Ever wondered what (or who) connects Brian May, a cupboard under the stairs and London’s top rated voice reel studio?
This post marks the second instalment in a series of interviews with some of my favourite folks in the voiceover community. This week I chatted to Nick Clinch, Voiceover Director and founder of Notable Voices.
BRIAN MAY, SPANDEX AND THE DARKNESS
Before Notable Voices was born, Nick spent a lot of time ‘wearing spandex, playing on stage with Brian May and touring with The Darkness’ as a musician and audio director in Chicago. Whilst living in Chicago, he found himself being ‘pulled into voiceover sessions to direct and fell in love with VO from there’. In 2015 Nick moved back to London and continued working in the world of Voiceover. He noticed that to have a great showreel created in London could cost a small fortune. However, on the other side of the spectrum, there were studios offering to make less than impressive reels, for under £80. Enter Notable Voices.
‘I wanted to make voiceover accessible’ Nick explains, so that Actors and Voiceover Artists ‘could create great reels for an affordable price’.
Notable Voices started in Nick’s house in a cupboard under the stairs back in 2015, before finding its home at The Qube in West London. Notable Voices has since gone on to become London’s highest rated voice reel and coaching studio.
WORDS OF WISDOM
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an influx of people founding their own businesses or looking to begin a career in Voiceover. To anyone wanting to venture into the world of VO and beyond, Nick’s advice is to ‘stop waiting until everything is perfect and just do something’. Many of us, he explains, are guilty of ‘sitting on our ideas too long’, spending years waiting for everything to be ‘just right’ before we take the plunge. Instead ‘Just go out and get started because you don’t know what you are capable of until you try it’.
‘Invest in yourself’, he cites, as the best piece of advice he’s been given throughout his career and he continues to pass on this message to his students and clients.
The daily stresses and strains of running a business or working as a freelancer means milestones are often glossed over. However, it’s important to ‘celebrate achievements as you hit them in order to appreciate just how far you’ve come’ Nick suggests. Whether that’s appreciating the moment you secure your first client or celebrating your business’s journey from Harry Potter cupboard to successful London studio!
WE DON’T BUY THE VOICE, WE BUY THE PERSON
As a voiceover artist your showreel is your calling card and I wanted to find out what Nick believed were the key ingredients to creating a killer reel. ‘Variety, confidence and speed’ are the secret sauce to making your demo stand out. ‘It’s also got to show off your USP’ he suggests, ‘because we don’t buy the voice, we buy the person’.
‘and whatever you do’ he stresses, ‘whether you are thinking of updating your reels or creating new ones - do not do it on your own! Outside ears are essential. A reel without them will never have the presence and the power that it needs to stand out’.
I wondered if Nick, who has recorded many a famous voice, had any actors or performers whose reels he’d love to create. ‘If I could produce a reel for anyone it would be David Attenborough or Tom Hardy without a doubt’.
It was great to catch up with Nick and hear his inside tips for creating a stellar showreel and establishing yourself in voiceover and beyond! If you’d like to find out more about Notable Voices make sure to visit their website or follow them on social media.
Let me know who you’d like to hear from next!