I went on a course a couple of years ago called ‘Find Your Voice’. It was for people wanting to get into commercial voiceovers…all about using microphones and marking up scripts to emphasise the right words and creating memorable characters with vocal tricks. The others on the course were real actors, hoping to get into the voiceover game, and they were pityingly tolerant of the non-vocally-talented writer who just wanted to make competent podcasts of her book.
We all went through that thing where you hear your voice and squirm because it’s not how you sound in your head but, unlike when you hear yourself on a tinny outgoing phone message, we had it booming at us in a pukka sound studio with boards full of things that blokes with ponytails know how to tweak. As if that wasn’t bad enough, then the room full of people who’d had voice training dahling discussed how you sounded. They’d make suggestions for changes; try this pace, try that tone, pretend you’re shouting at a class of toddlers or addressing a meeting of the Hitler Youth, remember when your cat died. You’d try again and listen again and sound different but this time it was less about not hearing what echoed in your head and more about hearing the things the others heard and wanted more of. Continue reading “Find Your Voice”