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1on1: James Cartmell

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Song: High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco

Artist: Lauv, 24kGoldn and The Jonas Brothers

Book: Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean movies – but more recently Silver Linings Playbook.

TV Show: Suits on Netflix or Dickinson’s on Apple TV.

How did you get started in acting?

I’ve been acting for as long as I can remember, I had acting lessons at school (Kirkham Grammar School) from around five years old, as I got older I attended stage school and used to perform plays in the holidays to family and close friends and later joined Lytham Academy of Theatre Arts, which was my local theatre school at the time. During my last year at school it got a little bit more serious or at least I allowed myself to commit to acting as a profession and career which I would do for the rest of my life.

What was the first ever role you booked?

My first role came in my last year of school when I landed a role in ‘Milked’ written by Simon Longman at The Arts Theatre West End in London’s West End. After that I then played the role of the ‘The Mind’ in the acclaimed theatrical production of ‘Borderline Electra’ in Manchester directed by Stevie Helps, which was transferred to the Footlights Theatre, after a sellout run at The Lowry theatre. I played the character of The Mind, who could be described as the showman of the play. I conveyed the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the different characters throughout, especially the lead character Rachel’s with her mixed emotions and borderline personality disorder. It was very physical and abstract and if mental health was a voice and body it would look like my character. It was so exciting as an actor to get the chance to play a role so unusual and surreal yet so clear and definite. The production was a success and it was my first chance to be on stage in a professional environment knowing this is what I want to do and I became firm friends with Stevie Helps the director and still very much talk and keep in touch with the cast! I signed with my agent after the production wrapped and booked Where’s Wally five weeks later which was in December 2019!

How did you audition for your VO role on Where’s Wally?

It was actually the first VO audition I had, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had a call from my agent last December inviting me to the audition in London that same day and it was only when I got to the studio a few hours later that I was told what it was I was auditioning for. I thought the audition went really well and I remember coming out and telling someone on the London Underground that I just came out of the best audition ever and being proud that I couldn’t have done anymore than I did and really gave it my best shot. I got the call from my agent the next day letting me know the good news that I’d booked the role and I was just amazed and incredulous and subsequently started recording sessions in January!

What was your typical day like making the show?

I usually head to London, arrive at the recording studio and do around 4/5 hours of recordings each day – I usually record each line a couple of different ways. As a bit of a laugh my family bought me a Where’s Wally striped shirt, hat and glasses for Christmas so I thought it would be fun and also help me get into character if I took those to my first recording session. It definitely produced a few laughs and broke the ice with the recording crew!

How did you come up with the voice for Wally?

Where’s Wally is the British version of the show ‘Where’s Waldo’ for NBCUniversal / Peacock in the US so when casting they very much wanted authentic British accents. In the audition I tried my natural voice but just very much in a high register and it worked. At times the script is fast paced with some tongue-twister lines and crazy long names for the contraptions that Wally whips up to solve problems; they can certainly be a challenge! He’s definitely a fun, intelligent, fast thinking problem solver who always has a positive, happy, ‘anything is possible’ attitude and I definitely wanted to reflect this in his voice.

What are you working on now?

I’m actually still recording Season 2 of Where’s Wally while taking classes at Cynthia Bain’s Young Actor Studio!

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share about?

Yes! I have recently been cast as one of the leading voices in the new Netflix Original / DreamWorks Animation produced series ‘Go, Dog. Go!’ which will premiere soon on Netflix. The series is based on the children’s book ‘Go, Dog. Go!’ written by P.D Eastman and edited by Dr. Suess. The show follows a group of young pups and their adventures in Pawston.

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