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Well, Week Four is done for, and this time, I created covers for two self-help books; experimented with photographs, both new and old; earned some helpful hints, regarding audio storytelling, from a couple of masters in the field; said “buon viaggio” to Sig. Groom in the style of Sig. Henson; and put my vocal abilities through a gauntlet of my own creation. Also, this happened.
As for my favorite assignment this week, that would have to go to my one-man play, where I did the voices of Hermes and Pan. Considering one of my favorite musicals, Xanadu, is a send-up of Greek mythology, it was only inevitable that I would use it as inspiration when concocting Hermes’ voice, as well as my one-thirds French, one-thirds Irish and one-thirds German heritage for Pan’s brogue. The thing I take the most pride in, with regards to this and my other SoundCloud entries, is the fact that all of this was recorded in one take, with no edits. I actually had a good time making my SoundCloud projects, as I got to test out my acting ability for the first time in a while. In the end, all of the objectives on the weekly checklist were completed in short order, and ahead of schedule.
I also took the time to learn about the importance of what happens in the background as a story is being told. To be more specific, I learned about how the things we take for granted when making radio and television productions, like sound, are just as important as the story being told; without the right effects and the right cues to guide the audience through key moments, they might lose their attention before they get to the “good part.” I also learned about the importance of being earnest when it comes to your on-air personality, as being yourself is a better way of obtaining listeners and viewers, than following the proverbial leaders. Finally, I learned about the importance of treating your story less like something that everyone must know, and more like a simple conversation between friends. The job of the narrator, or narrators, is to provide their story with an illusion of realism, for the audience to resonate, and relate, with; whether it’s a fictionalized account, or based on true events, your story won’t be heard by anyone, until you take the “Golden Rule” to heart, and treat your audience the way that you want to be treated.
While I can’t exactly call any week of this class my favorite, I must admit that this was one of the candidates. Admittedly, it was kind of tough for me to choose eight stars’ worth of assignments, much less those that allow me to play to my strengths, as a student; the most challenging part of this experience was trying to record everything in one take, since I didn’t have Audacity to work with at the time. After the usual round of experimenting, I was able to pull off an interesting compilation of works, that I think everyone will enjoy; as I have mentioned before, the takes I uploaded to SoundCloud are among my best performances to date, in my opinion. I am largely satisfied with the final products I’ve presented here, and as a result of this, I have no questions to ask this week, either. In closing, this was one of my better weeks, when all is said and done, and I suspect that things are only going to improve for me, and the rest of the students of DS106, in the weeks and months to come.