Voice Work

Posted: September 11, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , , ,

speak up

My chest muscles twitched as I began speaking. I breathed first, then gently said, “John walked to the grocery store to buy eggs.” I eased one word into another, so that “John walked” felt more to me like “Johnnnwwwallllked.” I tried to listen to myself with someone else’s ears. I sounded slow to my own. Someone else would probably say I sounded fine.

My speech therapist said, “That’s good. This time, ease into the word John more, almost like zzzhhhohn.”

zzzhhhohnnnwalllkkkedtttootttthhhe….” I hissed as I drew out the g sound. “…grrooccerryyssttoorre…” I hissed again as I drew out the t sound. It sounded to me like ts. “…too…” Now the hard part. I tried not to close my eyes on the plosive b. Relax the lips. I could feel the flesh buzzing as the sound vibrated over them. To me it felt like I was making a bv humming sound. “…buuuyyysssommeeegggsss.”

“Out-standing!” Julie said. She held up her hand for a high five. I gave one to her, half-heartedly. She noticed. “How do you feel?” she asked.

“Good. Embarrassed.” I focused on breathing out and connecting good to embarrassed. “I hate having to concentrate on every word that I say.”

“Do you feel like you’re making progress?”

I knew where this was going. “Some. Slowly. I know that I’m getting better,” I stopped to take a gentle breath, “but I want to hurry with it.” This felt like separating sugar grains with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers. Normally I would try to say it all in one breath, and run out of air.

She grinned. “‘Some’? ‘Slowly’? Are you showing off or are you really frustrated?”

I had to smile, too. “A little of both.”

“You’ve made tremendous progress, Will. You know we’re just getting started. What we do here is going to lead to what we do next.”

“I know.”

“Are you ready for the next one?”

hhhllllLet me do some breathing exercises first.” I needed to calm down.

“Go ahead.”

I focused on breathing without being tense, which isn’t easy when you’re focusing on it. My body started to realize it was time to relax. I looked at the sheet of sentences I was reading for this exercise. John and his trip to the grocery store had been number three out of a dozen. A month ago that would have tensed me up and made me fumble the next sentence. Things felt better today.

Today’s post is a spin on today’s daily prompt, “Voice Work.” In answer to the prompt’s question, of course I would love for my blog to be narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, because he’s one bad ass mother f**ker.

Photo credit: “Speak up, make your voice heard” by Howard Lake at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

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