Jay Britton ‘Voiceover master’ working with Mark Summers
Occasionally at Mark Summers Casting we get to help create a truly unique experience.
Drum roll… Jay Britton. Once a successful, but uninspired, IT engineer, he is now a thriving Voice Actor living out his career dream.
We met Jay initially through Twitter, when we were tasked with finding Real People who had a specific, yet unrealised dream.
Together with Ford Motor Company and Team Detroit, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, a prolific and Oscar-winning Documentarian (Taxi to the Dark Side, 2008), afforded 12 very different individuals- Jay the voice actor, a comedian, an opera singer- the opportunities of a lifetime: first, to drive the all-new 2015 Mustang throughout San Francisco and along the scenic California coast; and then, empowered by the experience of driving the powerful new sports car, Gibney surprised each of them with an opportunity to step towards the realization of their individual dreams. These were their Mustang Moments.
Jay is originally from Silverstone, Northamptonshire. He was in every school show, band, choir and theatre group going and once he left college he spent 4 years with a Musical Theatre company in Poole.
However as adulthood loomed he abandoned his performance dreams and traded them for an IT career where he worked for 12 years. Bored and frustrated one day, he decided to book a 2 hour Voiceover Master class over one lunch time.
This master class was to mark the beginning of Jay’s inspiring journey into the lucrative and creative voiceover market. He then created more demos, along with more specific training and built up his business using his own website and online casting sites. After doing this for about 3 years he decided it was time to truly commit.
He bought a vocal booth for his home with all new equipment, trained with some top coaches and even flew out to LA to get brand new demo reels made. He then launched the business properly and this is when we met him in 2015.
Jay did find the casting process a little daunting, simply because he was aware of Mark’s profile and because he’d never been for an on-camera casting before.
Jay says, ‘Mark has the kind of character where although you can see he’s busy and going at a million miles an hour he didn’t make me feel like an inconvenience and his passion for his work was evident and infectious. For this job it was just the one casting in person and then the waiting game! Mark was great at keeping me up to date and was extremely responsive, having done a huge number of castings now I realise how rare that is for a casting director to take the time to keep applicants informed.’
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Of filming his Mustang Moment, Jay states it was ‘the single most amazing experience of my life, truly profound and utterly life changing. I was working with a team of consummate professionals. This being my first ever on-camera work I was again incredibly daunted seeing the scale of the production and the sheer number of people involved, but everyone was so friendly, welcoming, genuine, it was just beautiful.’
The highlight was of course the voice work at Tippet Studios, the Academy Award and BAFTA award winning effects studio responsible for bringing some of the most iconic characters and creatures of the 21st century to life, in films such as Star Wars, The Matrix, Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers to name a few.
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From here Jay naturally wants to work on higher profile projects. Since working with Mark Summers, Jay quit his IT job, won two voice arts awards, recorded numerous interviews/podcasts, performed on over 36 games titles and 2 animated feature films.
He has also started to coach people new to the voice acting business, and has founded the Blue Genie Voice Acting Scholarship which awards $9k worth of training, tools and equipment to someone looking to start their VO career.
Jay’s biggest tip for VO newbies is to take it seriously and to give the craft the respect it deserves. ‘VO is so competitive now that only the top 10% are really going to make a long-lasting career so you need to push yourself to be the best you can.’
‘Getting a VO career off the ground takes long hours and years to accomplish, but it can be done if you’re prepared to put in the work. Be on time, be fun to work with, be professional and respect the craft.’
Jay ends by saying, ‘this experience with Ford was truly life changing… Less than 18 months after filming it, I’d left my job and become a full time voice, a dream I didn’t think it would ever be possible to achieve so I shall be forever thankful to Mark for giving me that opportunity.’
To contact Jay Britton: http://www.voiceofjaybritton.com