Discussion → intensity of a read piece

  • Flawntnewsmall.thumb
    Finnegan Flawnt
    Dec 12, 02:31am

    susan gibb commented, somewhere else: "the reading makes it even more intense." i noticed that, too, especially in pieces involving dialogue, especially when one does the "actor thing" and reads characters with different voices as i tried in "The Vessel" (because i thought the german accent highlights something...and writing "he said in his thick german accent" does not make you, the reader, read something in a thick german accent unless i distort the wording...which i have no experience in...perhaps need to read more mark twain?)

    i found the newly found intensity also almost a little offputting at first and i think i wouldn't have published "The Vessel" if meg hadn't started this group. now that i did, i like it, and the reading informs my writing in unforeseen ways. after choking (by accident) when reading, i even changed the piece itself. interesting!

    what do you think about "transporting intensity"


  • Fictionaut.thumb
    Meg Pokrass
    Dec 12, 05:22pm

    I adored The Vessel on video - and the voices were marvelous. I agree w/ the increase in intensity absolutely. I also think it is because your instincts and then your ability to carry them through are quite impressive.

    I think this is what I love, finding new things about the piece while making the video!


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    Susan Gibb
    Dec 12, 05:27pm

    Reading aloud does indeed make or break a piece sometimes. I went to the Wesleyan Conference once and heard several authors read and boy, I told one that he should hire one of the others to read for him. He destroyed his own stories. I hear many poets that seem to believe they have to read it a certain way (are they taught that?) and it just sounds so cold, with no real drama while others are terrific.

    Of course as I've also pointed out, how a voice sounds recorded is part of it too, besides the inflections and tone.


  • Ken%20xmas%20hat.thumb
    Gabriel Orgrease
    Dec 13, 05:32am

    Finnegan: I enjoyed listening to your voice. I even enjoyed the choking noises. I watched/listened to all of your vids on YouTube.

    One of the intensifiers is to see the author/reader's face and body language. There is a challenge to that beyond the technical, as it also takes a bit of grit to deal with the perceived level of self exposure.

    For these vids the feedback loop is sharper, tighter than say if one hides to write a novel, takes years at it, then waits a few more years to get it published, and then eventually it hits the street. I have a friend who is going through that cycle now and the agony of waiting for exposure in the sometime future seems grueling.

    Susan: I'm not sure if writers are taught how to perform to read, at all. There is a disconnect between writing as being perceived as print on paper (a visual and internal experience for a reader) and writing as being a route to a performance.

    I have been to plenty of readings where the author talked to their neck, head pointed down and they mumbled. The intensification in that experience was that I had less desire on my part to work to listen.


  • Flawntnewsmall.thumb
    Finnegan Flawnt
    Dec 13, 02:08pm

    poor authors who put you off by reading their pieces...probably heartfelt but not too able. i agree with everything you said above - on top of that we live in certain times which if not require then welcome and reward those who offer an "experience" beyond the written words - something surrounding the senses, be it hypertext/interactivity, the intimacy of voice or even image, and the actuality of a blog. while this kind of exposure was a privilege bestowed only to the glamorous few in the past, more and more (young) readers will expect it in the future, i imagine.

    on the production side (that's us!), we're mostly driven by the need for experimentation and some good new fun found not just in the writing, but in the voicing, filming, and even between us.

    (thanks for listening, gabriel! at least my pieces are mostly short...subscrbied to your channel & just listened to "Writer's Workshop Along Bird Cemetery Road" ... nice - i like how you play with the voice & there's some teasing going on, too - made me laugh...i'd also like a link to the text of the story.)


  • Fictionaut.thumb
    Meg Pokrass
    Dec 13, 08:57pm

    My fortune, I believe, was being trained in theater from age 8 - 21. I was a kid actor in local theater and regional theater. I haven't acted in years now, but that was my background, which I thought I would never use again.


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    Sam Rasnake
    Dec 13, 10:50pm

    All literary works thrive with tongue and ear - and eye. This should make for an interesting group, Meg. I wish you well with it.


  • Fictionaut.thumb
    Meg Pokrass
    Dec 14, 01:20am

    thank you Sam!


  • Ken%20xmas%20hat.thumb
    Gabriel Orgrease
    Dec 14, 07:04pm

    Finnegan: I agree that having a text to read w/ the audio is a plus... usually the text is on my blog http://orgrease-crankbait.blogspot.com/

    I'm not as good or brave as Meg to promote my work. There is a whole lot to learn from Meg in how artfully she promotes her work, and her reading of other's work, just enough, not too much.

    What I do is: Put the vid on YouTube more as a holding place then embed it on my blog, with the text. Then I Tweet a link to the blog page that becomes my status on Facebook. Eventually FB takes the blog and automatically turns it into a Note on FB... all good and fine. I also load the vid up into Facebook. And I also load it up into a separate online file storage area... and when and if I get around to it I load it onto the Internet Archive. I may also share it elsewhere to a limited workshop audience. If I get real ambitious I load to Vimeo and to bit.tv.

    I have followers on Facebook who catch the vid there. A few who follow the blog, and next to zero that follow my subscriptions on YouTube. I like the Internet Archive though because if you think of an analogy between print and acid-free paper the IA is maybe the best bet on durability for digital/online material.


  • Ken%20xmas%20hat.thumb
    Gabriel Orgrease
    Dec 14, 07:19pm

    One of the things that I realized in my last vid/reading project http://orgrease-crankbait.blogspot.com/2009/12/vid-find-wheel-by-martin-heavisides.html sort of relates to Meg's comment about her training in theater.

    I used to very much enjoy reading/performance (the best I ever got was an audience of 200 in a hay field w/ a real good sound system) but when I moved to NYC (frm Washington, DC) and started on the Open Mike scene I got really bummed out by the anger and angst, and stupid shit, and the noise of the bartenders and vowed that I would not read again unless it was to an audience in my house at the wood stove.

    I have pretty much kept to that.

    So in the middle of my editing this particular vid I realized that I can get the 'at home' and intimate quality of performance, or control if it is control, control of message (ok, fine, I have no point) that makes me comfortable to expend the energy and effort.


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    Nora Nadjarian
    Dec 16, 11:57am

    Hi Meg, hi guys
    I'm totally new to this reading on video concept... but i love the idea and have seen how effective it can be. (Meg, Finnegan-- you have really added to the "atmosphere" of your stories by reading them yourselves). I'm hoping to follow your example soon.. though my technical abilities are --non-existent...


  • Fictionaut.thumb
    Meg Pokrass
    Dec 17, 01:17am

    Hi, Nora! Welcome! We're all learning together here, cooperatively. So much to learn, and well worth it - so much fun.


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    Dorothee Lang
    Dec 20, 01:03am

    Hi Meg, hi everyone!

    such an interesting group. watching the different clips now made me get back to some of my own multimedia works. i now posted one of them: 'moon halo'. the text of the poem developed from the images, it's really more like a collage.

    what i want to do now is to create a flash or a youtube-clip with voice. i have never tried that. unfortunately, my digital camera went defunct just this week, so it will be a bit until i can get to it.

    + thanks, Gabriel, for your notes on where to upload clips, like Vimeo - i just had a look at their page,that's like fictionaut for videos, with groups and challenges, too. http://www.vimeo.com.

    i guess the task will be to keep the focus while playing with all those options of text + image + sound.


  • Ken%20xmas%20hat.thumb
    Gabriel Orgrease
    Dec 21, 11:09am

    intensity depends on the nature of the text, as well

    a reading of Ellen Parker's flash Home Pharmacy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgpirBoNlyk


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    Meg Pokrass
    Jan 16, 06:41pm

    i would love ideas about ways to promote our videos ON Vimeo. If anyone has success here or tips, let's share that.



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