Taking New Risks: The Sound of My Voice

This week I did something I’ve never done before; I recorded the Preface and Epilogue of my memoir for an audio book. I’m comfortable with public speaking, but recording in my friend, Melanie’s studio was different. Unlike the speaking I’ve done, this recording will live on, captured in audio files for people who aren’t in front of me. In the past, when I’ve heard my voice on a recording, I’d say to myself, “That doesn’t sound like me,”  (I thought it sounded like my cousin, but I won’t say which one!)

Melanie’s husband, Jeff, who worked at the controls and is a veteran sound editor, told me that nobody likes to hear their voice recorded. I didn’t give him my particular defense of why I have felt self-conscious, about the comments people have made about my Southern accent (see post-Southern Drawl). Even with feeling on edge, part of me wishing I didn’t need to do the recording, I relaxed some knowing that I was in the company of friends. I’ve known Melanie for over twenty years and when I’ve been around Jeff, he has a quiet kindness that puts me at ease.

Melanie’s a voice over-talent and the leader of our Triangle Writers Group. I’m delighted that she’s doing the narration of my memoir, He Heard My Voice. She’s been with me through the life-changing events described in my book and has critiqued every chapter. I feel so fortunate to have my talented friend work with me on this project and I didn’t want to disappoint her with my performance.

Before I started recording, Melanie helped me to understand the set up– where I’d stand, how I’d pause between pages, directions she’d give me from behind the door. There was baffling, or materials to deflect extranous noises in my recording area: foam where I spoke into the microphone, curtains and rugs on the walls and floor. All of this was new for me but everyday for Melanie.

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We worked our way through my recording in the hour that we’d scheduled. I felt satisfied when I left that I’d done my best. I remembered back to my solo journey to Iona, Scotland. There, I’d vowed to let go of some of my self-consciousness in order to move forward and be all I was created to be.

Our retreat leader had stood with us on the shore of Iona Sound and directed us to pick a rock that represented a weight we carried. After considering the burden of what we carried, we were to throw it into the water. My burden had been my self-consciousness, my perfectionism and I remember the “thunk” of my rock hitting the water. Soon after that, I had the opportunity to test out my new self and it had to do with not worrying about how I looked or sounded. (see post- Things You Leave Behind)

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Iona Sound where I’d left that rock

Now, I think that I’m making progress by letting go, following through with the audio recording in spite of my discomfort.

The point of me reading the Preface and Epilogue is to introduce my readers/listeners to my Southern voice, while Melanie’s trained voice does the majority of the work. I practiced before our recording session and decided to share with you a portion of the Preface.

Since I’m letting go of my self-consciousness, I’m not going to worry that this was done after a day of keeping my grandson, when like the recording of me at Iona, I hadn’t had time to “brush my hair or freshen up.”

I’m taking a risk, putting it out there, and praying in this–as in all things, that God will bless my efforts and the desires of my heart. May it be so for you, too!

 

 

How About You?

What do you need to let go of in order to be all you were created to be?

What risk do you need to take?

Referenced posts:

Things You Leave Behind

Southern Drawl