Andrew Carlton- Voiceover artist, shares a small piece of his story from his 6 Week Voiceover Online Bootcamp. After returning to Sydney from 5 years in New York, Andrew tries a less is more approach with his voiceover performances. He is helped along by a hit Australian TV show.
Now when I later moved back to Australia, it hadn’t really started yet in advertising, but influenced by my experience of it in New York and motivated by my good man Wayne Gretsky’s quote, I started to perform this very “anti-traditional” voiceover style.
Now I’ll be honest with you, it wasn’t received well by some people and of course I adjusted to the direction I was given, but I kept it and also communicated why I was doing it. The first producers who started to like what I was doing and started asking for it were of course ex-pats, ex-pats writers from the UK and the US, and then the young writers in Sydney, but it was still only a fraction of the market. Then something happened.
An Aussie TV drama launched and quickly became a smash hit. It was called “The Secret Life of Us.” It’s very big in Australia and also in the UK. The structure of the dialogue included one of the characters narrating in the same kind of way that they did in, you know, shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Sex and The City and How I Met Your Mother, you know a lot of those kind of 90’s shows. Anyway, the narration was done mostly by one of the lead characters. There was this guy- this actor Samuel Johnson. And the character was incredibly laid back and cool and just not trying. It was very intimate, no kind of, you know, just very authentic genuine kind of guy. And just a modern sort of salted the earth, go with the flow kind of feel and everybody fell in love with it. It was so popular that the actor himself ended up doing voiceovers in that style (and still does by the way).
But really, I mean, if you’re in Australia, you know what I’m talking about. You can probably remember when it was like, it felt like, he was on everything. There wasn’t so much that, it was simply the fact that every time he did do a voiceover, they were asking for the almost identical reads. So even though he could probably do, you know, had an enormous range he could have executed, everyone was asking for the same kind of, you know, “Secret Life of Us” read from him. And because we recognize that so strong it was like he’s everywhere.
But this event really helped fast-track the move into the voiceover read style that I had already positioned myself in. Thanks to the wise words of Wayne Gretski’s father. My puck had essentially arrived, by you know, by accident, really in this moment. And the demand for a more natural read style quickly infiltrated the market into big brand TV, and then more mainstream, and then years later blended into radio and now finally corporate stuff. And were going to look all those styles as we go. This positioning went a huge way towards building my success.