OK so let me tell you a little bit of my story first.
This story goes back to 1990. I’m sure some of you weren’t even born but here we go.
I was in my first big profession show. It was called a Buddy...The Buddy Holly Story. It had opened as a smash hit on Broadway and the West End in London before Toronto and then the next stop was Australia.
So we opened in Sydney and pretty soon we were playing to packed houses. We stayed in Sydney for about 8 months before we went on tour. Now the next stop was a 6-month stint in Melbourne, which if you’re not from Australia is, you know, the other major city after Sydney in Australia.
Now one of my mates on the show was this girl- Karen Jacobsen. Now most of you actually know Karen. Her name is, in the US, is “Australian Karen” the most popular GPS voice in America and is also Australian Siri. So any of the iPhone owners that use Siri in Australia or if you choose the Australian voice as Siri on your phone then you probably talk to Karen everyday.
Alright so this was a couple of decades before that. And then we were… everyone who had done the show in Sydney was going on tour with the show took it and studied in Melbourne... everyone except Karen that is.
Karen told me that she wasn’t going on tour because she wanted to protect her voiceover career. That was the first time I’d even heard anyone say the words “voiceover career‟ and considering we were 19 yrs old and about to go on tour with a Rock’n’Roll musical, I was suitably impressed that there might be something out there that would be considered as more valuable than that.
So cut to a couple shows later, I mean a couple of productions later, and I was doing this great show out of New York with the New York director. The play was called Tony and Tina’s Wedding- another very fun experience. I’m sure a lot of you know the play, and that’s where I met my buddy Ric.
Now during rehearsal Ric would get paged. Yes, I want you to imagine how far away that was, he was getting paged. He didn't have a cell phone yet, we didn't have those. He’d get paged, he’d leave for about an hour and then he’d return.
Now and it turned out that Ric had cut a deal with the producers that because he was playing the wedding singer and was only in a certain section of the play, if we weren’t rehearsing that section, that he could literally just duck out and do a quick voiceover and then come back.
You see Ric was making far more money as a voiceover artist than he was in the play and so it was important for him to keep working if he could. That was it. I was like way past the curious stage and I was really keen to explore voiceover by that stage.
Now my generous buddy Ric was good enough to help me put together my first demo and luckily I had some good natural instincts in VOs and I started to look for work with my first demo.
Now shopped around for an agent, I got rejected, by my current agent (I think this is a very valid point for those who have been guilty of being stopped by the first obstacle) but I kept shopping around and I found a small agency. And with that agency I started to get my first voiceover jobs.
I was later poached by an up and coming agency that is now the second largest in the country. And over the next couple of years my work began to grow.