I have recently had to get out of my comfort zone behind the camera and into the frame of the camera. In that process I have been involved with photo shoots, a commercial, a tv spot on Channel 4, and the voice over for the commercial. All of this has been to assist in the promotion for the Applied Design program. I have to say the most fun was the commercial and the voice over. The commercial was the best because the focus wasn’t on just me and metals, but the whole program and other students. It was so much fun to share the lime-light with my class-mates, Linda, Georgi, Will, Ian, Carey, and the professors. That was the best part by far. The voice over was interesting in how revealing it was to listen to your own voice and how one speaks. I never really focused on sound coming out of me. Sound is something that was common place while growing up. I come from a family of musicians. So singing was a standard to be around, but I never really thought about it in-depth.
To try and find more depth and awareness with my body, I went to yoga recently and it finished with a meditation using the crystal bowls. The instructor created the chord F, and the purpose was to open the heart chakra and help with the immune system. I found this very striking to my lack of attention to the environmental sound around me. I’m not going to lie, I teared up a bit. I had never experienced that type of overwhelming sound affect my mind, my body, my emotions. I realized how I may listen, focus on the trivial facial gestures, the look in the eye, the body language of others, but what about myself when I communicate? What about sound and how it affects our individual perceptions and thoughts?
Before yoga, earlier in the day we did the final voice cut for the commercial at Dempsey Film Group. I worked with them a few years ago doing the 48 hour film project. I just helped with sets. It was a fun experience. While being in the recording studio. I had to focus on my tone of voice, how I spoke and delivered. I continuously read the statement, like 56 takes or something. I needed to find my passion, my appreciation, my devotion to being an artist and being in the program. I received a lot of coaching on how to deliver it. It was hard for me to present that in my voice. Visually is hard enough as it is sometimes, but sound? In the end they were pleased with the final takes.
During the takes It was brought to my attention that when I form a statement sometimes it sounds like a condescending question. In my head I’m unsure of my understanding of something, or my perception of something. It made me aware that how I feel about my ability comes out patronizing to others. When in truth it’s really directed towards me and coming out that way. Woops, that’s bad. That explains so much in why I get the reactions I do sometimes! Good to know.
I also realized how easy I get uncomfortable when I am aware that the focus is on me, and how obvious I am about being uncomfortable, which makes it worse of course, because I can’t hide it. When I’m aware that other people focus their attention on me it flips a switch in my brain and I choke. I know exactly where this comes from though, and I try to push through it. Although I understand what the “big” deal is, it always feels worse at the time. And inevitably all this lime-light is not about me. It is about promoting the program. I am just a vessel of delivery for the experience of being a student.
I liked the experience because of how self-revealing it was. And the people at Demspey, with the marketing crew at UALR, were so patient with my amateur attempt. They made me laugh and feel comfortable and I really appreciated how nice they were with my awkwardness. Sometimes we don’t realize how important humor and laughter is. Thanks guys!
I bring this all up because I plan to become a teacher, and I want to be aware of how I interact with others. Not only will I be representing myself, but also the school, and how I talk to students is important. But also if I’m so lucky to have gallery shows, and sell my work in shops, I need to be aware of my discussions with clients and shop-keepers.
Also, people play different roles. Now how to tie this in with my current work is at the core of what I’m thinking about right now. My personal experience with family and entertainment is one of the places where I get the inspiration for utilizing the circus as a metaphor for my life. So how do I create a piece that is all about sound? What sound best suits the circus, what sound best creates the emotional response and nostalgia of the circus? Could I use chord F in this? The sound of cracking peanut shells?