Paula and I have been working online for many years. One evening I received a message with a YouTube link from her saying “I would like to do this”.
So I opened the link and there was some young lady mumbling away and I couldn’t understand a thing she was saying. So I messaged Paula back saying ‘What the…..?’. Then I rang. “Okay, what is it you want to do? Speak unintelligibly into a microphone. Sorry I don’t get it.” She told me to research ASMR online, and that’s what I did.
It turns out the Paula experiences ASMR but until a couple of years ago, she like most people, didn’t realise that this is something that millions of people worldwide experience. I didn’t believe that I experienced ASMR although I do remember back to when I was a young girl with very long hair, my mother would brush my hair every night for the recommended 100 stokes and during this time I would feel relaxed and would sometimes drift off into a light sleep while sitting on a cushion on the floor leaning back against my mothers legs. So I guess that is a tactile form of ASMR.
So I agreed to help make some sound videos for ASMR. We bought a Soundman binaural microphone and a Canon video camera, shut ourselves into a spare room and proceeded to record crinkle, scraping and scratching sounds. The thing with ASMR is you have to keep background noise to a minimum and as I live on a busy road, it can take a long time to get enough recording that is usable and doesn’t require too much editing. So our next step was to try and soundproof the room. And this deadened the sound enough for us to get a reasonable result.
So I’m fine with what we are doing and comments coming in from the ASMR community are positive.
Then one day Paula says to me “I want you to talk on the video”. “Uh, Uh no way is that happening.” I reply. But Paula is insistent and she can be quite, hmmm whats the word, I won’t say pushy, but resourceful when she wants something.
Now it’s time for me to take a stand, and I recount the story of why I won’t talk on our videos. When I was young we were having a dinner party for a few friends, during which the subject of nuances in voices came up. So after dinner one of my husband’s friends decided that he would record each of us in turn, speaking on our super modern reel to reel tape recorder. Then he would critique our voices. Now I was feeling quite confident as my mother had been very particular about speech and I had been given elocution lessons while growing up.
So our ‘expert’ starts listening to the recordings and making comments on each persons manner of speaking, and then it’s my turn. “This is dreadful” he says. ” You have an awful pitch and you sound nasally. Not good at all”. Well I’m sure you can imagine how I felt, I cringed. Up until this point in my life I had been full of confidence speaking to groups of people. But my life changed from this point on.
Words can be a killer, and can have a devastating effect on a person and his words certainly affected me. I would no longer speak to groups of people and if I had to I would imagine that if two people were whispering in the group, that they were talking about my awful voice. Pathetic really how we can allow another persons opinion to influence us.
So that brings me back to my story as to why I wasn’t going to talk on video.
Well as I said, Paula can be very persuasive when she wants to be and it wasn’t long before I was agreeing to give it a go, but only once and once the negative comments came in she would see, and I would be justified in refusing to do this.
Well I did a recording and you know what, the comments were awesome. So I was encouraged by this to create more voice recordings. And on reflection I realise that I had allowed the opinion of one person, and it was only his opinion, to influence my life, and I am so glad that Paula was persistent and that our lovely subscribers were so freely giving of their acceptance.
So my advice is never to let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough or that you can’t do something, because it simply isn’t true. You can be and do anything you set your heart and mind to doing.
I now find that listening to ASMR relaxes me, I don’t experience the tingles that a lot of you experience, but maybe that will come in time.