“It is a tremendous turning point to say ‘I am living my dream’”: Gabo Juárez, director of dubbing from Sinaloa

Mexico.- After about seven years of work as a voice actorthe culichi Gabo Juarez He has climbed a new rung in his career becoming a dubbing director for the Netflix drama Desires VIP, that reached the top 10 of said platform, an achievement that of course satisfies him.

But getting to this point, of course, has not been easy, and that is that migrating from Culiacán to Mexico City in search of his dream, without a family in the Mexican capital, and suffering from some economic deficiencies, as well as not reaching the funeral of his father or his grandfather in Sinaloa, are some of the hard tests that Gabo has had to face to become the figure he is today.

“How beautiful it is to work on something you like. It is a tremendous turning point to say ‘I am living my dream, I am fulfilling the dream of many other people who have not achieved it, but who are there, I am making a difference’. Has it been worth it? Of course it has been worth it!” she points out.

How did your interest in working as a voice actor come about?

I started dubbing in 2014. When I was young, I used to watch programs like Another Roll, I was at that most critical point, and I saw an interview they did with two colleagues, dubbing directors, who have been in the business all their lives: María Fernanda Morales, with whom I had the fortune to work, and Arturo Mercado Chacón. Since I was a child I watched cartoons, the most characteristic were The Smurfs, I remember that I imitated the voices, I loved playing with my tones and doing imitations. I saw that interview and I remember I said to my mom ‘what is dubbing?’ and she told me ‘they are gentlemen who work with their voice’. I didn’t have much information about it, the fact is that because of that interest in my voice or presence, I studied communication at the UdeO. During those years I entered as a collaborator in the radio, I worked for three years while I studied. There was a change and they started with some things called radio dramas and there I had acting courses. I already had the acting boards, my dad, may he rest in peace, was a teacher of theater, plastic arts and music, he already had knowledge. I had a brother who always left me messages saying ‘do what you want, give it your all, whatever you want to do, enjoy it and you will achieve it’. My brother was murdered in 2011 and in 2012 I made the decision to come to Mexico City, with what my brother told me to throw myself into what I want to be, and I wanted to do dubbing. I spoke on the phone to two dubbing schools, one was Foro Shakespeare, and Sige Producing. They were approximately two years of classes, at the beginning it was voice and diction, body acting, radio performance, and I said ‘here I am’. I saved a little money, I had a contact here, I asked him the favor of staying at his house, and I thank him for the gesture. I have no family here, I had no contacts, I had only come to Mexico City once and I was scared to death. I go to school with all the fear and the one who receives me was Don Esteban Siller, the voice of Gargamel in The Smurfs, and you can imagine, me happy with life, with a voice that I heard since my childhood.

Where do you feel your career is now?

I always thought: the first thing is to study dubbing, second to have a voice dubbing call, third was to have a fixed character, in a cartoon, in a series, in a drama, whatever; and then I said ‘what’s next, what’s next?, and I was achieving it little by little. Already when I began to have bigger characters or the confidence of very big directors, that we all admire or grew up with that voice, little by little I began to realize that things can be achieved. I think the most important thing is to have the determination, the courage and the drive to do it. Right now in my professional stage I am elsewhere, at another point, because I am not only a dubbing actor, but a director as well, something I never even imagined. Last year they proposed it to me, it’s not that I rejected it, I told them ‘give me time, I don’t feel ready, I don’t feel ready’. Surprise is that approximately four months a producer writes to me and tells me ‘they are recommending you a lot’. Betzabé Jara is the voice of Sailor Plut in Sailor Moon, Alan Fernando Velázquez, he appears on television and does the voice of Billy in The grim adventures of Billy and Mandy; Rick Loera is a singer and coach of Gloria Trevi; and Ximena de Anda, she played Mulan in the live-action. When I came across those recommendations I said ‘your work is being highly recognized by these co-workers’.

I understand that to dub a program or a documentary is very different from dubbing fiction. In this sense, what is the most difficult thing to dub in fiction?

The dubbing is very fast, against what we know or the perception we have. It is very different to record a cartoon to a live-action that is flesh and blood, and from a live-action they differ or are divided into a reality show, a movie, a soap opera, a Korean drama, and it does vary a lot. The dubbing is very fast: they can give you a call of 10-15 minutes, and you arrive, you have your script and you have your director and he tells you ‘your character is a murderer, only this episode appears, you murder the girlfriend of the protagonist’ and they give you the psychology of the character to more or less understand it. They put it on video, you rehearse and record. It takes you 15 minutes or half an hour, there are calls that can last 5 or 6 hours. What is the preparation? In live-action, what is taken care of even more are the lipsticks or the lyp sync, the synchrony of the lips. Obviously it is not the same to speak with a deficiency or with a movement from English, Korean, Russian and all other languages, to Spanish […] in a cartoon you can be more farsic, the animals speak, the objects and they allow you to play with those tones, but in a live-action you cannot speak like in a cartoon, because it will sound like El chavo del ocho.

Is there a genre that costs you more work or was it just at the beginning of your career that you felt more challenges?

I think more at the beginning, because you are starting. I think that all of us when we are starting something, in a job or in anything, we do not have experience. I know that right now I lack a world of experience, I will never be perfect, because perfection does not exist, but I think I have learned from many colleagues in different things, and right now I can say that what I like the most is doing villains, because it allows you to play with those shades of evil and it’s a lot of fun. At the beginning, what was most difficult for me was comedy, because it has a different rhythm. Friends who do stand-up tell me ‘rhythm is everything’, because you can say ‘what’s up, I’m here’ and no one is going to laugh, but if you say it in a certain tone, maybe they already laugh, and if you have a good rhythm you will hit the nail on the head. In dubbing we have an already established rhythm. In the end, dubbing is what René García said: “it is the substitution of the original dialogues of an audiovisual production”.

Facts about his dubbing career

Gabo’s work as an actor, as well as his new facet as a director, has moved between anime, film and television, and in different genres.

Gabo lent his voice to the character of Jack, played by Will Poulter in Bad Love. He has also done additional voices for films such as En el barrio (2021) and La Casa Gucci (2021).

In television series he has done the second voice of Anwar, in Netflix’s Sex education. He has added voices for productions like Ozark, Creepshow, 9-1-1 and NCIS.

In anime, he has done the dubbing of various characters, the best known being Kisaki Tetta in Tokyo Revengers. He has also participated in stories like Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains and One Punch man.

He has also worked on miniseries such as Mare of Easttown, where he voiced the character of Anthony Norman. Pam & Tommy, and The Time Traveler’s Wife (2022) are also listed.

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The Profile

Gabo Juarez, voice actor
*Place and date of birth: Born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, on December 16, 1988.
*Training: He studied communication at the Universidad de Occidente and dubbing at Sige Producing.
*Work: In addition to being a voice actor, he has also worked as an announcer.

Relatives of the disappeared demonstrate in Escuinapa, Sinaloa