Can Celebrity Impersonations Pay The Bills?
Ah impersonations, many of us voice talents have had fun as kids and as adults mimicking famous voices from Hollywood movies. I've done my fair share and have been hired on occasion but never really took it too seriously, (focusing more on creating my own characters). But I couldn't resist when one of my agencies sent me an audition asking for a 'Jack Nicholson' voice. It was not a direction suggestion (of merely his style), they wanted a soundalike. I've never really done a Jack Nicholson voice before, but I figured my voice is in the same range and he's all about attitude so why not? First off I went to You Tube and did a search on Jack and saw other celebrities impersonating him! Funny stuff and I did get a few tips but I needed to dig deeper. I watched a few clips, but 'Five Easy Pieces' was the clip that stood out. Classic Jack with his smarmy smartass attitude giving the waitress a hard time just for kicks. I watched his facial expressions and noticed his voice placement then took to the mic. I did a few passes and then landed on one where I also adopted his performance from Batman as the Joker. "Wait till they get a loadda me" line. I did just one take of one line and sent it off. A couple days later I was booked and couldn't believe they hired me to be the voice of a bug with Jack
Nicholson attitude and style! Turns out its a National TV spot so I'm even more excited that it might lead to ongoing work (yes the voice-actor lottery!)
So the moral is, if you can do pretty good impersonations, hone them and study up on the actors! You never know when your Chris Walken or William Shatner voice will be asked for and it could pay the bills!
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