You’re ‘Avin’ A Larf!

No, not THAT Cockney .....

I fessed up earlier to being a Brummie and my feelings about my native whine.  But, perhaps by way of consolation, I was also born with the ability to mimic other, more pleasing, accents.

At school, I had a knack for languages and learnt both French and Spanish.  My French accent was always the better of the two but, of late, my Spanish accent appears to be catching up.  I’ve also picked up some Italian along the way although, according to a part-Italian friend, I have a distinctly Sicilian accent.  I’m not aware of any Mafia connections, though ….

When it comes to English accents, I can still pull a decent Brummie out of the hat and can also do a just-about-passable North East, although I suspect my friends from that part of the country wouldn’t be convinced.  But, while having lived in the South East for a number of years made me think that I could probably do a decent London/Cockney voice, I’d never actually tried.  Until last week.

The audition that came in was for a vending machine company.  They wanted a female voice over for an animation about the fresh milk products used in their hot drinks machines.  Inevitably, there was more to it than that.  Firstly, the voice was supposed to come from inside the machine and be that of a cow – yes, with the occasional moooo.  Secondly, the cow was to be a Cockney.  Let me re-phrase that. The caaa wuz to be a Cockney.

Undeterred by the risk of becoming the female equivalent of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, I gave it a try and felt it was good enough to send in.  More Mockney than Cockney, I must admit, but it had the character and humour I thought it needed.  That said, I didn’t really expect to get it.

Wrong!  All those years of wallowing in EastEnders must have paid off because, to my amazement, the booking came through.  So recording the final version saw me in front of the microphone, mooing, glottle stopping and dropping my h’s with reckless abandon.  And, as an extra test of my vocal dexterity, there were a few more sentences added to the end of the script to be read at ‘terms and conditions’ speed, but in my normal voice.

And now the recording’s done, the client’s happy and I’m just waiting to find out how and where the animation is going to be used.  Fingers crossed it’ll be on YouTube: if so, it’ll find its way onto my website so that I can show it off – and give you all a good laugh at the same time. Somehow, I don’t think I’m ever going to live this down ……

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