Monday, January 14, 2013

Ladies, What Does a Lightsaber Say?

During a company party last year, the comedian entertaining the group asked for one male and one female to join him onstage. My table volunteered me and I was then asked to face off with a female coworker named Shannon in a battle of sounds. I was asked to provide a sound effect (such as a machine gun and a lightsaber) and then Shannon was asked to do the same sound effect. The point of the exercise was 1. to entertain the audience and 2. prove, once and for all, that men are better than women at sound effects -- keep in mind that this was his theory, not mine.

I thought it was a bit unfair, initially, because I figured my female opponent would simply hear the way I did a sound effect and then copy it, but I was surprised to find out that the noises I have been making since I was a little boy didn't come as naturally to her. Shannon has a fun, outgoing personality, so I knew that it wasn't because she was nervous -- she just didn't have as much practice as I did making punching noises with my mouth.

And then, as I was chuckling about that experiment with my wife on the drive home, I challenged her to give a few of the sound effects a shot. The chuckles soon escalated to full-blown guffaws. Even though she had heard the differences in my sound effects and Shannon's, she still made noises like "pew, pew" when imitating gunfire. I was stunned. Men and women really are different when it comes to sound effects.

Shannon and I have exchanged a few light-hearted barbs since that party. Recently, she sent me the following video along with a note saying, "Just to point out that nobody even knows what a light saber is....boys or girls." And while I don't agree with her on that specific point (there are some good lightsaber noises from the men AND the women in this video), I'll let you, the faithful readers, be the judge of which gender makes the best sound effects in this highly entertaining short film.


Bethany said...

It definitely seemed as though sound effects came more naturally to the guys. The girls looked funnier doing them, like it took a lot more effort. Some of those guys had obviously been making the sounds since childhood.

As for me, I would be like the girl who stared at the camera on most of them saying she didn't know how to make that sound. It's hard!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I was surprised there wasn't as much of a gap as I was expecting. Though I agree that the truly terrible SFX came from the girls and the pros were male, the inbetweeners were both girls and guys at a pretty even mix.

I must admit I didn't spend a lot of my childhood making SFX while I played. This has hurt me in improv games.

The Former 786 said...

Practice makes perfect, ladies.