i am so fascinated by a good talker.
and there are so many examples of good talkers out there,
i think that it would make a great idea for a whole other blog, the good talkers.
-hmmm, might have to pursue that one.

now, it doesn't necessarily have to have much to do with the sound of a voice, though that can be important as well.
a great example of that is john huston who was very articulate and had a very fine voice. daniel day lewis recently helped us all remember what a great talker huston was!
daniel day lewis received an acadamy award for it, actually.

kate hepburn, truman capote, betty davis and orson welles, john cage and andy warhol are other late great talkers that i take pleasure in listening to.

there's funny thing about the talk of john cage. my old friend xtevion from reno does a spot-on impression of john cage which he can easily interchange as a spot-on impression of vincent price. i never realized how similar in style both price and cage were until i heard xtevion mimic their talk.

that's the interesting thing about a lot of great talkers. they are easy to imitate.
impressions are entertaining but nothing beats the listening experience of the actual talk of the good talker.

you know, it's the language that these good talker's employ.
a language that is comfortable and familiar to the talker's talk.
a language owned by the one speaking.

my latest obsession is dick cavett who is an excellent example of one who knows his language and how to use it. dick cavett is particularly interesting because he writes almost exactly the way he talks. his latest blog entry is the inspiration for this very post. (see link below)

often it is the talker's idiosyncratic behavior while they are talking
and the more odd quirks or mannerisms the better for me, usually.

for instance, some people repeat the same stories every time you see them.
that can be annoying or hilarious depending on the talker, i suppose.
i worry that i am one of those people...one of those annoying talkers.

some people say the same phrase over and over
or simply repeat the last thing they said 3 times.
now, i love that kind of talker because there was an old man that used to hang out with my grandfather that used to do that a lot.
'well now, there's lil' ronnie, yeah, lil' ronnie, lil' ronnie!'

repeating the punchline to a joke as the laughter subsides is a peculiar and interesting technique of the amateur comedian.

i love the use of a name or the familiar 'my friend' to whom the talker is talking.
'now, rhan, my friend, words cannot convey the vertiginous retching horror that enveloped me as i lost consciousness....'
that one is a quote from 'uncle' bill burroughs, another great talker, who never actually said this to me personally, though i am pretending here that he did as an illustration.

i am also quite fond of those talkers finishing their statements with hmmm? or yes? or no?
-my adorable wife will do this on occasion and i find it thrilling!

i like the pauses, the search for the correct word, the rubbing of eyes or the stroke of a chin, the arch of eyebrows and sometimes even a look from side to side or a backwards glance before finishing.

when i was in school, i had a russian friend that spoke in fits of what seemed like frustration and anger but was more about his understanding of the english language. i use to enjoy his questions in class and how the instructors would react as though my friend's inquiry was an insult or critique of the lesson.

once i figured out his talking style, he and i became fast friends, so much so that i became his translator for everyone else, even though i don't speak a word of the russian language!

so, when you are out there, amongst your contemporaries, be sure and listen, i'm sure there are plenty of great good talkers all around you. enjoy them like music--that is of course, if you happen to enjoy music.

me, i have a pea sized ball of hate for music, but that's a whole other post for some other day and perhaps some other blog somewhere else.

talk at you, later
r s e

dick cavett's latest brilliant blog entry, talk show