While his alter-ego Phineas wiles away his summer days with stepbrother Ferb, Vincent Martella is hitting the books at UF.
Vincent Martella (3CBA) never wants to stop learning.
That’s why he wanted to continue his education after graduating from high school even though he was a lead in the Emmy-nominated animated series, “Phineas and Ferb.”
Martella, 19, is pursuing a bachelor’s of science in business administration from UF online.
Picking a school wasn’t difficult because he grew up in central Florida. He originally thought he wanted to go to film school but realized that would be difficult to do with his schedule. Business was his second choice, and UF just happened to have an online program.
Because of his commitments to “Phineas and Ferb,” Martella spends most of his time in Los Angeles recording for the show. He watches online lectures and does online homework while on set.
“UF has been so great in dealing with me and my unique situation,” he says.
The show, which began in 2007 on the Disney Channel, follows stepbrothers Phineas (Martella) and Ferb (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) in their attempts to make every day of summer vacation fun. Phineas comes up with crazy ideas, like a beach in their backyard, and Ferb builds them. They have a pet platypus, Perry, that’s actually a secret agent and an older sister, Candace, who is always trying to get them in trouble.
Martella was 13 and on the cast of the live-action show “Everybody Hates Chris” when he was called to read for Phineas, a boy with a patch of red hair on top of his triangle-shaped head. The creators had him read the pilot episode with a few directions (be imaginative, fun) and asked him to supply the voice. Martella created a soft, happy-sounding voice that everyone involved loved.
But being a voice actor comes with its challenges. “You have to convey as much emotion as you would with body movements and facial expressions with just your voice,” he says. “So if you come in and watch me, I’m moving a lot. I probably look pretty crazy.”
Martella’s other credits include Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” the film “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and the straight-to-video “Bait Shop.”
One of his favorite projects was “Role Models” with Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd, comedians he really admires. The cast was hilarious, he says, and it introduced him to the world of improv.
“I got to fight with a sword for a month and wear ridiculous medieval clothing,” he says. “You can’t beat that.”
He wants to keep acting as long he possibly can, and as he continues his degree he is looking to delve into the other sides of the industry. His future plans include becoming more involved with the writing and production sides, possibly opening his own production company. He’s also working up the courage to pursue stand-up comedy.
“I just want to keep growing and keep working on a bunch of different projects,” he says. “I learn so much from each project that I’ve done.”
— Jillian Kremer (4JM)
Not familiar with “Phineas and Ferb”? Check out the first episode, “Rollercoaster”, to meet the characters: