No matter if it’s on TV, online, or in some mall in the Philippines, the chances of us hearing commercials are astronomical. More than the slogans, it’s often the voices behind these quick advertisements that truly make them so memorable. Deep, powerful sounds for men; soothing yet persuasive for women. I’m no voice actor, but I find that what produces the best commercials is a flawless combination of snappy lines and voice-over actors who go the extra mile at delivering them.
Meet Show Suzuki and Ysa Chong, two of today’s most sought-after voice-over actors and actresses in the Philippines. Recently, they’ve been taking off on the video-sharing platform TikTok with collaborations that show just how talented Filipino voice artists can be. Not to mention, transcending standards of what it means to be a creative professional slash TikToker in the country.
On joining TikTok as established voice artists
Before TikTok, Show and Ysa had already established themselves as voice talents in the Philippines, mainly as radio DJs and events hosts. It was these careers that paved the way for landing voice commercials and related projects. As for joining TikTok, it was a mix of simply wanting to explore and being a part of a worldwide community that’s undeniably helped a lot of us get through the pandemic.
“I was forced to join TikTok last April by my station manager. I really didn’t want to do it back then but now I’m hooked. There’s so much to learn!” Show told TripZilla Philippines. He also introduced the idea to Ysa, whose voice can be famously heard in the iconic Smart Dishwashing 2018 jingle. “I just wanted to give TikTok a try because it was trending, but it was Show who encouraged me to continue especially after our ML (Mobile Legends) character voice video went viral last year,” she shared.
As the platform grows with more TikTok videos and TikTokers (or TikTok users) unraveling at each passing minute, it’s safe to say that not everyone gets to use it the way Show and Ysa do. That is, bank on their knack of effectively narrating just about every line thrown at them — a theme common in their respective TikTok accounts. Lucky for them, the app capitalises on videos coupled with audio. Only a seamless composition of both can result in high-quality posts worthy of virality.
Remaking commercials and other TikTok videos
With about two million followers, Show has been nailing it with airchecks (those demo recordings you normally hear from radio DJs) and quick Japanese language sessions. Now with over 50,000 followers, Ysa, on the other hand, has been getting a lot of attention for her covers of popular songs and even her own impression of Philippine Airlines’ in-flight announcement. Yes, the very announcement that previously catapulted its latest announcer, Inka Magnaye, to instant Internet fame.
However, it’s through their collaborative videos that the two have recently been making a buzz, which is quite timely I might say, after they’ve been working with each other for a few years. “We got close after finding out that we were both stuck in really toxic relationships at that time,” Show added. “Our friendship grew from there. We even used to talk about how cool it would be to work as radio DJs for the same station.”
Among their more famous TikTok videos are a Filipino-Japanese accent challenge (almost four million views) and a Mobile Legends character impression (almost three million views), which Ysa had mentioned. Of course, there’s their latest trending video where they did a remake of the Philippine commercials they voiced, which currently has over a million views.
Asked what their favourite is among all of them, Show and Ysa answered the commercial remake video. “I was really pleasantly surprised to see people’s level of interest in voice-overs. It was so cool reading people’s comments, saying our jingles were stuck in their heads, or that they always hear our voices on TV and radio,” Ysa said. “Aside from that, it made my heart happy to hear people say that being a voice talent is their dream.”
Being voice-over actors in the Philippines
As for being voice-over actors in the Philippines, Show and Ysa couldn’t help but express how appreciative they are of the opportunity to share their craft with others, whether locally or abroad. According to them, the best part about the profession is being able to make a story and a living out of their own voices.
“We’re usually very visual creatures so it’s a welcome challenge to capture people’s attention with just your voice,” Show said. For Ysa, the fact that she’s able to reach people from other parts of the world is in itself rewarding. “My voice has reached other parts of Southeast Asia through announcing for the SEA Games and through a Colgate commercial. I didn’t realise how awesome that actually is.”
They also shared some tips to aspiring Filipino voice-over actors, whether it’s on radio, TV, events, and social networking sites like TikTok. “Try doing as many impressions as you can. Work out your mouth, do lip-rolls and tongue-twisters. Put yourself out there.” Show advised. In addition, Ysa suggests constantly experimenting. “Find your voice, literally. Doing voice work requires knowledge of what you’re capable of plus practice. We’re still discovering and learning every day, too!”