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Repeat After Me……

Tongue Twister = word, phrase, or sentence difficult to articulate because of a succession of similar consonantal sounds.Tongue Twister

~~ What time does the Irish wristwatch strap shop shut?

Love them or hate them, tongue twisters should be incorporated into everyones daily routine.
No matter what you do for a living, tongue twisters will help you with articulation, enunciation and diction. Who doesn’t want that?

~~ Frivolous fat Fannie fried fresh fish furiously

Tongue twisters are a great way to lighten your mood and put a smile on your face. It not only works out your tongue, but it trains your lips to move quickly to keep up the pace. And unless you are a master tongue twister, you’ll no doubt screw up the twist and say some pretty silly things, therefore, making you laugh at yourself. You can probably count on others laughing at you as well. All-the-while, without even knowing it, you’re practicing another skill: Speaking with a smile.

~~ Seventy seven benevolent elephants

As a voice actor, I get some pretty crazy scripts to record. And no, not all scripts are created equal. Run-on sentences; poor grammar; poor English; random thoughts; :41 of copy crammed into a :30 slot; crazy made-up words; difficult/impossible pronunciation; foreign words; words I’ve never heard of; technical mumbo jumbo; medical jargen; the list goes on. These are all things that I encounter on a daily basis. Sometimes things roll right off my tongue while other things trip me up repeatedly. I’ve found that doing a few tongue twisters can wake up a lazy tongue and get the words flowing.

~~ Shut up the shutters and sit in the shop

According to MIT researcher Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, the world’s trickiest tongue-twister is this:

~~ pad kid poured curd pulled cold

Enjoy this short list of tongue twisters. Its very important to speak them out loud. Reading them to yourself doesn’t count. Incorporate a few into your vocal warmups each day!

Give Papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup

Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie

A loyal warrior will rarely worry why we rule

Six sharp smart sharks

Which witch wished which wicked wish

Three gray geese in the green grass grazing
Gray were the geese and green was the grass

Chop shops stock chops

Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone

She was a thistle sifter and sifted thistles through a thistle sieve

A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk

Which witch wished which wicked wish

Many of these tongue twisters are courtesy of http://thinks.com/words/tonguetwisters.htm

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Your friend in voiceover, Rhonda.

Stay tuned for more of Rhonda’s Ramblings on her new blog at www.rhondasvoice.com.  Please be sweet and re-tweet.

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Pajamas VS Productivity

Put Some Pants OnPajamas VS Productivity

Working from home is a dream job for many. You can sleep in as late as you want, take long lunch breaks whenever you want and end your work day whenever you want. Basically, you are the boss of you. And considering that you are the boss, you are in charge of setting your workplace standards. Yes, I said standards. Wait. What? Did you think that working from home meant that you can wander the house all day in your pajamas snacking on popcorn? Yes? Well, think again. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Having the ability to work from home while wearing your pajamas seems like pure bliss. As a matter-of-fact, many of you are probably reading this blog right now while sporting your pajama pants right in the middle of a work day. Maybe you even have on a cute little pair of monster slippers or your favorite fuzzy socks. I’m not judging. I also have a favorite pair of fuzzy socks. To be quite honest, I have voiced more than one project late at night wearing my pajamas and bunny slippers, but I don’t make a habit out of it. Why? Because I am a work-from-home professional, not a stay-at-home individual who works on occasion.

Looking good = feeling great, right? We’ve all heard it over and over. If you look your best, you feel your best and in turn, you perform your best. Treating your business like a business is the first thing on the agenda. Let’s say you have an appointment to work outside of your home office or studio. Do you shower? Do you get dressed? Do you comb your hair? Ladies, apply makeup? Are regular pants making an appearance? Or, would you roll your lazy butt out of bed, brush your teeth and attend your meeting in your pj’s? I certainly hope not! Then why are you treating your home business like that?

Put on some pants. Enough said. If you want others to take you more seriously, you have to start taking yourself more seriously. Get your butt out of bed and get ready for work. Yes, work. Do I consider cleaning my house work? Yes. Do I get paid to clean my house? No. Therefore, I don’t do it during my work hours. Do I get all dressed up in my best work clothes every day? No. I can be very productive in casual business wear.  Blouse, jeans, shoes. Hair and makeup done as it would be any other day. P.S., I’m also not a wear my pj’s to the grocery store kind of gal.

Here are some tips on how to be more productive throughout your day.

 

Get up and get going: Prepare for your at-home work day the same way you would if you worked outside of the home. In other words, PUT ON SOME PANTS.
Get Organized: Make to-do lists, plan out your day every day.
Schedule your time: For those in the voiceover industry, this can be a difficult chore. Of course clients come first, but try to schedule certain times each day to do your auditions and voice work. Schedule time for social media, marketing, accounting, etc. Keeping on a schedule will help you achieve more throughout the day and get less distracted.
Keep distractions away from your work area: If you love to watch television, make sure that there is no tv in your work area.  It’s really easy for your inner slacker to talk you into just one more episode of your favorite series. Avoid that cute cat video on YouTube because you know it just leads to more and more videos. Make time for these activities before or after your work is done. The dishes, laundry and everything else can also wait until your finish your work day. It is amazing how the gravitational pull from the fridge is much less the further away from it you are. P.S. You look fabulous! Thanks for putting on some pants.
Set work hours: If your day doesn’t start until 10:00 a.m., great! Make sure you begin working at 10:00 a.m. and follow your daily schedule as planned.
Communicate your work schedule: This step is crucial for family and friends. It is easy to get pulled away from work for a million different reasons. Because you work from home means that some people will view you as not having a job.  There is a big big difference between the two. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you don’t have a job. Reinforce this with setting, keeping and communicating your work schedule.

Work on your communication skills: Since you won’t be working with people face-to-face daily, you’ll need great communication skills for email and social media. The words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ should always be utilized!


Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Your friend in voiceover, Rhonda.
Stay tuned for more of Rhonda’s Ramblings on her new blog at www.rhondasvoice.com.  Please be sweet and re-tweet. 

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Learn how to have more fun in the booth!

Fun: It’s what we do.

Fun.  There, I said it.  Hi, my name is Rhonda and I’m addicted to having fun at work. I’m not talking fun as in holding the annual chair Olympics in cubical land.  I mean having fun every single time I step into my studio to work.  After all, happy people are more productive people. 
As a voice actor, my work changes from day to day.  One day I’ll be working on radio commercials for a large tire chain, then the next day I’ll be playing the sweet southern voice of an ATM machine for a video game. But no matter what type of script I’m working with, I do my best to always infuse the session with a little fun. Even if the final prouct is dry, you can still have fun in the booth during the session. Why? I say, why not? After all, us voice actors are just that. Actors. And if you aren’t having fun “acting” then why do you call yourself an “actor”? Granted, not all scripts are created equal.  Some just have fun written all over them while others are as dry as the Sahara desert. But no matter what, I always seem to make myself laugh at some point or another during the session. Perhaps working alone all of the time may have something to do with that? Maybe. But the bottom line is that I love to keep myself entertained and the voices in my head need to make an appearance regularly, and they do. Even my most serious reads sound better once I step outside the box and then step back in. Plus, when I’m having fun recording, the listener is having more fun listening. Having trouble having fun in the booth? Let’s work on that!
Let’s say you are recording something that requires a natural or conversational read and you are just not getting it right. Try this! (I suggest recording this entire exercise.)

Read the script as you normally would interpret it. 
Now create a new character and read the copy as that character. This character can be your annoying mother-in-law, a hyped up football player, a frightened monster, a snarky valley girl, etc.)
Don’t forget to use your body language! I mean really, what is your frightened monster’s body language saying? How about the expression on its face? Go over the top with this read.  Flail your arms around and flare those nostrils. Even though it makes no sense with the current copy, act your way through it baby.  You can do it! 
Wasn’t that fun? Do it again! This time, keep the same character but change their attitude.  Were you happy? Try being melancholy instead. How about sleepy or even sexy? 
Now that you’ve had a little fun and have stepped outside of your comfort zone, read it again normally. As you. Just you. Nothing fancy smanshy or forced, just be yourself. 
Now go back and listen to all of that nonsense.  Pay close attention to your initial “normal” read and your final “normal” read. Hear the difference? I’ll bet it’s huge!
See, having a little fun doesn’t hurt anyone! Plus, you may even discover a new character voice you didn’t even know lived inside your head. Smiling and generally being a happy camper will help your overall performance on any script. Today I push you to step outside of your “I’m all business and I can only convey that I’m all business all day every day for the rest of my life” box. Its time to unleash your fun side!

Thank you for stopping by my new blog. I’ll be writing about all types of FUN things related to the voiceover world. Feel free to share your comments on how this practice sessions goes for you. I love to hear success stories!

Until next time, keep on talkin. 

Rhonda’s Voice
www.rhondasvoice.com

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