February 10th, 2012

TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet)

More Notes from the Basement:

Heading back into the studio (which really is in a basement, in a private house in Brooklyn - studio built by our engineer, in fact; it's one of his specialties) tomorrow to continue recording that thing - you know, that thing I can't tell you about. Yet.

Did more voice work with my beloved George Russell yesterday to prepare for the next section.

Did you know that you sound a whole lot more like a man if you drop the pitch of your voice to emphasis a word, rather than raising it?

Try it:  It works!  Just go through a text and underline the "key" word in each sentence, the most important one. Don't even think about the meaning, or try for a particular character.  

It's hard.  It's fascinating.  It's a total genderf*ck - like cross-dressing with your voice.  For me, anyway.  Delia & I read through several chapters - dialogue only - last night (and may I just say that it makes a pretty good script all by itself?), with her doing all the other characters, while I paced and sat, reading and repeating, trying to get that way of speaking into my body until I was dropping the voice without thinking - and then could actually start working on characterization, etc.!  (Oh, and one more thing:  No pauses in the dialogue lines for that particular character. If the author wants a pause or hesitation, it's there in the punctuation!  Otherwise: no pauses before words! I have written this down.  George kept saying - and demonstrating with handy prop: "Look: It's a cup. I'm putting it down.  On the table. That's how he speaks.")

You who have actually studied acting at an adult level probably already know all this stuff.  But for me, it was a revelation.  And a challenge.

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In other news:  Delia is off to Mexico tomorrow for 2 weeks, going on the Writing Retreat with Holly Black & other friends.  I'm staying here to record, then heading down to Endicott West for a week to write with my brother Phil.  Should be good.  And let me just say that it is a lot more fun being someone's aide de camp as they pack for a big trip, than it is to be - as I was last year - going, too?  Inasmuch as I am not the least bit fussed about whether or not I have toothpaste, or have answered all my mail, or . . . .  well, you know.  I suppose that will all come next week when I pack for Endicott.  But why worry about that now?