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Pre-Reading Performance Practice

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Stack of a journal covered in stickers, a copy of Mothers of the Missing Mermaid flagged with strips of pink and orange paper, and a voice recording device.

Before my reading at The Reading Attic last week, I locked myself in my bedroom and practiced. This is a humbling experience. One, taking something from text form to audio form will make you realize how awkward something you wrote actually sounds. I always tell my students to read their work aloud, and I do practice what I preach, it's been a while since I have read anything in this book.

Going back and revising something opens a pandora box of "Oh my God, did I really write it like that?" moments.

But performance practice is important because I am not the kind to just wing it. I am also doing more recordings so I can become more comfortable with the sound of my voice.

That's the other humbling part. I need to be able to accept that yes, I do sound so freaking country, especially when I read something I have written or some of the characters I have written. My Tennessee comes out all over the place. And while I have become much more comfortable with my accept as I get older, even lean into it from time to time, it's actually more of when I mutter or my mouth does not form the words, or the dreaded childhood lisp reemerging. I honestly don't understand people who love to hear the sound of their voice, any more than I understand people who are comfortable viewing themselves on tape. I am incredibly critical. Not because I want to sound like an NPR podcaster, but more like wanting to sound like Julia Sugarbaker.

Keep an eye out because I will soon be posting the audio files of the live performance from that live reading at The Reading Attic.

Read Books. Wear Boots.




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