Want to Get Rid of Your 'Gay Accent'? There's an App for That
Well, not an app app, but there is a voice teacher! In the wake of the whole Newsweek gay actors thing, Details sought out the wisdom of longtime voice coach Bob Corff, who helps actors get rid of Gay Voice.
So what, exactly, is the difference between a straight male voice and a gay male voice? Corff explains:
Okay, well, let me start by telling you what it is that sounds "straight." Straight actually turns out to be the perfect word to describe what straight guys do. It's very straight-it has no curlicues, it has no frills or any kind of melodic turns. So they say, "Hi. How are you?" It's simple, and the lines are very straight, instead of "Hi, how are yOOuu?" You know, women are much more melodic-their voices go up and they go down, and they even move their mouths more. There's a lot more animation. A straight guy just goes, "Hey-this is as much energy and animation as I'm putting out for this thing."
Aha. Gays have more fun when they talk! Or something. Corff isn't some conversion-minded jerk, mind you, he's just a pragmatist about what sells in showbiz and what doesn't. Standard American Male Voice (Mel Gibson? Harrison Ford?) is going to play better than, say, Chris Crocker Voice. Which makes sense. It's a little depressing, but it makes sense.
But what is Gay Voice, anyway? Where does it come from? Corff claims to have looked into it, but has found nothing. Maybe it's situational — anyone who's watched the wallflower in the musical cast eventually come bounding out of his shell, new voice in tow, can attest to that startling adaptation — and maybe it's something deeper. (Well, not deeper, but you know.) All we know is that right now, unfortch, the Gay Voice is gonna block actors from getting lots of jobs. So that's all Corff is doing, helping careers along in an imperfect business.
Now we're curious who he's saved from this terrible, shameful affliction. Any guesses?