What Works

How we use our voices is a microcosm of how we think about ourselves. What happens when we use our voices to compensate for what makes us different?

Show Notes

We form an impression of our voices early in life. While it might shift some as we age, those impressions tend to stick with us. For many of us, what we learn about our voices is how their don’t quite measure up to the ideal: too high, too low, too soft, too loud, too this, too that. This is especially true for women, queer people, transgender people, non-native English speakers, Black people, people of color, indigenous people, and really anyone whose voice doesn’t fit into the white, male baritone mold.

So what do we do? We try to sound more like everyone else. And that can not only mess with our ability to use our physical voices, but it messes with our ability to use our metaphorical voices and confuses our sense of self.

Samara Bay, a Hollywood dialect coach who’s worked on blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy, is on a mission to help everyone find “permission to speak.” In this episode, we dig into how the self-help imperative to “own your voice” might be more complicated than it sounds.

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What is What Works?

"Work" is broken. We're overcommitted, underutilized, and out of whack. But it doesn't have to be this way. What Works is a podcast about rethinking work, business, and leadership as we navigate the 21st-century economy. When you're an entrepreneur, independent worker, or employee who doesn't want to lose yourself to the whims of late-stage capitalism, this show is for you. Host Tara McMullin covers money, management, culture, media, philosophy, and more to figure out what's working (and what's not) today. Tara offers a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to deep-dive analysis of how we work and how work shapes us.