Profile of a Pro Voiceover: Jay Hackett
Jay is from the world of acting and has been seen in TV ads, films, TV programs & theatre for a number of years, before finding voice overs.
You will know Jay from the Mastercard campaign, RTA, Instant Scratchies, AUDI & a wide variety of other commercial work.
Jay's promo work can be heard on Southern Cross Austereo (National Promo Voice), the SeaFM Network, Networks TEN & SEVEN, more recently 7Two & Prime 7, Sky Racing & The Movie Network.
An interesting new string to his bow has been Award nights, beginning with the 2010 and 2011 Logie Awards.
Here's a sample of his work…
or hear it here
Below we get to know a bit more about Jay Hackett…
Q1. I like to get some background. How you arrived to present day and some aha moments along the journey.
Jay: Born & raised in Melbourne, left school to go straight into acting school, left to move to Sydney after gaining employment there & realising there was more work available. Acted for many years in ads, tv shows, telemovies, stage shows & a couple of films, doing really well, until the early 90’s when V/O work came more easily.
Dedicated to voice work since then…..
Q2. As a professional voice over, what gets you jazzed the most. What do you love the most about your role?
Jay: what excites me about voice work is 1: the fact that I can do it, & 2: getting the words on the page to come alive with your read, therefore pleasing the person who wrote the words.
Q3. If you could play any character role, what would it be?
Jay: I would love to do many different characters in an animated movie … Robin Williams style…
That would fulfill my initial dreams of character vocalisation in comedy…. To make folks laugh!, so, I go into sessions to use my straight voice, which is more popular, but muck around with other voices & stream of conciousness comedy to make the session fun!
Q4 For the young radio people striving to become better at voice over work, what are your ABC-123 basic first steps? What should they be trying to do in the voice studio? What elements and skills should they be working hard to improve and what habits should they be working hard to lose?
Jay: I don’t tell anybody how to do it ‘cos that would mean more competition for me …. Only joking….
Seriously, comprehending a script, listening & responding to direction, & being versatile are 3 elements I think are important.
Q5. Do you have a specific career highlight thus far. Something that sticks in the mind as an important voice over goal you have achieved?
Jay: Every job is important to me, but I do remember when the deeper sound crept in to my range, & the ability to sound assuring in an insurance add stand out as lightbulb moments.
Q6. You’ve been around at the pro end of this industry for so long, what advice would you give to radio creative people in the 21st century to further enhance the experience of utilising a pro voice such as yourself?
Jay: To know what you want to hear & feel from your script & then be able to direct someone to make that happen is an enormous skill. Also, being able to bounce, if the voice or engineer comes up with a better idea.
What I’d really like to see, is more humour & multiple voice scripts included in adverts & promos, it all seem to have become a bit heavy handed/hard sell.
It would be great to see more subtlety & appreciation of an audiences’ intelligence…..