By Darryl Budge
Internationally awarded Australian voice actor Colin Cassidy has won over top companies with his precise voices including Bugs Bunny, Arnie, and Sir David Attenborough, and has an unusual story of finding his voice through his McDonald's manager.
Colin recently narrated the Ten Network documentary Where It All Began screened in February 2016, and has worked for Disney, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Commonwealth Bank, and Fisher & Paykel.
His accolades include 2004 Best International Voice Artiste at the London International Advertising Awards, Funniest Commercial at the UK Vox Awards in 2003, and a Goldie Award in 2000 and 2001.
Before his career began at a youth radio station in the 90s, Colin was a part-time nightclub DJ and felt directionless due to a broken childhood.
"I was just looking for something. Something that I knew was out there," Colin says.
To fund his studies, he recalls, "I was working at McDonald's and DJ-ing in various nightclubs when the manager at McDonalds began to tell me about Jesus. "She said, 'You realise that the reason Jesus came into the world is to die in your place so that you could be reunited with your Creator.'
"This kind of rocked me so much. I began to pray and reach out to God and say, 'God, if you're there, help me to make sense of this.' In hindsight I was looking for a connection with my creator, a relationship with God really," Colin adds.
At the time he was pursuing an economics degree and get-rich-quick schemes, but the added evidence of school friends being positively changed by Christianity shifted his thinking about life.
Until then he had rejected God, he says, because "in my late teens my Mum and Dad split up a couple times each".
When his manager friend invited him to church, Colin says, "For no reason I just felt I needed to go." The preacher shared from the Bible and, he recalls, "I had this innate sense there was a lot of wrong stuff in my life, a conviction about my sinful state. I said a prayer of repentance [changing my mind about God] and received Jesus as Lord and Saviour."
Within a month Colin gave up the economics degree he secretly hated. He then joined the local Coffs Harbour youth radio station CHY after an evangelistic drama group said he had a great voice for radio. He hosted a Friday night music request show, and was often an onstage announcer for CHY's drug awareness campaigns and dance parties in the 1990s.
"We were there going ballistic at these dance parties but it was all for good causes and it was a great learning experience, certainly in youth radio and we had lot of fun," Colin fondly recalls.
He then joined the Christian station Radio Rhema, where he met his wife.
After three children they moved to the UK, where he worked as a writer and the couple were deeply involved in their local church for ten years.
"Our relationship with Jesus just deepened," Colin says. "We got involved with some street preaching as well, so I found my God-given passion to share about Jesus with strangers."
Colin has since moved back to Australia and now does voice-over work from his home studio in Sydney, and is still involved with Christian media and men's ministry.
And while some may think his profession is easy, Colin says that a recent experience voicing a Bugs Bunny interactive toy to be released in Europe shows otherwise. "When you do Bugs for three hours, your cheeks hurt," Colin says in a dead-ringer Bugs voice.?