One year ago Kildare man John Paul Wright set out to turn his talent for accents into a career, and since then he's gone professional, worked on a Katie Taylor fight, and cultivated one of the world's most sought-after New York accents.
Mr Wright spent many years living in Europe where he worked on Spanish radio in football commentary, and managed a popular Irish bar in Austria.
When lockdown hit, and the bar closed, his wife Mary encouraged him to work on his talent for accents.
Before long, he had built a shed along with a DIY-sound proofing job.
"I was still doing it as a bit of craic, but my wife said 'look this could be your business'. I said, 'ah no, just something to do in lockdown'. It started to get more and more successful, I started to get more orders and I was on a few freelance platforms," he told BreakingNews.ie.
"I started in April 2020 and in November 2020 I was on Sky Sports voicing the intro for the Katie Taylor v Miriam Gutierrez fight, then it just kind of exploded from there."
Mr Wright has since done over 2,000 voiceover jobs for clients such as Netflix, Sky Sports, RTÉ, the New York Mets, Leeds United and Ambre Solaire.
He recently did a job for the National Hockey League in America which was seen by over two million people.
Delighted to voice over this for the NHL and Sportsnet !🏒
Posted by JP Wright Voice Actor on Saturday, February 5, 2022
Mr Wright and his wife Mary moved back to Ireland during lockdown. She works as a life coach and the pair are now enjoying life in Co Leitrim.
So what does a day in the life of a voice actor look like?
"I get up in the morning, the first thing I do before anything is my cup of tea, with a bit of honey, good for the voice!
"My warm-up, before I started I'll be going, 'hmm, haahh, sing a song, maybe Oasis'. Nobody hears me so that's okay! Just to loosen up the vocal chords and get going.
"Then I'll check the phone, normally it's blown up as soon as I turn it on, I'm on about 10-15 freelances sites, so there will be orders coming in.
"Some I have 24-48 hours to deliver the voiceover, normally including a script with an explanation of the style the client wants it in. From my website I will have emails with people looking for quotes, orders. My website, JPWrightvoiceactor.com, some clients will find me directly there."
Mr Wright then looks at the sample, or audition, requests he has received. "I also have some long-term clients," he added.
"For one guy in England who is building a tourist trail app for the south of England, I do a Cockney accent reading directions and information about sites.
"I do a bit of work with a David Attenborough-type voice. I also speak a few languages, German and Spanish, so I'm doing a bit of work for a video game where I'm voicing a character as David Attenborough but in Spanish.
Voice acting in Spanish with an English accent!
Voice acting In Spanish with an English accent in the style of David Attenborough .🎙😮 🇪🇸
#voiceactor #voiceacting #voiceover #charactervoices #mexicanaccent #mexicanspanish #spanglish #spanishenglish #davidattenborough #davidattenboroughvoice #voiceactorsofinstagram #bilingual #scottishaccent #voiceartists
Posted by JP Wright Voice Actor on Wednesday, March 9, 2022
"My most successful is the Joe Pesci voice. I'm doing a cartoon series where I'm voicing a mobster. Netflix, the NHL, that's the most popular by a mile.
"I'm also doing football commentary, and getting a lot of voice-overs for NFTs and cryptos.
"I just did a job for the SNP Party in Scotland for one of their adverts."
Up next is lunch, followed by a work-out or a walk with his dog. This is followed up by more voice-overs.
"America, Canada, Australia orders come overnight, then Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe come in the early afternoon."
Mr Wright is also coaching a woman who is looking to transition into professional voice acting, something he went through last April.
He has found fellow voice actors very helpful on his journey, and said this is one of the best things about the community.
He is an avid Irish football supporter, and moving home to do voice acting has allowed him to pursue this along with his other big passion, pike fishing.
Mr Wright said his story should inspire anyone who is looking to follow their dream job.
"I fell upon this during Covid, but it shows that anybody who has that natural talent or passion but is afraid to make the leap, take the chance.
"On the freelance platforms I'm the number one New York voiceover in the world now, it feels mad sometimes after just over a year in the job."