The worldwide voice from Whitby

The tone for NASA, Lidl, eBay, Oral-B, Nestle, Pandora, Unilever.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 2:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:13 pm
Cromerty York. Voice-over artist from Whitby. Picture by Ceri Oakes

Fluent in multiple languages and operating from a professional studio in her attic, a Whitby woman performs for some of the biggest companies around the world, all using the power of her voice.

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, Cromerty York is a mother of one who has spent ten years fine-tuning her tones to produce voice-overs for a huge variety of publications, including films, television adverts, radio, online, corporate work and gaming.

Having lived all around the world, Cromerty was first introduced to voice-over work while living stateside in Minnesota.

Picture by Ceri Oakes

“My friend told me to go to a voice-over coach,” she said.

Following the advice of her pal, Cromerty went on to train for two years as a voice over talent at Voice Results in Minnesota, experiencing coaching from some of the leading coaches in the US, including Gary Bingner, John Farrell, Beth Chaplin and Ross Young, amongst others.

It was from this experience that she was introduced to established artists in that area, which led to initial work in the business, followed by greater opportunities.

Cromerty’s vocal range proved an instant hit among her American clients: “The Americans love an English voice,” she told the Whitby Gazette.

Cromerty and her daughter

Her portfolio has since grown significantly, including work for some major British, American and International companies and agencies including NASA, Lidl, eBay, Fisher-Price, Unilever, Nestlé, Pandora and Oral-B.

As well as producing an excellent received pronunciation accent for corporate clients, Cromerty has noticed an increased demand for a northern, regional dialect, particularly in radio and video games work.

Being from Stoke and living in Yorkshire, the demand is perfectly suited to her talents.

The nature of voice-over work is in-line with many freelance professions and is naturally varied, but comes with its own challenges.But what’s the biggest challenge of being a voice-over artist from Whitby?

Cromerty in her studio

Finding the right pitch, playing the correct voice age, imitating another accent, coping with rapid turnaround deadlines? “The RAF,” Cromerty joked.

“The RAF flyover on a Monday is a bit of a problem, they fly really low over the house and it makes recording very difficult sometimes!”

As well as battling against the deafening tones of low flying aircraft, Cromerty said that one of the hardest aspects to her job is actually finding the work.

Around 80 per cent of her time each day can be spent pitching to prospective clients.

Cromerty's daughter who performs under the name 'Lilly Bridge'

She added: “It all depends on the time of year, but I will often do about five to 20 auditions per day and from that I will commonly get about four jobs.

“I can’t guarantee that the jobs will come in but the best thing about the role is the flexibility. I have control over how something is recorded and produced and when it’s done. It also helps me work around family life.”

Owing in part to her husband, John’s job in the IT industry, Cromerty has lived all around the world.

As part of her IT with German degree at Staffordshire University, at the age of 19, Cromerty spent a year in Germany.

She has since lived in Luxembourg for eight years, where she met her husband, Australia for 10 years, where she had her daughter, one year in Switzerland and four years in the USA before returning to the UK.

Cromerty’s own background in technology has served her well in adapting to the modern demand for increased digital production.

Picture by Ceri Oakes

She said: “It used to be that you would have to literally travel to companies and go in to radio stations to record pieces, but that’s no longer necessary.

“The work is moving away from expensive hardware towards a software approach, which makes it more affordable for me and more affordable for agencies.

“It’s useful having an IT background, promoting online is my biggest source of work.”

Working as a voice-over artist differs quite considerably from a traditional approach to acting.

Cromerty’s training did not involve acting coaching in the same way drama students are trained.

She explained: “I have not had any acting experience but my work is different from what they teach you at acting school.”

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Cromerty’s daughter has also taken an interest in voice-over work and performs under the name Lilly Bridge.

Cromerty said: “One of the great things about having my own professional studio is being able to involve my daughter in my voice-over work.”

Cromerty and her daughter
Cromerty in her studio
Cromerty's daughter who performs under the name 'Lilly Bridge'