What’s a typical day like for you and have you done anything interesting lately?
Mornings are usually taken up by life and then I head into my (proper) sound booth in the afternoon to record. At the moment I am doing an audiobook which is over 12 hrs long so I’m trying to get one chapter done in the afternoon and one in the evening. I have also just done a couple of radio ads for an insulation firm playing an Essex Girl and a sat nav! Oh, and an ad as a very proper 1930s BBC announcer for a band called the Black Sheiks.
Pick one style which you feel represents you best?
Despite the old VO mantra of ‘use your own voice, don’t try and do other accents’, I’d say that most of my work is not in my own voice but as different characters/accents. This is definitely my strength.
Do you have a favorite VO and what do you want the world to know about you?
There are many VOs I admire though it’s kind of the nature of the game that I often can’t recall their names! This isn’t really a ‘celebrity’ business. Having said that I was at drama school with Marcus Bentley, voice of Big Brother and he’s kind of a celeb!
What I want the world to know about me? That I am not just one voice.
How did your interest in voiceover work come about and what was your first project?
As an actor, it was always something I considered doing and eventually I took the plunge and got some equipment…(though my first ‘sound booth’ was a few mic stands with some duvets over it!) My first job was to record the entire script of the play ‘Iron’ by Rona Monro as the cast were all English and were petrified of doing a Scottish accent. The idea was that the recording of me doing all the parts in Scottish would be a guide for them to learn it. It was by all accounts a great success and I really enjoyed doing the job.
What has been your favorite voice over job to date and why?
This is hard to say! I’ve enjoyed most of my VO jobs. The ones I enjoy the most are character based projects. I have done an animation series with a New York studio which was great fun. And I do enjoy audiobooks when the characters are strong and varied!
Do you think having a regional accents is detrimental to your career?
No! I think it’s an advantage especially nowadays when regional accents on TV and radio are the in thing. (Just look at Geordie Marcus!)
I am Scottish but am lucky as because my parents are English it was always easy for me to intermingle accents. As such, I never needed to train myself to do this. However if you have a regional accent and can’t change it I reckon there is enough work out there for you to use that accent!
What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?
I have done both. But I think it’s pretty imperative that you have the ability to record at home. As I said, beg or borrow some equipment, make yourself a makeshift booth in a quiet corner of a room and take advantage of some of the free trials that are out there for editing software such as Pro Tools. That’s what I did and then slowly managed to invest until I built up the proper high spec studio I have now. If you get called into a studio, great but the majority of your work is likely to be from home.
Any advice and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?
Just keep at it. It’s competitive but you will get work eventually as it’s very much about that one person liking your voice and giving you the job. Beg or borrow some equipment to record from home and if you can join pay to play sites such as Voices Pro and Voice123 then that will give you lots of experience through auditioning.
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