RE: Training in Speaking (was: What should I wear for a phoneinte rvi ew?)

Subject: RE: Training in Speaking (was: What should I wear for a phoneinte rvi ew?)
From: "Secara, Maggie" <Maggie -dot- Secara -at- indymacbank -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 11:19:30 -0800

I sang in choir through junior high and high school, and both choir and the
opera chorus every semester for about 4 years (out of the 7 I spent at CSUN.
But I always hated getting up to sing or speak by myself. In high school,
my knees literally quaked when I had to sing in any group smaller than 16.
Time solved that problem, though.

My breakthrough was at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura (CA) where
the job is to be in character as nearly as possible all day long. You have
to talk to customers, but you also have to engage in impromptu improvised
conversation with other performers. In my case, most of the time, I was in
the Queen's court, where the character you're playing is a real historical
person. Someone you can look up in the index. To do it well involves a
certain level of research and understanding of the period
(, plus a willingness to "sing out". We used to have good
workshops in early spring where were learned to breathe, speak from the
diaphragm, project! Then on any Faire day, you're thinking on your feet and
talking wittily all day against the ambient noise of thousands of customers,
hawkers, street musicians, each other, and all sorts of other traffic. It's
a major challenge.

I'm not involved in all that anymore, but I can tell you this much. After
15 years as the Countess of Southampton and 5 or so more as a common or
garden variety German campfollower, I'm not afraid to talk to anyone any
more! :)

Maggie Secara

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