I'm Helen Ubiñas, for WHYY News
OK, other than a few freaks of oratory nature out there, no one likes to hear their own voice.
The first time I heard mine I wondered who that person was. In my mind, I had a deep Lauren Bacall-esque voice. In reality, I sounded more like Rosie Perez. I found my voice so annoying that as a newspaper reporter, I rarely recorded interviews – plus it was just easier to take notes
But one of the stops on this Recreating Helen Tour 2012 that I’ve been on since leaving my old newspaper job has been a gig at WHYY/NewsWorks. Other than growing my NotesFromHel blog, the goal was/is to start telling stories on the radio.
That sounds a lot easier than it is. I talk fast. When I’m nervous, I talk even faster. I pop my p’s. Who knew? OK, the poor sound engineer caught on pppretty quickly.
Also, as several people pointed out, living in Connecticut apparently did nothing to cure me of my New York accent. Not for nothing, but I don’t hear it.
Thankfully, I had Jeanette Woods. Her official title is community media editor, but really she’s been a mentor/teacher/therapist and cheerleader. Seriously, the woman deserves a raise, or a first-class ticket to heaven.
When I was in the studio, frozen in fear and wondering what the hell I was doing, there she’d be on the other side of the glass window with thumbs up, nodding her head in approval.
Tonight, my first radio story airs. It’s about an ex-con whose journey I’ve been following for six months now.
I love his story. I still don’t love my voice. But if it allows me to tell stories that matter, about real people dealing with real life, then I’ll learn to tolerate it…I’m Helen Ubinas, for WHYY News.