By Stephanie Ciccarelli
August 28, 2009
Are you being true to your own voice?
What's the price one pays for trying to sound like someone else?
By Richard Weirich
It's in there somewhere. You came into the world with it. No question, some were blessed more than others. Nonetheless, it is uniquely yours. I'm talking about your voice.
The ideal voice today is.....well, to be honest, just about every voice. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, voice work was primarily a man's field. Deep, resonant, bass and baritone, "manly!" But not anymore.
The name of the game today is "natural" which is something I've preached for years. Unfortunately some folks just don't seem to grasp that message.
Most of us don't really want to sound like ourselves. We prefer to sound like old "what's-his/her-name." And so we begin to manipulate the instrument. Back in the day we called them "puke jocks" as they pumped more than just a smile into their voices.
When you go messing with what God gave you you're most likely going to end up sounding phony.
I've known friends in the biz who smoked and drank excessively so their voices would be changed. Before tummy tucks, facelifts, and breast implants there were those in our profession who had their larynxes scraped to somehow improve voice quality. (Not recommended....unless you want to risk sounding like Minnie Mouse.)
All of these folks were suffering from low "voice" self esteem.
So, how about you? Does your voice cause you to feel like you just don't measure up?
A little dissatisfaction is healthy as long as it keeps you striving for perfection. Just make sure that you're not striving for destruction.
The best tools you have for your voice instrument are your eyes and ears.
Many of us probably didn't care much for the music and art appreciation classes we had to take in college. If you got anything out of those classes I hope it was the ability to listen to music with a "critical" ear and to look at art with a "critical" eye. Our eyes enable us to embrace the words on a page as we seek mood and meaning. Our ears help us to ascertain if we successfully attained our goal.
Most often the problem is not with the voice. So don't beat up on yourself because you weren't blessed with incredible pipes. Instead, focus your attention on communicating the message on the page.
Learn to incorporate your personality, your passion, your heart. Want more than anything to move your listener.
Learn to listen to yourself with a critical ear.
Does the recorded product match the intent of your effort? What sounds best? Use it again. What sounds out of place? Throw it away. Are you speaking in your comfortable range or are you straining for pitches that just aren't there? Do you sound strained or relaxed and in your element? Are you into yourself or into your audience?
Fine tune those things that you can control and give your voice a break. There is nothing wrong with your voice. Accept it as it is and put your emphasis on communication.
What can you do to be compelling enough to capture attention and move your listener to action?
There's a word that's been lost in our craft. At least, I'm not hearing it much anymore. We use titles like "voice talent" and "voice artist." Note the emphasis on "voice." Maybe therein is the problem. More precisely we are "communicators."
Do you have anything to add to this conversation or thoughts to share with Richard?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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