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My First Voice-over: Angela Peters – ‘I was nervous, which is funny given I’d acted for over a decade’

Angela Peters. Photo: Faye Thomas Angela Peters. Photo: Faye Thomas
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When I moved to the UK, I was asked to do a voice-over for a telephone company. The company was looking for a genuine Australian and I had been recommended. After that first gig, I decided that this was an area I wanted to get into properly. I immediately went out, made a voicereel and applied to a voice-over agent.

This led to a series of ‘firsts’, because there are many different types of voice-over jobs. My new agent contacted me about a corporate voice-over role pretty soon after I joined. I was quite nervous, which is funny coming from someone who has been doing theatre and film roles for over a decade. With voice-over, you are often working with the client in the studio with you and I was anxious to get the script just right for them.

If I were starting out now and the voice-over agent or the client had given me the script in advance (the ideal scenario), I’d recommend reading it out loud a few times at home. You’ll feel much more confident, because you’re not cold-reading the script in front of the technician and client. Always trust your instincts during your first read-through in the studio. They’ll direct you if they don’t like your choices. It’s not to say you haven’t done a great job, it just might be that the client wants something more serious, playful, cheery, upbeat or dramatic.

One of the earliest things I learnt from those first voice-overs (that I still use today) is that if you smile when reading a script, it lightens and brightens your tone. I do this all the time, especially for commercials. They often want a bubbly, happy undertone to your voice.

If I had my time over I would have started voice-over work much sooner. Voice-overs are so much fun, always pay and they require a whole other skillset to acting. With voice-overs, it’s about bringing a script to life, or making a product sound incredible, all with just your voice and tone and pace and energy.

CV: Angela Peters

Age: Undisclosed
Training: Actors Conservatory, Australia; advanced diploma in method acting, Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris
Theatre includes: Back Room, the Hen and Chickens Theatre, London; I, The Jury, the Hen and Chickens Theatre; The Actor’s Nightmare, Phoenix Artists Club Theatre, London
TV includes: Voice-overs for the BBC, Singapore Airlines, Macleans toothpaste, Directors Cut (C4) That’s English (TVE2, Spain), The Awkward Man (Fox Australia)
Agent: StevensonWithers

Angela Peters offers resources for actors, via actingbabe.com. She was talking to John Byrne