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The Wonderful Words of Dian Perry
I recently finished reading a book called “Voiceover Narration – Creating Performances from the Inside Out” (Amazon | Audible) by Dian Perry. And in this book she mentions resonance and connection. And as soon as I started to read this section, the word that actually came to my mind with my own experiences was harmony. Let me read to you a few extracts from that section of her book.
“Merriam-Webster defines resonate as: ‘to relate harmoniously; strike a chord.’ In other words – to make a connection. Whenever we speak to anyone in any capacity, our primary goal is always to connect with them on some level.” “…We always hope that our message resonates with the listener and that they are ‘in tune’ with whatever we’re communicating.” “When a person resonates with something, whether it’s the presence of another individual, a fresh new concept, or a spoken word performance, what’s occurring is an alignment of frequency.”
Striking a Chord
First of all, let me just say that this is a great book and Dian is a wonderful person – very giving and very empathetic, and a joy to work with. I think what she’s talking about, at least how it impacted myself, is very similar to if you’re singing a chord or even the word “accord”. Seems to fit in with what she’s talking about – resonating with the person or people you’re communicating with, perhaps even resonating with the environment around you so that you’re in the same frequency as that environment. And that’s really powerful. And of course, the contrast of that came to my mind of “discord”. Anytime you’re in discord, whether it’s musical or whether it’s in life, I’m sure you can relate to the tension and the angst that that can create.
So, from this section of her book, I started to think about how do I get in tune with myself and with nature and with those around me, or even better yet, how do I get in tune with where I want to be? Sometimes that means a change of mindset or a change of attitude. Or maybe it means a slight change in how I’m communicating so that I am in tune at the same frequency and in harmony with those that I’m trying to connect with. I think that’s what it means to harmonize with the world around you and those you communicate with.
It all Starts with Listening
Then I started to think a bit more because as a voiceover I’m trying to spend more and more time speaking and being recorded. But actually, to be in harmony, starts with listening. I have to understand the frequency and vibration, or maybe the tone and the vibe of what’s around me. Now, in my booth there’s many times where I need to create that world around me in order to deliver a good performance. And even if it’s in my mind, I have to be harmonious with the message and with the client’s intent.
To do that, I really need to push pause on the noise in my head of self-doubt of negativity. Frankly, it sometimes even the praise that I might receive. So that I can focus and get. Into pitch with the message I’m trying to project. Then, and only then can I add my voice and my presence and those vibrations to fit into the chord that’s been put out in front of me. I try to blend in instead of rushing in fighting against the environment because what I have to say is the most important thing in the world. Trust me, it’s not.
Don’t Ignore your Environment
I thought as well, as I started to expand this area of self-discovery, if you will, of how it feels in the VO community being another VO. Because I feel that the voiceover community is very harmonious. I’m sure there’s pockets that aren’t, but in general there’s much more helpfulness than competition. There’s much more accord than discord. And when there is discord, it does seem to be for the most part respectful, and in a nature of trying to learn from each other.
There’s also this overall acknowledgement that I’ve experienced. that we’re all unique. That we might be competing for the same job, but at the end of the day, I sound different from you and that’s a wonderful thing. And sometimes my voice will fit the need and sometimes your voice will fit the need. And that acknowledgement really removes the sense in my mind of competition. It’s simply…sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m not right. It doesn’t devalue my skill or me as a person. In fact, there’s room in this choir of voice over community for everyone. And when we help each other, we strengthen the whole choir instead of being very focused on my solo performance.
Now, I will admit I have been in very much the opposite types of environments that are very abrasive and people who don’t listen and very much are about their own tone as opposed to the harmony we can create together. It’s not very enjoyable, it is very stressful, and in fact, tends to wear me out. I think that might be one reason why we read about burnout so much more than we used to. Maybe it’s a new term, I don’t think it is, but it is certainly a result in some cases of this type of conflict between frequencies.
Find your Harmony
So instead, I definitely try to spend as much of my brain thought process on the harmony of voice over the VO community and doing something that I really enjoy and love to help other people, to help myself, with respect by teaching, and trying to lift each other up. If Karma’s a thing, I can give some of that out into the world and then hopefully receive some of that right back. To me, when that works, everybody wins.
A short one this time, but I hope a very helpful and uplifting one. Try to be harmonious. See if you can find areas, people, occupations, hobbies that allow you to be harmonious or allow you to vibrate in concert with the world and people around you. I think you’ll find it’s a lot more enjoyable.
Have a great one!