I Still Can’t Say “Lake Titicaca”

So I was just listening to an audiobook, one of the ones in the Aliens universe (been on an Alien kick lately), and it is narrated by Bronson Pinchot.  Remember Balki from Perfect Strangers?  I don’t mean to contribute to his typecasting, but we all remember Balki.  Imagine him narrating horror sci-fi with scary monsters.

Well, that’s not at all what it’s actually like.  Ha, I fooled you into imagining something.  Gotcha!

Balki’s accent was, of course, not the actor’s real one.  I remember him best from The Langoliers, a TV miniseries from decades ago.  But this is different from that as well.  In fact, it’s hard to even recognize him from this audiobook.  The timbre of his voice seems quite different, and perhaps it is.  You can just pick out familiar enunciation of consonant sounds if you try.

I wrote about performing and recording an audiobook in 2018 when I was doing it for Shame the Devil (see “I Can’t Say ‘Lake Titicaca’”).  The take-home message in that post is the same as the one I am experiencing now, in 2022, recording another audiobook:  it’s horrible.

Like with my current experience with the voice of Bronson Pinchot, my recorded voice sounds wrong to me.  Not my own.  Almost as alien as the monsters in the story he’s reading.  But unlike his performance, mine is dismal.  I learned that he has done quite a few audiobooks, and I can hear why.  He’s good at it.  It works.  But me, not so much.

The handicaps in my diction are glaring and awkward.  My enunciation is full of shortcuts and omissions.  I usually don’t hear them, but reading a book into a microphone teaches a lesson in shame.

Still, I am plodding forward.  Determined.  The stories in this collection span my writing career, such as it is, all the way back to the first story of mine that was ever published.  I am going to get these into your ears.

The hours of editing are numerous and racking up fast.  Soon, I will finish recording and editing all the stories for Dreams of Day-Sky Eyes and punt it your way.  And then you too can listen and think, how has this guy not gotten speech therapy?

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