Saturday, December 26, 2020

Over My Head

You know the thing where you're reading a book out loud to a kid and you start doing a bit--an accent, silly voice, or funny face for a certain character--but as the book goes on, you realize how much trouble you've gotten yourself in by starting this? Like you start reading the Batman comics with the Batman voice, but realize on page 3 that you're going to lose your voice before the end of the first issue if you keep trying this?

I knew I was stretching when I decided that the first person narrator of Mars Evacuees should have an authentic (lol) English accent. But hey, I can do a bad English accent for half an hour a night for a few weeks. It's easy!

It wasn't very far into the book, though, when the titular evacuees are gathered together from all over Earth and sent to Mars. And since I'm doing our narrator Alice's voice, I pretty much have to do the Australian accent that Carl and Noel have. Other main characters started flying at me--the Scottish scientist, the Swedish snob, several robots. 

But I've got in under control. Sure, switching from the Midlands to the outback repeatedly in a conversation is tricky, but I am an artist!

I even managed when we threw in an alien race whose language is mostly vowels and who extend all the vowel words in English. I'm pretty proud of that one, actually.

By the beginning of the sequel, Space Hostages, I'm an expert. Dr. Muldoon can talk about terraforming with Mr. Rasmussen (I'll admit, my Swedish accent leans a little German; luckily my kid doesn't know the difference), Thsaaa can develop a French accent (yes, this is canonical, they moved to the Alps) and I am PULLING IT OFF. 

And yes, they have introduced another alien race, who speak through mandibles in a language of mostly clacking. They call themselves the Krakkiluks, and that is actually very fun to say in an Australian accent.

I really thought I had hit Peak Readaloud Complexity. 

Today, we got a new species. They're kind of bat-people, and they speak a tonal language that appears to be a cross between birdsong and yodeling.

Can anyone recommend an online voice coach?

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