Armitage Weekly Round-up 2019/34

A little bit late today, as I am just back from what I like to call “doing the Armitage”.

Sadly, without eponymous Armitage there, of course. I was recording some German language exam practice dialogues. I do this every year, and it is great fun. However, it also always brings home to me, how difficult it must be two narrate an entire book. It sounds easy – you sit in a box, microphone in front of you, reading from a page. But it actually requires a lot of concentration: In order to read consistently, you have to be constantly aware of your speed and your enunciation. There is someone on the other side of the window who will stop you if you make a mistake, and then you repeat the sentence where you got muddled. But the aim is always to read as naturally as possible, and to do so without making mistakes that require a rewind. The most difficult thing, actually, is minimising all background noises. Moving the pages is one thing, but with 3,000 Euro microphones that pick up even the slightest growl of your stomach, you have to be quite still while you are reading. I can imagine that that must be extra hard for an actor like RA, who is *performing* rather than just monotonously reading a text. Yet, when you move your arms, you can sometimes hear the rustle of your clothes! Hence it became clear to me why RA always dresses casually (in jumpers and the like) when recording – and taking his shoes off. The big biker boots I was wearing today, occasionally creaked under the table when I moved my legs, that’s the extent of the noise sensitivity. – In any case, once you get into the flow, and the sentences smoothly fall from your lips, you really feel a rush of satisfaction. 62 pages of dialogue took us 5 hours today. And now think of Armitage, recording a massive tome of Dickens for an audio book… Impressive, I can only say. I do hope he is paid handsomely for his work. He really is a masterful audio performer, a skill that is very precious!

But now on to the round-up.

  1. I always have to snort a little bit when I see Richard using his middle finger to point or push up glasses. Here’s an old picture from a vlog by Sir Peter Jackson, posted by fizzyxcustard
  2. Anybody heard of The Lunar Chronicles mentioned by invisiblegirl-00
  3. This is what my daughter could be saying about me. Post by loracarol
  4. Oooh, I love the illustration that goes with deepestfirefun’s fan fic. You might want to look into the fic, too. (I haven’t read it, though)
  5. A sweet Bagginshield fan art by sodasacd
  6. Scroll down to see a nice Thorin gif made by ladybugg1235
  7. Hm, have we had this piece of fan art by thewarriorandtheking yet? 
  8. And UNF, this is even more… eh… evocative. Also by thewarriorandtheking
  9. Twinkle, twinkle, little star… another edit by ladybugg1235
  10. Pragnificent writes about Dolarhyde’s and Reba’s approach to their love/relationship
  11. Catching up on a few What a Guy Wants by nfcomics
  12. And here’s another funny What a Guy Wants by nfcomics

Sorry, a short one. But in the spirit of the day, I’ll leave you with a little collage.

Have a nice weekend,

Guylty ❤

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32 thoughts on “Armitage Weekly Round-up 2019/34

  1. I haven’t even clicked on the links of the roundup, because I had to react to your story immediately. Amazing! I had no idea what was involved, or that the microphones were so sensitive. This is fascinating to know, thanks for sharing.

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    • Yep, you have to be super careful in the booth. We were called out several times today with “someone is breathing” 😂😂😂. Haha, forgive me if I am a living thing! And yeah, my boots creaked, my tummy rumbled, and there were a few times when one of my fellow performers rustled with the papers, so we had to re-do the sentence. I always make sure that I do not wear any dangly jewelry when I go recording. That is another major disturbance.

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  2. Thanks Guylty, your round-up is my Sunday treat – hence my usual late replies! I admire you two, professional voice-artists both. It sounds like it requires real skill and discipline and must be very hard keeping the voice consistent. I couldn’t do it, for starters I’m a terrible fidget.

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  3. Very interesting indeed. My first thought was “that’s why he takes off his shoes” and then you wrote it a little below.

    I really think some people don’t appreciate how much of a separate art form this is, both for the technical as well as the artistic aspects. He really does perform a book. It goes far beyond a simple reading.

    Thanks for the roundup. No. 3 had me snorting. Wonder if that’s what Mr. Kate thinks…

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      • Yeah, they’ve been not fun since Yahoo bought them and now someone else just bought them a few months ago and started blocking my posts again.
        Funny enough, Zeesmuse discovered they were objecting to the comic art on my posts, Catwoman mostly, so not the Sir Guy memes. Images not words. (sigh) Hope they don’t delete my whole account again. That was not cool.

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          • yeah, and when I asked them why, they put it back the same day, but not all the scheduled WAGW posts were in tact. I was pretty frustrated after spending a night trying to figure out which ones weren’t posted and trying to reschedule them, but I never was able to find them all. Then posts wouldn’t go up when scheduled and that has happened a few times in the last month or so. Sucked hard and not in a good way. 😕

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  4. Did I ever tell you I produced a live talk radio program for five years? 🎙 Seeing your studio pic reminded me of those days. 🎚 Yes, you can really hear the extra noise your clothing, shoes, jewelry make. I like making the bumper music and commercial tags best because pre-recorded you could really have some fun. You know I would find a way to make it fun. heh

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    • No, I had no idea!!! Wow – but that is even more stressful. I mean, when I am in the studio, I read from a piece of paper. So no thinking on my feet is required. But since I have been making YT videos, I have noticed how difficult it is to actually be concise and speak in complete sentences, when you know you are being recorded. It’s funny how the mind goes blank just because you know others are listening in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so with you on that, especially when I’m in front of a live audience. Always think I’ll be fine, I’ve done it a million times, but no, I always get nervous and jittery and my mind can go blank so easy. Imagine that!? Me, at a loss for words? haha

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        • I know – it’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean, when I record myself, I tell myself that I should just pretend I am talking to a friend, with no camera near. But boy, switching off your awareness of a microphone, is so difficult.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yeah! If I have time to prep lines or know what I need to say to start and can practice it before hand, I do find it easier to tune out the camera or microphone. But it is rare, I get any lead time to rehearse, so most of the time, I come off as a dork. I accept it. haha 😄

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  5. Wow! This was a really interesting glimpse into what goes on in the studio and how much concentration is critical to a successful narration. It must be an extremely rewarding challenge especially when the end result is a success. I’m impressed at anyone (like RA) who can for hours on end, bring narration to another level and turn literature into a live performance.
    I knew you had a pleasant speaking voice but I had no idea you had such narration skills. Good on you for another talent (of many) revealed 😊

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    • Our recording on Saturday was really satisfying – we got through it really fast, everything was flowing well. Every time I came out of the booth after a one-take session (i.e. no rewinds for mistakes) I had a massive grin on my face. To read long-form texts is a hundred times more demanding than my little snippets (I did short dialogues and news items). What I love about it, is that I get to do a bit of acting… playing the dialogue rather than just monotonously reading it. Such fun, especially if your dialogue partner jumps in on the game. RA really acts when he reads, and wow, he really has it down.

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      • Don’t know if you’ve listened to RA narrate any of the three Georgette Hayer stories he did, but I purchased one, (after buying all his Robin Hood narrated stories 2010/11 and impressed with his ability to mimic his various co-actor’s voices) thinking Hayer’s stories probs wouldn’t be my thing, but ended up buying them all and really enjoying them.

        Kathy Jones and I listened to them in my hotel room when I tricked her (w/your help) into helping me at Comic-Con in 2014. We’d play them through the night falling asleep listening to them. I know it sounds dorky but we so enjoyed them and still listened when we were back at her house after the Con. At one point, I think her hubs felt a little left out because one evening he gets home and seeing us sitting there listening to a story, he jumps into the room pretending he had a sword in his hand challenging any knave daring to oppose him. (Paraphrasing, but we then realised we should let it go for a while.)

        Still, a testament to how engrossing Mr A’s narrative skills are.

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        • The Heyer audio books were the first ones I purchased after resisting audio for a long time. And I loved them from the first second. He was so good at distinguishing all the characters – loved it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Have you listened to RA’s narration of Bernard Cornwell’s Lords of the North? I have purchased & read all of Cromwell’s Saxon tales, the Archer series, including 1356 and Excalibur trilogy, so obviously not everything Cornwell has written but I wouldn’t have read any of his work if it wasn’t for hearing Lords of the North first. Other narrators of Cornwell’s work aren’t as enjoyable.

            Hubs and I have always enjoyed radio dramas and audio books since our dating days, but hubs really likes Cornwell’s work now too. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t listen to much of RA’s Hayer narrated stories. Said it was making him have a period. He can be a real brat sometimes. 😊

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            • Yes, I have (actually – you put it on CD for me at some stage). I loved that particular audio book, and it really got me into listening to RA reading stuff. It does help that I liked the story as such – a few years later I read the novel, and it was great.
              Hahaha, well, I feel for your hubs. Heyer is definitely “sweet” and not the typical sort of fare that men would enjoy… But maybe he would like the Joy Ellis books that RA has read?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, I’ll have to see if he would like Joy Ellis’ work. Hubs does indulge my love of crime, mystery and horror. So it’s likely he’ll like Ellis.

                Have I mentioned how much he has enjoyed the War of the World’s audio drama? I’ve come home and found hubs listening to that one all on his own more than once. To be fair it is a story he seemed to like well before I ever met him. Still, kinda makes me happy to know hubs liked that one so much it ended up in his library. My library of audiobooks are kept at my work with the exception of that one. 🎃

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