Special Guest: Tanya Rich

What happens when a loyal fan and fellow voice actor wins a VOBoss contest and takes over the show? Awesomeness, of course! This very British episode of VOBoss features guest host & veteran UK voice actress Tanya Rich. Ever wonder what the voiceover industry is like on the other side of the pond? Tanya shares loads of great stories and tells us all about it. We haven’t seen a British Invasion this cool since the Beatles. You’ll be vexed by Tanya’s ‘Rich-craft’ too!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode

  1. Tanya Rich has been a voiceover actress for over 30 years in the UK.

  2. She got her start before ISDN. Years ago, In England, voiceover actors toured the country like a band or comedian. This resulted in very versatile voiceover actors who could perform any number of characters or accents.

  3. The UK isn’t a large geography so this isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Breathing and breath control was very different and more controlled when recordings went ‘to-tape’.

  4. Tanya made her first demo after two years. The snail mail sending of demos (on cassette or CD) was a laborious process. There was a lot of tangible product and paper products involved in being a voiceover actor. No one had a made-up or studio created demo. A demo was made of work you were hired to perform. That is still largely the standard in the UK.

  5. Tanya is a global actress with clients all over the world.

  6. Tanya has multiple websites to aid her in meeting the needs of clients in the USA, the UK and other countries.

  7. Longevity is important to SEO and web presence.

  8. Functionality of a website is often more important than design.

  9. The UK also has many people trying to prematurely become voiceover actors.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

Check out Tanya’s Website
Recorded on ipDTL


>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss.

>> Boss.

>> A boss.

>> A boss.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a boss.

>> Like a boss.

>> Rock your business like a boss.

>> Rock your business like a boss.




Tanya: Hey, everybody, welcome to another edition of VO BOSS. I’m your guest host, Tanya Rich, and I’m coming to you all the way from Bath in the southwest of the U.K. So this is a little British invasion of the VO BOSS podcast. Anne and Gabby are with me. Hello, ladies.

Anne: Yayy!

Gabby: Hello.

Anne: Tanya, what an amazing introduction. That was so awesome.

Tanya: You know, you’re worth it. [laughs]

Anne: Thank you. Thank you for the British invasion of our podcast, and for those of you listeners who are not aware, Tanya was our winner for our guest host contest on Instagram this month. So it was an amazing way to, to get to meet you and get to know you, Tanya, and it’s, it’s just, it’s our pleasure to have you guest hosting.

Gabby: So fun.

Anne: We might have it become a thing maybe.

Tanya: Well. That would be nice.

Anne: Every once in a while. [laughs] So, so Tanya, you have been in the industry for quite some time, close to 30 years I understand?

Tanya: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. And I, obviously that’s the great thing about being a voiceover, isn’t it? Obviously I did start, I was a mere child. [laughs] But the nice thing about being a voiceover is it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, it’s how you sound.

Anne: Right?

Tanya: So yeah, I’ve been doing it an awfully long time, way before ISDN and all that stuff, you know, that everybody relies upon now.

Anne: Tell us a little bit what was it like in the beginning for you, and how it’s kind of changed today in terms of, I don’t know, your day to day activities, how you get work?

Tanya: Basically when I started as a voiceover, everybody or a voice actor, everybody traveled all around the country um to visit studios. So we were a bit like kind of touring bands. So you would get at the end of the year, you would get all the radio stations uh calling you and booking you for the whole year in advance, which was marvelous. And then you would set off a plan. So you would start in perhaps the north of the country, and you’d work your way round. And along the way you’d call the production facilities to make corporate videos and everything like that. And uh, you know it was a really fantastic time because we — you know, I remember the first mobile phones, because before that, we used to have to call our answering machines all the time, stopping at phone boxes to get our messages from either our agents or clients, saying, “oh, I know you’re here. Can you come here for this time?” And then that all that stress driving about. Then the first cell phones came, and they were great, those great big like comedy phones, you know, that you see now.

Anne: [laughs]

Tanya: [laughs] Weighed a ton, battery life of about five minutes, and the great thing about, in those days, was you never knew what you were getting in advance. You would get your scripts, and you could get anything from 10 to 50, especially the male voices, and you would be anything from a fairy, to a witch, to a mother, to a hard sell, anything. And I think that was a great training ground, because it made us all incredibly versatile. Because we had to do everything. You were often two or three characters in the same script because it would just be you and another. So it would be one female voice and a male voice. And yeah, that went on for years until ISDN was invented.

Gabby: It’s so interesting because there is, there’s a little bit of parallel there in, in what you’re saying of course about having to do everything.

Tanya: Yep.

Gabby: You being very, very versatile. It was the same way here in the States, but this idea of the touring, traveling voice actor, that’s amazing to me. That’s really neat.

Tanya: Yeah, that’s exactly what we did. And I mean, it was fantastic, and you just, you just pick an end of the country. So say a company in the furthest point of the south of England booked you, you’d just work your way back up to home, and you’d be away mostly all of the week unless you were working within an hour or two hours’ radius. Because of course you have to remember that us people in the U.K., we find it incredible that in the states, people think nothing of driving 100 miles to a supermarket, whereas we moan if we have to, if we have to drive five. [laughs] So you know, we can’t quite get our heads around the vastness of the USA. So I don’t think you could do that in America. [laughs]

Anne: [laughs]

Tanya: I mean, you’d just never do it, would you? And the other thing that I think was one of the best training grounds, we really learnt how to breathe.

Anne: Yes.

Tanya: We did everything to tape. If you had lots of [inhales] kind of thing, the engineer would get very cross with you as he’d have to keep splicing you. So we all learnt to do diaphragmatic breathing and breathe really quietly.

Anne: Oh, that’s, that’s amazing. That’s a great nugget of, of wisdom, right there.

Tanya: [laughs] Yeah.

Anne: Breathe, we’ve got to breathe properly.

Tanya: I actually got accused by somebody once of using EQ, a compressor, and I actually don’t have one. I don’t use one at all. Because my wave pattern was so perfect, they thought I couldn’t possibly have done that just with my voice. But I did.

Anne: Well, that is impressive. [laughs]

Tanya: ‘Cause I had to ‘cause I used to get shouted at! [laughs]

Anne: Yeah. And, and that’s very interesting, I can only draw a parallel here in live telephone recording, like when you’re, you know, live telephony because you had to be able to do it, and do it properly, and do it right the first time, otherwise you would have to retake everything. Everything was live.

Tanya: Yep.

Anne: So yeah. My question to you is, because I love this on your bio, it says “is this how you developed your larynx full of characters and accents?” [laughs] I think that’s a great, a great reference.

Tanya: It sounds nicer than the actual visual image it conjures up, right?

[Anne and Tanya laugh]

Tanya: Yeah, it was exactly that because you didn’t, you never knew. But I tell you what was fantastic in those days, apart from the fact the training and you know having the experience. Nowadays I don’t know if it is the same in the States, but in the U.K. the radio stations tend to be owned by two or three large groups and they have central production facilities. In the old days it wasn’t like that. Every radio station, and there was more and more coming online or on board, had their own production department. You know, so that was amazing. But yeah, you had to do things and find out things that you could, you know — that you didn’t ever think you were capable of doing. It was great. And of course the laughs we used to have. You’d go into some sessions with makeup on, and you’d end looking like Alice Cooper’s mother by the end of it.

[Anne and Gabby laugh]