It’s Friday. It’s late afternoon. I really just want to go home for the weekend, instead I’m in a tone studio at the television and radio school down by the harbour in Luebeck. We’re making a film that has to be synchronised in German and English. The professional actor we’ve hired to speak the texts arrives late for our appointment. The way he saunters into the studio and the light smirk on his face shows a complete absence of contriteness.
Irritated, I hand him the script and ask him whether he needs some time to practice. Flippantly, he says, “No, we can start recording right away.” I don’t know if he is being facetious or not. Surely he can’t just speak the text without one or two run throughs.
“How are you going to speak the text?” I ask him. “However you want me to”, is his answer. Noticing the puzzled expression on my face, he proceeds to read the text out loud. After each sentence, he changes his voice. Each voice is the voice of some cartoon character: Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, Tweety, Mr. Mago, etc. As each sentence comes to an end, he places his finger on his right nostril and presses down. His nose clicks and a new cartoon voice comes out.
I begin to shake with laughter. All of my irritation disappears. He is so refreshingly funny. I’m laughing so much that I wake out of my sleep.
What a wonderful thing it is to waken with laughter. Something that hasn’t happened to me in a long time.