Voice and Actory Stuff
NEWSFLASH! I was nominated for the big kahuna of audio! You heard me... Big. Kahuna. I was nominated for the Best Female Narrator at the Audie Awards in New York, for my narration of One By One, by Ruth Ware. Obviously this year the ceremony was held online, and while I always like an excuse to go to New York, I like an excuse to stay in with my slippers on even more! Huzzah! I didn't win! Huzzoo! But I did get the jitters from drinking too many espresso martinis and John Leguizamo did say my name out loud, which made me happy, because... John Leguizamo.
I earn my living by doing silly voices, telling stories and generally speaking out loud into a microphone. It is just about the greatest job in the world.
When I turned eighteen, I moved to our smoggy capital and trained for three years at The Drama Centre London, which was (at that time) a hard-core Method acting school. Really, I should have been at a school for buffoonery and clowning so I didn’t always fit right in. But it was a serious piece of schooling and it probably made me able to do more stuff than I could before I went there. So not a total waste of money.
After The Drama Centre I was a jobbing actress in London for tons of years, working on the odd commercial, play or film, but not much of any interest. I got great crits in publications like Time Out, but let’s be honest, it wasn’t a time of legend. Bored out of my socks I embarked upon a fantastically smutty second career in the evenings as a performance poet and Burlesque dancer. I combined the arts of comic poetry and removing all your clothes to music and people seemed to love it! I got heaps of work and even managed to headline the cabaret tent at Latitude and host a huge cabaret at the South Bank Centre. So that was nice.
After ten years in London I got an artist’s visa and moved to Los Angeles for a change and some sun. It wasn’t long before I realised that the brutal desperation of L.A. (and the sun) really weren’t for me, at all, in any way. So I came back to the UK and touched base in the fine metropolis of Norwich... from which, to date, I haven’t left! Of course, when I no longer lived in London I started getting loads of work in London, so now I commute with a neck-pillow and a small vat of coffee on wheels.
The source of all this work turned out to be my voice. After spending time in Los Angeles and being advised to bleach my teeth, lose some weight, lie about my age, wear balloon pants (I made that last one up, though I wish I hadn’t), I felt the only way to get back to the bad-ass heart of acting was to remove my body from the equation and just use my voice. I began by narrating audiobooks for the blind, with the lovely RNIB. My history as a stripper made them very keen to use me for their many Mills and Boon erotic titles and I was well game (see: sex-positive feminism comment earlier)! Around this time 50 Shades of Grey was storming the battlements of quality and all the mainstream publishers were jumping on the porny-bandwagon. So when they wanted someone to talk vulvas out loud, who do you think they found? Hell yeah! From there, it became clear I could talk a variety of words with feeling (not just man-poles and nipps) and I started narrating all kinds of audiobooks. You need fierce concentration and escapism to be able to narrate audiobooks, both of which I have had since I was wee. On top of audiobooks came audio commercials, comedy, documentaries, plays and the like. Now, I talk out loud in to a microphone all over the country.
I’m still available for acting stuff where you can actually see my face but to be honest, it has to be pretty darned awesome for me to bother plucking my eyebrows...
Here are two interviews you can listen in on, about my life in audio....