When Michael and Steve had the idea that I’d narrate the audio for Everyone in LA is an Asshole, I was a bit nervous. However, I implicitly trust their business judgments and agreed that it made a lot of sense, since I’m the author.
In the past, I’ve always hired professional narrators who could do accents and articulate words smoothly. I don’t consider myself a voice actress in the least, but I didn’t think that narrating would be so hard. Well, guess what? Reading is fucking hard.
I think I took for granted the work that goes into narrating a book. All of a sudden, I had to worry about my breathing. You don’t want to breathe too much or in the wrong places or it makes the reading choppy. And don’t forget to breathe period or you’ll pass out!
I was only about ten percent into recording the book when I realized I wanted to go back and kill my past self, who wrote the book. There were several places where I talk about all these names and words I can’t pronounce. When I got to these places, I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me, Sarah?”
And so, karma is a bitch. I sat in the studio for an hour, forced to learn how to pronounce a series of words which I’d picked out and put into the book because they were impossible to say. This was doubly hard for me since phonetics is not my strong suit. Hooked on Phonics didn’t work for me, so there.
When I’m talking to my friends, I can easily slip into an accent, making fun of Valley girls or my kinfolk from Texas. However, with the microphone sitting in front of me, I for some reason, couldn’t do any accents. I’d practice. Get it all good. Hit record and then sound like a drunk southern who was half Australian. The pressure of that red recording button was too much for me.
I’m a writer for a reason, I realize now. Performing is tough. It’s nice to hide behind my written words. However, I also found the experience to be incredibly rewarding. Reading what I wrote, brought me closer to the book, and right in time before the release. I had written all the words, but when I was given the opportunity to perform the voices, I felt instantly more bonded to the work.
All in all, the experience was positive. It gave me a new appreciation for voice actors and actresses. It gave me an appreciation for my book, bringing it to life in a new way. And it challenged me on a whole new level. Now as I go onto write the second book in the series, I’m careful to use only words that I know how to say and none of those damn tongue twisters I put in book one. Seriously, saying the phrase, “roasted lamb neck shawarma and foie gras halva” nearly broke me.
The audio is in post-production now, but I look forward to sharing it with you all. Thanks for the support. You all make this more fun!
Grab your copy of Sarah's book Everyone In LA Is An Asshole today at Amazon.