Female podcaster speaking into microphone in front of laptop
Humor SPM

Dear Podcast Vocal Affectations

Dear Podcast Vocal Affectations,

Okay. So. First. Let’s…let’s start with the male….young man who just started up a company and beat all odds….he….he somehow is unable to….speak fluidly. There is this, this Jesse Eisenberg in the Social Network….cadence. Cadence of speaking. Halting…speeding thoughts in a burst, and suddenly….stopping….on unremarkable words or thoughts. This…cadence could be a tool to entice VCs or potential investors or to hide missteps which could obfuscate their stock. I find it to be as halting and annoying as my husband’s percussive index finger typing. Just learn to type, and please….for the love of god….young men….go…with intention and breath support…to the end of the phrase. I’m talking to you Michael Barbaro. Joshua Johnson doesn’t pull that shit and he’s got a show on MSNBC now.

Female podcaster speaking into microphone in front of laptop

by Amy Axelson

Pointless and needlessly long, sing song lists. Make a point, state one good example. The uptalk inflection lists make me irritated, angry, annoyed, homicidal and I’m convinced were the driving reason for the capitol riots.

The annoying, grinding, persistent use of endless lists after a statement gives excessive, exorbitant, extravagant, extreme and inordinate examples which invalidate, nullify, negate, override and cancel their original intention. I hated this most about Jeffrey Toobin.

He was the king of needlessly long, sing song lists. He is most famous for exposing himself, masturbating, cranking his hog, buttering his muffin and creating a dialogue about our collective unease with masturbation. He jerked off on a Zoom Call and disrespected Masha Gessen. I’m glad he’s gone.

It’s imporah. Jesus Christ, people. The word is imporTANT!! Why is this so fucking hard to say? You are a broadcaster. You are reaching millions of people. Some of what you say is, I would assume, imporTANT.

For the love of fuck, don’t say a word, the definition of which is “of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being” and flacidly drop the final syllable like a high school french teacher. Important. ANT. Say it.

My god, where the hell did this come from. Just because you are podcasting doesn’t mean you get to gag your way through consonants. Consonahhhhanngghahts. Stop it. It’s important. T.

Now, obviously we are going to address the vocal frye. Ahhhh……the growling of your vocal chords that you seem to think is attractive or not at all annoying to listen toooahhh…

Breath support, people. Stop speaking from your neck, and let your jaw work without over exteahhhhhhding itahhhht. It sounds like you are gargling. Please listen to people who understand the value of sound. James Baldwin, James Earl Jones, Sir Lawrence Oliver, Morgan Freeman. Here’s a list.

Walter Cronkite and Samuel L. Jackson DO NOT waste their sounds on flaccidity and lack of articulation. Scarlett Johansson, Oprah, Rachel Maddow and Emma Thompson. There is not one word out of their mouths that is ambiguous about how they feel. They like how they sound. If you don’t appreciate your vocal quality, stop talking and make room for those who can talk before my kids start doing it.




About the Author

Amy Axelson has written for Scary Mommy and Sammiches and Psych Meds is a trained opera singer and prolific opera director. She segued into filmmaking with the award winning documentary short Why We Wax. Written, directed and co-produced by Axelson, the comedy short had a very successful film festival run before it was picked up for distribution by 7th Art. It broadcasts on Current TV for the North American market and Canal Plus for the European market. When she took a sabbatical to raise her two boys she was inspired to write her first full length narrative script Mitzvah Crashers about a couple of burnt out moms who start crashing bar & bat mitzvahs to get their mojo back. Axelson earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Music at DePaul University, Chicago. Her secret super power is that she trained in improvisational comedy at no less than The Second City also in Chicago.