Interview with Jon Bailey "Epic Voice Guy" of Honest Trailers
Jon Bailey may have the most recognizable voice on the internet right now. From the Honest Trailers and How It Should Have Ended series to the voice of Optimus Prime, Jon’s distinctive tone helps this actor truly live up to his title as “Epic Voice Guy.” But there is a whole story behind the narrator, and Jon was gracious enough to sit down with Ikigai Spin to talk about his life as the voice behind XCOM, Transformers, and more.
To start off, tell us a little about your background and how you developed your career as an actor.
I did improv, sketch comedy type stuff for church/school/college all growing up. I started doing impressions when I was four years old with Sesame Street characters, Mr. Rogers, stuff like that. I also had a lot of background in music, music theory, piano, singing, competitions in school, etc. As far as getting into acting, I was in charge of the puppet ministry, I came up with characters, that type of thing.
Leading then into voice acting, how did you develop the voice that now hallmarks your personal style?
Voiceovers, it’s more about the acting than it is about the voice anyway. I’ve just always been very good at pretending. I think that the older I get, the more experience, and the more coaching I get the better actor I become. The characters are much more believable when it’s a good actor.
As far as movie trailer type voices, I started doing movie trailer type impressions when I was a teenager, and when my first manager found me online, he had me work with his producer to get a signature sound. That was the process of fine tuning with him.
What advice to you have to give those who want to hone their craft?
Any type of acting experience, even just reading aloud is valuable. Reading for children in libraries is something you can do. It’s a nice thing to do as well, and good experience. Any local community theaters, stage plays, anything you can do in school. Theater class, public speaking courses, improv classes, all those things help.
If you mess up, embrace it, don’t be scared to make a fool of yourself.
Any creative projects that you’ve particularly enjoyed that you would like to talk about?
Well I’m currently the voice of Optimus Prime for the brand new series called Transformers: Combiner Wars, among other things I am doing Optimus Prime for. I am also a couple of main characters in the XCOM franchise, including the council spokesperson as well as the Ethereal which is the main villain at the end. I will also be a character in Dishonored 2 coming out November 11th. I also have a couple of big projects coming up in the Spring that I can’t talk about now, but you can find everything that I’ve done by going to EpicVoiceGuy.com.