Anyhow? I thought I'd throw this in.
I was a reasonably successful writer at the time - but saw a market for CD's. Didn't have any kind of clue as to what I needed, but found that there was a recording studio fairly close to where I lived (Not TOO close - I was still in the closet) so that was one major issue taken care of.
I wanted someone to read a few of my stories. Naturally, I wanted a female voice - one that could pass off as a dominatrix. I forget how I advertised (keep in mind that this was some years ago and though we had Internet, it was nothing like what we have today) but I let it be known that I wanted anyone who auditioned to make me a short tape, so that I could hear their voices.
I did get one or two tapes - nothing special. Then I got an e-mail from a girl who maintained that she had a good voice, but didn't have a recorder. She gave me her number so that I could call and hear her speak. I did so - and she had a PERFECT voice for me - low and husky - and I've always been a sucker for women with voices like that. So I hired her to meet me at the recording studio. (I haven't mentioned that I'd already spoken to them and said that I wanted a CD made of some erotic material - they didn't give a damn - I was paying them - all that was important I guess).
I wanted about 90 minutes and had picked some stories that fitted just nicely into that time frame. I forget all of them except for the first - a short story called Ansel and Gretl - a rip off on an old fairy tale, with the theme being of an American boy and girl, hitch hiking their way around Europe. He gambles all their money - and they end up broke and starving applying for charity in an all-girl school in Germany.
The female owner of the school is a dominatrix who takes them both in - then proceeds to feminize him. I give the theme to demonstrate why the use of the word "Frau" is commonplace throughout.
So everything is set up. The girl - woman - is in her early thirties and quite attractive. Says that she sings with a small band (which I believe - she has a great voice) but hasn't made any money in a long time. Isn't offended by the story material so I give her what is to be read and let her read it for a while to get familiar. She isn't any kind of dominatrix - says her singing name is "Kitten" - and I've never heard anyone use the term "cool" as often as she does, but she's pleasant and I figure that any audience I get won't know that she's not a dominatrix, but I don't care very much
I then sit in what I guess is the "Control Room" with the engineer. Kitten goes into a padded room that has the microphone and starts to read a few passages to let the engineer set volume and other controls. We can hear her just fine.
As I said, her voice is tremendous. But something jars on me immediately - something I haven't even THOUGHT of. Her reading capability is suspect at best. She is on the slow side and stumbles over some words. I talk with the engineer. He feels that it might take some time, but we can delete any major pauses - and all three of us can work on errors of pronunciation, one word at a time. I'm not that happy but decide to go ahead.
Then we run into the word 'Frau'. I'm not German - but I've seen enough movies and Tv to know that the pronunciation is "Frown" with no 'n'. Ketten says "Fro". We can communicate with her, so I interrupt and tell her how the word should be pronounced. She gets it. A little while later, the word comes up again. This time she says "Free". I get her saying it correctly again. She may say it correctly the next time - but it isn't too long before she comes to it again - and this time it's 'Fry"
I correct it again - but turn off her sound so that she can't hear me. "Christ!" I said. "We've had Free, Fry, and Fro. Where the hell is FRUM - as in Free Fry Fro Frum - I smell the blood - -" and that got us both giggling.
It wasn't long before she screwed up the pronunciation again. By this time, the engineer and I are rolling in our seats - and I finally had to connect the sound and stop the whole thing.
I honestly paid her - I was so embarrassed that I felt shamed for a poor lassie that couldn't read - well maybe at 3rd grade level? She had never heard us laugh, but I think she knew.
Through a TV friend in the movie business, I was able to find a real domme - Samantha - who we christened 'Mistress Viking'. She was a big lass and I took her out to lunch. (I almost creamed when she decided that my order was unhealthy and ordered something else for me). We became friends, though just about all we do now is exchange Christmas Cards.
I really don't mean to knock Kitten - my own carelesness set up the whole thing - but I had just never thought to check that someone could READ!