Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How To Heckle - Developing Your Voice

I started heckling early on in my life. I attended games every so often, and after a game of yelling, my voice was often hoarse. When I started attending games almost every day, I realized that my voice wouldn't handle it. There's nothing more embarrassing to the prime heckler in the bleachers than to have lost his voice. So I started experimenting with my voice and training it.

I once heard an ad for voice training for would be stock traders. These guys spend all day on the floor of the stock exchange yelling prices. This class would help train their voices for maximum volume at extended times of yelling. I dreamed of joining that class and showing up the first day not wearing a suit or collared shirt, but a ripped up t-shirt and faded ball cap.

I paid attention to airflow, vocal strain, projection, tone and many other factors. You could say I was self-trained in yelling. I maximized my voice so that I could yell very loud for nine innings every day. It paid off. To this day, I've only met two people with louder yelling voices than mine.

One A's double header vs. the Twins I started yelling at the Twins left fielder, constantly and loudly. There were some Twins fans sitting nearby who were a bit forcibly unimpressed with my heckling. They explained to me that I would lose my voice in just a few innings. To my surprise, several of the bums around me exclaimed, "No he won't!" One of the games went extra innings, and the left fielder had as bad a day as he could, going 0 for 11. Some day when I become rich, I'll start a class on heckling voice lessons.

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