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Rob Greig

Quit your job, become a... voiceover artist

Danielle Goldstein

Kirsty Gillmore 37, freelance voice actor

How did you get into voiceovers?

‘I trained in music performance and sound engineering in New Zealand, then I did the occasional voiceover job while I was working as a sound engineer. When I decided to pursue it more seriously, I got positive feedback from a couple of auditions, and I already had my own studio so I was set up to start recording myself.’

What basic equipment do you need to record from home?

‘An acoustically dead and quiet space – just like a room or a cupboard that you’ve converted so there are no echoes and you don’t capture any outside noise. Plus a decent microphone, a laptop and a good audio interface.’

Would it annoy flatmates?

‘It probably would, depending on when you did it! I helped a West End actor record a reel a couple of years ago, and he’d been doing all his own recordings in a wardrobe at 1am when he got back from work because it was really quiet then.’

Can you remember your first voiceover job?

‘I was doing additional voices for a version of “The Wombles” that had been redubbed into Maori.’

That's got to be the weirdest character you've voiced, right?

‘No, impersonating Nicole Kidman for the audio version of Dawn French’s latest book, “According to Yes”. That’s probably the oddest brief I’ve had because if you hear her voice you don’t necessarily go, “Oh that’s definitely Nicole Kidman.” But weird characters come with the job!’

Are all your jobs that bizarre?

‘No day is the same. I get up around 7am, have breakfast and do my vocal warm-ups, which I generally do in the shower because the steam loosens everything up. Then I’ll look for jobs that have come in overnight and plan my recording and mixing schedule. When I’m not recording myself, I’m recording or directing someone else. I never know what I’m going to wake up to and that’s quite exciting.’

Hour: 50-60hrs p/w

Starting salary: £50-£200 per job

Qualifications: Not necessary, but experience essential

Or why not become a piano tuner?

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