It's All in the Prose.Acclaimed actor Ruby Dee Ruby Dee (born October 27, 1924) is an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist. Early life
She was born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Harlem, New York. talks about how audiobooks are useful in our changing times
As our lives become more hectic, technology offers busy book lovers--in this era of multitasking--a great way to enjoy a "book" as a leisure activity, while enjoying a long bath or a candlelit can·dle·lit
Illuminated by candles: a candlelit ceremony. dinner. Audiobooks provides the pleasure of a good book without requiring the direct attention of reading.
Ruby Dee's voice immediately conveys her character. It is distinctive, raspy rasp·y
adj. rasp·i·er, rasp·i·est
Adj. 1. raspy - unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound; "a gravelly voice"
grating, rasping, gravelly, scratchy, rough , whispery and bold. It's ethereal. You can imagine her voice has come from the past to relate its tale. No wonder she was asked to be the voice of "Their Eyes Were Watching God." She has a voice that you can see. It dances. It cries. It becomes a man or a woman. It's timeless.
"There's something about reading that suits me," Ruby says in a breathy breath·y
adj. breath·i·er, breath·i·est
Marked by or as if by audible or noisy breathing: a breathy voice.
breath whisper. "I was so pleased when [I was] recommended to do Their Eyes Were Watching God because Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, best known for the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. is one of my absolute favorite authors ... and the prose is so gorgeous." Ruby Dee has read Hurston's classic aloud before, but in an abridged version. She felt that her latest experience with the book is more authentic. It is the book as the author wrote it--which is one of my very favorite ways of presenting material."
Ruby is no stranger to taking books to different art forms. Her show "Books With Legs," translates the written word into a staged performance. "We go from prose to text. We keep the book as close to what the author has written as possible because I believe that this art is distinct and that distinction is most evident in the prose ... to me the prose is like the life blood."
Ruby Dee always returns to the prose. There is something about language that intrigues and guides her work. Her own unique voice has leant leant
v. Chiefly British
A past tense and a past participle of lean1.
a past of lean1
leant lean itself to a variety of experiences from radio to stage to the big screen. "I have this thing for voices and rhythms. I am intrigued by `people rhythms,' so that's why reading fascinates me."
There's no scarcity of rhythms in Their Eyes Were Watching God. The book's lyrical quality has characters jumping off the page with language that is authentic and rich, easily lending itself to a dramatic reading. "It's a beautiful, absolutely beautiful love story. [It] is different and astonishing a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. ... and evocative of rhythms and language and music of a very arresting time in our history." While this type of lyrical reading could pose a challenge for some readers, Ruby Dee explained that she has a knack for this particular genre of acting. Her chameleon-like voice transcends time and gender. This skill, she says, helps her capture and explore the voices of the "human symphony" of characters--male, female, young and old--present in Hurston's book. She doesn't want to just read the novel. She becomes it. Each character gets his or her own distinct voice. "I try to remember the salient characteristic of that voice, its rhythms; its color. Whether it was strong or hesitant, high or low. Something that reflects a mental state or personality." And so Ruby Dee's audiobook performance becomes more than spoken word, it is dramatic poetry. It's the lyrical equivalent to a Broadway show.
Ruby Dee sees audiobooks as more than just a pleasurable way to endure the doldrums of driving to work or cleaning the house. An audiobook can become a performance within itself. It can become a tool for struggling students who need support for their auditory learning Auditory learning is a style of learning in which a person learns most effectively by listening to information delivered orally, in lectures, speeches, and oral sessions. Auditory learners make up about 25% of the population. style. When read by the author, an audiobook can be a way of preserving the voice of the author--and thereby the voice of a generation.
More than that though, an audiobook is homage to language-to the prose. "To be asked to do Zora Neale Hurston is like winning the Pulitzer Prize Pulitzer Prize
Any of a series of annual prizes awarded by Columbia University for outstanding public service and achievement in American journalism, letters, and music. Fellowships are also awarded. or the top drawer top drawer
Old-fashioned, informal people of the highest social standing award in any art form or any field of sport. That's how I feel."
Tonya Leslie is a writer living in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . She has published numerous articles and children's books.