May 1 – Speak normally.

School is chugging along. I am continuing Stage Combat. The test fast approaches. I believe the date is June 15th, but I am still waiting for final confirmation. This coming Saturday, we are going to Cornish College of the Arts and watch the theater students there take their tests. This way we will know what the process is like and what is expected of us. I look forward to seeing it.

I have had two Voice Over classes now. The class is taught by Gin Hammond, who taught the Voice class that I took last quarter. She is a fun teacher, and I was looking forward to this class. There are two other people from the Voice class, so I know some people which is always nice.

In the first class we all had to read some random text while everyone else closed their eyes and listened. The reader’s job was to read the text in their “normal” voice. The listeners’ job was to determine what type of voice the person had, i.e. what kinds of characters they could be, what type of products they could sell, or just overall qualities of voice.

The first woman read aloud as we all closed our eyes. I’m not quite sure that she was using her “normal” voice, as it sounded pretty radio-like and overly enthusiastic to me, but maybe that’s just me. She got feedback saying she could be a sassy best-friend, confidant, or a business executive.

The second woman read, and she had a deeper, more smoky, husky voice. She could be the best-friend too, but not so sassy, more of the “I’m concerned about you, let’s take a yoga class together” best friend. Her tones also resonated “buy a Lexus”, and I could imagine without much difficulty a surly, chain smoking waitress.

The next woman was interesting in that her voice could sound both young and old. If she got a little higher pitched and excited she sounded like a teenage girl, which was interesting since she is probably late forties. If she spoke slower and a little lower, she sounded more her age and mom-like, or perhaps also a business person.

Then it was my turn. I read my text, which I might add we didn’t see until moments before we had to read it, so I literally didn’t know what the next word was going to be until I read it. I tried to read it pretty normally, not putting a radio tone, since the point was to see what our “natural” voice was. I got done, and there was pause before feedback was given, as if people were having trouble coming up with something to say.

Then one guy said, “You voice sounds just really, really normal.” People nodded in agreement. The teacher said I would be good at narration. I tried not to read into this feedback, gee, your voice is kind of boring, but it was hard not to think that, since I didn’t get a character type. No best-friend, no business executive, no “you could sell luxury products”. I did get the quality of “trustworthy”, which is nice, I suppose, though not exciting. And I did get a last minute “you could probably do a mom” from the instructor. But I think that was thrown in to appease what I assume was a look of disappointment on my face, that I didn’t get something more interesting.

Other people seemed to have more interesting voices, and more character types. Maybe that’s why they came to this class, people have been telling them you should do voice overs, you have _______ voice, you should be in radio, you could do cartoons, etc.

Still I suppose their is a place for normal and trustworthy narration. Perhaps insurance commercials and audio-books are in my future. I won’t complain as long as it pays.


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