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Can you be a broadcaster and also a voice actor?

It’s a question that intrigues me; coming from a background in TV and radio, rather than from a place of performing on stage, can you really become great at the acting skills necessary for voice acting?

Growing up in a house filled with constant recitals of classic literary prose, I was enveloped in the spoken language. I developed a deep fascination with words and, though primary-school-age-me was terrified of standing on stage, was entered into every speech competition going.

Emma Topping in a green coat performing on stage

Later, confidence growing, the obligatory am dram followed along with drama exams through Trinity College, London.

But my career took me on a tangent, when my curiosity about world affairs developed into a higher education path of storytelling and journalism.

Rising through the ranks to become a news editor for the BBC and commercial radio and TV newsrooms, I missed the ‘doing’ of the job. Opening the mic and delivering stories to an audience was the thrill I missed; managing and developing others to ‘do the do’, well it just wasn’t the same.

So, returning to the question of whether voice acting is a skill that needs many years of stage acting, I’d argue not. 

An appreciation of storytelling and language definitely, but I’d also argue that broadcasting and voice acting are not the same beast. 


The broadcast voice comes from an aligned, but subtly different place. Great voice acting, well, that takes training and some unlearning of old habits.

Yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure of making a new reel with the inimitable Tanya Rich. She and her fabulous RichCraft Voice Over Coaching team have changed me.

Thanks to their skill at not just voice acting, but also teaching techniques, I’ve learned to undo some of those conflicting broadcast style nuances; thanks to Tanya, I’ve become a better actor, and a better voice actor.

What’s been your path to voice acting?

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