After re-recording myself reading the news script, I noticed a few changes that improved the overall performance. This recording definitely had more expression throughout the script in comparison to the first one. This is due to having more confidence in presentation and learning from the professional recording by Kate Stowell. I also listened to other examples of well-performed presentations such as the one by Stanford Business School in this week’s lesson, listening to the radio and watching the news. I noticed I improved at ‘going down’ at the end of sentences and ‘going up’ or emphasising particular words where appropriate. I was articulate with my words and used some of the techniques in this week’s lesson to prepare and warm up my face, mouth and voice (Ames 2016). I did not trip over as many words this time, which would likely be due to knowing the script better. I also read the news script aloud with the Kate Stowell recording to try and match my voice to hers, which I found to be an effective technique. I believe I still have room for improvement to relax my voice more when I am presenting so it is not as stiff and further improve at deepening and projecting my voice (Ames 2016).
In a World (2013) Review
In a World, written and directed by Lake Bell – who is also the female lead – in 2013, is a romantic comedy surrounding the struggles of a vocal coach trying to make it big in the voice-over industry. The main reason she has been struggling to make it in the industry is due to the male dominance in the voiceover field as well as being her father’s daughter, who is a legend in the industry. The theme of male dominance in the industry is not made up for the movie and is however still quite an issue today. In an interview with voiceover star, Joan Baker, she states that, ‘…voiceover remains a male dominated industry. Women are relegated to female products,’ (Grundvig 2014). Tommy Malatesta cuts movie trailers at AV Squad, who adds that the female voice is ‘…soft and comforting…’ which seems to work well with children’s content, while male narrators ‘…bring a more demanding, assertive or even a confident feel to a piece, over a woman’s voice…’ (Smith 2013). Women now make up half of the industry according to Harris (2014), ‘…as clients slowly came to the realisation that female announcers appeal more to female buyers.’
Having a voice for radio requires similar skills to those who are in the voiceover industry (Madill, McCabe & Warhurst 2013). ‘As part of their occupational role, a radio performer uses his or her vocal communication skills to elicit a particular listener response by being entertaining, informative, or persuasive,’ (Madill, McCabe & Warhurst 2013). As seen in the movie, some of the techniques used are similar to the ones practiced in this week’s lesson. The vocal coach – Carol – asks one of her students – Eva Longoria – to place a cork in her mouth and practice pronouncing her vowels (In A World 2013). This week’s lesson asked us to ‘place our tongue behind, and just touching, the lower front teeth when you say a vowel,’ (Ames 2016). Some other techniques used throughout the movie to warm-up the voice were; lip smacking, keeping good posture, drinking warm drinks (eg. lemon tea), lip and tongue trills, humming, resting the voice (no talking or screaming) and relaxing the jaw and mouth (In A World 2013). The impact that these techniques have are not only to relax the speaker and make their voice sound as good as it can, but it makes it easier for the audience to listen to. A successful voice over artist will influence the listener just through the effectiveness of their voice (Madill, McCabe & Warhurst 2013).
Ames, K 2016, COMM12033: Speech and Script Lesson 4: Performance: study guide, CQUniversity e-courses, https://moodle.cqu.edu.au/pluginfile.php/293232/mod_resource/content/6/COMM12033_Week4_Mod.pdf
Grundvig J, Huffington Post 2014, ‘The Importance of Voiceover in the Digital Age: Interview With Joan Baker’, blog post, 2 April, viewed 31 March 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-grundvig/the-importance-of-voiceov_b_5066205.html
Harris, A 2014, ‘Meet Australia’s best voice-over artists, working in a competitive industry worth millions’, The Daily Telegraph, 8 November, viewed 4 April 2016, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/meet-australias-best-voiceover-artists-working-in-a-competitive-industry-worth-millions/news-story/4b06cd67645d2757cb1f2a3b16374e99
In A World 2013, motion picture, Roadside Attractions, Los Angeles.
Madill, C; McCabe, P & Warhurst, S, 2013, ‘What Makes a Good Voice for Radio: Perceptions of Radio Employers and Educators’, Journal of Voice, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 217-224, viewed 4 April 2016, http://vs7pm8vz2k.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/?sid=36520&genre=article&issn=18734588&title=Journal%20Of%20Voice%3A%20Official%20Journal%20Of%20The%20Voice%20Foundation&atitle=What%20makes%20a%20good%20voice%20for%20radio%3A%20perceptions%20of%20radio%20employers%20and%20educators.&author=Warhurst%20S&authors=Warhurst%20S%3BMcCabe%20P%3BMadill%20C&date=20130301&volume=27&issue=2&spage=217
Smith, M 2013, ‘Lake Bell’s New Movie Asks Why More Women Aren’t Used to Narrate Movie Trailers’, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 August, viewed 4 April 2016, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lake-bells-a-world-asks-602872