Just before Christmas 2019, I took a call from my VO friend Sarah Mitchell, A British talent located near Atlanta. She wanted to put together a boutique group of Native British Voiceover Talent, all based in the US, and market them as a group to US voice casters. I felt honoured to be included in her initial group.
Over the next couple of months the 8 members chatted, designed a logo, built a website showcasing members bios, photos and demo reels.
A wonderful Expat Show on Facebook called ‘Spill the Tea” invited me onto their show for an interview and USBBV (as we like to call ourselves) decided that this would serve as our launch date. The show was on March 10th (episode 26), so I am aware that I’m writing this just a bit early, but around now I was working feverishly on our launch video and getting my comrades in arms to record a script we had developed and finding photo assets I could use to visualize the words.
Then the Pandemic hit and the breaks were put on. Our focus changed temporarily and we decided to try and bring some laughter and smiles to the world. We did a spoof of the Monty Python 4 Yorkshiremen sketch and have been creating a plethora of “Word of the Week” audio where we take a word (or a Phrase) that is typically British and each of us (8 in all) record it in our own style. It’s amazing how many variations we get and we have a lot of fun putting them together.
Voice over can be a very solitary career and 2020 proved just how isolated it can get. USBBV became a wonderful support group by default. Getting together on zoom to put the world to rights! Much laughter and togetherness later, 12 months have passed, and we are waking from our USBBV hibernation. Much has already changed. One of our founding members, the wonderful Noni North, has relocated from the US back to the UK (Wales), we have a new member (Hannah Whiteoak), and we have found some new clients.
As the rest of the world starts spinning again I hope that USBBV can be a resource for those that need a Native British Talent.
Thank you Sarah Mitchell, Shelly Avellino, Judith Barham, Peter Bishop, Mike Cooper, Noni North, Will Watt and Hannah Whiteoak. You made last year just a little bit more human.