Liles finds his voice through voice acting


Jasper Liles

Jasper Liles (11) prepares to record himself at home. Liles voice acts and currently is the voice for the University of Memphis’s “Wellness Wednesday” program.

We all have a voice, and we all use it differently. Some use their voice as a political platform. Others, to create music. Jasper Liles (11) uses his for voice acting. For years, Liles has been told that his voice needs to be broadcasted to the masses.

“A lot of people have told me that I have a really good voice for radio,” Liles said. “I get it a lot from teachers especially, like teachers really love to point that out. When I started going to White Station, I think three teachers told me I should go into radio.”

After initial interest, Liles found his way into the voice acting world. In 2019, he went to Little Rock, Ark. for an internship-like experience at Lucky Dog Audio Post, a sound design company that helps cast and direct voice actors. 

“They showed me the ropes of audio engineering and how to really get into the mind space of it,” Liles said. “That was really how I got my start into the professional aspect of it.”

After learning the ins and outs, Liles took every opportunity that presented itself to him. Last year, Liles’s voice frequently reverberated within the halls as he was a part of the morning announcements team. Though the pandemic prevents White Station students from hearing his voice first thing in the morning, it can be heard this year at the University of Memphis on the “Wellness Wednesday” program, Liles’ current voice acting gig. 

“[It’s] a mental health program that airs for 30 seconds every Wednesday to give students tips on how to stay mentally positive during quarantine …” Liles said. “The one that I just read was a metaphor about being a squirrel and landing on your feet.”

Of course, voice acting, like many other activities, has had to adapt this past year. Recording at home has few technological disadvantages, but it lacks almost all aspects of community.

“Since it’s quarantine, I’m doing it all from home,” Liles said. “I go into my closet and record it from my phone microphone. I definitely would love it if I could go over there and go to a recording booth and do them all in one take.”

With “Wellness Wednesday,” Liles provides a meaningful service to students at the university. Not only does he help others through this opportunity, but he also furthers his voice acting career. 

“The best part about it is just generally getting that experience under my belt,” Liles said. “If I want to pursue [voice acting] as a big thing in the future, this is something on my resume.”

Outside his current opportunities, Liles plans to create his own account on Fiverr, a website that advertises freelancers’ services (like voice acting) to consumers worldwide. Taking freelance commissions and every available opportunity is key to helping Liles realize his voice acting dreams. 

“At the end of the day, what I really want to do is probably just voice acting for characters in cartoons because those are probably the best ways to get your voice recognized,” Liles said. “If you’re a voice actor on a cartoon, your voice is being broadcasted to children across the country. There’s something fascinating about that to me.”

But even right now, voice acting allows Liles to showcase his talent while he does what he loves. 

“It’s sort of the same thrill that people go through when they want to be a musician or an actor,” Liles said. “I think voice acting is probably the most underrated form of [expression], and it’s one of the ways I’m most comfortable with getting my name out there.”