Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"You Should Be..."

“Wow, you have a deep voice. You should be in radio.”

This statement, however well intentioned, is akin to telling a tall person they should play basketball or a person with tiny hands that they should fix the small, dangerous parts of industrial machinery. Small hands don’t make for dexterity, height supplies no amount of athletic ability, and having a deep voice doesn’t mean you can string a sentence together with any sort of proficiency when speaking (just talk to me if you want proof).

Yes, I could listen to James Earl Jones or Javier Bardem recite the phone book. But that’s because they have talent (though the basso profundo voices don't hurt). They know how to speak in such a way that the voice becomes practically hypnotic. Another person's voice I find oddly mesmerizing: Ira Glass.

To be honest, it sounds like he has a massive head cold. A perpetual one. In fact, everyone featured on his radio show sounds like they are suffering from some sort of chronic congestion. Yet, said show is one of the most popular around. Popular enough that people are going to theaters this Thursday to watch him do a radio show live. (Sorry TV on the Radio… I really wanted to link you to that, but sadly that action is the exact opposite of your name. Better luck next time.)

So next time you hear a kid with a squeaky voice, tell him, “wow, you have a… umm… an interesting voice. You should be in public radio. Yeah, definitely public radio.” Who knows, you might have just stumbled on the next NPR superstar.

posted by jw