Being in the Presence of Silence

As any of my students will tell you, I’m almost fanatical about silence. I get them to do weird things, like paying attention to the quality of the silence in the room after they have finished vocalising a sound. I even insist that they leave their mouths open, jaws relaxed, for a few seconds, maintaining the sense that they are still in the act of communicating, or expressing themselves – only now it is not via vocalised sound, it is via the quality of the silence they have created, which exists in the room. In fact, the sound waves they have just created have changed the sound of the room, and that change needs to be respected.

New Theme for the New Year

Yes, it’s a brand new look for 2017, long overdue. It will take me a while to get it all in order, but the links still work – and so do I! Wishing you a peaceful, healthy new year, and I look forward to hearing your joyful expressive voices spreading ideas and sharing your creative passions.

Who’s Up For a Workshop?

The flights are booked, and I’ll be in Brisbane from 7th July to 11th August. This is an early call-out to anyone interested in exploring the technique of Archetypes and Text, i.e. using the concept of Archetypes to create fully embodied, vocally expressive characters.  Great for devising a show from scratch, and also for livening up fully scripted performances – from audition monologues to ensemble productions. I can offer anything from 3 hours (taster) to 2 days (in depth). Let me know if you are interested, for yourself or your group.  Price will depend upon numbers. More participants = lower fee.

Brief Encounter with an Archetype

‘I enjoyed your workshop yesterday very much. It felt a bit like Commedia del Arte without masks and without having to keep to your character’s stereotype. Using text with these archetypes was a great exercise towards “truthfulness” of the lines. As an actor I want to be flexible and open for new things when I work on a character and going through the different archetypes with the text allows me to train that flexibility and openness I want to achieve.’ Yesterday afternoon I had the great pleasure of introducing a small group of 3rd year students to the process and concept of working with Archetypes.  I volunteered to give a free workshop, and they chose to show up of their own …

The Magic of Omnish

We are halfway through my final term of teaching voice in my current position, and this morning I had one of those magical moments that make teaching acting students so special. Our first years are all taking turns at leading a short warm-up in class, and I’ve been at great pains to encourage them to be inventive, to mix and match exercises they may have learnt elsewhere, to make connections between their voice training and all their other classes and training. And boy, have they responded, with humming while doing squats and star jumps, different emotional sighs, singing rounds (including something from The Hunger Games), and an amazing range of tongue twisters – including “Benedict Cumberbatch”. This morning, a student concluded …