“Dear Emma Clarke, do you do men?”

Reader, it’s a question I’m sometimes asked. In this case, the follow-up question was “Specifically, do you do Yorkshire men? In a comedy way?”

O the answers I could’ve supplied.

As a pro voiceover the requests I get from customers are rich and varied.

“Can you sound normal?” (Tricky, but I’ll give it a go. Find out more here).
“Could you be a nervous Welsh chicken?”
“Is it true that voiceovers have bat-like hearing?”
“Do you have a versatile mouth?” (Seriously).
“Can you pretend to be a Nissan Micra?”
“Can you stop breathing, please?”

In this instance – admittedly a request from yesteryear – I had to advise the customer that I am a woman, and therefore biologically restricted vis a vis pretending to be a man, even just vocally. I can sound like a woman pretending to be a man (you should hear my Bill Nighy impression), but I will always be a woman.

“My dad was from Yorkshire, funnily enough,” I said.
“Why is that funny?”
“You’d understand if you’d met my dad.”
“Anyway, can you do it or not?”
“I can sound like a woman doing an impression of a Yorkshireman but I am not a man,” I said.
“Oh,” said the customer. “That’s disappointing.”
“I could recommend male voiceovers if that helps?” I said.
“Do you know any men?” said the customer. “Who could do this, I mean?”
“I know lots!” I bragged.
“And are they from Yorkshire?”
“Not all of them.”
“But the ones I can recommend who aren’t from Yorkshire will be able to do a Yorkshire accent. I’ll give you names of character voices. You know, voice actors.”

There was an awkward pause.

“And you’re sure you can’t do it?” said the customer.
“I am not a man,” I reiterated as gently yet firmly as I could.
The customer sighed. “I suppose I’ll just have to put up with it,” he said.

And we left it at that.

Want to hear some daft character voices? Of course you do! Click here.

Or if you want to hear voiceover audio that defies categorisation, click here.

Warning: this post might make you want to leave the country

How to cope in these crazy times? Write some music.

Ooh, I’m being featured on BBC Upload!

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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Some of Emma’s clients

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“The perfect delivery. Every single time. Guaranteed. And always up for a brew and some cake.”
Chris Stevens, director, Devaweb
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“Emma is the best. I have no hesitation in recommending her for any voice over – she can handle anything.”
Mike Wyer, BBC