AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Zachary Gabriel discovered an unusual talent that has become a passion. It is all about using his voice, but not for singing. Instead, he has figured out a way to use it to do voice-overs. Zach discovered he could do character voices, serious voices, basically all sorts of voices, in 2015. He was inspired by watching his favorite characters including Scooby-Doo and Batman.

Instead of recreating characters, he’s determined to create his own. He has spent many, many hours working on his skill set. As a young man on the spectrum, finding a place where he felt comfortable working was difficult.

When he started at Pine Ridge Industries everything changed. Pine Ridge Industries, which is part of Schenectady ARC, employs people of all abilities and skill levels to work in the field of manufacturing. Before Pine Ridge, the stress of trying to connect with customers was always challenging.

“I can understand the words, but the problem is I can’t understand the sentence. (My brain) It’s like a puzzle, a Rubik’s Cube, trying to solve the words and it’s really hard for me to understand it,” he said.

That all changed at Pine Ridge when he started working on the RAD Soap account. He loves the smell of the space, but more importantly, he has the tools to succeed in a workplace. It’s here that his employers discovered his passion for voice acting. Russell Gorman, Zach’s employment specialist, recognized that he, not only had talent, but a true passion in this area and began to help him expand upon what he was already doing.

“Once I got to know Zack, he asked me to listen to his demo reel. While listening to it, I realized that his voices were as good or better than the voices that I was hearing on local radio. In addition, they were original characters not imitations of other people’s characters, which made him much more marketable,” said Russell.

Once a month Zack goes to a recording studio where he makes demo tapes. He aims to one day book a paying gig for voice-acting, but until that happens he says he’s happy. The ability to wake up and go to a job where he can be himself means more than you can ever know, he says.