Hollywood comes to Bowdon

Meet Emma Clarke - voice of the Starship Avalon

Emma is an award winning voiceover artist

Local woman, Emma Clarke, will be starring in the forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster movie – Passengers! Emma, one of the most successful voiceover artists in the business, is the voice of the Starship Avalon.

Unfortunately, fellow stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia didn’t have the opportunity to meet Emma as she recorded her lines in her own audio booth at home in Bowdon. Emma’s blog here  gives a fascinating account of how she devised different voices for the different modes of the Avalon, from customer care announcements ‘friendly, fresh and clear’ to first class ‘a little curvier, a little more sensual and a little bit deeper in pitch’.

So why do did the director Morten Tyldum choose as English voice for the role? American clients tell Emma that British accents are perceived by Americans as sophisticated and educated. Have a look here for more on this subject. Despite the multitude of accents that she produces, Emma resolutely hangs on to her own northern vowels as they are ‘part of her’. It is both sad and annoying to hear that Emma is rarely asked to use a northern accent unless the role involves alcohol or domestic violence. Emma’s written about the power and prejudice of received pronunciation here.

Emma’s career began after her father spotted an advertisement looking for voiceover artists in the Sale and Altrincham Messenger. Although she failed her first interview, Emma studied the art for two years before gaining her first paid work. Learning the technique of commercial voiceover is a world away from acting and takes time to master. Amongst Emma’s many other claims to fame is the fact that hers is one of the voices instructing passengers to ‘Mind the Gap’ on London Underground! Have a look here at an interview in which Emma demonstrates the ease with which she switches between her own accent and the ‘posher’ accent used for Tube announcements.

In fact, most of Emma’s voiceover work has been used in television commercials and radio imaging outside the United Kingdom, notably in the Netherlands, Australia, Dubai and the United States.

However, Emma’s voice work is only one of her areas of activity.  Brace yourself as Emma’s CV is quite astonishing. As a development of her voiceover work, she founded the award-winning Voice Takeaway which as the name suggests, supplies voice over audio clips. Emma has recently launched Hush Hush Voiceovers, a training resource website for voiceover artists at every stage of their career.

Emma has also established a successful publishing house Identity Withheld, a film-making agency, Volume 2 Volume and StashDock.com, a content marketing website.  Sit. Breathe. Love publishes both books and audio promoting the practice of mindfulness as an aid to a better and more relaxed life. It even has its own radio station, SBL Sound, which broadcasts beautiful relaxing music and other content. Sit. Breathe. Love donates 10% of its profits to the charity Village by Village which works in African villages to reduce the needless suffering of children in poverty.

Emma has written books, plays, sitcoms and sketches for TV, radio and the stage, including Casualty for BBC1 and The Now Show for Radio 4. She has recently returned to her first love – stand-up comedy. She is also a signature contributor for Huffington Post. Emma is a regular pundit on BBC radio including 5Live and local BBC stations across the country. Despite all this Emma answers her own emails. To be honest Emma’s output makes us at So Altrincham realise that we have spent FAR too much time watching television – and probably listening to Emma’s voiceovers!

For more details visit Emma’s website www.emmaclarke.com/

To check out her books, head to: www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Clarke/e/B005J4KQHY

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