Sunday, December 5, 2010

NPR voice

I remember the first time I heard NPR. I was on a trip with a boyfriend, going from Reading to Philadelphia. He put on NPR and we listened to a story, narrated by an NPR reporter, that a woman had written after her mother died. I remember being very irritated at the way the reporter read the story. It was too factual and disaffected. I didn't think it did the story justice.

But. Hmm.

I actually listen to NPR all the time now, on my way to and from work. And even though they still use the same disaffected voices to tell stories, I have definitely cried.
Also? I auditioned for a production of The Vagina Monologues this evening and I had no trouble doing a comedic scene, but I wondered how to attack the dramatic (and intensely sad and disturbing) pieces. I finally settled on "NPR voice". When I went in to read for the director she told me that Eve Ensler (the author) instructed that the sad pieces shouldn't be "acted sad". I countered that I planned to use my "NPR voice" and she brightened up "Exactly"!

I think in order to not "overdo" or overdramatize a sad story, you actually need to be factual and a little disaffected, so that everyone can get through it. So that everyone can formulate their own ideas. Thoughts?

So, I take it back NPR, you're doing the right thing. Keep up the good work.

2 comments:

Just Another Idealist said...

I think we're so used to over-sensationalized story-telling in the media that when we hear the way NPR tells the story, we think of it as disaffected. I like to think they let the story speak for itself. But I guess that's kind of the same thing.

Bri said...

I totally agree here - NPR is great at letting people fill in their own emotions, but their style can by off-putting at first. Case in point: I used to hate the way Ira Glass talked, but now I LOVE This American Life.

Also, where are you doing the Vagina Monologues? And which pieces did you audition? I did it three times in college and it was a BLAST.