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 …

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 …

and the news is…

I am delighted to announce that I am now a Certified Knight Thompson Speechwork Teacher. The three-week course in New York last month was intense, challenging, stimulating and deeply satisfying, and I cannot wait to share this beautiful work with you. What I love about this particular approach to teaching clear speech and accents, is that a) it empowers the student: you don’t just learn a certain accent, you learn HOW to learn any accent (and you can learn specific accents too!) b) it is grounded in the body: you are the voice, your whole body takes part in the process of self-expression through language; how you speak is part of this process c) it takes an intelligent, informed approach to culture, …