The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Ben Price

Episode 18

Ben Price: Episode Summary

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Ben Price about comedy, impersonations and following God’s plan.

Among other things Ben shares:

  • How he discovered his impersonation gift at age 10.
  • The role that cricket commentators had on refining his gift.
  • What motivates Ben to be a comedian.
  • What are the aspects of an effective impersonation?
  • How comedy is both hard work and fun.
  • Making the tough decision to turn down a gig.
  • How God has changed Ben.
  • About getting involved in Pilgrim’s Progress.

Ben Price: Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College, a network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well-known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Well hi there everybody, welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project. The special guest that we have today I think will be of particular interest to a number of our listeners. Ben Price is one of Australia’s leading comedians, best known for the skill that he has in impersonating, in fact he was regarded as Australia’s best impersonator. The list of the characters that he is able to deliver is long and extensive, all of the key figures. Ben has toured as a one-man show over many years, he featured on Australia’s Got Talent, has appeared on Australian national TV, US national TV and has been the voice in a number of movies. So widely experienced in that particular field. Many of you will know of him, maybe you don’t know of him but you’ve heard his voices in ways that you don’t know. Ben, it’s lovely to have you here.

Ben Price
Thank you. What a great introduction that was Brendan, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Brendan Corr
Well, we’re delighted to have you here Ben. Tell me, how did you discover that you had this unnatural, no I wouldn’t say unnatural, this uncommon ability to impersonate people?

Ben Price
Well, it was way back when I was 10 years old and I had a friend at that time from England who I just hung out with him, he came over for I think, it felt like weeks, he stayed over and we just hung out every day during the summer and played cricket and I’d just hear him speak, so all day long he’d be speaking like this, “Ben it’s really nice, I really like it”… It kind of sort of sounded a bit like David Beckham to me. Yeah, he’s almost got that “So really…”, David Beckham’s got one of those voices like that, you don’t expect it from him because he’s so muscular and athletic but when he opens his mouth it’s sort of a bit like that. So that’s how I started when I was about 10 years old and then I learned how to do, if you remember Frank Spencer from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em?

Brendan Corr
I do.

Ben Price
Yeah, I grew up watching a few of those shows and then learned how to do Sylvester Stallone, he was one of my favourite ones, pretty early on.

Brendan Corr
So good.

Ben Price
When my voice broke, it became a lot like that because you get really deep, and in the morning like now it sounds a lot better because you get really deep. The deeper it is, I think it’s better.

Brendan Corr
I’m not sure a 10 year old would have been able to manage that Ben, so I can imagine that was added to your repertoire a little bit later in your career. So I was listening to one of your mates…

Ben Price
I think it started around there.

Brendan Corr
Were you inspired by The Twelfth Man comedy?

Ben Price
Oh yeah. I remember because I was a massive cricket fan and I used to play and I’d listen to his tapes back in the day and on one side was the clean version with all the beach and then so I’d listen to that with Richie Benaud and that’s where it all started, I used to do that for all of my friends around the cricket club, and at school and of course Tony Gregg as well, and not forgetting Bill Lawry, “Marvellous day here at the SCG.”

Brendan Corr
That’s very good.

Ben Price
And who else is there, Mark Taylor, one of these voices here he comes, Shane Warne, coming to bowl, yep. There were some great voices there for sure. That was a lot of my starting out and TV shows like The Comedy Company and a little bit of Ask Gordon. But I of course have always had very clean comedy so I’ve sort of done a lot of that in that way, but not the way that it was originally done.

Brendan Corr
I’ll come back to that, that’s an interesting question that you raise, I’ll ask it again. You found this natural ability, did you have to work on that or was it just something you found you could do, you had a good ear, are you musical? Is a good ear part of a musical thing?

Ben Price
Well, I grew up learning guitar and play guitar, I’ve been playing guitar since I was seven but that doesn’t make me an expert, I’ve been walking since I was one and not necessarily great at that but yeah, I think I have a good ear for impressions that I know when I’ve got it, or at least I think I’ve got it. I’ll test it on someone and they’ll go “Yep, yeah”, just to affirm that and then I think it is pretty natural, especially when I was a kid, it just came to me because it was not me. I was, I suppose subconsciously studying it so you’re still learning this but I had that natural ability and then of course when you do it, you work with it as well and you write material and… so there’s a bit of work but it’s… a lot of it’s fun.

Brendan Corr
So, let me ask. What was the motivation for your working on it? Was it the fact that it was fun, that you enjoyed it? Was it the fact that other people enjoyed it? What was your motivation for investing time in this?

Ben Price
Yeah, I loved being able to entertain and going from a character to another character and I especially just loved growing up watching good comedy shows like Fawlty Towers and just the comic timing of that and just being able to put sketches together. For me, it was to entertain and just, I love doing it for me as well because it was just a fun thing, I loved seeing people’s reactions and it never gets old, seeing people respond, “Oh wow, that was a good voice”. I still get a kick out of it myself so I suppose there’s that but it’s also probably changed a bit as well, now as I’ve gotten older but that’s still there, that’s still the motivation in my delivery.

Brendan Corr
So you’re one of those lucky people that are making a career out of something you really enjoy.

Ben Price
Yeah, it’s been 20 years now since it’s been full-time, so that’s an amazing thing to think that you can do comedy and feed your family that long which is great.

Brendan Corr
Okay, let me take you back to that 10 year old who’s figured out how to imitate his pommy cricket buddy. You take that to school. Were you the little rascal at the back of the room that the teacher had to be very careful about or put in a particular seating plan?

Ben Price
Yeah, at times I got into a bit of trouble, definitely. I wasn’t the worst kid and I wasn’t always the best kid. So there were times where I would get into trouble for laughing and funny moments that just… I’d cry with laughter because when you’re not supposed to laugh, that was always the funniest. But then, I think when I was about year eight, year nine, it really started to become a thing for me where the kids would all laugh and then the teachers would all laugh and I remember at a school camp imitating about four or five of my teachers, as well as Richie Benaud and Tony Briggs, and all those impressions that I did at that time. And the teachers loved it. So I was lucky in that sense, that they weren’t hating what I did and there were a lot of great teachers that were so good to do that you could never do now because unless people knew who they were… but some of the best impressions that I’ve ever done have been people that no one knows and just friends I’ve got so there’s a whole list there of people that no one will get to see.

Brendan Corr
They’re the in-jokes to your crowd, huh? To your crew.

Ben Price
Yeah, oh yeah, exactly.

Brendan Corr
That can be some of the most fun.

Ben Price
Yeah, definitely. Oh, absolutely.

Brendan Corr
I thought that was probably going to be the case, there was a time when it was irresistible to impersonate some of your teachers.

Ben Price
Absolutely.

Brendan Corr
Teachers have those sorts of characteristic voices or mannerisms. So, let me ask you about that, when you’re doing an impersonation, there is the sound, there’s the actual tone of the voice but then there’s also the way in which they phrase sentences and use words and then there’s also other mannerisms. How important is the integration of those things in an effective impersonation?

Ben Price
Yeah, they all kind of go together. I think the depth of the voice as well is something that I like to think about, is if you get in that zone and you know if you can do it. And really, the way I tend to learn an impression is like I’ve always done it, is I just continually watch that person and watch that person until almost like you’re sick of that person. I remember I learnt Donald Trump’s voice about, well, when he was first sort of campaigning back in, hang on it was 2016 when it started, and I remember thinking well I had a little bit of an impression from The Apprentice stage and then I thought I really need to watch him now and all his speeches and when you look at him, I don’t know, you expect him to have a deep sort of voice but when you listen to him, it’s… and that’s another thing I do, is I listen to the voice as well as watch the person because when you listen, you realise his voice is a little higher than, it’s a little higher than what you would expect, it’s sort of up there but it’s also that New York kind of voice and it’s very raspy and he tends to say things… I think that’s two or three seconds of talking and then he’ll stop. It’s like he’ll talk like this, and then he’ll say something again, and then he’ll say something again, and it’s really great. Oh believe me, and you’ve got to throw in catchphrases, and it just all comes together that way and it’s funny because I look back on a video that I did of him when he first got in and I think oh, gee that’s… I’ve come a long way, I’ve gotten better at the voice because the more you do it…

Brendan Corr
Yeah do you find that, that you’re continually refining, even things that you feel like that’s good enough to perform but a year later it’s closer or more authentic?

Ben Price
Yeah, I think definitely, the more you do it. I think that I’ve noticed that with my Arnie impression, I think I’ve got a video of when I was 19 which wasn’t that long ago. No, it was a while back, so overhearing it and going, you know it was pretty good for back then but now it’s like oh yeah I couldn’t do it because I can’t even imitate what it sounded like back then but now it’s so much better because I’ve refined it and I’ve listened to his voice over and over and I’ve seen him many times and I’ve met him before and the odd this and that and the way that he talks.

Brendan Corr
That’s fantastic.

Ben Price
And that’s the thing where I think like if you’ll say get down, the way he says “down”, or the chopper is “the chopper”. And so it actually makes it easier when you can figure out some of the emphasis on the syllables or the letters and it’s a linguistic thing as well so it’s interesting but yeah they definitely get better.

Brendan Corr
You’ve been doing some of these voices for 20 years or so, do you think that the character, the real-life person’s voice changes over that time? Do you have to modify what you’re doing because their voice has changed?

Ben Price
Yeah, a little bit and probably my voice has changed as well so yeah, that definitely is true. I mean even with Donald Trump, I think when I first started doing him in The Apprentice stage, it was just, he didn’t seem as animated to me, it was all about “You’re fired”, you know it was all like this, it was a lot like that, but then he got really, he got that in his voice as he campaigned and he goes “We’re going to make”… And he had that which I’d never really noticed as much before. And even Arnie’s voice, because he’s gotten older and he’s probably a lot more slower and this. I think that’s just naturally happened, I think with voices like Michael Kane, people still, when they imitate and they tend to do the younger Michael. The younger Michael Kane, it sounds like this you know, it’s probably more that sort of younger version from the older movies but his voice is definitely a lot older and so… it’s not that hard to make the same voice sound a little older really, it’s still the same voice but it’s just probably a bit slowed down, a bit croakier and yeah. It’s interesting actually.

Brendan Corr
The list of characters that you do might be 50 or 60 names long. How do you hold all of that and just flip in instants between completely different ways you’re using your voice, your vocal chords, structure of your mouth, your tongue. You don’t sort of have to work yourself up to it, it just sort of flows like it’s your natural speaking voice.

Ben Price
Yeah, it’s a bit like that and then I’ve probably got… I figured out one day there was over 200 voices because there’s some that I just haven’t done for years like since I was a kid or a teenager, but there’s definitely a good playlist I suppose of current ones, of 40, 50 voices. If I was doing, say, Dr. Phil from The Dr. Phil Show, he’s got that Texan voice and he’s got those Texan sayings like “Somewhere out there, a village is missin’ its idiot”. So if I was doing him, I wouldn’t necessarily go straight to George W who’s also from Texas because it might be a bit of an overlap of a sort, doing a different Texan but it may work because you know George W, economy’s hit real bad now, we need to economilize things and we don’t want to have another GFC so…I always like to make them different voices, makes it easier.

Brendan Corr
So what you just did there with George W. Bush, you introduced not just the voice but a comedy element of it, the caricature of the personality as much, is that an important part of reaching an audience?

Ben Price
Very much, yeah. Oh definitely. Because I think when people want to hear it, they want to hear something, not just that you’re imitating a voice but definitely the humour has to go with it and sometimes they’ll laugh at the joke, not the impression and sometimes it’s vice-versa but I like to get both of them really well and he was really good because they used to call them “Bushisms”, all the things, the clangs that he used to say, and there were some real ones that he said and I used to exaggerate them so he was great for the comedians. And Trump, he’s larger than life so there’s so much… ScoMo hasn’t given me too much yet, I think he’s got a voice that’s imitable but he hasn’t done anything where it’s like too much of a stand-up yet, I mean he’s always like “How great is Australia! I believe in miracles”, it’s like this and “We’re doing all we can” and it’s that sort of voice but it’s not as good as… John Howard was great because he had that sound in his voice and yeah it was very concerning, the times we’re in but we’ve got to think of our troops, the Wallabies, they can’t play at the moment.

Brendan Corr
That’s right. So good Ben, so good. You used the phrase there that you think he has a voice that is imitable. Is there such a thing as a voice that isn’t imitable?

Ben Price
There’s some people that I’ve tried to do their voices that were really hard to do. Well, there’s some people that have got a very distinct voice and I can’t quite get the voice and there’s some people that have had just such a plain voice, I’m in Victoria and I used to imitate our premiers like Jeff Kennett, I think he’s well known all over the world, Jeff Kennett who had a very good voice like this.

Brendan Corr
That is so good.

Ben Price
And then there was a few others but then we had one for a moment of time, John Brumby, who I used to try to get and there was nothing about it, it was just the most plain voice I could ever do and I did it once on radio but it was just a nothing voice to be able to imitate.

Brendan Corr
Didn’t go. Yeah.

Ben Price
No and I used to always try to learn Eddie McGuire, and for some reason I could never get his voice but I stuck at it for years and years. But eventually, I sort of got an Eddie McGuire now, and it’s fantastic, and it’s good to see you guys, he’s got that laugh and it’s good to see ya, all the boys out at the football club, but you know, we’re on Channel 9, Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Yeah, one of those types of voices.

Brendan Corr
You made a comment earlier about throwing in a little characteristic, extras that mark that character and it’s so terrific. One last sort of question about your craft before we move into Ben Price the guy… How do you decide to do a new voice? Are you watching the social scenes, who’s coming to prominence, how do you make a choice that this is something that sort of gets added to the repertoire?

Ben Price
Yeah, it’s just people that everybody’s noticing and they’re coming up on TV and interviews and they seem to be that person that’s in all the latest movies. I don’t always do them straight away because for an audience, you want everybody to know who they are, you don’t want it to be just a handful of people that’ll know. There’s been people that I thought, oh they’d be a great one to do but they’re not the well-known people so usually when, I remember noticing, yeah there was a stage where Dr. Phil was really popular and then when Steve Irwin was around, he was just larger than life, really popular, so I was like oh, I have to do this guy. And then a few years back, Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild, seemed to be the man of the moment so I had to learn Bear Grylls and I watched him for a while and he was really great, I loved watching and hearing his voice and… survival during a time of lockdown can be pretty hard. Sometimes you’ve got kids in the house and you can’t leave, it’s like Man vs. Child, it can be really tricky.

Brendan Corr
That is fantastic. So I asked you a little before about how the comedy and the voices go together. You’re obviously a funny guy, you’ve always had a good sense of humour or is it something that’s been sharpened through your profession?

Ben Price
Oh yeah, definitely gets sharpened the more you do it and the more you learn sort of the writing styles and… you’ve got to have fun with it, if you’re not having fun with comedy it’s not the thing to do really.

Brendan Corr
So is it work? Writing jokes, is it work?

Ben Price
Yeah, oh yeah. There is definitely a hard work aspect to it, trying to navigate how to change your comedy, especially when there are no events at the moment, that’s challenging but it’s faith-building and it’s character-building and look, we’re able to do something on the phone here on Zoom, and I’m able to make videos for people and even church, I recently did a whole bunch of these characters and put a little message in there as well so yeah. And actually it was pretty cool because I didn’t even have to leave home and I was able to do these kinds of things so… There’s definitely a hard aspect to it but overall I do love that it’s a lot of fun, for sure.

Brendan Corr
That’s great. You’ve talked about some of the work you’re doing now, including some churches and earlier in our conversation, you spoke about being known for clean comedy. I know that’s not always the case in your area of entertainment. What was the motivation for you making that decision that you were going to have a comedy act that was known to be clean?

Ben Price
Well, I’ve grown up as a Christian so being clean has been taught to me to not go there at all. For me, it’s kind of natural, just to keep it clean. I remember there was a time where, probably I guess, over 10, 15 years ago, there were times where I’d have funny ideas and they were a little innuendo and I had to sort of clean that up in my life. But it wasn’t a case of me trying to be clean because I know people have said, is it hard to be clean, and I think we’ve got to have that in our whole life. I don’t want Jesus to see my comedy and then go “Oh you’re putting four letter words in there” but if it is clean, if it is something that’s completely squeaky clean, it’s by the grace of God that it is because he cleans our speech up and I’ve never been one to really swear but even if there was a little bit of that there, God’s definitely refined that in the last 15 years of my life. In fact, there’s been times where I’ve had scripts sent to me for voice service, for radio or things like that where I’ve gone, oh no sorry, I can’t say that.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, wow. That’s powerful.

Ben Price
Yeah. And having to walk away from things where I’m like, yeah sorry, I’ll have to exit out of this project because I don’t want to… and that’s been difficult, there’s been challenging moments there for sure.

Brendan Corr
Obviously they’re big decisions, you’re making decisions about income and career advancement and cutting the cost. That takes a lot of faith, takes a lot of commitment to your fundamental beliefs. Where in life did you come to that solid realisation that being true to God’s expectations were the most important thing for you, or more important than meeting your clients’ expectations?

Ben Price
I think I’ve grown up knowing that and just knowing, in Matthew 6, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added”, all the taking care of food and water and provision of the home and all of those things. It is challenging though, even though you know that, when it’s put to the test and the rubber meets the road, it’s really hard because… There was one specific time where I remember, I’d been asked to do a character and without going into the whole story, now I look back I think, well I wouldn’t do that, but at the time, this was back in 2009, at the beginning of the whole TFC. I was talking about the TFC before George W but… and it doesn’t look so challenging compared to what we’re in now but at that time, people weren’t booking as many events, at least they could book some events, and I had an offer to do one but I knew that it was going to cause me to compromise a little bit and I was trying to look for a loophole as to whether I should do it or not and I remember, I wanted to go for a walk and at that particular time, God was bringing me really back to him in a much deeper way. And I remember I’d started learning Psalms, so I started memorising chapters, and I learnt the first Psalm, I think I was telling your producer Jay about how I learnt Psalm 1 and I told this lady who was Chinese and probably still is, that Psalm 1, it helped me and she goes “Oh yeah, some-one helped me too”. And I said no, Psalm 1, not some-one.

Brendan Corr
Not some-one!

Ben Price
But the funny thing was, when I went for a walk, I wanted to pray about this particular gig, whether I should do it or not and as I’m walking, I wanted to listen to my iPod to hear the Bible to see God, is there any direction in this, and as I went to do that, my iPod went flat and I thought well I’ve just memorised the first Psalm, I’ll say it in my mind. And I started out going, “Blessed are those that do not walk in the steps of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners” or, can’t remember it now, “but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law meditates day and night”. So, I remember as I said that, I almost kind of laughed and thought, that’s the answer! That is as clear as day, don’t walk that way and I had such a peace and such a joy, even though I was rejecting that because I thought well, this is what God’s calling me.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
And I’d rather have a no but at least know it’s God.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
And I just rang the guy and said no, I’m not going to do it. And I had a peace that God’s going to look after me and I know he always has and he’s never failed in that regard and I always think of Psalm… I think, yeah I can’t remember the exact Psalm, but where it’s “Those that fear the Lord lack no good thing”.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
And as men, we’re always going to be rich or are we going to have our needs met. So I just had a confidence in that no matter what.

Brendan Corr
The next question I wanted to ask you is, you’ve spent your life listening to voices, listening to words and I wanted to ask you, how do you hear the voice of God?

Ben Price
Yeah, I mean, when I read the Word, which is Him speaking to us, I tell my kids, I’ve got three kids, one of each and so I tell my kids that the Bible says to incline your ear and it’s kind of like when I’m in the car and the football’s going, the good old days when the football used to go on and if I’m trying to get the score, even though I can’t see it, I’m leaning in, to listen with my ears, to hear that and it’s like I want God to be the first voice that I hear, that I’m always leaning into Him and there’s always going to be noise. I don’t know who said it, but it might have been Rees Howells or one of those guys from the past, in like the early 1900s or something but they said that if he was in a crowd of people at a train station, over the top of the crowd he’s hear his mum’s voice because he knows that voice so well and that’s how he knows God’s voice because he knows it so well and I think from just being in the Word of God continually and praying continually, you do learn to hear that voice, you do learn to… that’s the Lord testing you, and thinking what, that’s not my flesh, I wouldn’t choose that, so I think it must be the Lord speaking and taking steps, I suppose. But yeah, it’s by faith for sure because we can’t see, we’re blessed more because we don’t see. Yeah. It’s… definitely I think just being in the Word continually, we’re going to hear his voice, for sure.

Brendan Corr
That’s good, that’s good. In an instance. Another question relates to listening to voices and trying other people’s mannerisms and ways of communicating, what has that done to your capacity to know yourself, when you’re being other people so often? What has it meant for you to be sure of your own identity and your own way of being?

Ben Price
Yeah. Well I think when I first did it, it was probably a good way to… I was a little bit shy when I was a kid but I think it was a good way to build my personality because I can do these voices and I used to think, well, yeah if I didn’t have these, I’m not exciting other than that but that’s a natural thing in life, you become more confident, from doing a lot of shows, you become confident and the older you get, you know who you are but you know, again it just comes back to my identity in the Lord, in Christ, knowing who I am and yeah, I mean I know apart from him I can do nothing, I’m not great, not special but yeah, I’ve been changed a lot by the grace of God and I think I definitely know who I am in Him.

Brendan Corr
Do you mind me asking a bit about that, you said you’ve been changed a lot by the grace of God, what are the things that you look back on and you can see what you’ve left behind and what God’s revealed in you, through you, to you?

Ben Price
Well, as I mentioned earlier, I grew up as a Christian and always had that upbringing, went to church all my life and bible studies as I got older and when I talked about that story in 2009, it was late 2009 that I… I discovered that, around that time I’d become a little bit lukewarm. So, God was still in my life but I’d basically just kind of made my comedy career probably the number one thing, not willingly, not choosing that but it just became a consuming thing.

Brendan Corr
Just worked out that way.

Ben Price
And as a result… yeah, which there’s nothing wrong with doing comedy but when I made it, not even intentionally, an idol, and when I’d seen that as I said, there were some innuendos that were slipping in and… when you’ve got your alignment off a little from the centre of Christ, other things, your thought life’s suffering, you’re not reading the Word as much, enough, so you’re not sharp, there’s temptations that you may give into and thoughts, and your anger and your tempers not as good and all kinds of things suffer. So, God had to humble me and I went through some anxiety at that time too. And I was initially just praying, God take this away, it’s horrible and it was only a very short lived thing for a few months and I remember, just I really felt like there was a time right toward the very end of that where I just was humbled, so God what are you trying to say… and just, I felt like I need to really get real with the Lord and just repent in a lot of things and come back to Him, that no turning back moment and I said, God you’ve given me this gift, this talent, use it however you want to use it, even if you want to take it away, God, I… I just want to do your will, so it was very humbling and you know, God gives grace to the humble, he’s strength.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
Yeah, he got me through that time and it was amazing because I thought gee, there’s a lot of things that I wanted to chase after that now it’s like, I’ve experienced the chase and seen the Lord is good, I don’t… there’s certain things that I’m not attracted to anymore but God still has to refine me, because those things come up and then even just… yeah, I think Mark 8:35, “Whosoever will hold on to this life will lose it, whoever loses their life for my sake and the gospel will be saved”. That was a really powerful thing for me to think, why am I holding on to these dreams when I’ve got so much more in Christ?

Brendan Corr
Yeah, that’s beautiful.

Ben Price
It’s been a process, but God’s been good.

Brendan Corr
Amen. You’ve anticipated some of my questions in this Ben, because I was wanting to know, as a Christian we’re called to imitate Christ, to impersonate Christ and I was interested to talk to you about whether or not your career has made that easier or whether you think there is some danger in just being an act and not being an expression of authenticity. Do you want to talk to that a bit more?

Ben Price

Yeah, just sort of reminds me, when you say the danger of not becoming just an act and having authenticity, reminds me of Keith Green who I remember, he would say, “I gave up entertainment years ago” but he’s ministering the people and I mean he still performs, well way back when he did, when he said that, but… and it’s a bit like that where you’re not just… as I was saying at the beginning of the interview, initially you want people to laugh and think it’s great and that, and you still want that and you can do that but I like to be able to give to people rather than get what I’m going to get out of it. I want to bless people by having them laugh, but also giving them joy and I get to share my testimony a lot more these days and I get more excited about that and giving them something that’s not just a temporary happiness but an eternal joy and so… yeah, I think there seems to be a lot more authenticity than just performing and just making people laugh.

Brendan Corr
As you’ve just described, you said earlier in the interview that the last 15 years, God has pulled you back close to him and hearing you talk about that…

Ben Price
Oh, absolutely.

Brendan Corr
There’s the agency, even though I think you probably felt like you were making responses, it feels very much as though the heart of God was calling you and initiating that process in your life.

Ben Price
Oh yeah, he’s definitely initiated it. And you see it in hindsight, at the time it feels very, often very strange and very uncomfortable but when you look back you go, oh okay, yeah I can see what you did there God, that’s really good, yeah.

Brendan Corr
One more question Ben, before we wind things up. One of your recent projects was to be involved in the voicing of The Pilgrim’s Progress. That’s an ancient bit of literature, what did you learn about being involved in Pilgrim’s Progress?

Ben Price
Yeah, it was written in 1678. John Bunyan, well I heard that story growing up, probably the kids version because it was pretty detailed and they’ve got it in modern English now, they’ve got a book and it’s excellent, the most biblical book aside from the Bible, it’s just so filled with scripture references and I love the story. I just love the adventure of it and the allegory of… it’s just really a picture of the Christian life and I think we understand it more now that we understand what trials are and difficulties and knowing that he’s constantly there but once I heard that it’s something that they were doing, I had to go through a couple of people that I knew to say, I want to be a part of that, I love that. Because I even had thought of that, that someone should do an animation of this, I said that years before, when I heard that they were doing it, I thought oh that’s fantastic and then they were really interested. Oh yeah, because these guys were in Dallas so they were looking for non-American voices so people who could do English voices or… I said well I can do plenty of those, so I had… one of the characters…

Brendan Corr
That’s up my alley!

Ben Price
Oh yeah! Sounded a bit like, excuse me, a bit like John Cleese so, no not quite, John Cleese is probably like that, but I made him a bit more high-pitched, you see, a little “Oh right, yes, oh right, yes!”, that type of voice. And the director who was directing it really, he’s very animated himself, the way he would direct and he would bring out that character in really melodramatic ways almost, and it was almost exhausting after it because you go, man you really made me work hard for that. But when you watch it, you can see where he’s going with it and go wow, that came out really great. But that was an amazing thing to be involved in and it’s actually, I’m not sure for how long but for a short time it’s actually, you can watch it free online.

Brendan Corr
Oh, we should get people to look up on that, that’d be… it’s one of my favourite stories too, Pilgrim’s Progress, very influential in my early Christian experience, I’ll be looking up seeing it, that’d be fantastic.

Ben Price
That’s a great one, yeah.

Brendan Corr
Ben, just as we wind up a bit, any little bit of advice you might want to give to some of our listeners who are coming up to the end of their high school and trying to figure out what they’re going to do with their life and who they’re going to be. Any last thoughts that you might want to leave with them?

Ben Price
When I was in high school, I remember trying to figure out that and I had my heart set on trying to get into an acting course and I thought about it all year long and I gave it 110%, I put everything into it and obviously God had different plans for me because I didn’t get in and it was shattering at the time but as I said, hindsight is a great thing, and I look back and I see, had I got into that, I might not have done the other course that I did, and that’s how I ended up, not through that, but indirectly met my wife and so I think God had a plan, he had better plans and so don’t… there’s a lot of pressure on high-schoolers that oh you’ve got to get into it, you’ve got to get this mark and we never know where life’s going to lead us but just do your absolute best but if God has other plans, roll with it.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
Just trust in the Lord with your heart, lean not on your own understanding.

Brendan Corr
Amen.

Ben Price
You’ll be alright. God will be with you so.

Brendan Corr
That’s terrific.

Ben Price
All the best guys.

Brendan Corr
Wonderful advice Ben, thank you so much. Listen, you spend your life using other people’s voices but I am so thankful that God has placed you in a position where you have a voice that can speak His word and testify to His goodness and it’s been wonderful to hear your heart through our conversation. God bless you.

Ben Price
Thank you.

Brendan Corr
I hope that God continues to open opportunities for you to use your gifts and talents and he sows richly into your life.

Ben Price
Thank you so much.

Brendan Corr
God bless you.

Ben Price
God bless you.

About Ben Price

Comedian Ben Price is a national talent who performs at an international level. Ben has performed his 200+ impersonations on television networks around the world and at functions for corporate clients such as Telstra, AMP, Commonwealth Bank, Mercedes Benz, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Cadbury. He was also a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent in 2011. As well as live performance, Ben has also acted in several television commercials and featured in 4 feature length films. He first discovered his talent for impersonating voices when he was at primary school where he used his talent to entertain and prank classmates.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).