This summer I worked on converting an extra room into a second studio. This is what it sounds like:
The school year is coming to a close. In my house that means bored kids in the future. So, I am thinking about doing a kids' program this summer. Something to get kids together having fun; but in my way I will sneak in some funducation (fun education) and a way that I can keep doing cool voice over projects. Watch for updates!
Virginia Creeper is a pretty vine that grows in a lot of different places.
The Heber Creeper is what we used to call the old train that ran through the mountains between the Utah towns of Heber and Park City.
Today I'm talking about a different creeper---Mission Creep.
I had an idea to help the kids learn to love books. Wouldn't that be fun to let them record their own story?
And when the kids didn't want to record their own stories, I talked with an author friend who loves to collaborate. What if the kids did one of her children's books and she put it up on her website? In that way, the kids could even be famous for a few minutes.
And when recording started, it was obvious that there is a difference between narrating a book and learning to love a book by recording it. When the kids record for fun, their voice is lively and they add their own natural sound effects and inflections--it's magical.
Narrating an audiobook is boring and perfectionistic; while reading a book in the recorder and bringing a book to life is exciting. Maybe instead of producing audiobooks, we should be practicing reading aloud to other kids.
So, back to the creeper. My goal was to help kids love books. I guess working with creative kids and my personal style of 'let the kids lead,' Book Club is a bit of a creeper or meanderer. While kids show up and want to draw, we draw stories; when kids show up and want to read books, we read books; and when kids show up and want to have fun recording, we do that.
Jaqueline Woodson is one of my favorite kids' author. In this clip, I read a bit of Before the Ever After . It's about a football star dad and his son. Wonderful story!
I had a great conversation with Shawn Borup of showmehealthyliving.com/. What foods really would help promote a healthy voice? She does workshops around the US on her "Take Back Your Kitchen" tour. Wouldn't that be cool if she could come to my house and do a workshop and show how to make good healthy foods? A healthier lifestyle will only improve my narrations.
It's the beginning of a new project, Unbroken Curse. I have added two samples of the beginning paragraph. The first sample is just narrated; the second sample was made a little more dramatic. Can you tell the difference? Which do you like better?
Now I will get back to the book!
This is a project I have been working on for some time. I volunteer at the elementary school in their after school program at 'Book Club.' The video below shows some of the Book Club kids narrating a book that was generously donated by author Erika M. Szabo. They may be first time narrators (and first read-through for some of the kids), but they sound awesome!
So many kids wanted to be part of this project, but there are only a handful of voices or parts. We are working on other versions to give everyone an opportunity to record. It is truly wonderful to help the kids love books and stories. I love seeing their faces light up when they hear their own voice.
Keep an eye on updates to hear more about Katahdin's newest narrators!
Have you ever heard the phrase: "Two's Company, but three's a crowd"? Well it seems to fit when I am talking about my narrating booth. I love the idea of collaborations and joint projects...at least in theory. In practice, adding more voices to a recording from different booths is a monumental task for me right now.
As I sit here this morning and try to mesh kids' voices in a project I am working on for the after school program, I realized all the tiny, teeny things that make a good narration. It's a children's book. So in theory it should be simple, but in reality it is complicated.
While I love to work on projects, I have to remind myself that the progress on a joint effort is going to be a bit slower than a project I can work on by myself. I love helping the kids to love books and reading, but I am also reminded that progress isn't exact, it's just growth. So here is to a day of editing. I hope to post a sample by the end of the day!