A CHILDHOOD love of impressions and ‘silly voices’ have turned into a career for a Mid Cheshire College alumnus making his mark as a voice artist.

James Dean, a self-described ‘professional dubber’, grew up mimicking people and has turned his love of making noises into his profession.

Since graduating in musical theatre from the University of Central Lancashire in 2014, he’s lent his vocal chords to numerous projects including 2016’s Final Fantasy XV and this year’s survival horror, Agony.

The 25-year-old, who splits his time living between Winsford and Perth, Scotland, said: “I've always done voices ever since I was small. I was always doing noises and mimicking people or vehicles.”

But it wasn’t until his final year at university that James discovered his talent for impressions could make him a living.

He said: “I had no idea this could be a job. I’d always wanted to go on the stage and the plan after graduating was to go into musical theatre. I sort of fell into this. Because I was known on my course for doing accents and silly voices I was asked to do the voice over for the start of the final year show. I loved it.

“The love of performing has always been there. With the discovery of voice acting, I’ve learnt I can expand my personalities and characters even further.”

James, who grew up in Crewe and went to Sandbach Boys School, created some impressions reels for YouTube and soon got his first booking, narrating information videos for a medical firm. Since then, the work has kept rolling in.

He said: “The beauty of this work means I can do it anywhere in the world. I build my own portable studio, so I don’t have to be tied to any one place or time.”

James enjoys character work where he can play with different accents, his favourite being the Dublin accent. He also loves impersonating Dobby the house elf from the Harry Potter films or Don LaFontaine, the famous film trailer voice over artist.

Growing up he was fan of the actor Robin Williams and also cites his grandmother as one of his earliest influences.

He said: “I always remember my nanna doing Cilla Black's voice and Mrs Doubtfire too. She still does all of that now.”

In terms of career aspirations James cites Nolan North and Troy Baker’s careers as the dream path to follow and says he would love to work for a big production house such as video game company Naughty Dog or Disney.

And as for advice for anyone else considering pursuing a similar path?

James said: “Perseverance. If you hit a bump halfway through a project, or have a dry spell, then just keep going. Change your demo reel, keep practicing and applying. Almost 90 per cent of auditions will end in rejection. Prepare yourself for it or you will fail.

“And learn to act. Anyone can do voices, but not everyone can be a voice actor. You must know how to act first.”