Doing Good Impressions

Everyone enjoys a good impression. An impression is not only an imprint or mark left on someone/thing, but a “humorous imitation of the voice and mannerisms of a famous person done by an entertainer.” People like Robert DeNiro, Nic Cage, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc., have very distinct voices therefore are commonly impersonated. However it’s always appreciated when an impression is does of someone who is rarely impersonated, done by the opposite sex, or is done by someone with a huge age difference.

Tips to a good impression:

  1. Find a person to do an impression of. A line or expression they’re known for saying is usually key.
  2. Tune in your voice so it matches. This may involve repetitive listening of the same line over and over again until you can match their too. You may even have to exaggerate lip movements or modify t0nque positions to perfect it.
  3. After attempting the voice, deepen your approach. Try copying the voice exactly and if not, try your best to get as close as you can.
  4. Analyze the person’s cadences. A cadence is “a regular beat or rhythm or the way a person’s voice changes by gently rising and falling while he or she is speaking”. Might that person slur their words, have a lisp, crooked mouth? All of these have an impact on the tone.
Impressions or impersonations are more than just a funny imitation of someone. It’s taking a person’s voice and making it your own on command. Touching further upon this subject I asked my fellow peers how they felt about the fact that something as personal as their voice can be duplicated. Every person I asked said they never thought of an impersonation as more than a comic act, but after they thought about it realized how much of a violation it is. Many felt creeped out or uncomfortable, and a few even insulted. This wasn’t limited to students either, even teachers felt as if their individual identities were ‘stolen’ in a sense, considering that their voice is unique to them. My favourite response however was against all other opinions. Coming from an old English teacher of mine who said it may be identity theft in a way, claimed that if she heard her own voice she wouldn’t even recognize it therefore would be incapable of feeling violated. She compared it to hearing your voice on a recording and asking “do I really sound that way?” She explained how when people talk they don’t pay attention to their tone, but rather their thoughts and ideas they’re attempting at getting across. This reasons with people with stutters, who on the contrary pay more attention to the way they form their thoughts or ideas, rather than the ideas themselves.
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  1. Jenn: You need to provide links to your sources. There are a number of different websites represented here….I am asking people to put the links at the bottom of the entry.
    RUBRIC: Some new information on the topic; attempts to synthesize information and form new meaning; well organized; written in a somewhat interesting style and voice; sentence fluency is mostly achieved; few spelling errors; few grammar errors; some formatting to help make the post easier to read; multimedia adds new information or perspective to post; fully categorized or tagged


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