Sunday, June 03, 2007

The voice-over work

Actually was very tricky and I did do it well. (This is hard for me to write but I'm working on it). The really great thing is that they said they were going to send me a disc later in the summer with some of my work on it (doing the same for everyone involved--personalized). Which can/will be added to a demo tape. So eventually I could have a link to it and you can judge for yourself. When I heard it was pick-ups I was worried because pick-ups mean doing lines you've already done because something went wrong. It could be you, or it could be technical. I, of course, worried that it was me. It wasn't.

This project is a spoken disc to accompany a text book for high-schoolers. That's already been put together, apparently, with my original recordings. There is also an interactive software component and when they were doing that they decided that they needed more space between each line to break. Now, this is a poem. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, as a matter of fact and Rosa by Rita Dove.

How she sat there,
the time right inside a place
so wrong it was ready.

That trim name with
its dream of a bench
to rest on. Her sensible coat.

Doing nothing was the doing:
the clean flame of her gaze
carved by a camera flash.

How she stood up
when they bent down to retrieve
her purse. That courtesy.

Now, I had to read these lines and give a space at the end of about TWO seconds AND then say the next line as if there had been no break. It's fine between "How she sat there," and "the time right inside." But try it between "That trim name with"... ... ... ..."its dream of a bench"... ... ... ..."to rest on." Hard, isn't it? The one that really threw me was "...retrieve" ... ... ... ... "her purse." I would hold my breath between the end of one and the beginning of the next.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

There is a definite rhythm to this which allows for some pause, but there is also a relentless moving forward that must be kept and it was that that was most difficult to hold onto while waiting at the end of each line. Like "But a bird that stalks"... ... ... ... "down his narrow cage" must continue the force of "stalks. Likewise, "the strange placement of "and" at the end of "his wings are clipped AND"... ... ... ... "his feet are tied" was one of the hardest and I had to give it a couple of tries.

And the REALLY great thing? I was paid the same amount for 1/2 hour of work as I charged for the 10 or 12 hours on the costume that I returned.

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