How did you get started in the voiceover industry?
I worked for a Theatre in Education company straight after graduating and they produced wild and wacky shows that toured secondary schools. The shows often used pre-recorded voices and characters and one day a cast asked me to do some voice over stuff for theirs, pretty soon everyone was asking me and I became ‘The Voices Guy’, I thought ‘I’ve stumbled upon something here’. My first project was with them impersonating the voice behind the X-Factor, Peter Dickson.
What has been your favourite voice over job?
I was involved in an audio production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ which was great as I played Scrooge, a brilliant part some 40+ years older than myself that I’d never get the chance to play on stage or film. I also played Tiny Tim so I had to use my range a bit! The cast were all ace and the director and sound engineer were top notch too, great job all round.
What’s a typical day like for you and have you been involved in anything interesting lately?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a typical day for a voiceover actor! One thing I always do daily though is work on my voice and skills so there’s a routine there. Yeah, I’m voicing a couple of characters for an animation series aimed at pre-school kids at the moment, I’m playing a dog and an old tractor, it’s really sweet and loads of fun.
What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?
Setting up a home studio definitely, it gives you access to a broader range of jobs and makes you a lot more competitive as clients with a limited budget don’t have to pay for a studio and sound engineer in addition to you. I also use mine to record custom auditions and update my reels. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money for a home set-up and it will pay for itself.
Do you have a favourite VO and what do you want the world to know about you?
I’m currently working on an impersonations reel (which I will put up on my profile when it’s done!) so I’ve been scouring the web for inspiration and one amazing impressionist I’ve been listening to is a guy called Ross Marquand. He does all of the usuals; Arnie, Nicholson, Pacino etc but also does some less impersonated and much more difficult stars, his Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford are outstanding! I would like the world to know that I do a really good velociraptor impression, and I mean reeally good.
Pick one style which you feel represents you best?
I would say versatile, I regularly do ELT jobs which require me to deliver up to 14 different accents in a recording session. I also love doing animation, it’s really satisfying when I show some of my work to my friends and they react with ‘shut up, that’s not you’.
Do you think having a regional accent is detrimental? Did you have a regional accent?
No, quite the opposite, I think it is a major selling point if you have a regional accent BUT you also need to be able to soften it where necessary. I practice my RP everyday so if I need to I can neutralise my accent (which is Northern) for more subtle reads but I would never attempt to get rid of it altogether, it’s a unique selling point.
Any advice and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?
I would say that the most important piece of advice I received when starting out is that it is your own natural voice that will get you the bulk of your work, to be honest I’ve been at it for four years and that’s still the case for me. If clients want a specific accent nine time out of ten they will go for a native. It’s very much about finding where your voice fits in, what products could it sell? What age group will relate to it? You need to focus your ‘brand’ and be honest with yourself, my voice is nowhere near sultry enough to sell coffee or luxury ice-cream so I don’t have anything like that on my reel. Figure out what sets you apart and then go with it!
Listen to Adam’s voiceover reels here. Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice