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 …

Play=Peace + Voice!

Mary Alice Long, of Play=Peace (based in Seattle) has just interviewed me via Skype for her series Playmatters! We had a great chat about warming up the voice, gurning, learning to know your voice from the inside, and sharing it with the world. Also available here on Vimeo.

Preparing for a Vocal Marathon – Part I

Today I was working on Skype with a new client, who asked me for exercises to help her cope with the challenge of a 28 minute narration (voice over). This is a long time for an untrained voice to sustain colour, flexibility and ease. Small wonder she finds herself stumbling over long words and complex phrases. It is not normal to speak to 28 minutes without rest. This is a vocal marathon. The voice, like any other part of the human anatomy, requires muscles to move it, shape it, colour it, empower it. The voice might take the form of sound waves, invisible to the eye. It might seem to be as easy as breathing – and that’s how we’d …

The Voice, the Whole Voice, and Nothing But the Voice

These days I seem to hear just about everybody in film or TV dramas performing at least 80% of the time “off voice”, speaking in a semi-whisper, or creaking or croaking. I can’t bear it. It’s the fashion, I’m an old fogey, my hearing is Good For My Age, which means not as good as the average 25 year old, so this means most of the time the dialogue is just at the edge of my comprehension. No point turning up the volume. Because the so-called “background” music will just get louder too.. My guess is that the directors think it denotes intensity. They don’t do it in the comedies. Or at least not as much. For me, it denotes …