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Bedroom Masterpieces

Do you ever record yourself?

Vocally, I mean. Get your minds out of the gutter. Just talking, or narrating, or singing, or whatever? Occasionally, I do — it’s probably one of those things that’s a hangover from spending years yelling at taxi drivers and inebriated punters, but it’s interesting to hear yourself recorded. Often, it reflects more of who you are than you think. If you’re nervous, that always comes through a treat. Yet, reading something in a way that seems to be full of nuance and feeling often comes over flat, or clipped.
One of the things we did in scriptwriting class this semester was something that I’m sure happens in every writing class: we read the scripts of our fellow classmates out, much like a read-through. Apart from hearing your script read out, which I’m sure is an interesting experience (due to my usual do-it-at-the-last-second ways, I didn’t actually have a script at any point that was in a fit state to be read silently, let alone aloud), it’s a chance for everyone else to have a crack at voice acting, in a way. People (and by people, I mean me) really get into it at times, doing accents, trying to emote using nothing but their voice, trying to make the narration of scene descriptions and the like sound interesting.

Yet when you do it by yourself, it seems dry, and flat, and passionless. I don’t quite know how that works. Maybe it’s the setting. Maybe the nuances and subtlety that you think are there all the time really aren’t. Who’s to say?

All I know is that I prefer the inferred emotion of speaking without dwelling on it to the boring monotone of trying to sound interesting. I think it may be better just to leave the speaking to the classroom and the microphone to the odd Skype call.

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