Throughout the last 32 years, my voice has been variously described as “chirpy” (everyone), “inimitable” (a work colleague from 2008), “proper sooovin’!!” (a guy from England who I dated briefly) and “expression-full”(as recently as yesterday).
I’ll be the first to admit that in my most relaxed state, I sound like a bit of a Muppet. It’s a cross between Elmo, Kermit the Frog and Angela Anaconda. I know this, because like all of us who’ve been overcome by the curiosity and subsequent mortification of listening to ourselves on an old-school dictaphone, I realised very early on that I sound NOTHING like the voice in my head.
Anyway, in 2012, a work colleague once said to me: “Margs, your voice would be soooo good for kids voice-over work.” She nodded super enthusiastically. I tilted my head and considered the prospect: “But how do I get into it?” I’d asked, with nothing but wistful enthusiasm pooling in the depths of my faraway staring eyeballs.
Fast forward to 2016, and a lovely friend introduced me to his best friend who works at Kinderling- the coolest digital radio station for kids in Australia. She then put me in touch with Tim Ritchie who’s the Head of Digital Content: “Do you need any volunteers to read books and stuff?” I asked.
He was super kind: “We’re always looking for different voices! Can you come in so we can see how you sound?”
I swallowed my apprehension: “Okay!”
Then I stepped into my favourite voice-over shift dress (don’t you know, blue is the colour of communication!), slipped on some extra impractical, tinkling tribal earrings (not good for wearing headphones) and bumbled my way through two picture books and some intro spiels.
It was ridiculously exciting. I don’t know if I was very good; I don’t even know if I had enough punchy expression to keep the attention of a three year old– but you know what? As I sat there in that little studio with the special “ON AIR” sign flashing and Max (the sound engineer) patiently instructing me to “finish saying the sentence before turning the page, because otherwise I can’t edit out the sound of the turning page”, I was secretly stoked.
I gave it a red-hot go. I made mistakes but I also got to say “AWW ALBERT” fifty million times, because Albert was a naughty dog who kept eating everyone’s belongings and getting busted. I learnt heaps and laughed lots.
At the end, the 100% Korean in me couldn’t help herself: “This is really nerdy, but can you take a picture? This may be the first and only time I’m ever in here,” I held my camera out to Max. He chuckled: “Yeah, of course!” And so I toothy grinned and said “AWW ALBERT!” for the camera.
The whole experience made me reflect on a pretty obvious home truth: life’s not about being perfect at everything we embark on. Take a chance, put your hand up and have a rollicking good time. It’s the experiences that make life colourful- not the result, hey? That’ll learn us!!
Have a super cool, stinking hot Wednesday! xxx