I recently participated in a competition akin to "The Voice." The difference being, the chosen voice would not get record deals and sing a duet with Adam Levine - slightly different: it would be the voice to an automated phone interactive voice recognition system. The kind you love. The kind you call up when you're trying to reach a live person and the computer robot gal is like, "I didn't understand,please press 1 for..." And you're like - GIVE ME A PERSON. ANY PERSON. The other difference being I didn't actually want to win. Because winning meant recording (I heard a whole day's work) all those many many snippets.
However, when asked to be a sample voice that a focus group would vote on as the most desirable voice, I said OK. They needed help. Plus, what would be the chances? Mind you, I loathe hearing my own voice. It was only kind of flattering that my voice would be considered as a contender.(I do remember Bart from high school Cheerleading All-Stars Camp saying my voice could be on the radio but I'm pretty sure he was not a expert in anything but chair-sits.)
So, the focus group listened to the 6 voices and decided that they would like best a mix of Voice 1 (male) and Voice 6 (female) and those were not me. However, after discovering that there could not be a hybrid voice created for the purpose of this recording, they settled for their 2nd choice: my voice.
This reminded me of the time I was so thrilled to be invited to give a special talk at another institution - my first invited talk of the kind - and I gushed to a wise mentor-type about how excited I was to be asked. And she said: What's second prize? Two talks? That woman keeps me real.
Today, I had a lovely time recording over a 100 little voice segments. So much so that I think I may be now programmed to say to the family:
(When encountering child whinery) "I didn't hear that. Please try again."
(When kids are trying to watch TV when they are not supposed to) "That was an invalid number."
(When kids are fighting with each other) "Would you like dessert? If yes, stop fighting and press 1, otherwise, keep going and press 2."
(When there's banging on the bathroom door and I'm inside) "I'm sorry, that function is not available at this time."
Please hang up now. Goodbye.