WHAT ON EARTH AM I THINKING!!!! A daily audiobook diary? I must be mad!
Not only do I not have the time to do a daily diary, but you’d be bored stupid. So … I think a diary entry per week is more realistic!
You see, everyone thinks that we lead very glamorous lives. We work in the entertainment industry right? We’re actors, narrators, producers – we work as creatives … we read aloud and we get paid for it – it is a darn sight nicer than a lot of jobs I’ve done in the past, but glamorous? No … not really.
The reality is that when we’re lucky enough to be working – which is certainly not all the time, as for all actors and performers there are lean periods – but when we are working, we spend our days shut in a very small silent box talking to ourselves for hours on end while listening to ourselves though headphones. They’re not called ‘isolation booths’ for nothing. And there are days when our tongues refuse to work, when our eyes and our mouths argue with each other, and we do more retakes than should be humanly possible.
But I love it!
Narrators narrate – given the right words the things that narrators do with their voices and their imaginations is just amazing. They create numerous believable characters, they can make you, the listener feel every emotion, visit every location, experience the atmosphere, taste the fear, feel the passion, weep with every loss – and they do it all without any visual aids: for the audiobook narrator, there are no props, no costumes, no close ups, no gestures, no one to play off or to talk to, just a microphone and in these days of remote recording, not even an engineer or producer sitting on the other side of a window listening. The isolation is very real … they are rarely plaudits and no applause – it’s just you, alone, entrusted with the author’s words, and your voice.
What constantly amazes me is how inspiring a good narrator can be. They take the raw material, the words … themselves a kind of magic of creative imagination and add their own vocal magic, they make the words spring off the page and come to life. They create texture, ambience, atmosphere … each word gains new depth, new nuances, leaving the listener wanting to hear more, wanting to know more, to experience more.
When the combination fits, when you hear the right voice reading the right story, it is absolute magic and a huge privilege to be entrusted with interpreting an author’s creation.
Just for the record: the greatest number of individual characters voiced in an audiobook is 224. This was achieved by Roy Dotrice who performed all 224 distinct and distinguishable voices for every role in the 28-disc unabridged version of George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones, released in January 2004.
Twisted50 Audiobook Producer