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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

That Soho studio...the sequel.

Got a minute? Well a couple of minutes, actually. That`s how long my new voiceover demo is. I didn`t pull it all together myself...a very clever, technically brilliant chap called Johnty O`Donnell (aka Kenwood) mixed it for me.

And because I`m really grateful to him, and to Tanya Rich who recorded a whole pile of my clips, and gave me some expert, one to one advice on looking for work in this crazy industry, I thought I`d look back at the sunny day in September which started it all off.

And add the demo at the end. Just in case you know someone...........

Soho. It felt less smutty, somehow, than it had back in the last century when, as a trembling teen reporter, I turned up for work on a paper in darkest Dean Street.

I was nnnn-nineteen. But I soon got the hang of it.You rushed in (always), holding a cappuccino and a croissant, hammered through your contacts book,clinched exclusives,bashed out your copy; got sneered at by sub editors for all your Tippex stains,and choked half to death by a constant fog of fag smoke;then emerged gasping for air at lunchtime. Tuesdays were good. You put the paper to bed and skipped over the road for a couple of bottles (each) (on expenses) and then you might end up in a club. Or..whatever. And there was plenty of extra dosh to be made selling anything mildly salacious on to the tabloids.

Thousands of words and years of radio shows later, Soho lured me back .The prospect was intoxicating. It was just round the corner from where it all a darkened room, somewhere under Bateman Street. The promise? A dozen complete strangers. A little one to one stuff. Some heavy breathing and some gentle panting. A soupcon of filthy banter. And lots of new tricks.

OK-so it was a voiceover training day with Peter Dickson and Tanya Rich. You`ll have heard them both. Peter`s the guy with the mahoosive voice on X Factor and any number of other big shows, ads, and events.Amazing to meet him. You know that scene where they find the Wizard of Oz,while he`s booming out some terrifying proclamation...and Toto whips a curtain away to reveal a fairly normal looking bloke? It was like that. But nicer. Gently spoken, articulate, elegant, lovely. And so damn clever. And his partner in crime, Tanya Rich. Rich? She might be.She should be...because she has a vast talent for being whoever people want her to be; and like Peter, you`ll have heard her.Apart from that, she has the loveliest laugh, endless patience and the coolest biker boots.

And with them in this subterranean, state of the art studio in the heart of Soho, their 12 disciples. From the deepest baritone to the chirpiest, most vibrant of voices --and all shades in between. Over a day we learnt how be ourselves. And how to be someone else. How to breathe, persuade, sell, sight read and in-to-nate.

So --was it a breeze for me...with over 25 years in radio...17 of them newsreading, and with a couple of Sonys under my belt? Far from it. I learnt loads (yes, Tanya, I`m still smiling....!!) and was inspired by my teachers, and by everyone around me.

So to Tim the boatman (don`t mention Snow White...), Randle the chocolate coated Baritone, James the highly talented ex teacher, Dave the DJ (knows his stuff; nice having lunch), Jas the amazing mimic (don`t you dare....), Simone from Shoreditch (shoes as well as a voice to die for), Anne and Laura (cool and classy and lovely to meet), Dan and Rich (late on parade after having a flat tyre but still sounded ace), and the gorgeous, fresh voiced was great to meet you and learn from you all. And thanks to Olly the technician for nipping and tucking us together so skillfully, and to Nigel for lending us his studio and leaving me a pink cake in an envelope.

And finally ...(this is the bit in my news bulletins where I honestly DID smile, Tanya....) back to business, and why we were all there. After a hell of a tasty taster I still want to do voiceovers?

Hell yes. Watch this space.

Well it`s been a long time since September. But to be fair, I`ve been busy writing, running and starting a little sideline as a film extra. One feature film, one children`s TV programme , a couple more in the pipeline and a whole pile of fun so far!

But anyway, here`s the demo. Thanks again to Tanya, Peter, Johnty O`Donnell, and all the great people I met in Soho that day.

Jane McIntyre Voiceover Demo -

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