January 11

Voice

A year ago, I dipped a toe into improv performance. Then dove in. More on the backstory another time. My thoughts today are on voice.

The diverse group of players I practice and perform with often use a variety of accents to help define their characters. Regional, continental, whatever comes to mind.

I feel more than a little inept at accents, but have begun playing with different voice registers. In practice some weeks ago, I dragged out a deep voice, as deep as I could make it. The reaction of my scene partner was startled shock. I used it on stage recently, which elicited chuckles from the audience, and some playful behavior on the part of my scene partner.

Last night at practice, I decided to use as shrill a voice as I could muster. It brought the house down. (My throat still hurts today.)

Sound Wave Voice by CSTRSK shared under a CC0 Creative Commons  license.

These experiences caused me to think about “voice.” We often speak of finding our voice, and encouraging students to find their voice. Which is valid and true.

Now I’m thinking we all have many voices. Even everyday interactions support this conjecture. The way we speak to a baby is very different from how we address our colleagues. Not only in the tone we use, but also the vocabulary and formality of language structures.

All of our voices have different things to say, and provide us with opportunities to explore different facets of who we are. What remains constant is the throughline, our authentic self.

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Posted January 11, 2019 by inspirepassion in category #DigiWriMo

4 thoughts on “Voice

  1. Yin Wah Kreher

    This is a great observation. When we give students a chance to be heard, to have A voice, do we encourage them to think of having more than one voice? Or differentiations of that voice?

    Just extending your idea…

    Reply
    1. inspirepassion (Post author)

      Thanks for chiming in, Yin Wah. Definitely “voice” is an abstract concept, and one we could spend a long time exploring. For things such as controversial topics, a tactic I don’t use often enough is to have students take on the voice of someone who is opposition to their viewpoint.

      Reply
  2. Anna

    How fun to hear that you do improv! I think that makes a lot of sense given the adventurous spirit with which you approach makes! I love this idea about voice as well–that there isn’t a voice, but our polyphonic voices through which we speak.

    Reply
    1. inspirepassion (Post author)

      Thanks, Anna! It’s been a blast, and something TOTALLY outside my comfort zone. There’s no doubt it has helped me grow. 🙂

      Reply

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