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My watering hole ... The DC Metro Train...

 
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kgenus
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Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 889
Location: Greater NYC Area

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: My watering hole ... The DC Metro Train... Reply with quote

So I'm riding the DC Metro train (or subway everywhere else) in to, you guessed it, DC and since I live beyond the last stop I usually get on the train and have the whole car to myself for one or two stops ... then the fun begins.

Over the last year, as a result of listening in on two scantily clad French women, I've been paying more and more attention to the way people communicate. It has been an all inclusive fertile ground for learning about people's expressions, deliveries and moods. Some are beaming because they're in DC, others are in a hurry and know they've already missed whatever it is they're in a hurry to get to, some have momentarily lapses of reason (drunk) and then there are those who just sit and stare out the window and it feels like you can see their lives flashing by in the reflections they're looking beyond.

I really look forward to the metro rides because they've ceased to be a means of transportation, but more or less master classes in human behavior, second only to spending a day in traffic court as a non-participant.

I thought I'd mention this to find out if anyone else did something similar to this for the mental imagery it helps enhance.
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Deirdre
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 12933
Location: East Jesus, Maine

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a delight.

Thanks Kevin-- how true. Pure gold in the character-mine.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best voice artists are those who listen, the best actors and comedians are those who watch. All we have to do is feed off the people and situations we see, then interpret.

Interesting topic, Kevin. It's a particularly important one for us as voice overs, indeed one that a number would prefer not to discuss as it gets to the roots of what we do or should be doing.

"I have a massive, expensive tube mic, a booth that keeps it real, a pre-amp built by the Pope, a compressor that makes God sound like a cissie....I don't need to put in a performance!!!"

Keep thinking that and you'll never be asked ...Or paid!
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mcm
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Joined: 10 Dec 2004
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Location: w. MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, that was a very neat post to read. And thought-provoking. It's important to ponder, what are we doing as voice actors to study our fellow humans and learn from them?

My kids have always been fascinated by this sort of thing, from the time they were really small, but they tend to treat the world as their personal shopping cart for facial expressions and phrases, which they bring home and then work to death. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but all 3 of us do it now that I think about it, to the extent that sometimes it's not safe for all of us to be in the same room with the person we got it from. Kevin's post makes me realise that we (my kids and Sleep are not taking enough time to study the things that are not funny. There's more to life than laughing, unfortunately.

But hey, I got a kid who wants to be a comedian - I gotta be supportive!
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PJHawke
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 160
Location: St. Louis

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After my acting class in the morning, I have about 10 minutes to kill before voice class and I spend it watching the dance of humanity along the ornate little tangle of sidewalks on campus. This morning, I watched a quick 1-min interplay that has burned itself in my visual memory.

A rather statuesque woman who often catches my attention on campus stopped for a quick conversation with a younger classmate as they passed each other along the walk. Imagine an exotic, Amazon Angela Bassett: striking -- tall, well-proportioned, not stocky but solid and athletic looking, with a strong, confident, almost imposing posture. Her companion was very petite and passive-looking, and the contrast was visually arresting. I got a sudden sensation of the Greek stage: A puny mortal squaring off with a Goddess on Mount Olympus. And while I couldn't hear them talk at that distance, the VO in my mind was as clear as the picture. If I were casting a radio play, I know exactly what voices would give an audience that precise mental image.

I know, I'm long-winded and this seems off-topic, but I'm a very visual person and I find that mental images can translate to an audible performance the same way that hearing the sound suggests the picture to the listener. As I practice voicing, and listening to people around me for inspiration, I'm finding what I *see* in the people around me to have just as much impact--if not more--as what I hear. I think voice performers who sound flat or lifeless may sometimes need tweaking of their mind's eye, not ear.

My $.02, for what it's worth.................................PJ
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worth more than 2 cents, makes a lots of sense, in fact (moment of humour there).

To make it sound right it helps to have seen it happen in the first place.
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