We had the good fortune of connecting with Dustin James Leighton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dustin, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I left home at 17 and 3 months and headed for Mt. Vernon, NY, where my aunt had a one bedroom co-op. She was kind enough to allow me to put a bed on the floor of her living room and lend me a dresser for my personal belongings. My first job? I was the janitor at Broadway Dance Center. Seven years later I signed my first network contract that allowed me to quit my day job and begin my life as a full-time working artist. I never considered myself a risk taker. I didn’t know what else to do with my life. It had to work. I was determined.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Over a decade ago, I signed a 16 year contract with the Transformer’s Franchise as the voice of Autobot Evac on ‘Transformer’s the Ride 3d’ which is at all three of Universal Studios Theme Parks. From there I became the network voice of Fox Sports. While at Fox I began to study still photography, which ultimately lead to cinematography. To date, I’ve branded over 7,500 voiceovers. That’s how I gained the experience to step behind the camera and begin helping others breathe life into their visions. At the top of 2022, I introduced my Boutique Production Company, Finding You Pictures, where I do just that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a biker. I started riding when I was 7. If someone comes to town I take them on a Harley Tour. We start out in Old Town Scottsdale, hit Wickenburg for breakfast, then circle back through Cave Creek for dinner. I’m not much for dressing up. Heck, I remember when my main goal was to be able to afford BBQ sauce on every sandwich I ordered. That cost $.50 extra back in the day. My favorite song is ‘Simple Man’ by Lynard Skynard. I embody those lyrics. It’s not about where we go, it’s about the open road and the ability to roam.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am a product of many people who rolled the dice with me. First and foremost, my mother. Next up, a long list of agents from New York to Los Angeles. My current success though is being elevated and supported by my co-producer and life partner, Jade Soto. It takes a village. I’ve been fortunate enough to make good choices in people along the way.
Other: At this point in my life, I always follow back. Thanks for the connect! I appreciate you.
Dustin James Leighton