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Oct
11

The Magic of the Studio

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Heather's Playhouse

Heather's Playhouse.

One of the most enjoyable voiceovers I ever did was an online calculus course for Cengage Learning.  I spent maybe 60 hours recording things like:

At the time I was doing this job, my father was very ill, and my siblings and I were sharing the care of him.  I’d go into each session and concentrate on making sure that Y = 2 ÷ (5 + z) didn’t sound like Y = (2 ÷ 5) + z . . . and for awhile, my worry and stress were forgotten.

A recording booth is many things to me.  It’s where I earn a living, of course, but it’s more than just the gig.  It’s a place of intense concentration and creativity, a place where I work hard and love what I’m doing.  It energizes and centers me, and the hours fly.

(What’s not to love when you get to do ads like this?)  

When I’m in my home studio, especially, I lose all sense of time, because I can’t hear the noises that anchor me to the rhythms of an ordinary day.  Garbage trucks will come and go; the UPS guy might tromp the front steps; my husband will come home from work, fix dinner, and watch the game . . . and I’m oblivious.  (Well, except for the rugby World Cup — I’m watching those games right alongside him!  But I digress.)

I glance at the clock on my monitor and it’s 3 PM; I glance again, and it’s 8.

My booth is so insulated, in fact, that if someone knocks on the door I usually jump out of my shoes.   I now ask friends and family to text instead (e.g., “I’m standing outside your door”) — it still startles me, but less!

So to all my lovely clients who appreciate that I make money and/or art for them: let me assure you that the pleasure is mutual.  And to my husband, who built me my rockin’ home studio: I promise I’ll finish in time tonight to fix you dinner and catch the the NZ-Australia semifinal.

How about you, dear readers?  Where is your time machine — what makes the hours fly?

2 comments

  1. Paul Strikwerda says:

    My voiceover booth is a place where time does not exist. When I close that soundproof door, I am in the moment and free from every distraction. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy my “splendid isolation”!

    A while ago, I got a Harlan Hogan voice-over sign that can be illuminated when I’m recording. On my desk is a remote control that operates the sign. That way, the outside world knows not to knock on my door when I’m absorbed in an audio book.

    Our society is getting louder and louder. That’s why I am extremely grateful to have a quiet space to work in. To me, quietude is what a blank canvas must be to a painter. It’s absolutely essential.

  2. Heather Henderson says:

    Well put, Paul. I do agree that one reason I am so calmed by being in the studio is the QUIET– the madding crowd does press in noisily in the “outside world.”

    I have hankered after that Harlan Hogan sign for awhile — I remember a blog you did about it way back when, no? Maybe a Christmas request. . .

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