Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Funny what a voice can compel you to do

My girlfriend (GF) has started taking classes in doing voiceover work. Ordinarily, I couldn't consider this to be terribly interesting, as I had friends of mine from college who tried to travel down this same path but nothing really came out of it. However, the weird thing about GF is that she's really *amazing* at it. It's not like her regular voice, which sounds like a regular girly voice. But when she "turns it on" she has this rich, velvety tone that just fills me with an urge to rush out and buy as many tubs of Country Crock as my little 2-seater can carry.

This got me thinking, how many people who do voiceovers are actually using their real voice and how many are using a "Stage voice". I think that obviously, that is James Earl Jones' real voice, but the "Tom Banks" guy from the best buy commercials? I'm thinking that's had some embellishment.

What's even more frightening is how much the tone of a voice can compel consumer cravings. I mean, I do remember how excited I used to get for Monster Truck Rallys at the Metrodome. But I didn't realize how much of my excitement was probably due to the "LIVE (Live live) at the METRODOME (Dome dome)!!! MONSTER (Monster monster) TRUCK (Truck truck) RACING (Racing racing)". That guys voice just appealed to my eight-year-old sense of adventure. Monster trucks sounded like the coolest thing on earth because that uber-voice made it so. Even today when I hear one of those ads I feel an old familiar sense of excitement and usually start saying all the familiar monster-truck catchphrases along with the voice (we'll sell you the whole seat but you'll only need the EDGE!!!).

Still, the fourth wall has been shattered. I'll never listen to voiceovers on TV the same way. But I'm now convinced that the GF will be famous, even if none of you ever know how.

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