If libraries had a black list of people they had to throw out because they were having too much fun between the stacks of books, top of that list would be Amy Felman. Her voice doesn’t just have a “sense” of humour, it is the whole joke book. There’s a bubbling punchline you can hear coming to the surface and everyone is gathered around to hear it. She is the one people want to have fun with at a party because her voice emits a kind of summer-wine signal. A warm, genuine feeling of hospitality…..even though she’s turned up to the posh garden party wearing a rabbit outfit it’s her table that’s having the most fun. I could drive around Australia listening to Amy. She would point out the wineries in the West, the beaches of Queensland and the hidden nightspots of the cities. No Fraser Island panel-van adventure is complete without an Amy. She comes sun-bleached and sandy, ready to take on anything clients can muster. A true Aussie girl mid-way between the city and the crow-covered back roads of the bush. Shampoo curls are that much curlier, a mother’s touch is that much softer and a holiday in the sun that much happier with a glass of Amy along for the ride.
When Jacqui’s parents heard her voice demo it was rumoured the first thing they said was “oh dear, our darling girl is all grown up”. But that was bound to happen with a voice that has so much energy and delivers so much acting in every bite. You can actually hear the girl she once was and the young woman she is heading towards. That’s good news for advertisers who are looking for a female voice but then fall into the mistake of hiring an experienced actress only to tell her to “young it up”. Jacqui can rightfully claim that voice territory of buying her first car, moving out of home, broken first romances, taking her washing to her parents’ house and those late night stilted conversations by the fridge between father and daughter. Jacqui has had loads of on-camera work – and that’s in her favour too. Her voice has benefited from “selling” and “instructing” the viewer in what she’s seeing. She hasn’t taken for granted that the pictures will do it all – she still performs and throws herself into the part. If you’re choosing a female voice, now you don’t have to settle for one or the other, the really young or the older. Jacqui sits in the b’tween of the voice market.
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Jessica Douglas-Henry’s vocal range is filled with just as many interesting parts as her name. Excelling in U.K. accents is an understatement. She is the very fibre of a tweed coat and riding boots muddied by hounds on the hunt for a fox. She immediately makes you reach for the warmth of a woollen jumper or the phone to book a flight to the home country. A quick listen is an out-of-body……..or should I say an out-of-country experience. She picks you up and places you in a misty, foggy place of pubs and rows of council flats. She’s the woman in an apron yelling from the door-way barking for dirty-faced children to come home before “our dad” gives them a thrashing. Then in an instant she’s taken you politely by the arm to guide you around a garden party to meet the district’s more colourful characters. She could sell you tickets to Wimbledon, extra batter on your fish or fine bone china tableware. Invite Camilla, Diana and the girls from Absolutely Fabulous to tea – Jessica may walk through the door. The British accent is a teacher’s dream and her narration work is the proof. She is as inquisitive as the furry or scaly creatures she speaks about. It’s as if she followed them deep within their hiding places to record them herself. Book Jessica today so you can boast to your friends tomorrow that you had the sense to do so.
Stop. If you’ve already listened to Emily’s demo, it’s already too late. You don’t know it, but you’ve been hooked, seduced, and now there’s no going back. Had you read these words first there may have been some chance. Some possibility you could get her out of your head. Not now. Let me tell you what’s happened – you’ve become a fan from the very first listen. It only takes a little provocation to turn Emily’s pillow-soft tones into the lunchtime gossip bag and retail super-shopper her friends love. It’s like a switch. Turn on the listener or turn up the comic timing. Your choice. The best way to use her talents is to allow time for her to improvise and work the pauses, silences and breaks between words. You may be caught wanting to use several versions of the same script. Each have their merit and outstanding performances. Give Emily a vocal world to live in. Set the scene and give her a scenario that she can make the most of – if you don’t, she will and then anything could and usually does happen. Emily is a vocal favourite in her native Melbourne and now Scout Management has set her free, or should that be set her “loose”, on the rest of Australia.
Jen is the voice of female experience. Of hard-won victories that come from raising a family, to raising important issues around the boardroom table. Listen carefully for the vocal range that can carry you from suburban sexiness and husky low tones to the mature knowledge of the corporate campaigner. She delivers a message of sincerity that those young girls just wouldn’t understand. A sort of life knowledge. You could imagine her traveling home in business class telling tales of tracks less traveled and bars yet to be discovered by so-called seasoned travelers. Her voice is a bookmark that sits somewhere between BRW and NW. Feel free to invite Jen to a family reunion. She’ll round up the kids from the backyard, spoon out the potato salad, get everyone a drink and wake up cousin Geoffrey from the couch with a shout of “Come and get it ”! Jen has a voice that is larger than life – and what a life it’s been. (For that special animation project, take a listen to Jen’s character demo, an extract from an audio book in which she played all the characters).