Posted by: whirlabout | November 25, 2008

Daring to Try… With a Sense of Humor

whirlaboutpostCurious thing about starting a new career 15 years into your old one is figuring out where to begin. You’re not really at entry-level — too much experience for that. You’re not automatically at high rank either — not enough skills or connections for that. So if your new profession doesn’t require a new degree, and you’ve done so much research that it all starts to look the same, the only place I can figure is jumping at every possible opportunity, no matter how unqualified or uncertain about it I might feel. And that means gearing up for a lot of risks, stumbles and (hopefully) laughs along the way.

For example, most of my voiceover jobs come from corporate contacts made while in TV news. These projects are industrials — typically instructional pieces, orientations, or sales presentations. I love doing them, but they’re not exactly riveting demo material.

More recently, though, I’ve been voicing interactive online conversations for a health educator –essentially, a program that lets you to “talk” with your computer (me) about health topics. It’s kind of a toned down version of the computer game “You Don’t Know Jack.”

So the other day, when the producer asked if I could do guided imagery — lead listeners through relaxation techniques — I thought, “um, I don’t know….can I?” but what came out of my mouth was, “Sure, let’s do it!”

We sat down, the producers peering at me through the thick, glass, sound booth walls, waiting to see if I could pull it off. We laid down a test run. They put it to music.

Here it is:

You get the idea.

Then they started to have a little fun, playing with the audio I just attempted to deliver in the most professional manner I could. With a few button pushes they turned me into a fast-talking, legal disclaimer lady.

Not very relaxing, eh? Then… um… I wasn’t expecting this one.

OK… THAT was funny.

Obviously, this type of editing wasn’t required for the finished product. Were they mocking me? Toying with my ability (or inability) to pull it off?

I suppose someone might look at it that way. But I though it was hilarious!

My first attempt at guided imagery may not be the best you’ve ever heard. But I gave it my best shot. And it’s not that bad of a start. I just had to take a chance and be ready to laugh at myself along the way.


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