Recently I've been hooking up with fellow voice over artists and voice actors within my local area. Which is London and the surrounding parts, incase you're interested. I'm Irish, but I don't live in Ireland. Who does? Eh? #insertjokeabouttheeconomyhere
We all spend a fair amount of our time trapped in little padded rooms talking to ourselves, so firstly it gets us out of the house, as it were. There is a right little gang forming now, the head of which is the wonderful and talented voice artist and entrepreneur Rachael Naylor. It's been really great. I'm starting to feel part of a workplace community which is often missed as a self-employed work-from-homer. You get to revel in, moan about and relish all aspects of the voice industry together and find solace, companionship or support amongst your peers. Which, as a relative newbie (3ish years) is always useful. Turns out, I'm not the only one who sometimes has to chase clients for payment, or doesn't know what to quote for a 27 word ad airing on a local TV station in Aruba for 13 days during the full moon. #phew
I've also started to recognise peoples voices on my tellybox and radio and can often be heard proclaiming, 'oh, that's so and so!' during the ad breaks in Coronation Street. Not the Meerkat, I haven't met him yet but it's on the bucket list. Oh, that's probably a joke for the UK based crew. Meerkat moments available here...
But, the best thing is hearing how people who I've previously linked up with via social media, and whose face I've only seen thus far in a tiny avatar, sound! I'm constantly surprise by peoples voices in comparison to what they look like. In a good way, of course.
Until these meets up I've only had the privilege of hearing folk through their demos and what not. Just this morning a fellow voice over Jay Britton, whom I am following on twitter and have in my circle on Google+ but have yet to meet, posted a job he'd completed recently and I got to hear him for the first time! He sounded completely different to how I imagined. He responded with "I'm sure I've got a character voice somewhere that might sound like what you imagined ;)" I might test him on this and say I imagined him sounding like a feisty Disney princess. Or a greek farmyard animal.
I was then catching up with some blogs and came across this lovely lady, Rebecca Forstadt, whose voice doesn't sound anything like you would expect. Check out her demos and you'll see why. It's wonderful!
Got me thinking though, if you had to create the voice for what you think people imagine you to sound like, what would it be? Higher? Lower? More feminine? More Aruba-esque? The possibilities are endless. How honest would you be? Would you make yourself sound sexier? Or geekier? Or give yourself a lisp?
I would obviously sound like Joan Rivers, but let me know. Share, via words or mp3, what you think you look like you sound like? That's a weird sentence...
Right, I'll be off now. Cigarettes to smoke. Jewish accent to research.
By Nicola Redman
Northern Irish Voice Over Artist. No really. Even without ginger hair? Crazy.