Kaul.
Apart from voicing the talk as a voice-over artist, Vishal is also an Educator who teaches MBA aspirants at Sydenham Institute of Management. In addition, he has authored a book called “Alienating MBA” and runs a YouTube Channel.
Read more about Vishal’s atypical career path in this candid conversation with Storiyaan.
Vishal Menon: The Power of Pitch
Questions and answers
What intrigued you the first time to do something with your voice and how did you act upon it accordingly?
You left your corporate job as a software engineer to pursue voicing as a full-time career. How elated do you feel today after taking that decision and what positive impact it leaves on your life?
Yes, I am extremely proud of myself for choosing the unknown, pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and learning something out of the box. When I quit my job to become a voice-over artist, I often had no work but I never gave up.
The positive impact of daring to be different is that I don’t fear the unknown anymore. I take that leap of faith as I realize that I can start from zero because I have done that earlier too.
Could you share with us the story behind your first recording and how did it motivate you in your further steps?
I started with getting registered on some freelancing websites and that’s where I found my first recording. As a beginner, I lacked sophisticated equipment, so I recorded some samples on a cheap mic and covered myself for noise cancellation. But I was still appreciated. This gave me a much-needed push and I started working harder on my skills.
What were some of the stumbling blocks you faced in your journey when you started your career as a Voice Artist?
As I was new to such a profession, I lacked contacts, and hardly knew the basics, not even the amount that I should charge. So, I had to start from scratch and learn networking. There are many stumbling blocks that I have been facing but one thing one must know is to not stop and keep moving.
You have dubbed Brad Pitt's voice in the series "Sleepers". How did you play the active role without getting intimidated?
Yes, it was a privilege for me to dub his character. Having said that, I think it is all about bringing justice to the character on-screen and performing better than expected. In addition, knowing that his character had a similar age as mine helped me voice the character better.
You have been selected to host the longest-running television program in India “Rangoli”. Tell us how you made your way through it?
The previous host wanted to take a break and the producers were on the lookout for a fresh face and voice. They were looking for somebody with a good voice for a radio feel and was also decent looking. Consequently, I decided to give it a shot and it became a total hit!
Can you share with us some of the upcoming projects that you are working on and will be released soon?
There are some projects with Netflix which are in the pipeline but I cannot talk about them. However, I have some recent releases like ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ where I have dubbed for Brian Tyree Henry. I also dubbed for the lead in ‘Infinite’, Mark Wahlberg, which is an upcoming release, along with that in a Turkish series, ‘Our Story’, I’ve dubbed for the lead guy Burak Deniz who plays Baris and is extremely popular among the Indian Teens. Apart from this, I have narrated a documentary called ‘Saving Britain’s Wildlife’ that aired in June.
Since you are very passionate about teaching, what is the most satisfactory part you find while teaching your students?
The most satisfactory part of teaching is making your students understand the concepts without them getting bored. I like to go beyond the syllabus, make the classes lively and interactive for the students. Moreover, I also try to be friendly and provide general value education as this is an important part of education.
As you teach MBA Students at Sydenham Institute of Management, what would be some of the tips from your side to the ones who are trying to crack MBA entrances?
Time management is the key. Although you should definitely identify and work on your weaknesses but you should invest a lot in your strengths too in order to ensure absolute success in your strength areas.
1. Describe yourself in one word – Restless
2. Your current favourite series – Marvels Daredevils
3. The person you look up to the most – My parents
4. Your best work according to you – It is still to come
5. Your All-time Favourite book – Fountain Head.