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Behind the mic: UK student Ty Osborne finds success as a professional voice actor

When Ty Osborne was a child, he humorously talked to his family in different voices, much to their amusement and occasional irritation.

One day, though, Osborne’s mom surprised him with a microphone. He said he didn’t initially realize what it was for, but she explained that she wanted him to try voice acting.

Osborne, a media arts and studies major at the University of Kentucky graduating this May, has now been voice acting for nearly four years. He said “it was completely by circumstance. I had absolutely no choice in the matter.”

He said after his voice dropped, he started booking jobs, falling in love with it and doing it ever since. 

Osborne said he has worked many different jobs as he made his way up in his voice career, both paid and unpaid. 

“My first one (job) was on like a parody project,” he said. “It was completely unpaid, but I met a lot of friends through that.”

He said his first “big boy” job was when he booked a gig with an audiobook company based out of India. He said he thinks he reads terrible audiobooks, but that was the highest-paying gig he has had so far.

Osborne said the first mainstream thing he has been a part of is “OUTLIER,” an anime show produced by Houston-based animation house Studio Kane and picked up by Amazon Prime Video that will be airing some time next year.

He said he has also been lucky enough to work with other notable animation studios, such as Mihoyo, THP Productions and Webtoon.

Osborne’s favorite thing to do in the voice acting world so far has been lending his voice to video games. 

“It’s not like reduced to one genre,” Osborne said. “You can kind of do everything.”

Most of his expertise came from video games and animation, he said, but he’s starting to book more commercials and audio books. “My foot’s here, my foot’s there,” trying a little of everything at this point, he said. 

Osborne said some of his favorite characters to do are the darker ones, which he creates a more deep, sultry voice for. 

“I always play the edgy characters,” he said. “They’re terrible human beings on paper, but people fall in love with them and then I just kind of run with it.”

He said he not only does the “edgy” voices, but also has more high, expressive voices for other characters.

“I don’t change it that much,” Osborne said. “It’s not like an impression or anything.”

He can also do some British, Cockney and Russian accents on top of his self-taught voices. He said doing a little of everything keeps him nice and busy. 

Osborne said he believes voice acting to be a generally hard field to get into, but he got lucky. He started his journey around the COVID-19 pandemic, which is when a lot of the casting was done remotely. He said things are now going back to more in-studio and at-location. 

Ty Osborne, a media arts and studies student and professional voice actor, poses for a portrait inside the University of Kentucky’s Media Depot on Feb. 5, 2024, in Lexington, Ky. (Kristen Roberts)

He said he is planning to fly out to New York in August to promote himself after he graduates and is supposed to move to Texas in a year or two to start booking more of his so-called “big boy” jobs there. 

“I would say I’ve been super fortunate, and then just getting to know the right people,” Osborne said. “It kinds of falls in the luck department, so I fell under that wing I guess and got the right people, got the right eyes on me and it kind of exploded out of nowhere.”

Osborne said he’s not strictly looking to pursue a career in voice acting, but he just wants to work in the world of audio in general. 

“Audio engineering is super fun to me,” he said. “I don’t know why, like being a foley artist and making a bunch of different sound effects from random things around your house is pretty fun to me too. So if I can’t do that (voice acting), then that’s my fallback option.”

Osborne said that, overall, he has gained a lot of positive experiences from voice acting.

“Getting to kind of share work and bring a bunch of creative people’s visions to life is super super fun to me,” he said. “They’re always super nice and super understanding, great people to work with just in general.”

Hear more from Ty Osborne on “Catching up with the Kernel,” the Kentucky Kernel’s news podcast, here.

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Kristen Roberts, Features Editor

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