Nerd Guy of the Month

Meet Patrick, a Voice Nerd

Interview by Terra Olsen

Although you’re a nerd for many things (science, video games, etc), some people might be surprised to discover that you’re a voice nerd (that’s right, we’re coining a new term). How did you discover your love for singing and doing voices? Patrick Aghajanian performs

Funny thing, I always wanted to be a comedian when I was a kid, so I grew up mimicking voices. I didn’t really discover that I enjoyed it until maybe the end of high school; my friends used to tell me to sing the imperial march or tell me to do the Sean Connery voice, silly things. In college, I tried karaoke for the first time and that’s when I actually had a lot of feedback from friends telling me I was actually good at it. So, I guess it was when I found out that people enjoyed it, that I really began to enjoy it a lot as well.

What about singing and doing voices sparked the nerd in you?

Well, the nerd in me is always active, lol, but I guess the fact that I love doing the Disney voices breaks my Disney nerd out to it’s maximum. Whenever I’m at karaoke, I almost always have at least a couple of Disney songs that I sing.

What types of activities are you involved in as a voice nerd?

I used to provide voice overs for a dubbing studio off and on between undergrad and grad school, thought I haven’t done it in a while. A couple of other things I’m more active in right now are that I have a youtube channel where I’ve posted a few covers that I’ve done. Most of them, as you’ve probably already guessed, are Disney songs but there are a couple others on there right now. And a capella Game of Thrones cover for one, though, I’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback from that one, haha. In addition to that, I do have a recurring character called the Tortilla Man in my friends’ musical comedy group, it’s called Pancho and Sancho. If you’re easily offended, be forewarned, the jokes are pretty crude and unforgiving. My part in it usually consists of a cover. Also, as I alluded to before, I do karaoke. A LOT of karaoke. It’s honestly really good practice, and if you have stage fright, it definitely takes the edge off for when you have to deal with bigger crowds.

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What challenges do you encounter as a voice nerd?

You know, it’s actually very difficult to find a few talented guys who can mesh together and meet regularly enough to form a band. I would say, that is one of the more frustrating things I’ve encountered. Another is, yes, if the things I’m singing put too much strain on my vocal chords, it becomes someone difficult to recreate that magic the next day. I did almost pass out once in the studio when I was recording a monster scream, that surprised me, lol. Of course if you ask any actor, most of them will also tell you, it’s somewhat difficult to find work that is consistent enough to make a good living off of. This is why I’m glad I that I at least have science.

Where do you want to take your passion for singing and voices in the future?

STRAIGHT TO THE TOP! But, in all seriousness, I’m just as happy singing in front of my friends as I am in front of a bunch of strangers. Although, I am always looking for a band to sing with. I love the creative process itself and I always have music running through my head.

Favorite moment/memory involving singing or voice-overs?

I did once win a karaoke competition, that was definitely a good moment for me. If you wanna know the song I sang, it was “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Otherwise, if it’s a song that I love to sing, then I definitely love the moment.

Patrick Aghajanian

As an LA native, Patrick went to undergrad at UCLA and is currently finishing his PhD in Developmental Biology. He is a lifelong nerd and loves animation, sci-fi, comics, video-games, and Disney (he has an annual pay to Disneyland). He was also the president of Engima: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Gaming club at UCLA. He is of Armenian descent and can speak it. As mentioned, he loves to sing and do voices, and would appreciate if you checked out his youtube channel.

Do you know a self-proclaimed nerd we should interview? If so, please contact Terra at terra@haveyounerd.com and tell us about them.

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