In Canada I used to be what you would call a passive-aggressive driver. Not in the classical psychological definition of the term but in the more literal form. If no one bothered me (cut me off, tailgated me, tried to blind side me) I would be a chilled out cruise machine. I’d get from point a to point b without there being a fuss or stress involved.
If on the other hand you pissed me off. Then the Egyptian driver in me would rare it’s head. I grew up in post Gulf war Egypt. We moved there as refugees (I was born in kuwait) from the first gulf war and I arrived in egypt 3 years before I could get my license. My friends taught me how to drive and then I took a few goes at it with an instructor … I got my license at 18 (the legal age to have a license in egypt) and that was that.
Driving in Egypt
Driving in Egypt is the closest thing to the Mad Max movies kind of driving you’ll ever experience. I often say either Egyptians are the most brilliant drivers in the world or they are the worst. But truth of the matter is that driving in Egypt has helped me avoid several accidents in Canada. When you are in such a high stress, high octane kind of environment you will either develop a sixth sense to where everyone in proximity of you is … or you will die.
Road rage is one of everyone’s daily emotions… I could experience road rage one minute and the next be whistling.
The Other Side of The Coin
In Toronto drivers aren’t so adept at handling their machines… they are taught to drive and they know the rules but they can’t react to anything out of the ordinary. Which is why on several occasions I avoided possible death or at least a bad car accident when the person in-front of me (or on me side) swerved or did something that is not in the driving manuals they teach from. My Egyptian driving instinct never went away… it was always there running as a hidden process (computer analogy here) waiting to be used.
Today I decided to up my Egyptian driving training up a notch. I decided to drive without stress. To drive without speeding. And if I may use an eating analogy instead of rushing through dinner to watch TV. I enjoyed dinner. Ironically I got to work 5 minutes early by not speeding. I can’t say I was less stressed because having everyone around you swoosh and zoom at 60 miles an hour while you are going 45 is a bit unsettling. But I was determined to see what might happen.
The Journey or the Destination
In voiceover work I often have to hold myself back. Do I rush ahead to get to the end (payment) or do I take my time and enjoy the process.
I can’t say I enjoy all aspects of voice work. I hate recording audio books. I can’t deny that… its probably because I don’t have a nice booth at home to record in… therefore I would need allot of audio editing to make the recording half decent.
I enjoy recording fast radio, internet and tv spots. They pay more… obviously… but more to the point I have a challenge. To make them fit into the allotted time.
Mind you I often over do it and end up making the audio so tight that it is well within the time alloted. Meaning I would need to slow things down again to make it fit.
I enjoy messing with compressing effects and trying to get my voice sounding as boomy as ominous as possible… then as friendly and guy-next-door as possible.
Sometimes I enjoy editing … sometimes I don’t. People are moody and eclectic… one day your sessions can be smooth as butter… and the next it’s a struggle just to get the words straight.
And the Moral of the story
What is it that pushes people to do this job day in and day out? Is it the knowledge that they acquire from the texts they record? Is it the self sufficiency? Is it the narcissism involved in hearing your voice over and over.
Are you a perfectionist and does that make being a VO harder or easier? And as my old song goes… why do you do … why do you do… what you do?
I enjoy driving… but not in egypt.. in egypt it is closer to survival than recreational hunting. Are you a recreational voiceoverist or a survivalist?
This post is a little amorphous… but such are musings in the summer.