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Podcasts and Voice Acting As Storytelling

  • Author(s): Gurley-Williams, India
  • Advisor(s): Meyer, Ursula
  • et al.

For my Lab project, I wrote and produced an original podcast called PEORIA with Sound Designer Stephen Jensen. As COVID-19 eliminated the possibility of live performance, and social distancing restrictions pushed artists toward digital and audio platforms at a much quicker pace, I found the training at UCSD to be incredibly beneficial in making that transition. The voice techniques and storytelling structures I learned during my time here helped me dive into podcasting as a way of alternative theatre making and helped me gain confidence in using the voice as my main instrument. The majority of our training was in the classroom researching how best to embody a character in an alive and three-dimensional way. Through the process of creating an original piece of audio theatre, I was challenged to hone in on the techniques that most served me. There was much at my disposal in terms of pitch, volume, pace, and a range of vocal characterizations that helped the audience imagine the person whose voice they were hearing. This process caused a hyper-specificity to occur in recording sessions. Because we’d all studied the same techniques, my collaborators and I had a shorthand to discuss what was missing from the takes. I am incredibly grateful for the time in the studio spent researching how a specific vocal choice landed. This process helped me gain technical clarity of how to direct the voice toward a desired effect.

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