DIY Month – Day 26: Spoken Word

A few months ago, I wrote this post about how I suck at speech and how much better I am and how much more comfortable I am with writing.

Well, the same rings true today. And this time, it’s not because I dislike the sound of my voice as I mentioned in the above linked post, because I think that (surprise surprise) I am finally over it.

But this time, I think it’s because my vocal performances are inadequate. Yesterday, I woke up bright and early to record myself reading the introduction to the novel I’m writing. I tried to make it sound spontaneous, adding pauses, thought utterances (“um, uh, like, you know?”), making it expressive and animated with varying pitches and tones, I even tried adding second vocal layers with echoes and inner voices in parts that are deep or creepy. But somehow, nothing seemed to work. My voice was as flat, monotonous and boring as ever.

Later on in the evening, I went to my friend’s poetry reading. One of the poems she read was one she shared with me during art night a few days ago. I read it from a paper she handed me and it was a beautiful poem. But when she read it last night, she read it in such a beautiful way, enunciating every word in a deep and serene yet powerful voice, it moved me to near tears. I thought “This is the effect I want my voice to have.”

Why is it so hard for me to reproduce that? Why is it so hard for me to express vocally what I am so eloquently and evocatively expressing prosaically?

I recorded my intro over and over, using different pitches, tones, effects, volumes, even different postures. I saved the latest recorded version and called it a day. Though I am not pleased with it, I think it will have to do. I managed to get through this entire month and was pleased with the result of every activity I did, with this one exception. Maybe spoken word really isn’t for me.

I’ll post the spoken word piece soon, once I figure out how to make it into an mp3. I’ll need my boyfriend for guidance on this one.

Peace, love and I pity my interlocutors

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