An Interview with Atticus Jackson of the NoSleep Podcast

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Read Time:10 Minute, 37 Second
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Kicking off another installment interview in a series of interviews with the cast of the NoSleep Podcast is none other than Atticus Jackon. Atticus is easily one of the most recognizable of the bunch, and you can be sure that when he’s a part of any given story, it’s bound to be memorable.

Among other things, Atticus and I touch on what he’s been up to during the pandemic, how voice acting took center stage in life, how he came to be a part of the NoSleep Podcast, what’s next for him, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Atticus Jackson, you can follow him on Twitter and keep up with his latest comings and goings. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Atticus. Cheers.

Andrew:
Atticus, thank you for taking the time to speak with us here. How are you? What have you been doing to pass the time?

Atticus:
Thank you for having me! I’m sorry it took so long, I’m bad with time, and dates…and dating. Don’t tell my girlfriend that last one though. I’ve been well, thanks for asking! Just kinda living each day as it happens. 2020 was…weird, so just trying to normalize at this point. We started doing gaming on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/thenosleeppodcast, so that’s been a blast so far and is definitely helping to pass the evenings.

Andrew:
Tell us a bit about your backstory. What are your origins? How did you become interested in horror and subsequently, voice acting?

Atticus:
I didn’t really get into acting until high school when I kinda fell in love with watching stuff like Who’s Line is it Anyway? and that led me into starting an improv troupe where I went to school in Florida. I don’t remember if it actually got its feet off the ground, but it enabled me to be in a couple of plays that really made me want to explore the world of acting more. My origins? Like, was I born or formed from some sort of celestial goop? I assure you, Gwenyth Paltrow had nothing to do with my birth, and I can’t believe you would even make that assumption. How dare you! [Laughs]. Oh also, my dad burned me a CD of old radio dramas to listen to when I was like 16-17 and that got me really interested in voice acting. I started to really pay attention to the voices behind the scenes at that point!

Andrew:
Tell us a bit about how you first became involved with the NoSleep Podcast. Did you ever think it would grow into what it’s become today?

Atticus:
By the time I joined the podcast during season 6 it was already pretty established. David had worked his butt off to craft this great universe of talented voices, music, producers, and artists. Combine that with some great writing and we get awesome content! I kind of stumbled into it by sending David an email asking if he needed any extra voices and he (thankfully) gave me a chance!

Andrew:
Let’s go back a bit, before NoSleep. Present-day, you are one of the most recognizable and singular voices on the podcast. When I learn you will be featured in any given story, I automatically know that it’s going to be a good one and that whatever character you play will truly take center stage. Looking back, how did you hone your craft in your early days.

Atticus:
Oh jeez, thank you! That’s such a cool compliment. I think I was a mess back in the early days, but thankfully I had a lot of help in the process of growing my skill. David gave a lot of good insight on how to make a story sound like you’re not just reading it off a page, and producers like Jeff Clement and Phil Michalski showed me the ropes on how to record professionally and how to use my editing time wisely. I attribute a LOT of my skill in voice work to the podcast and the people I’ve met along the way.

Andrew:
Over time, how has your style and approach to narration and voice acting changed? How do you feel you’ve evolved as you’ve gone on? What have you learned that you might go back and tell your younger, less experienced self?

Atticus:
I’m not sure I’ve changed too much really. I’ve always tried to embody any characters I play, whether they’re a one-liner paramedic or narrating an entire story about…blueberry zombies? I think that happened. Anyway, if I could tell my younger self something along those lines, it’d probably be to focus more, and don’t record stories in your closet…in 100-degree Texas summer heat. Oh and buy Dogecoin.

Andrew:
What is it about horror and storytelling in general that you love the most? What has drawn you to it over time?

Atticus:
It’s such a lovely form of expression. Everyone loves to get a little scared, and there is this fun endorphin rush that comes from a sort of safe panic that you go through when you hear a good spooky story. A lot of people tell me it’s a very cathartic experience.

Andrew:
On the subject of horror, what subgenre within are you most fond of? Psychological? Slasher? Occult? Gothic? Which is your favorite, and why?

Atticus:
Occult stuff is fascinating to me because I was also taught as a kid to avoid it and be scared of it cause oogy boogy DEVIL MAN GON EAT UR BONES. So far I’ve been OK with just losing a few mouth bones, so maybe the dentist is the real scary person here. Psychological horror is probably the scariest though because it seems the most real.

Andrew:
The NoSleep Podcast is in the midst of its 16th season! It’s been a great one. I’ve enjoyed this season’s theme. The pacing is much different than last season on so many levels. I’d like to dig more into that. Aside from the obvious, what’s the through-line that we as listeners should take away from this season?

Atticus:
Well let me tell you as an AVID listener to this season of The NoSalt Porridgecast, um the through-line is…don’t…steal…money…from puppies. It’s really subtle. OK, but for reals though, I’m still on like season 14…please no spoilers. [Laughs].

Andrew:
You’ve been with NoSleep for some time now. That said, looking back, what are some of your favorite stories that you’ve been a part of, and some of your favorites in general, and why?

Atticus:
I always love the stories that get people talking a lot! We have a very fun community that loves to tell us how certain stories made them feel, so that’s a fun read. As far as stories I’ve been in, I really enjoyed acting in “Christmas with Mr. Strings” and “Making Deals with Devils.” I wasn’t the main character in either story, but the characters I played were just very very fun. Remember the fireflies, ya’ll.

Andrew:
As a voice actor, how do you get into character? Does come easily for you? That is to say, are you able to snap in and out of character, or does it take a lot of preparation? What types of characters do you most enjoy acting out and why? Which types are the most difficult?

Atticus:
Personally, it doesn’t take much for me to become a different character. I find myself to be pretty bland and boring so I love just jumping into different personas. After reading a script and picking up on key defining aspects of a character, I just kinda do whatever voice makes sense to me and I hope that it makes sense to other people as well! I love to play people that sort of have a mental breakdown and are very manic. I just think I do it well FOR SOME REASON. The type of role that’s hardest to play is probably something that has a lot of dialogue. We don’t record in the same room so you have to basically act like you’re talking to someone AND act as if you’re responding to someone right in front of you. It can sound stilted and lame if you don’t pull it off just right. We have an amazing cast though, so it’s usually *chef’s kiss.*

Andrew:
2020 and early 2021 were truly horrific on many levels, and yet I personally took a lot of comfort in the depths of NoSleep. Does that make me a sadist? [Laughs]. In all seriousness, why do you feel shows such as NoSleep are important? Especially coming out of the insane times we found ourselves in.

Atticus:
2020 was a mixed bag for me. I lost my day job and had to rely solely on savings and voice acting to live. Thankfully, a ton of people like the podcast! Even the sadists! I think NoSleep, and podcasts in general for that matter probably saved a bunch of people’s mental health. Just being able to disappear into a different world is pretty important when it feels like your own is crumbling down around you. I’m happy people found solace in that.

Andrew:
Where is horror as a genre headed? The idea of how we consume all types of media has changed. Is social media a detriment to the creatives of the world, or is it going to help push the genre forward and elevate its players?

Atticus:
Where is it headed? I don’t know…back and to the left? That’s not a good question for me since I never really embroiled myself in the genre. I’m just an actor! Smarter and better people will definitely have good answers. As far as social media goes, I don’t believe it’s a detriment. I’ve made a ton of friends and social contacts in the industry purely through social media. It’s such a low-barrier stepping stone to reach out to like-minded people. Those that I’ve seen complaining about the harmful effect it has on others are usually focusing too much on it or are simply reading and subsequently falling down the wrong rabbit holes.

Andrew:
Aside from horror, and voice acting, what else are you passionate about? How do those passions inform your art?

Atticus:
Entertaining in general is my forte. I really enjoy making people laugh at some of the dumb things I say just because they’re silly and unexpected. There’s a fine line between being dumb and acting dumb, lemme tell ya! There’s probably a good amount of people that listen to NoSleep Podcast ads and think I’m just a ridiculous dunce! [Laughs].

Andrew:
Being that this is started as a music publication, I may as well ask, what types of music are you into? Are you into vinyl? How important is music to the aesthetic of the NoSleep Podcast?

Atticus:
I’m very much stuck in the early 2000s with my music taste. Still a fan of the whole Alternative and Pop/Punk era that I grew up with. I love the work Brandon puts into everything he does on the Podcast. Have you heard his song “Prey/Pray?” It’s an instant classic! I don’t own any vinyl, but I do have memories of dancing around with my siblings to the record player in our house. I remember my parents had a bunch of old records like The Carpenters and Best of Bread. Easy listening back in the ol Jackson house.

Andrew:
Last question. Beyond NoSleep, what’s next for you? Anything exciting on the horizon?

Atticus:
Right now I’m focused on acting for the podcast and setting up and performing fun stuff on the NoSleep Twitch channel! But even better news!! NoSleep is going multimedia! We’re gonna start releasing our FAMOUS NOSLEEP MONSTER BEANIE BABY collection pretty soon and our NoSleep Contributors Action Figure set with Olivia White featuring her ~REDACTED~ covered in a thick ~REDACTED~, but our suppliers in North Kentucky are pretty squeamish so we might have to do away with the way she ~REDACTED~. It’s pretty messy, to say the least.

Thanks for having me, Andrew!

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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