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Friday, February 26, 2021

Voice-actor takes UF classes when he's not busy working

<p>Vincent Martella, a voice-actor, balances his work and social life between taking classes at UF.</p>

Vincent Martella, a voice-actor, balances his work and social life between taking classes at UF.

Vincent Martella remembers stepping onto the Disney Lot in Buena Vista Studios for the first time, passing by animations from "Pinocchio" and historic drawings from the 1940s.

Turning to his dad, he said, "If I could work there for the rest of my life, I would be more than happy."

Now, it's where animation for Disney's Daytime Emmy-winning cartoon "Phineas and Ferb" takes place. Martella, who voices Phineas, couldn't be more proud of that fact.

But the 19-year-old actor hasn't stopped at one goal.

Last fall, Martella began his first semester of college with UF's online business program after graduating from DeLand High School in 2011. He divides his time between Disney Studios and school.

"I was pretty adamant about not wanting to give up my education for my career," he said. "I did the best I could to not sacrifice one for the other."

Martella visited UF the week of Thanksgiving to attend live lectures, meet professors and catch up with friends.

He's currently in California working on the fourth season of "Phineas and Ferb." It follows the adventurous, inventive lives of stepbrothers Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher during summer vacation. A feature film comes out the summer of 2013.

"It's kind of going to be the coolest thing ever," Martella said. "Not a big deal, but it's going to be amazing."

The more Disney 365 (a news segment on the Disney Channel) promotions Martella did, the more students during his junior and senior year of high school asked him to demonstrate the soft, nasally Phineas voice.

Martella called promoting "Phineas and Ferb: The Second Dimension," the show's TV movie, last summer mind boggling.

"Things like that — I took a step back," he said. "It really blew my mind that it's a phenomenon right now."

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Not all of his time goes toward acting.

"A lot of normal teenage shenanigans," he said, like going to an L.A. Kings game at Staples Center for the first time.

When he was younger, fun derived from imitating celebrities and creating voices; his "shtick," Martella said.

During his "Phineas" audition six years ago, creators handed him character art, a brief description sans age and two paragraphs detailing a plan to build a roller coaster. Martella's imagination led him to a bright, innocent voice he said could "make you smile."

Acting was never something pushed on the Rochester-born actor. After his impressions routine one day, Martella said someone joked that he should be an actor. He agreed.

After asking his parents for acting classes, "everything fell into place."

Martella booked work on TV in California with a guest spot in "Cracking Up" and a recurring role in "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide."

He spent eight to nine months out of the year there to film "Everybody Hates Chris," a syndicated comedy "documenting" the life of comedian Chris Rock during the '80s in Brooklyn. Martella played Chris' nerdy, headstrong best friend.

Spots in movies include "Role Models," where Martella exhibited improv skills opposite Paul Rudd, and "Baitshop" with Bill Engvall and Billy Ray Cyrus.

He also contributed to the RPG series "Final Fantasy XIII" as the voice of Hope Estheim in 2009.

"You take something, as an actor, from every job you get whether it's comedy or drama or animation," Martella said.

"No matter where my career's going to go, as long as I'm having fun, I'm going to love it."

Vincent Martella, a voice-actor, balances his work and social life between taking classes at UF.

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