Thursday, May 10, 2012

TV, Commercial and Voice over actor Rob Sciglimpaglia

Today I have the honour of presenting multi-talented Robert Sciglimpaglia, actor, lawyer, voice-over actor and author. When I was first contacted by his publicist to help in promoting his new book, Voice Over LEGALI was shocked and utterly thrilled. I’ve seen his work and I know how talented Rob is.
Hang around and get to know this talented actor/author. You won’t be disappointed!



Hello Rob.  It’s a pleasure to meet you. When I was first contacted to interview you, your name instantly clicked. I’ve seen your work and it’s very impressive. I must say when I read your biography and the list of work you’ve done I was a bit intimidated.  You’ve got quite the list of work in acting and voice over work, not to mention having worked with some big name actors. But before we get to that, I want to discuss your work as a lawyer. Passing the bar on your first try is incredible! Please tell the readers what made you decide on a Law degree?

Thank you very much for the kind words.  Intimidated by me?  That is very humbling.  I actually passed three bar exams on the first attempt, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, and I passed my worker’s compensation certification exam as well on the first attempt.  Originally when I enrolled in college, I thought I wanted to major in computer science.  However, I had a hard time with calculus and with Pascal, which was the introductory class for computer science.   I had taken a Constitutional Law class during freshman year as well, and I really enjoyed it.  I also like to write, and always have, so I decided that I would change majors to Political Science and pursue law.

I’ve seen the amount of work my lawyer has to do on a daily basis and I think I would go bonkers having to deal with all the information. Aside from the busy and I’m sure very rewarding work in law you also do voice over’s. I’ve always found it interesting. How did you get into doing voice over’s?

Back in 2005, I had thumbed through an adult education bulletin for my local community college and they offered a one evening class on introduction to voice overs.  It sounded fascinating to me, so I enrolled in the class.  From there I was hooked, so I took more intensive training after that and had a demo made.  From there I have never looked back. 

Well worth the time taking classes in something you truly enjoy. From doing voice over’s you moved into acting. The list of work you’ve been in is astonishing. You’ve acted in several television shows including 30 Rock and played Al Capone in MysteryQuest on the History Channel and have done work on the Discovery Channel. I imagine acting isn’t an easy craft. How do you prepare for a roll, how do you get into the character you’re portraying?

You are correct that acting is not an easy craft.  It is a LOT more than memorizing and reciting lines.  Although, that in and of itself can be a challenge.  It is also very different across different mediums, for instance, theatre is different from film which is different from tv, which is different from voice, which is different from commercials.  The best actors make it look effortless and easy, but it is anything but that.  This is why I so admire great acting now, because I can appreciate how difficult it is. Many people THINK it is easy and that’s why they think they can do it and jump into it without any formal training.   In fact, I can honestly say that acting is the most difficult and humbling thing I have ever done in my life.  I have been training formally since 2005 in acting and voice acting, and have been able to be relatively successful at it.  It is a passion of mine, and I just love to do it. 


I prepare for a role systematically by first reading the entire script to get a feel for the character and his relationships with the other characters in the story.  Then, I will do my research to make sure I fully understand any traits that character may have, for instance, I once played an agoraphobic as a lead character in a film called “HOME/SICK”, so I did quite a bit of research on the disorder and common character traits surrounding agoraphobics.  I especially do research when I am playing an actual and not fictional person,  like when I portrayed Al Capone.  I want, to be sure I understand the full historical perspective about that character.  Then, of course, I memorize the lines.  I do this by reciting them, after I have committed them to memory, 250 times.  I actually have a clicker that I carry with me in my bag so I can keep track.  I don’t start to memorize until I have an idea about how I want to portray the character so I have a full understanding of the meaning behind the words I am reciting.   Once I have a full understanding of the writer’s story, have done my research, and know my lines, I let my instincts take over and attempt to get my mind out of the way so that I can live from moment to moment through my character’s eyes and make my character real, in the here and now. 

Doing research is not an easy task sometimes, and so many people dread it. But in order to do a good job whether in acting or in writing it’s a necessary evil.
I’m rather envious of you for your connections with Drew Barrymore, Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Alec Baldwin. What’s it like working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood?

LOL!  I love that word “connections”.  It’s not like I have their cell phone numbers stored in my phone, or anything like that. It’s more like, I was allowed to share the same room with them.   I was fortunate enough to have done some background and small roles in projects featuring these great actors.  It was absolutely wonderful and quite a learning experience for me to see how these great actors approach the craft, and how they exude such a relaxed presence in front of a camera.  I learned a tremendous amount just by observing each and every one of them, and that has certainly helped me to become a better actor myself.

Well, so much for me asking for Will Smiths phone number!

It must be such a rewarding experience to act.

Quite like I stated above where I said acting was the hardest thing I have ever done, it also is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  The only thing more rewarding than the acting, is when people actually appreciate the work I have done; although, I don’t really worry too much if people like my work or not because the reward for me is in the expression.  Like my great acting teacher, Tom Todoroff says, I act to “express, not impress.”

I love your acting teachers look on life.  As an author, I know there is no better feeling than to see your work come to life in the pages of a book. However, I will not deny the utter glee I feel when a review is sent to me. It’s validation that all the hard work I placed into my work is appreciated. I image the same can be said for acting and voice over work. Receiving awards is an incredible feeling. You’ve won a few for your work. Share your awards with us and tell us what it was like to hear you’ve won.

This is true, but like I said above, I write and act to express, and not impress, so I don’t get hung up about the “reviews” I get.  However, it is great to be appreciated, and that appreciation is what keeps me going forward and pushing on.  One major award I “won” involves a commercial that I did for Chevy.  The commercial won a contest so that it was chosen to air during the 2012 Super Bowl.  The feeling I had, like any time I win something, is excitement and disbelief.  And of course, the feeling of excitement that accompanies winning is a natural high that cannot be surpassed by anything else on the planet.  I also played a lead in a short film called Il Portiere (The Janitor), which won a film festival.  Again, the feeling of validation of your work is unmatched.  I have also won awards in my legal career.  I have been named a “Super Lawyer” in New England and Connecticut since 2009 by New England and Connecticut Magazines, which I value quite a bit because it is an honour bestowed upon me by my peers.

I laughed so hard when I watched your Super Bowl commercial. That poor kid. What a disappointment, but I must say, you certainly kept your cool as he was freaking out. LOL  If you haven’t seen it (What planet are you on?) Check it out on You Tube.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae52ourE3Pw&feature=youtu.be

You’ve done practically everything and now you’ve stepped into the role of Author. Your book, Voice Over LEGAL sounds incredible. Give the readers a glimpse into the premise of the book and how you came about writing.

The book combines my two passions/careers, and combines my body of knowledge of both the legal business and show business.  It discusses many of the legal issues I have come across during my experience concerning the law and voice over businesses which an actor/voice actor faces on a daily basis.  For instance, should they incorporate, how do they get paid, should they join the Union, what happens if an Agent is interested in “signing” them.  I have been compiling the information for the book over the last several years, and I actually include many questions and answers in the book based on actual scenarios that I have been involved in with my clients.  Since I kept getting a lot of the same questions over and over, I decided it would make great content for a book.

Sharing your experiences will no doubt be helpful to those looking into the business.

I’ve said it several times already but I believe it deserves repeating. You’ve developed an incredible portfolio of work. I can’t imagine what else you could possibly do, but I’m, sure you have plenty of things planned. What can we see from you in the future?

I have a couple of projects “in the can” as they say.  I have done a few independent films that will be released in the next few months, and I will be appearing on the Travel Channel and Discovery ID in various roles.  I am also narrating four audio books right now.  I also have a couple of independent films that I will be in over the next few months.  As far as the future, my dream job is to become a series regular on a TV series.  I would also like to graduate into larger studio film roles from the independents, and also to graduate to Broadway plays from the off-Broadway ones I have done to date.  A few more national commercials would be wonderful as well, although I don’t think I could ever top a Super Bowl commercial. 

That is definitely hard to follow. Who doesn’t dream of being in a Super Bowl Commercial.

Thank you so much Rob for sharing a glimpse into your life and a look at your latest project, Voice over Legal. This book is a must read!

I look forward to following you and your work. Best of luck!

The book can be purchased at: www.voiceoverlegal.com

Check out Rob’s website: www.robpaglia.com

Rob’s credits can be found at www.imdb.me/robertpaglia


1 comment:

voice overs said...

Wow thanks for share this great post regarding TV, Commercial and Voice over actor Rob Sciglimpaglia. He is my idle because I am also voice over actor and I am big fan of him.