Spring semester began a little late, but not enough to delay the voice acting class. I usually get them for about three weeks at the beginning and another three at the end of each semester, as I’m fortunate enough to work with some fantastic Taiwanese teachers who do a lot of heavy lifting.
Last semester, we practiced manipulating our bodies to approximate different mood; shoulders back and chest puffed to sound proud, face wide open to come across as cheerful, or shoulders asymmetrical and contorted to sound like an ogre. We did the warmups that I learned with my friends at the Red Room in Taipei, and I passed along a few mouthfuls of my favorite tongue twisters.
This semester, I got the microphone out early and began recording the students reading a scene from my as yet unfinished radio adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Everyone got to come up and play with my Blue Yeti and listen to their voices. One of my students isn’t a very strong reader, but he has repertoire of weapons reports he does with his mouth that could land him in the middle of a Police Academy reboot should anyone be interested.
One young woman struggled long and hard with the words “pronounce” and “pronunciation” for several long minutes. In the end, we made a full screen cue card of the sentence that was tripping her up, and smoothed out the rough bits and got her to read it through in one go. She was so proud of herself and I was proud of her too.
It might not seem like much, but it’s not something I hear a lot of in my position. So when a teenager says to me, “Hey thanks, that helped a lot,” I gotta write it down somewhere that I can find it again when I need to.