This is genuinely impressive…and a little spooky.
In the age of television, radio, and the internet, we hear voices all the time, pretty much everywhere we go. From advertisements to customer service prompts to video narrations, voiceovers have become so commonplace that we don't give them much thought.
That is, until we see someone actually doing those voices we're so accustomed to hearing.
Professional voice actor Tawny Platis shared a video to her Tiktok demonstrating 10 voices most of us will instantly recognize, and it's as uncanny as it is impressive. She seamlessly transitions from a text-to-speech voice to a "detached casual conversation" voice to a bright "We've got denim for the whole family!" department store voice and more.
As she shares these voices, you'll swear you've heard her doing them before, either on a call with your bank, in your workplace's onboard training, or while reaching for a tissue during a holiday commercial. It's downright freaky. Watch:
10 common reads you’ll hear in voiceover! #voiceactor #funny
People in the comments had the most relatable responses to Platis' voiceover demonstration.
"This is incredible. I’m ready to buy something. I’m not sure what."
"I feel like you’ve been there for all the important moments of my life. Thank you."
"Bright was so triggering as a retail worker."
"Can’t tell if i’ve heard your voice before or if you’re just that good."
Being in the virtual presence of such greatness made some folks rethink their own voice acting ambitions.
"Me at the beginning of the video: I could be a professional voice actor!…… me at the end of the video:… there’s a reason SHE is a professional voice actor. Well done. 👏"
"Me sometimes 'I bet I could voice act' me after this video 'nope. I can't do that.'"
"Welp I can cross this off my list of potential professions. That was amazing."
Mostly, people were rightfully impressed with her range and talent. To have that much control over how your voice sounds with such consistency is remarkable.
But this video also offers interesting insights into the psychology of how this kind of acting impacts modern-day life. Each of these voices evokes a specific response in us, from comfort to excitement to trust to awe. It's a bit unsettling to clearly see how easily we can be influenced by someone's voice and how well-honed those cues and responses have become.
Voiceover professional Simon Lewington explained this phenomenon in an article on LinkedIn: "Just as colors evoke emotions in visual art, the tone of voice creates an emotional palette in auditory storytelling. The psychological impact of tone is profound. A warm and inviting tone can make viewers feel welcome, while a serious tone lends an air of authority. Choosing the right tone consciously allows voice-over artists to evoke intended emotions in the audience."
Lewington writes that voiceover artists are "emotional architects" who "use the psychology of voice to subtly shape how viewers perceive and engage with content." It's an art that can be used to enhance our enjoyment of an experience, but also one that can be used to convince us to buy or believe something. Voiceover work is powerful, and when it's done well, it's almost spooky how much it can affect us.
He sang “Song to the Evening Star” by Wagner
A great opera voice is a learned art, not a natural-born gift like other styles of singing. It takes discipline, physical training, and to truly wow the audience, the performer must be a great actor and athlete as well.
"Singing opera is to ordinary vocal activity what distance running, triple-jumping and pole-vaulting are to ordinary exercise," said Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House wrote for the BBC. "Which means that singers and, almost as important, those who teach them are locked in the same kinds of relationship that obtain between elite athletes and charismatic coaches."
So what goes on inside of the head and throat of an opera singer while they perform?
German baritone Michael Volle performed "Song to the Evening Star" by German composer Richard Wagner while inside of an MRI scan to give people a never-before-seen look at how an opera singer produces such a haunting sound. It's a pretty freaky-looking image, but shows the amazing control these performers must have to hit such powerful notes.
This article originally appeared on 05.05.16
“Be objective about this. We have other problems to solve, everybody.”
With Donald Trump threatening to reverse Roe v. Wade upon taking office, the need to defend women's reproductive rights has never been more urgent. As other writers have pointed out, pro-life fanatics have the power of positive connotation on their side and use this advantage to demean the valid arguments of pro-choice advocates.
I mean, who would ever claim to be in opposition to life? Only, equating zygotes with adult human beings fails to recognize the science behind conception, as Bill Nye points out in an older video that has recently gained new relevancy.
In the video, you can see how frustrated Nye is explaining why abortion rights aren't something we should be debating in the first place. After a brief explanation of how conception occurs, the science educator proves how little our laws have to do with reason or logic.
"You cannot help but notice — and I'm not the first guy to notice — you have a lot of men of European descent passing these extraordinary laws based on ignorance," he says, adding, "It's just a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding and you literally apparently don't know what you're talking about." We can only imagine how frustrated he — along with every other advocate of logic — must be feeling now.
While anti-abortion zealots aren't typically eager to consider science or reason, this video could potentially sway those who are on the fence about impeding on women's rights. And while it shouldn't take a white guy to explain why women's rights are human rights, sadly, few people seem to listen when the plea for respect comes from women — despite the fact that these draconian laws only affect them.
Still, Nye and other logic-lovers are willing to hear you out, pro-lifers. If the argument truly comes down to protecting children and not depriving women of basic rights, there are several discussions worth having. For instance, instead of focusing on the rights of unborn babies, perhaps we could put our resources into protecting the children that already exist. We take it for granted that real, live children don't enjoy the same human rights that adults do — an archaic way of thinking that time and time again puts kids in harm's way. By actively fueling global warming, we deprive today's children from having any semblance of a dependable future.
Now, more than ever, it's imperative that we focus on the facts. By relying on scientific evidence to guide a course of action, we can respect one another's beliefs without infringing on one another's rights. It's really not that hard. Take it from The Science Guy himself: "Be objective about this. We have other problems to solve, everybody."
This article originally appeared on 11.23.16
From a girl who went to MIT anyway.
I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.
But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.
Every woman who works in tech — heck, likely every woman on Earth — hears “because you're a girl" dozens, if not thousands, of times in her life.
It starts young, of course:
Why can't I join that team? Because you're a girl.
Why can't I study physics? Because you're a girl.
Then, the comments age with you.
Why can't I manage that project? Because you're a girl.
Why can't I join that group? Because you're a girl.
And after you've reached any level of attainment in a profession you love, the comments are used to minimize your success.
Why did you get that award? Because you're a girl.
Why were you chosen to participate in that class? Because you're a girl.
Like so many women before me, I have shaken off the comment.
I've gotten angry. I've gotten sad. I've doubted myself and my abilities. I've ignored it entirely. I've challenged it. I've recruited support from men and women I respect. Yet every time it stays there in the back of my mind, screaming for attention after every failure or setback.
But today is the day I've decided to change that.
I did, in fact, get the job because I'm a girl.
A girl who was called "bossy" growing up.
A girl who wasn't afraid to play with the boys.
A girl who didn't hesitate to raise her hand if she knew the answer.
A girl who stood up for other kids.
A girl who was always the first one to volleyball practice and the last to leave.
A girl who was told she was too assertive and aggressive to advance in her career.
A girl who went to MIT anyway.
A girl who asked her company to do more on diversity and inclusion and won't stop pushing until it's truly remarkable.
A girl who has made big mistakes, both personal and professional.
A girl who swings for the fences even when no one is watching.
A girl who puts in hours when other people are asleep
A girl who tells young girls how smart and strong they are.
A girl who hates to lose.
And a girl who won't stand silently while people still use “because you're a girl" as any limitation for girls who want to grow, challenge the status quo, and be something, anything, greater than society tells them they could or should.
So yeah. I guess you could say I got my job because I'm a girl, but not for any of the reasons you might think.
This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.
This article originally appeared on 04.14.17
Definitely the coolest thing we've seen in a long time.
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize." ― Robert Hughes
Great artists tend to live life swimming in a vast ocean of self-doubt. It's that special blend of insecurity and perfectionism that fuels their desire to hone their craft and get better with each piece.
But that self-doubt can also be paralyzing and prevent potential artists from picking up the pen, paintbrush or guitar.
To encourage his mother to stick with her art, Reddit user Gaddafo shared a picture of his mother, Cindi Decker, a school teacher from Florida, holding a lovely painting she made of an egret.
“My mom painted this and said no one would like it. It's her 2nd painting," he wrote.
Then Reddit user Cacahahadoodoo asked the forum to take the post a step further. “Someone paint the photo of his mom holding her painting and repost it with the same title for extra extra karma," they wrote.
Karma is a reward earned for posting popular content on the online forum.
Reddit user u/k__z jumped on the task and painted a picture of Decker holding her painting.
Then lillyofthenight took things a step further by painting a picture of herself holding a painting of u/k__z holding his painting of Decker holding her painting of an egret.
“Took a while and not perfect, but I painted the guy who painted the other guy's mom," she wrote.
Then seamusywray stepped in with his contribution and things started to get freaky. “I painted the girl who painted the guy who painted the other guy's mom who painted an egret," he wrote.
This kicked off a chain reaction that's come to be known “paintception."
To keep things from getting too confusing, another Redditor created an interactive tree to show how they paintings relate to one another.
Decker was shocked by the chain reaction and couldn't believe she inspired so many people to paint.
“Even though people say, 'You inspired me to paint,' I don't know that it was so much me. I really give credit to the first artist who painted," she told the CBC. “You know, I'm not a painter. I'm just somebody who went out and did a little painting thing, so I got lucky to get caught up in all this fun craziness."
The question is: will the craziness ever end?
This article originally appeared on 02.02.19