There but for Throat Coat go I

Question: Can a voice actor create quality work in a three-hour VO workshop with a vocal apparatus thrashed by a nasty rhinovirus?

Answer: Thanks to the fine folks at Traditional Medicinals, he can.

Last night’s narration class was a struggle. A cold that had been edging up on me since Monday exploded into full bloom, despite my pounding zinc tablets for three days straight. Still, the show must go on, as they say (you know, that anonymous “they” who author all of those pithy maxims), so I loaded up my two-quart Thermos hot pot with Throat Coat herbal tea and tried to keep sufficient distance from my classmates so as not to infect them.

And what do you know? I delivered some pretty good reads. I wasn’t as enthused with the work as my director was, but you know me — I’m always hypercritical of my own stuff. I had to admit that I was surprised that my voice and my interpretation sounded as well as they did, given my compromised condition.

Key revelation of the evening: My best narration voice resides in the lower reaches of my vocal range. That’s not entirely a new thought, but its truth was certainly borne out in my reads. I just have to remind myself to go for the deeper choice every time. That doesn’t mean trying to manufacture a basso profundo that I don’t possess, but rather making sure to open all the resonators and target a lower pitch.

Key non-revelation of the evening: When I step in front of the mic, I too often forget what I intended to do. I had to be reminded after my first take on the night’s second exercise about the very discovery that had made all of the difference in the previous read. That absentmindedness plagues me in more aspects of my daily activity than I care to count. I’m becoming a better note-maker, though.

Key self-congratulation of the evening: Speaking of notes, writing “HEY! SLOW THE HECK DOWN!” in huge letters in the margin of my copy helped my pacing immensely. Even when I forgot what I was supposed to be doing with pitch, my rate was under control and spot-on. So, in next Thursday’s class, “HEY! GO LOWER!” will be the watchword for the night.

With any luck, this doggoned cold will be history by then.

Explore posts in the same categories: Narration, Reflection, Strategy, Voice acting, Voiceover, Voicetrax

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