So, you might be wondering WHERE THE HELL I’ve been all year. Acapulco maybe? Living it up in numerous glamorous locations around the globe? Cheadle??
Well Reader, I hate to disappoint but I have largely been in the converted lavatory-cum-studio, whoring my mouth for money. Oh, it has been busy. Radio commercials, TV ads, bumpers, e-learning, animation, corporate voiceovers – I’ve done the lot. And before you accuse me of cunningly slipping in a load of key words, I’ll just throw in telephone on-hold stuff, web audio and narration too. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of my year in ‘nobiz.’
I’ve been doing lots of broadcasting with my mates at the BBC. I’ve worked quite a lot on the Tony Livesey Show for 5Live which I absolutely love. This has been in the guise of Presenter’s Friend, guest pundit and general text and email reader outer. I’ve also done quite a bit for Radio Manchester’s Heather Stott Show on the Coffee Club. (Think lively chat about real-life stories with coffee and biscuits and you’re there). I’m loving live radio. You never know quite what’s going to happen next but you absolutely know that when you’re on air you MUST NOT suddenly develop Tourette’s.
Stand up, sit down, keep moving…
I’ve also started (*cringes slightly as she types it*) standup comedy. I LOVE IT! It wasn’t something I thought I could do, or even wanted to do…but I was asked to do it by a very good friend and how could I say no?? I’d not heard from Julia for aaages and then suddenly she phoned me up. She’d heard me on the radio, remembered me from, like, the seventeenth century and wondered if I fancied doing some comedy.
“Are you around on 18th?” she said. “To do some standup?”
“Afraid not,“ I said, sounding really disappointed. “I’m away. You know, holiday. With the kids…er…”
“How about Bank Holiday Monday?”
Reader, I thought she was going to invite me over for a barbecue. “Oh yes!” I said, enthusiastically. “Where’s the party?”
“Sackville Gardens in Manchester,“ she said. “You can perform at the Pride Festival with MishMash Cabaret.”
Eeek! I say again: How. Could. I. Say. No?? It was a great opportunity for me and a massive personal challenge too.
So I put together an act, rehearsed it until I was saying it in my sleep and went for it. I had a great time and they even asked me back to do some more. So. That appears to be sort of on-going.
Very appy indeed
And I’ve launched an app for the iPhone, aimed at primary age children. It’s called the Nonsense Maker and is available now on iTunes. Children custom create their own silly phrases by moving cute icons around the screen to form a hilarious load of nonsense. Players choose talking icons that, when played in sequence, reveal a funny nonsense phrase. There are over half a million different permutations! Now that’s a helluva lot of nonsense. All the voiceovers are by me. So if you’d, you know, like to buy it and give it a rave review that’d be just great. No pressure…
Me, talking in public
I’ve even left the house to talk to groups of people face to face! A couple of weeks ago I spoke at a lunchtime event for Reason Digital and Dovetail. Lunchworks was top fun and I met some really great people. The talk was about ‘diversification in a difficult economy’ and at times, I actually sounded coherent.
13 Jelly Beans
In my private life, I’m quietly into running. When I started, I kept a diary about what it’s like to learn to run and I thought the other day ‘why is it just sitting on my hard drive, doing eff all?’ So I’ve published it.
13 Jelly Beans is a blog about my quest to one day be physically able to run a half marathon and tells the story of my transformation from jogging along like a potential stroke victim to running like I mean it.
Posts are published every Friday at 12.00 (GMT) just to brighten your Funtime Friday. And who knows? You might even be motivated to go for a run after you’ve read it…? Feel free to subscribe. There’s even a Facebook Group so you can join in the bunfight. (Not that we eat buns, you understand, because we’re RUNNERS. Yes).
So as well as all that, I’m gearing up for the Christmas rush in voiceover land. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Maybe we should have a sweepstake and guess how many times I have to pretend to be a Christmas Elf??