Where Do You Start?

The question “where do you start” with regard to training the voice, has to be preceded by another question, “why would you start?” It’s a simple fact that nobody thinks about voice training unless something occurs to make them suspect their voice is inadequate, or unhealthy. If there is any pain experienced while speaking, at all, the first step is not training, but some form of medical intervention. Get referred by the GP to a specialist, and make sure there is nothing physically amiss. If there is nothing actually wrong with the larynx (voice box) then therapy is usually advised to address the behaviour that is causing the pain. Two common problems that bring people to the idea of voice …

Clarity of Thought and how to get it

I once wrote a poem about trying to write a poem. It goes like this: It’s never enough The words inside my head Scrambling for freedom It’s never enough The space between the words Inviting interference. It’s not enough To know, to have, to feel. There must be Space Outside my head A clear perceptive silence Room to manoeuvre. Then I decided to include this poem in a play about an actor who was also a poet. It became a shared moment between the actor and her grandson, a way for him to demonstratte to her that he had read her work. But as soon as we (I played the actor) began rehearsing the scene, I realised that it was …

Who Benefits from Voice Training?

Teachers – lawyers – writers – broadcasters – actors (film, tv and theatre) – journalists – doctors – preachers – counsellors – lecturers – salespeople – executives – committee members – public servants (including politicians) – entrepreneurs – and that’s just the start… Writers? Why should they develop their vocal skills and potential? They just sit in a quite room and write, right? Well, sure, until they get published, and have to go on publicity tours, giving readings from their work in front of audiences of potential readers, and being interviewed on radio and tv. How many writers have you heard reading so fast, and in such a monotonous voice that you either fell asleep, or switched off? Entrepreneurs? They …

Fresh Voice! The Acting Class 2012

The next block of voice and acting classes will take place on Sunday mornings, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.  7th October – 25th November The Voice Class integrates pure voicework with physicality, creative expression and performance technique. The Voice Class works with the movement of breath in the moving body, to facilitate passionate, nuanced, intelligent self-expression and communication. The overall objective is BEING consistently and totally present IN the act of sounding the VOICE. Join us for seven  three hour sessions, exploring your vocal potential with and without text. Contemporary and classic texts. “How wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul!” Longfellow Pure voice, vocal maintenance, storytelling, public speaking, audition monologues, text analysis Cost: 7 (3 hour) sessions: …

I have just had the weirdest experience, where two worlds appear to have collided, and changed places in the universe. The two worlds are those of theatre practice and theory of theatre.  They are mythical worlds, because only those individuals who try to maintain that they are, indeed, pure or separate or totally independent of each other actually believe that they exist. I was one of them once, as a practitioner, before I embarked upon my own academic research project and began to understand something of the value of theoretical scholarship. But it is fair to say that there are still many academic theorists who have little understanding of the nature of actual, on the shop floor, theatre practice, and …