Great Group Warmups 1 – The Ball Game

Picture the scene: a group of eighteen intelligent, imaginative and hard working actors, or sales people, or executives, or teachers – for example… They are all present and on the floor in good time for the session, standing in a circle and laughing and chatting nervously, excitedly. Two questions: What is the fastest way to get their attention, to help them to become focussed and to stay focussed for the rest of the session? Why would you want to do that? The quick answer to 2. is easy: because they will learn more if they give the work in hand their full attention. Of course. But more important than that, they will discover that being focussed, and staying focussed takes …

4 Elements of a Great Group Warm up

Yes, I know I’ve written on this topic before, and I promise you I certainly will again, because there is always more to be discovered about the benefits of a warmup up. Specifically, today I want to discuss the reasons why a performance group should always warm up together. The Group Warmup. Anyone who has ever experienced a bad group warmup will want to escape now. Please don’t. Please stick around. Warm ups are like meals. A tough, over-cooked (or soggy under-cooked) one can put you off forever, because it leaves you with nothing but a bad taste and spoils your appetite for the rest of the day. A delicious, tasty, nutritious one leaves you satisfied and enthusiastic to face whatever the day …

Endless Possibilities

Yesterday I spent the day playing with a new (to me) group of acting students: What A Blast! We began by discovering the FACT that voice is sound, sound is vibration, vibration can be felt in the body and in the air outside of the body. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not actually there!  And of course, once you feel it and experience it as a physical occurrence, you can own it, grow it, play with it. We travelled to the land of Omnia, learnt the local language (Omnish, of course, which includes all the sounds of all the languages of the world that are known), held elections and honoured the poet laureate of Omnia. With …

From Clear Speech to General American

Sounds easy, but of course there is skill involved, and that takes practice.  Join us for 2 half day workshops on 9th November, and learn the most direct, holistic (in terms of the anatomy of articulation, pronunciation, rhythm and melody) process for speaking skilfully, in any accent. But this time, we’ll be focussing on so-called General American, the accent you will need if you aim to work in  Hollywood movies. Limited places, and these are filling up fast. Contact me to reserve your place with a small deposit.

How to Acquire an Accent

Accents – believe it or not – are not easy.  Let’s face it, if you’ve spent 20, 30, 40 years using your head and facial muscles and your tongue to speak words in a particular way, and tuning your voice to go up and down in pitch the way your friends and family do, it is going to take some degree of effort to retrain your ears and those muscles to do it differently on demand. Dudley Knight and Phil Thompson have been working for many years to study the challenges of “Speaking With Skill” (Dudley’s book is a Goldmine). They devised a training methodology that integrates beautifully and effortlessly with any voice training system you care to name. Last year I attended the KTS …