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, …

App on Sale

I’m in a holiday mood today, so I’m putting the Being in Voice warm up app [CLICK HERE] on sale for the rest of the month. US$2.99       AU$3.79         GBP 1.99 etc… The app is still getting great feedback – wherever I travel I run into friends and colleagues who use it, and who recommend it to their students and clients. If you already have it, and haven’t yet rated it in the App Store, I would love to know what you think. The Android version is still under development. The brand new app, “Grow Your Voice”, is awaiting a major injection of funds to get it going. However, here is a sneak peek at …

Moving on Again!

Knight-Thompson Speechworks training was Intense, with an intentional Capital I. Three weeks of immersion in the mechanics of speech and accents was thrilling, exhausting and deeply satisfying.  I was surrounded by enormously talented individuals, all with unique styles of delivery when it comes to teaching and coaching, so there was as much to learn from my fellow students as there was from the teachers. I also managed to fit in private coaching sessions with Joan Melton (One Voice), and Marya Lowry.  Boy oh boy did my voice get a workout to die for!!! I am now moving on to stay with friends in New Jersey for the next three weeks, where I will be head down-tail up writing and rehearsing, …

Enter the Nurse

I am in the delightful position right now of playing one of Shakespeare’s great roles, the nurse in Romeo & Juliet.  Strictly speaking, I’m probably too old for her. After all, she had a baby the same age as Juliet, just under fourteen years ago, and my child-bearing years ended quite some time before that. But that’s the beauty of theatre, it’s all about illusion, perception, and expectation. I make no effort to create the illusion that I am younger than I am (apart from using a very expensive foundation that was a birthday gift!): I aim to create the illusion that I work for the Capulet family as Juliet’s chief care-giver, and trust that the audience will perceive me as …