The Magic of Omnish

We are halfway through my final term of teaching voice in my current position, and this morning I had one of those magical moments that make teaching acting students so special. Our first years are all taking turns at leading a short warm-up in class, and I’ve been at great pains to encourage them to be inventive, to mix and match exercises they may have learnt elsewhere, to make connections between their voice training and all their other classes and training. And boy, have they responded, with humming while doing squats and star jumps, different emotional sighs, singing rounds (including something from The Hunger Games), and an amazing range of tongue twisters – including “Benedict Cumberbatch”. This morning, a student concluded …

How to Acquire an Accent

Accents – believe it or not – are not easy.  Let’s face it, if you’ve spent 20, 30, 40 years using your head and facial muscles and your tongue to speak words in a particular way, and tuning your voice to go up and down in pitch the way your friends and family do, it is going to take some degree of effort to retrain your ears and those muscles to do it differently on demand. Dudley Knight and Phil Thompson have been working for many years to study the challenges of “Speaking With Skill” (Dudley’s book is a Goldmine). They devised a training methodology that integrates beautifully and effortlessly with any voice training system you care to name. Last year I attended the KTS …

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, …

Knight-Thompson Speechworks Rocks My World

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 …