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A Conversation with Voice Actor Georgie Leonard

Georgie Leonard is a playwright, screenwriter, voice artist, and actor from Bristol, United Kingdom. She was chosen to play the female roles in the audiobook Exquisite Death put out by In Ear Entertainment. She reads both of my stories in the audiobook, and she did a wonderful job on two very different pieces. I asked Georgie if she’d be down for an interview, and I’m so excited that she agreed.

Mercedes M. Yardley: So Georgie! Please tell us how you came into voice acting. And why audio books? What’s the draw?

Georgie Leonard: I’ve always loved the idea of voicing a character in a Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli (HMC’s Sophie is my spirit animal) or Disney film (ideally I’d play Belle in Beauty and the Beast, but I guess I’m a little late for that!) but even with that interest, my foray into voice acting was almost more of a happy accident than a planned move.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mark on a couple of different voice-based projects in the past, which is how I became involved with this particular recording.

Why audiobooks in particular? I love, love, LOVE reading and I think getting to read books to people as part of my career is pretty damn awesome!

MMY: I’ll agree with you about Studio Ghibli. I think anybody who takes part of their work in any form would die happy!

How does an audiobook differ from other voice work?

GL: I’ve been lucky enough to have varying voice work over the few years I’ve been professionally working  as an actor, with projects as diverse as session-singing to radio dramas. From my experience, audiobooks are different in that it’s just you and the mic—there’s no accompaniment in the form of music or another person in there with you. Whereas when you are working on a radio drama/online podcast drama, then you tend to have at least one actor in the room with you. Even if it’s just to deliver one line! Though it really does depend on the project!

MMY: Have you had any favorite projects that you’ve worked on? What made them memorable?

GL: Each project I’ve worked on has been so different to the last, and so it’s rather difficult to compare them to each other! As this is the first set of (hopefully many!) audiobooks I’ve worked on, it’ll always be special to me! But I always love projects where I get to work foley as well as act.

MMY:What do you do if you have a piece you’re not particularly excited about?

GL: I’m yet to have a piece of audio work that I’m less than enthusiastic about, but I suppose the trick is to treat it as any other job. If you’re that unsure about it before you perform it, then you shouldn’t take the job!

MMY:How do you prepare for voice work? Can you share any tricks of the trade?

GL: Plenty of water, and try to avoid dairy for at least a day before! If I have time beforehand, then I also try to run through a few vocal warm-ups- there’s nothing worse than sounding croaky when you’re supposed to have a light and clear voice for something.

MMY: Tell us what a basic recording session is like. (the room, the mic, what you do, etc.)

GL: Well, it differs from place to place. One recording I did for a songwriter had me standing in a booth made of mattresses and duvets for sound dampening!

For In Ear, the recording studio is pretty bare, but fully functional. It’s not like you need much in the way of anything other than the recording equipment, a chair, and something to rest your script on anyway, so it’s a good room without any distractions.

MMY: What projects do you have coming out, and how do we contact you?  (this is the chance to pimp your stuff!)

GL: At the moment, I am currently working on a BBC drama production that will be televised next year, and have a few projects lined up to begin after that is done shooting. Plus there’s hopefully some more work with In Ear Entertainment coming my way!

I’m all over the place! Twitter, Facebook, my website to name but a few! Pop along and say hi.

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