Two weeks training in Knight-Thompson Speech and Accents was intense, challenging and unbelievably satisfying. I feel like a newly repotted plant, a bit wobbly above ground, checking out how much room my roots now have to spread out into, and seeing the world from a whole new perspective – albeit one with a familiar quality and a recognisable contour.
The training is deeply practical and intellectually demanding, and I love that combination. It’s all about awareness, in that you must give your full attention to what is actually happening inside your body, how it moves and is moved by your breath, your thoughts, your needs or desires. That, as such, is what I’ve been working on for many years. The difference here, the extension, stretching of the process, is the level of detailed attention to what is actually going on inside the vocal tract in the process of speaking, and WHY!
Knight-Thompson Speechworks is a relatively new player on the block. Dudley Knight, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago, developed this approach over many years, aided by his one time student and long time colleague Phil Thompson. Phil is a remarkable teacher (and actor), deeply insightful and compassionate, with a wealth of experience across disciplines and exceedingly modest. In the world wide community of voice and speech and accent and dialect teachers we have an uncommonly high percentage of warm and generous creative spirits, and Phil exemplifies these qualities in abundance. On this occasion, he shared the teaching with Andrea Caban and Erik Singer, each of whom brought their own unique flavour and experience to the work.
I aim to deepen and extend my understanding and expertise in this particular approach to speech and accents over the coming months and years. With that in mind, I’m offering a free workshop after I return to Brisbane in late September to anyone who would like to experiment with some joyful gurning, phthonging, speaking in Outlandish, Omnish and perhaps even Somenish for a few hours. There may, or may not be phonetics involved. Don’t be scared, I promise to be gentle with you!
Let me know in the comments section below if you are interested, and I will send you details as the time draws nearer.
ps – I’ve also come away with lots of ideas for more voice training Apps!