Let me tell you. . .
...a little about who I am, where I'm from, why I do what I do and all that.
Who I am and Why I do this
I’m Melanie Crawley - an award winning British voice actor working from my studio in the UK. My portfolio includes work that ranges from down-to-earth northern medical narration, through good-humoured business books to comedy podcasts and brilliantly written dramatic thrillers. There’s even some romance in there - historical and modern!
What sets me apart from others is my background, training and experience as an actor combined with a previous career in the arts. I studied drama and art to degree level many years ago and then worked in the music and film industries for 20 years before I stepped back on stage and realised what an asset life experience is for an actor! Five years after that, I took an opportunity to act professionally full-time which led me to try audiobook narration. The first paragraph I recorded I was hooked. 40 titles later and I’m firmly ensconced in the wonderful community of voice artists and actors that make up our vibrant industry.
How I work and who I work for
I’m on the talent roster of many audiobook production companies in the UK and US and work regularly for audiobook publishers in the UK and internationally including Harper Audio and W F Howes as well as directly with authors and independent publishers. I have narrated more than 40 audiobooks, mainly fiction including contemporary thrillers and romance, historical fiction and non-fiction, notably ‘The River Through Rome’ by Nicholas Nicastro, ‘An Unknown Woman' by Jane Davis and ‘Silent Sisters’ by Joanne Lee. Audiobook narration is the kind of work I do most often.
W F Howes logo
Harper Collins Audio Logo
W F Howes logo
I work for some brilliant video production companies in the UK and Europe including Jay Jay Media here in the north and Korro down in Brighton and have provided voices for companies and brands such as The Coop and the TUC. I regularly work on corporate projects - from e-learning modules to explainer videos to dubbing other languages for information and documentary films.
Whatever kind of project I’m working on my approach is set on a basis of professionalism - I’m organised, focussed, consistent and I take my work and my relationship with my clients very seriously; I’m also fun to work with - I love to laugh (it helps with the jaw-tension for one thing!) and find that a good-natured approach helps a project proceed smoothly.
Mostly I work from my home studio and you can read all about the tech stuff with a click. I can also travel to clients’ favoured recording spot with the greatest of enthusiasm!
"Melanie got it perfect first time - what an excellent service, very professional and a great quality recording, too."
My natural voice can be described as assured, no-nonsense, trustworthy, mature, believable, sincere and gentle. I have an engaging ‘storyteller’ style of narration and am a highly versatile character actor, able to deliver intensely dramatic readings. I can do comic timing too. Check out my comedy reel if you don’t believe me.
My natural accent is roughly ‘neutral’ British English so I often narrate in a modernish ‘RP’ (received pronunciation or BBC English) but I’m also a northerner so I can dial that up as high as you like. I often provide all sorts of British accents and a wide-range of international accents from Eastern European to South African to US accents. I only recently performed in a two-hander stage show on tour entirely in a heavy rural South African accent - challenging it was - as well as joyful to transform so utterly into my character. But I digress - my voice age is generally adult and ranges from late 20’s into 50’s but I can provide character voices across all ages. Just wind me up and listen to me go.
If you need to hear me saying your words to help decide if my voice is right for your project - that's fine! Please provide me with a short sample of your script (about 50 words will do it) and a contact email and I'll supply a quick raw recording as an MP3 so you can have a listen.
"Great read, understood the tone of the script and a very quick delivery. Recommended!"
Previous clients and projects - selected profiles
Age of Love Podcast
Pete McKee is a Sheffield institution so I was glad to be asked to contribute to the 'Age of Love' podcast bringing his characters Frank and Joy to life. The characters were inspired by academic research by Sharron Hinchliff at University of Sheffield and Sharron then commissioned artist Christopher Green to write and produce the audio play for a project as part of Festival of the Mind 2020. The 'podcast' is still available to listen to online or you can use the audio player below. This is my second opportunity to work on a McKee project having participated in the wonderful audio play 'Classless' commissioned for the artist's 'This Class Works' exhibition.
Elin Johnstone Visual Artist
I've recently contributed my voice to the videos created by award winning visual artist Elin Johnston. Elin's practice is inter-disciplinary in basis with digital process at it’s core, including Video and Experimental Moving Image, 2D Digital Imaging, and 3D Sculptural Assemblage. Through her work she investigates aspects of collective and individual corporeal presence, impact upon place, conditions of self, and making visible resonances of shared cultural, industrial, and social memory.
You can view the projects I contributed to here:
'2053' by Bruna Martini
I am the voice of the AI in the award winning short film about virtual reality and climate change by animator, illustrator and filmmaker Bruna Martini
'Family Fund: Using your iPad', Korro Films
I narrated a series of e-learning videos for the Family Fund, produced by Korro Films.
"Absolutely spot on, the perfect voice for our local business, looking forward to working together again in the future"
"Easy to work with, and happy to work with us to achieve exactly what was needed."
"Returning customer, An excellent, precise and quick service. Many thanks... again!"