Sometimes I’m just at a point where I spend so much time in the booth, working at my craft, that it’s not what I want to blog about when I come to the keyboard.
I’d kind of like to go off on a small rant about “fan” rudeness. And I put the word “fan” in quotes, because I often wonder IF you’re somebody’s fan, why would you be shitty towards them? Anyway, I’m not gonna go there right now. It’s an ugly place, and plus that blog would take about an hour to compose. And truth be told, for every person out there who calls himself a fan but is truly a jerk, there are ten other people who are awesome.
Okay, ’nuff of that.
I guess I do need to talk about something, as it’s an issue I’ve been given a lesson in very recently, and it warrants discussion, if not in-depth scoping. And it’s the issue of BREATH.
Breath in voice acting, I should say. Especially breath in Audiobook Narration. Look, I’m not gonna play around, I listen to LOTS of people’s Audiobook Demos, and these are people who label and call themselves Pros, and I gotta tell you, I’m aware I’m better than a great lot of them. But, I do have one tremendous weakness when it comes to narration, and that’s my breathing style. (Now, don’t go searching for this on titles I’ve done, or it’s all you’ll notice!) Ahem. Anyway, I’ve often noticed that my catch-breaths, for lack of a better term, while narrating, fall into natural pockets, but they tend to be a bit RASPY, or even plain LOUD. A producer recently emailed me about this, and he let me in on some techniques on how to avoid this. So far, it’s been really helpful. The embarrassing thing is, if I’d just applied a little bit of the vocal training I’d received as a singer, I would have figured this all out on my own. But, here’s the rub, sorta. When you’re on stage, and you have to take big breaths, whether or not their incredibly audible doesn’t so much come through, because you’re playing to a giant hall, even IF you’re wearing a body mic. It’s just not as noticeable because of sound dispersion, size of space, etc. … However, in the intimate world of recording Voiceover, again, everything is intimate and naked. And not in a sexy way. I mean it’s all laid bare. Every little glitch of the mouth. And improper, or stressed, or cramped breathing can sound like a windstorm, when in “real life”, it would be barely noticeable.
I’m still trying to master the technique, but it has to do with breathing with your tongue forward, so as to keep an open pharynx, which allows an effortless passage of air. For me, getting my mouth INTO this position in the nanoseconds it takes to do a catch breath while reading is the big challenge. But like I said, I’m working on it.
A good performing artist is always learning and improving!