Preparing for a Vocal Marathon – Part I

Today I was working on Skype with a new client, who asked me for exercises to help her cope with the challenge of a 28 minute narration (voice over). This is a long time for an untrained voice to sustain colour, flexibility and ease. Small wonder she finds herself stumbling over long words and complex phrases. It is not normal to speak to 28 minutes without rest. This is a vocal marathon. The voice, like any other part of the human anatomy, requires muscles to move it, shape it, colour it, empower it. The voice might take the form of sound waves, invisible to the eye. It might seem to be as easy as breathing – and that’s how we’d …

The Voice, the Whole Voice, and Nothing But the Voice

These days I seem to hear just about everybody in film or TV dramas performing at least 80% of the time “off voice”, speaking in a semi-whisper, or creaking or croaking. I can’t bear it. It’s the fashion, I’m an old fogey, my hearing is Good For My Age, which means not as good as the average 25 year old, so this means most of the time the dialogue is just at the edge of my comprehension. No point turning up the volume. Because the so-called “background” music will just get louder too.. My guess is that the directors think it denotes intensity. They don’t do it in the comedies. Or at least not as much. For me, it denotes …

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 …

To Pic or to Stick, that is the question.

Here is the latest review to pop on iTunes for the Being in Voice warmup app: Fantastic, well explained, fun to use ★★★★ by superhevs – Version 1.03 – Jul 27, 2013 My partner and I went through the mini vocal warm up together while making breakfast. It certainly relaxed us both, noticeably improved our voices and made us laugh. If there is one thing I would suggest to improve the app, it would be visual references. Having an illustration or photo to check against as you complete the exercises would be helpful especially if the user is new to these sort of exercises.The Capital Yoga apps I feel have achieved this well and maybe a useful reference. I love …

My Jaw Loves Me – so Why Not Love It Back?

Last week, I suggested that there are 5 things you need to know before you can learn to relax your jaw. 1 – Your jaw is your best friend; 2 – Your jaw will protect you to the death; 3 – Your jaw is a workaholic; 4 – Your jaw will not voluntarily take a holiday; 5 – Your jaw will love you even more when you manage to convince it that you can manage without it from time to time. Your jaw is your best friend. It has been looking after you with great care all your life.  It has taken responsibility for protecting you from the outside world, and it is very, very good at it. Watch any newborn baby expressing itself. …