Trying To Find My Comedy Voice
I think it’s quite a common thing not to like your own voice. It’s a very strange experience to listen to a recording of yourself through speakers or headphones.
You don’t sound like you if that makes any sense?
When I started playing back recordings of myself performing my material I found it very uncomfortable. I didn’t really like my voice and didn’t think it worked very well. This sounds strange I know but I’m sure a lot of other people run into the same problem. It was time to start experimenting.
I Started To Sound Like Barry White The Walrus Of Love !!
I therefore started to practise with different voices and even tried whispering at one point. One of the false voices I tried was very deep and gruff. It wasn’t working out because it meant I was constantly having to take breaks to rest my voice. My throat was so sore the next day I sounded like a bad Barry White impersonator. I even tried recording myself after a few beers to see how I sounded but realised that wasn’t a good habit to get into.
The voices I used for characters I didn’t mind too much even though I know there’s massive room for improvement. Instead it was my normal voice or when I was just talking as me that I was unhappy with.
My Local Library Came To The Rescue
My local library had a couple of books on stand-up comedy so I borrowed them and got busy reading. In one it said a good solution is to just talk as if you were telling a joke to a friend at the pub. It recommended you just be yourself.
This sounded good advice so I started just talking without paying too much attention to it. I just focused on my writing as I find that hard enough as it is without worrying about my voice.
Richard Pryor Said It Can Take 15 Years To Find Your Voice !!
When I first read this I thought surely that can’t be true but Pryor was a comic genius, stand up icon and certainly knew what he was talking about. Strange thing is even after I started using my normal voice I noticed I didn’t sound the same in all my videos.
I wasn’t trying to sound different it’s just how I thought to do it when I wrote the material. So it does seem finding your voice is an ongoing thing as Richard Pryor said. So now I just write and let the voice come as I rehearse the material. I’m not sure how other comedians approach this problem. I suppose all I can do is just go with the flow so to speak and try not to force things to much.