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 …

The Long Term Voice

Whether you are a performer, a teacher, a sales executive or a spruiker you are an elite vocal athlete and your whole self – body-heart-mind – is the vocal instrument. I encourage everyone, at every level, to warm up the voice for a minimum of three minutes a day paying attention to posture, breath and sound. While a few minutes of regular loving attention to your voice keeps the larynx fit and agile, extending those minutes into a session of physically active, mentally focussed training practice builds the necessary muscle tone and creative power to prepare you for a lengthy season of rehearsals, performances or presentations, without undue stress or strain. Being in Voice Warm Up App is available in …

Covering All the Bases: 5 Essentials Elements of Warming Up

It’s pretty much known that I am a warm up freak. I love warming up.  I love finding new ways of warming up. I love getting other people to warm up, hence the development of the Being in Voice smartphone app. I have certain exercises that I use, from time to time, but really it’s important to warm up with exercises that fit the circumstances.  What works for you warming up at home by yourself for an audition might not work for a group warming up for an ensemble production. What works with one group might not work with another group.  It is important – nay essential! – to find a consensus within the group, so that everybody gets to own …

Warming up for an Execution

I have the great honour of being, temporarily, part of an ensemble theatre company for a pretty special production. “Mary Stuart” was written by the German poet, playwright and philosopher Friedrich Schiller around 1803, and while it is considered part of German classic theatre, it is rarely performed in English. Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble have chosen to present this play with a very specific, brief rehearsal schedule. Two rehearsals a week, over three weeks, followed by 2 techs, and then four performances.  This is something you can only do (well!) when you work with a team who have developed a shared vocabulary, shared ideology and shared aesthetic. In this case, the entire company apart from myself have been working together for …

Adventures in Voice

Today is my last day in the US.  It’s been quite a trip, and though I will miss my family, and my friends over here, I’ll be glad to get back to Brisbane and settle down for a few months. The Knight-Thompson Speech and Accent training was so rich and full, I need time to process it, and practise at integrating it into my own work, both teaching and performing.  I’m very keen to try it out with colleagues, so if you would like to join me for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon sometime soon, I’d be delighted to share my progress with you.  Don’t be put off by the technical looking diagram at the side here, it’s …