A complex week!

This week is just amazing! I have had the experience of working with both new and experienced actors as a teacher, as a student, and as a fellow performer, and also working with some very experienced narrators for the Queensland Narrating Service (QNS).

For your information, QNS is a volunteer service providing recorded readings for people whose vision is impaired. They are always looking for keen readers to assist, so if you are interested, check out their website: http://www.connectqld.org.au.

Here is some feedback I received from one of the participant/narrators after the last workshop I did with them:

“Advantages I have observed so far:

Increased narration speed: by this I mean the time it takes to narrate correctly on to tape; a decrease in the time taken from a high of 3:1 to 1.5 to 1.

(For one hour of recording would take 3 hours to complete, down to 1.5 hours and less!)

Reading is more interesting to listen to; for me too!

Decrease in pronunciation errors; (mainly due to the cold reading technique.)

Increase in fatigue threshold; I can keep at it longer.

As a spin off, at a public reading I did over the weekend I was able to spend more time observing the audience and was able to engage them more successfully.

So what did we do in the workshop that had such a great effect?

The mini-mini-vocal warm up (for vocal health)

Core Mechanics (for posture)

The “hungry giant” work-out

The cold-read technique (some people call it ‘dropping in’,’eye-balling’ and a host of other names)

That’s it!

I’m telling you this just to reassure you that a little effort goes a long way – and a little bit more will take you even further.




The new Acting Class began this morning, and as I was driving in I was struck by the thought that making connections is such a vital, necessary aspect of our lives.

Think about it!  And there you go, making connections. Signals firing across synapses in your brain, connecting up the neurons?  I’m not sure if those are the right terms, but I do know that is how thinking works, by connections occurring.  It is also how learning happens. From the moment we are born – before, actually – new experiences, and new information comes our way and is processed and made compatible with our view of the world by connecting to something we already know, or understand.  It is added in AND absorbed.  Sometimes it disappears completely inside the old information, and something is lost. Potential, perhaps. Possibilities.  New information that does not change us in some way is wasted.

So, the first Acting Class of the year was pretty exciting.  We shared our fears, and our insecurities with a group of strangers.  We tried some new exercises.  Some of them felt like old exercises, and were nearly lost; some of them felt just too weird and were nearly rejected.  Connections were made with old and familiar experiences, and some new thoughts emerged.  Connections were made with different experiences, and sometimes conflicting thoughts made their presence known.

During the course of the 3 hours, we all made our voices heard, and felt. We touched each other with our hands, and with our sounds.  Connections were made. We have much, MUCH to share, and much room to grow.

Thanks to all the students, who created that room.

I am looking forward to next Sunday with much pleasure and excitement!