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Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2008 3:58 AM

Last Friday, one of my voice instructors asked if I was available for an ADR/Looping session yesterday. After some frantic calls to arrange a replacement for my regular job, I was able to accept the invitation.

We were told to prepare with several accents, with a specific request for Mandarin Chinese - which I not only don't speak, I don't have a Chinese accent. (It's such that when I attempt the little Cantonese I know, my mother says I have an American accent.) I spent part of the weekend practicing simple phrases in Mandarin.

The project is a forthcoming documentary on Butte, Montana. What we lent our voices to is a variety of archival footage, from the early 1900's to the 1970's, recreating crowd noises and assorted ambient sound.

Of course, there's always a curve ball, and one got tossed my way when I learned the producers had decided to not use any Chinese phrases, and it took me a bit to get my other dialects going.

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