Friday, March 14, 2008

Recording for Books Aloud

One of the first volunteer events I did through Hands On Bay Area was with Books Aloud. Last week I auditioned for to be a reader for them, since I have time now to do that kind of thing.

For the audition I had to read 10 minutes each from a kids' book and an adult book, my choice. The kids' book was a no-brainer: The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my all-time favorites for reading out loud. Choosing a specific piece of it, though, was trickier. I eventually went with Chapter 5 ("Short Shrift") not because there was much exciting action going on, but because there were a few different voices, so it would be a good demo. For the other book, I chose The Once and Future King, specifically the amusing scene in Chapter 7 with King Pellinore and Sir Grummore meeting, discussing fewmets, and jousting. Anyway, they both went over pretty well with the committee and they decided to let me start recording for them.

I had my first real recording session today. They assigned me Flush, by Carl Hiassen. (They start all new readers out on kids' books, not that I mind in the least.) It's a decent book, though I have a bit of an issue with how the moral of it seems to be undermined at the end. It works well for reading out loud, though. It's definitely different reading in a little studio into a microphone, rather than actually reading to someone (the recording engineer in the adjacent room doesn't really seem to count). And I have to be a lot more conscious of little mistakes, compared to reading live, so we can go back and fix them. But it's still fun, and it'll be really neat to do a whole book and then be able to send it out for a blind kid somewhere to enjoy.

Unfortunately, their recording schedule is fairly full, so they may mostly be using me to plug up gaps from cancellations for a while. Plus I'm going on two trips in the next two months. So it may take kind of a while to actually get a book finished. I'm hoping to be able to put in more time on it at some point, though, since it's something I won't be able to continue once I eventually start working again.


Leah said...

Good for your for volunteering like that! You are lucky to live near such a recording studio. I just heard about the Gutenberg Project the other day. Also, interesting theory on relationships, your equation was funny. How is the equation altered or affected when one partner is aware of the equation and is trying to work things out accordingly but the other partner couldn't care less? Anyway, i'm just blog-browsing, you have a lot of interesting ideas. I read your quirkyalone blog awhile ago, one of my favorite songs is by thirdeyeblind, the lyrics are "I've never been so alone, and I've never been so alive." Wouldn't you rather be alone and at peace, than with someone and lonely? Well, good luck with your joblessness, LUCKY. LOVE every minute of it. Have you read Po Brosnan's "What Should I Do With My Life?" very interesting book, easily the number one book I recommend to all kinds of people, very stimulating reading.

Quena said...

Lucky the ones who will get to listen to your recording someday. I always enjoy having a Graham read to me (especially the Graham that is YOU!)