Clarity of Thought and how to get it

I once wrote a poem about trying to write a poem. It goes like this: It’s never enough The words inside my head Scrambling for freedom It’s never enough The space between the words Inviting interference. It’s not enough To know, to have, to feel. There must be Space Outside my head A clear perceptive silence Room to manoeuvre. Then I decided to include this poem in a play about an actor who was also a poet. It became a shared moment between the actor and her grandson, a way for him to demonstratte to her that he had read her work. But as soon as we (I played the actor) began rehearsing the scene, I realised that it was …

Fresh Voice! The Acting Class 2012

The next block of voice and acting classes will take place on Sunday mornings, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.  7th October – 25th November The Voice Class integrates pure voicework with physicality, creative expression and performance technique. The Voice Class works with the movement of breath in the moving body, to facilitate passionate, nuanced, intelligent self-expression and communication. The overall objective is BEING consistently and totally present IN the act of sounding the VOICE. Join us for seven  three hour sessions, exploring your vocal potential with and without text. Contemporary and classic texts. “How wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul!” Longfellow Pure voice, vocal maintenance, storytelling, public speaking, audition monologues, text analysis Cost: 7 (3 hour) sessions: …

Doing it anyway, in the face of fear

Just watched a very disturbing Ted Talk, in which the speaker proposes that if we all lose our fear of failure we can change the world – and that’s all you have to do. She’s speaking from the position of working with one of the world’s best funded Defence research institutions, where the failure concerned doesn’t seem to have any personal consequences other than the odd night of disturbed sleep. As for the rest of us, especially performers, fear of failure generally involves more than that. First and foremost there is the fear of looking like an idiot in front of an audience. There’s the financial cost, the time and energy lost as well as the disappointment that can be …

The Ending is just the Beginning

My thanks to The Living End for the headline above. I adore their latest cd, it keeps me bopping in the car (when I’m not listening to podcasts from the BBC World Service). So, The Voice Class 2012 Term 1 has concluded.  This was quite a stunningly eclectic class, with students from very different walks of life, and different directions for their vocal needs.  Live theatre, voice overs, seminar presentation and choral singing – our common ground the unique and wonderful voice of each individual. Preparation are now in hand for Term 2, which begins on April 16th.  As I explained to the students last night, we will return to basic principles, the foundational work for developing and caring for …

It’s hard work, so it had better be fun

The Voice Class has just passed the half-way mark.  We’ve established the basic principles of good posture, self-awareness as against self-consciousness, the physics of sound and the relationship between breath and voice.  We’ve learned the mini-vocal warmup, and begun the process of expanding it into the vocal maintenance program. A week ago, I introduced the students to my full vocal warmup, the one that was originally developed in Scotland by the members of the Golden Age Theatre ensemble. And we really were an ensemble, sharing ideas, energies, skills, experience to make theatre together.  The warm up began as a purely physical warmup, but I have developed it over the years to be a total, all-in-one program that serves as training …