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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : June 2014

Monday, 30 June 2014

Overwhelmingly wonderful world of voiceover and how YOU can get involved

I tend not to blog about the voiceover work I do, mainly because there are plenty of more experienced colleagues writing the 'how to' guides and sharing other pearls of wisdom. I do however want to comment on is what an amazing group of people I seem to have met and keep on meeting. Voiceovers are an exceptional bunch. 

I'm not wanting to blow my own trumpet as I am part of this but I think it's important to highlight how important these people are. They are the voices that are all around you that you probably don't event think about. The TV and radio ads you hear and watch all the time, the voice telling what will happen later Eastenders, the person keeping you amused whilst on hold or directing you to the right person at your bank or mobile phone operator. It might be a training guide you're listening to at work. All voiced by people like me. 

This line of work is so varied it's brilliant. It can involve going into funky post houses in Soho and being waited on (plus my collection of pencils always grows after a vist). However more and more voice overs have home studios,  as I do, which can be quite a solitary existence. When you are building your voiceover business as with any business it can be daunting and often overwhelming. There's lots of questions to ask. I've used Jonathan Tilley and his VoiceoverGarden.com as a great resource plus Hugh Edwards High Score Productions course are invaluable. I even did a improvised character workshop on Skype with some hilarious American actors from LovethatImprove.com and am going to be doing JP's Showreel character course which comes highly recommended.  

Time and time again I've found that fellow artists are more than happy to offer their advice and that is why I'm writing this blog. 

My journey in starting my voiceover business started at Voxmas in 2012 with Ms Posy Brewer holding my hand as I was going there alone.. It became very clear I had nothing to worry about. Then VOX in April 2013 where I picked my lush Sontronics Orpheus mic. From that day on my fellow voiceovers welcomed me in with open arms. From showing you their home set ups  - Gina Mellotte to talking you through techy stuff Darren Altman, Mark Burford to giving you sound tips on profile sites -  Anna Parker Naples & Natalie Cooper. To talking rates Noni North and helping you out in a time of Adobe Audition meltdown - Oliver Dukcevic and then Rob Bee for fixing it for me! When it comes to marketing every one has their methods and Rachael Naylor holds the crown for her Voicever Network group, which held a wonderful soiree on the roof top of a soho post house, on Friday a fab chance to catch up with colleagues and network with industry folk. 

There are so many people I've met who surprise me with their generosity and support. I don't know it that makes me a cynic for being so taken with this bunch. 

Working as a freelance in the media as I do, especially in radio sometimes it can seem as people are quite guarded as to what people are doing with their careers or because of the hours we're all working you don't always get the time to meet up. 

This has changed somewhat since I have been involved in Sound Women. If you are planning on a career in voiceover along with building your contacts for work, build your contacts from a friendship point of view as it makes the glorious ride of talking for a living even more fun. 

If you're wondering if voiceover work is for you Sound Women are holding an event next month 


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Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Monday, 2 June 2014

Why am I obsessed with Matcha green tea?

I've been drinking green tea for years, but not really enjoying it. Either its too bitter, or it makes me feel a bit icky! That's the best way to describe it. I've read about Matcha green tea, but mainly i've looked at the price of a small tin and thought even I, tea lover - won't spend £20 on a small pot. However then I found this box in Waitrose which I love. It doesn't go bitter or too strong. 

So i'm now just a little bit obsessed and have just purchased some cooking grade green tea as I wanted to make some icecream, if you've not tried it it's delicious. That said I need to prove I can make it so I will keep you posted. 

My first experiment was this weekend, was thanks to Kiran Tarun almond-matcha-green-tea-cookies recipe I found. I did improvise on the ingredients using polenta instead of almond flour as I didn't have any. They were still yum and I'll be making them again, now I've got used to  around the American cup measurements!

Which bring me on to my other latest favourite things, a nut bag! I've had a few attempts at making my own almond milk, which involves soaking almonds over night, blending them and then pouring the liquid through a muslin or in my case at first an old t-shirt I then put in the washing machine ( much to my husband's dismay!) I then bought a baby muslin which still get bits of almond mulch stuck in it and is really hard to clean. However this weekend  my oldest pal, Lauren, who I've introduced  to the wonders of almond milk and making your own bought me this beautiful thing. A nut bag. So you still soak your almonds, and blend the mixture ( 3 times the amount of water to nuts) and then put this bag over a bowl and pour the mixture in, then pull the string tight and squeeze about your milk. 

BRILLIANT! Your almond mulch is then in a neat ball you can spread out onto a baking tray and bake on a low heat for approx 30 min. Then you have the almond flour for the cookies I metioned earlier. It can also be used in yogurts, salads on top of crumbles.. 

Whilst it doesn't take long to make almond milk, it just requires remembering to soak your almonds the night before and I'm going to try some other nut / seed varieties. However my other favourite for my morning shakes is this coconut milk, which is so subtle and lovely and low calorie. 

Finally is my firm favourite superfood - the chia seed. I drive my hubby mad with seeds in the sink (oops) these seeds are a great source of protein. I have them in my shakes and they swell up and become thick and gloopy. Also you can make a great desert with a spot of cocoa powder and some coconut milk / almond milk shake well and leave in the fridge overnight. It will remind you of rice pudding but a quarter of the calories. 

How's that for food for thought Nx