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 …

You’re the Voice! Try and Understand That

Yes, I’m quoting John Farnham. Actually, I’m quoting Chris Thompson, Andy Quanta, Keith Reid and Maggie Ryder   – the people who wrote the lyrics. You’re the voice, try and understand it Make a noise and make it clear Oh-o-o-o, whoa-o-o-o! We’re not gonna sit in silence We’re not gonna live with fear Oh-o-o-o, whoa-o-o-o! (repeat until end of song) (courtesy of LyricsFreak) I was reminded of this, yet again, by a recent discussion on VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers of America) about the way some people can learn an accent (in the USA, this is referred to as dialect), for a role in a play, do it perfectly in rehearsal, but then slip up in performance. Changing the way we …

Voice Alive!

I recently committed myself to take part in a three week intensive, full time clown training course with the fabulous Ira Seidenstein.  Terrified that I might totally exhaust myself, and run out of beans to do anything for the rest of the year, in fact I came out at the end quite invigorated and fired up, ready to take on anything 2012 can throw at me. We worked with Shakespeare’s text, some of it placed in the mouths of actual clowns, some that you might never suspect of being clowns ‘as characters’, but then what is a character?  It’s a person. And if you are the person playing that character, and you happen to be a clown, then way-hey to go! For …

Forum – a place to engage in discussion

My last few posts have elicited quite a few generous responses via email, which I’ve then asked permission to post here on the blog.  To make things easier, I’ve just set up a new page, you will see the link on the navigation row at the top of the blog website or click here “Forum – Join the Discussion”. The aim is to make it easier to respond to posts, and to develop a discussion around the various topics. If it works out, perhaps I will make it the home page. In the meantime, let me direct to over the Forum page, where I have just posted “Shakespeare our Teacher”, a story of serendipity involving last year’s Shakespeare Globe NZ National …