Words Out Loud #2
Welcome to the first blog post from Crawley Voice Studio. Each month I'll be posting new episodes of my audio series: Words Out Loud a series of 'audio profiles of audio people' and Low Light - a narrated audio-drama project I'm developing. There'll be other bits to listen to, depending what's happened that month, along with news, recommendations and other useful links. You can sign up to receive all this via your email inbox too, below. Thanks for reading and listening!
WORDS OUT LOUD
Audio Profiles of Audio People
My monthly chat with colleagues, clients and friends from our world of recorded voice. This week, its the brilliant voice and accent - so good is she that she got me to speak with a passable Russian accent. Anita talks about her journey from actor to all things voice including how she was determined to have the most impressive lung capacity when she was a student...
Volume up - its audio only!
LOW LIGHT written and narrated by Melanie Crawley.
Episode two of the ongoing narrated audio-drama.
On a cold northern street, murder is afoot! Meet the neighbours - the well-meaning, the curious and the devious. Those with seemingly humdrum lives and those who gaze out into the low light and begin to imagine a different world...
This week, the neighbours reel in shock as the police arrive to ask questions. Eric begins to realise the implications of what has happened. One girl runs away, another keeps quiet. There are strange alliances forming as the night's events threaten to force change on the small community.
Another episode will be available next month!
Headphones recommended - there is a little swearing and reference to violent acts but nothing graphic You need the volume up! Its audio only.
A RECENT JOLLY JOB
I like a good laugh - who doesn't? I love performing comedy - in audiobook narration, audio drama, on stage - anything. I've only recently started doing radio commercials and the fabulous Rick Loynes over at Bauer asked me to bring a little humour to a script for a concrete company - it was such a lot of fun. And they seemed to like it!
Here's the writer feedback...
I realise I’m laughing at my own joke, but the FVO’s performance has really tickled me"
"Yeah she is good, we need to use her for the next lot"
So that's more comedy for me in the future. Excellent!
RECOMMENDATION: B DOUBLE E
Before the pandemic hit I was planning to start 'networking' in earnest with a trip to every major voice event in the UK that year. Instead I put the budget I had set-aside towards improving my online presence - beginning with a new brand identity for my business.
I chose Helen Bee to work with on that - a decision I have never regretted! Helen was never anything less than brilliantly creative, professional, flexible and supportive as we teased out ideas which she then used to create this visual identity for my voice business.
Helen came up with a visual approach that brought my business to life and now I feel as though I can inhabit my own little place in the online community. You can see Helen's hard work by simply looking at my website of course - bright, bold, confident and full of energy for getting the best job done and there's a sneak peek below.
But that's not all - at B Double E you get multiple voice services - Rob Bee is a producer and sound engineer and produced some of my voice reels - at very reasonable rates and with much helpfulness I might add. Together they are a very useful company to know for us voices and I can't recommend highly enough!
It might be helpful to sign up for the B Double E newsletter right now!
BEE AUDIO CEO IN TOWN
Bee Audio is an international audiobook production company with a large roster of talented narrators - I’m happy to be one of them and often work on romance and historical novels for their clients. Their new (ish) CEO Roy Forbes was over from LA back in April and I went down to meet him and some of my fellow narrators in the West End of old London town.
I’m so glad I did - firstly because its been such a long time since I’ve walked through London on a warm spring afternoon with the sun on the beautiful city. Wanting to avoid crowded public transport, I left Kings Cross and meandered through the streets feeling my way to Theatreland - passing very near to a number of my previous places of work.
Once there I spent an hour or so chatting away about the industry and where its headed - we worried a little but were also fascinated to hear Bee’s plans around AI - this new technology is already part of our industry so there's no shying away from it. Good to know Bee values its narrators and is up for an open discussion about what it means for us and for the market in general.
ON THE SUBJECT OF AI - you may have seen that Equity is spearheading a brilliant campaign: ‘Stop Stealing the Show’ to get the government to improve legislation around intellectual property use in AI in the voice industries. Narrators and anyone involved in voiceover production in the UK should be aware of this.
NARRATOR SUPPORT GROUP
One of the brilliant narrators I met in person at the Bee Audio meet was Esther Wane who until then I had only zoomed with. Esther is a well known and very prolific narrator and creative coach and recently she started to organise some of us motley narrators from all over the UK into an online group that meets roughly every week.
We do various things - chat about the weather or our hols, do co-working sessions where we support each other to get a task / tasks done for our respective businesses or play readings to improve our sight-reading skills and think about direction for a text.
Recently we’ve been looking at The Barchester Chronicles - a wonderful script written for BBC Radio 4 (adapted from the novel by Anthony Trollope) held online by BBC Writers Room for just this type of thing. Its a very enjoyable thing to do, especially getting to play characters who you’d never get cast as as an actor - although as narrators we do sometimes have the privilege of playing all kinds of characters I suppose.
Big thanks to Esther I think for taking this on - something so helpful and enjoyable for freelancers generally is to have an online group of people with whom you can rejoice or moan in/about your chosen industry. We mainly rejoice, of course!
Thanks for reading / listening! If you enjoyed reading this blog or listening to the audio series, you can sign up to receive it straight to your email inbox each month.