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The Voices In My Head

Monday, Mar. 22, 2010 3:53 AM

So the hush-hush top secret project I mentioned was my finally getting off my duff and completing my commercial and character voice demos. They'll be posted in a database out of the studio where I've taken classes and recorded them, but I'm also beginning the search for an agent; the demos are a waypoint, not the destination.

It was an interesting experience, kind of a rubber-meets-the-road moment where you put everything you've learned in the classroom to work. Arriving at the studio, I was nervous, butterflies in my stomach, the works. And then you get behind the mic and realize this isn't anything you haven't done before in the course of training.

Of course, I had my share of moments where I was 'in my head' too much, trying too hard for a sound ... and finding the best results are when one turns off the internal dialogue and just gets down to business in a kind of Buddhist 'no mind' way.

It's both exhilarating and humbling - that you've reached a level of proficency, but there's still so much further to go.

Going into the process, I also thought that my character demo would be the easier of the two, but that day, it seemed I was working harder and there were moments where I knew I was self-editing - getting in my own way again.

Character voices were something that I hadn't intended to do, back at the start, but became something I could (and thus needed) to do. The core curriculum at the studio includes Narration, Commercial, and Character. I originally saw myself as a Narration/Commercial type, but a couple of my instructors strongly encouraged me to consider Character work after a couple of voices and a gift for improv came out in class.

My commercial voice also developed in the course of classes. I'd been used to a very news-like (wow, there's a surprise) sound and rhythm, which one instructor helped me grow beyond. There's one take of me sounding rather newsy, and the next take, it's like a whole different person is at the mic. And now I know how to get to that sound.

Onward and upward ...

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