At the end of 2020, Elroy Spoonface Powell – superhuman, Voiceover, actor and so much more – asked me if I would like to contribute to a book he was writing on the stories behind successful Voiceover careers.
I was delighted to be asked and responded with my story and lessons learned in a decade of building my Voiceover career..
My story sits alongside those of other professional Voiceover artists and it’s a fascinating book. We all have our own stories, challenges and our own very unique voices and sounds.
The book is available on amazon.
Here’s what I had to say.. but don’t stop here.. go ahead and get hold of the book and read the other stories too!
When I moved into being a full time voice-over artist about 11 years ago, it took me a good while (possibly 2 years or so) to feel confident that I actually WAS a voice-over artist! My career up to this point had been in radio as a presenter and sound engineer, in addition to working in TV directing channels for the BBC. I had in fact been voicing things for years way before I became a VO but for some reason, I didn’t feel legit. This was my most challenging experience in the VO industry. I felt that I needed to keep a fairly low profile while I learned more, built a client base up and felt at ease in my sound. I wanted to be “good enough” before daring to attend any VO events. As little as 10 years ago, the industry felt like a very different place. It was more closed and the opportunities for training and learning were fewer and harder to find. It felt like trying to solve a puzzle. On my own, I solved it by speaking to a couple of VOs that I had known for a while. I also worked VERY HARD behind the scenes to find work using my existing media contacts, identified my strengths and weaknesses and carved out a place for myself in the industry to a point of feeling credible enough to own the title ‘Voice-Over Artist’. I feel very strongly that anyone coming into the business should respect the work that goes into being successful as a VO. If they are going to own the title, they need to match the professionalism of their peers.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked on a range of exciting and fun projects as a voice-over artist from TV commercials to documentary narration, ADR and more. If I had to choose one favourite, it would probably be the night that I was the live Voice of God (announcer) at the AIM Independent Music Awards. This was a very cool music industry event and being part of that felt so exciting. I live announced the on stage hosts, (Radio 1 DJs I ate lasagne with backstage before the show!) guests, the nominated acts and winners as well as the performers for the night. Over that evening, I announced the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Stormzy, Public Service Broadcasting and Nick Cave! As someone with a background in live broadcasting and a love of music, this felt like the perfect project for me. I was able to draw on my strengths and years of experience to do a good job and pull the event together with my voice. Hugely satisfying and great fun.
What if I knew then what I know now?
The route I took actually worked for me. I would still quietly build up my work, confidence and skills behind the scenes. I think that I would possibly start thinking sooner about what my voice worked well for project-wise and where my strengths and skillsets were in order to fully embrace them sooner. I don’t think I expected to work as much as I do within the corporate sector but it turns out that my sound and delivery work well for large tech and pharmaceutical companies!
I might have started attending voice-over events sooner as well. I made some great friends that way.
Clare was born in Torquay, Devon. After training in theatre and media, Clare worked for the BBC for a number of years as a Radio Presenter, sound engineer, TV Channel Director and running internal BBC training.
Clare founded her voice-over business in 2010. Her background in broadcasting – from both sides of the microphone – gives her a real edge in the voice-over world where she brings her unique knowledge of the world of broadcasting into everything she does.
Living on the Kent coast, Clare is a keen sea swimmer and a player of alto and baritone saxophones, bringing fresh air and musicality into her work and making waves with words.
Clare’s voice-over clients include Colgate, Bosch, Facebook, Hyundai, Booking.com, National Geographic and Clearblue.