Norma Jean: Personal Improvement

Personal ImprovementOnce upon a time I lived in Hollywood pursuing a career as an actress. One auspicious day I met my absolute favorite movie star idol and became dizzy and star struck at a party as he locked into my gaze and approached me in what seemed like 'slow mo' saying, "Let's talk about it..." I floated weightless into a big couch with my eyes glued to his, my lower lip shaking. I tried to make casual and intelligent conversation. Finally I choked out, "What is one of the least known secrets to success as a film star, the one thing that separates the greats from the rest?" He stared at me for what seemed like an eternity."Now that's a good question, because stardom isn't always about talent..." he said in his trademark style of slow deliberate speech. "I'll tell you a well kept secret since you seem like a smart girl... It's all in voice, Thompson... it's all in the voice."I coveted these words as a commandment coming from Moses himself and have listened very carefully to the delivery, rhythm, and tone of another's voice from that moment on. My own recorded voice, mostly from my phone answering machine, became an obsession as I tried to be objective about what exactly I heard.We aren't aspiring to the big screen, but we want to make a good first impression and be considered confident, clear, sexy and intelligent. If you've composed a great written ad and then fumble or mumble around in the "Voice Greeting" sounding depressed, or ending every statement with "uh", "yea", or "O.K.," you will not get the results you deserve. Reports show that some men get as many as 20 women browsing their well-written ad and then lose them in their "Voice Greeting," complaining to me that only one women responded to their personal ad. One can sound, weird, weak, desperate, robotic, depressed, angry, untrustworthy or perverted in the greeting. Maybe you ramble or are totally unfocused and lost, unaware of the minutes and dollars ticking by, talking only about yourself and saying nothing about what you want in another. And reading a script, unless it's really good, will kill you.Women, don't whine or complain under the text, sounding flat or monotone, or disgusted and tired of the whole dating scene. Please don't tell everyone browsing about your pregnancies and past negative experiences, or law suits. Sounding like some ball buster ready to blast the head off the man who isn't perfect won't be winning you any dates either.Men say too much or not enough. Playing three minutes of your favorite music is torture to listen to; pure torture, so spare the caller please. Personally, I respond to nothing except voice. The text is never the whole truth and the subtext cannot be hidden. Make your decisions using gut instinct and ears. The best casting directors will sit with their backs to you as you read for a part. Why... "because it's all in the voice."

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