Prompt – What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?
If you’ve read my ‘About page’ you’d know I’m a volunteer radio announcer. My day job has taken advantage of that by having me as the ‘voice’ of the voice messages on the field staff mobile phones and the office answering machine.
I got such a kick the day one of the field staff came into the office after hearing one of the messages and asked me how we’d got a local radio announcer to say our messages. When I told her it was me, she thought I was pulling her leg. After she was convinced that ‘the voice’ and I were the same person she went into a melt down. She went ga-ga over how she listens to me ‘all the time’. Apparently, I have a fan. One. But that’s okay with me.
I used to do a pre-recorded show that aired 9pm each week night. Add that to hearing my own voice at least ten times a day when calling field staff, and I’d have to say that hearing my own voice doesn’t faze me much.
Seeing myself on video on the other hand is excruciating. A diet of Hollywood actresses in no way prepares me for how I look on screen. I think this is one of the reason I like theatre. I do my thing, other people watch me, but I don’t have to.
I have acted in a film clip and I was the face of the announcements at church, so I don’t mind being in front of a camera. I literally sank down in my seat in church (much to the amusement of my friends) when the announcements played but I had no hassles with the actual filming of it. It’s the having to watch it later that makes me cringe.
I also think it’s all down to what you’re used to. I’m used to hearing my voice. I’m not used to watching myself…or seeing myself from the back. I have no idea what “10 pounds” equates to in my metric part of the world, but apparently film (video) adds it to a person. So maybe that’s why watching myself shocks me. I appear ‘bigger’ on screen than I think I am in life. And I don’t like it. (Ah yes, the catch cry of women everywhere!)
Whatever it is, when it comes to choosing hearing myself or seeing myself – give me a microphone over a video camera any day. As the old saying goes…I have the face for radio and the voice for the written word.