As a kid, Barrett Leddy was always doing different voices and impressions. It continued at Natick High School, where he would do impersonations backstage to entertain his friends while performing in school plays.
“You’re a kid messing around — you never think it’s going to be used for anything, you never think it’s going to be useful, that isn’t even on your mind,” said Leddy, now 31. “You’re just trying to make your friends laugh.”
Leddy though, has developed that talent into a full-fledged career as a voice actor. Providing voice work for numerous television shows, video games and other media, Leddy has become well known in the industry and has landed roles in high-profile series such “Pokemon” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!”
“It’s really surreal to think that that I’m doing stuff I just used to do in front of my friends,” he said. “It sounds silly, it sounds dumb and it sounds impossible. You know that of course there are people doing voice acting, but you just never think it can be you — you just assume it happens by magic. But it can be you, you can grow up and do it.”
After moving to New York for college, Leddy began taking voice-acting courses to see if he had what it took to become a voice actor. When he was a senior, Leddy entered an impressions contest hosted by The Howard Stern Show, where Leddy did his signature impression — one of famous comedian Gilbert Gottfried.
“I won the competition, I got to go into the studio in New York and do it on-air,” Leddy said. “I saw that I could do this, I could make people laugh, and I started really to think that I could do this for a career.”
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From there, Leddy did all of the things a traditional actor would do to get noticed. He made a demo reel of his performances, he hired an agent and he auditioned for work. As work started to roll in, Leddy had a chance to meet the source of his greatest impression: Gottfried himself.
“I was introduced to Gilbert by his wife, Dara (Kravitz), who had heard my impression,” Leddy said. “She had me do the impression for him, which I never would have done otherwise. Gilbert has that huge on-stage persona, like you saw in ‘Problem Child’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop’, but he also has this very quiet, nebbish side of him when he isn’t performing. After I did the impression, he sarcastically told me that I should take over for him when he dies.”