Voice & Speech
Voice and Speech Class
Have you experienced one or more of the following:
People can’t hear you on stage – your voice has no power
You get emotional and your voice closes or pitches up
You have trouble connecting emotionally to material
Your stomach tightens right before you perform and you can’t breathe
Your voice is breathy – throaty – weak or high pitched
If you are truly interested in acting professionally, you must have an emotionally connected, fully expressive voice
This class is designed to teach you a series of exercises that relax the areas where you hold stress, both physically and emotionally, while strengthening the parts of your voice that are weak in order to create a clear channels for breath, emotion, and voice.
· The exercises build upon one another from the bottom of your speaking range to the top, giving you a vocal warm-up that you will use the rest of your career.
· You will work on acting material in order to learn how to make someone else’s words your own. You will also work on scenes and monologues from your acting classes and any auditions you may have, identifying and correcting any vocal problems.
Level One : In Vocal Integration I, we begin by learning first to observe the breath, the body and the voice. With this increased awareness, you will be able to identify your own personal “habits” – the learned inhibitions that limit your freedom as an actor. As we work together, you will learn a series of exercises to release tension, to center the body, increase your articulation and resonance, and connect your breath to your emotional center. These exercises have a natural progression, each building on the one before it. At the end of the 6-week session, you will have a foundation in basic vocal training. You will also have a series of exercises that, once they have become familiar to you, can be performed in about 15 minutes. Practiced daily, they can have a profound impact on your instrument and your work as an actor. They are also ideal as a warm-ups for performances and auditions. Each week, you will be sent a summary of the work we have done in class.
Level Two : In Vocal Integration II, builds on the foundation of Level One and works to more fully integrate voice training into your acting process. You will apply the vocal techniques to text in the form of monologues. In Level Two you will work to answer the questions: “How does your imaginative response to a character find life and expression in the body and, by natural extension, in the voice? How does a physical ‘center’ affect vocal production? What is a psychological gesture, and in what ways can it affect the breath and voice?”
Each class will begin with the vocal workout learned in Level One. In this way we will continue to develop and strengthen the voice and its connection to your inner life. Then, using exercises based on the Alexander Technique, Moni Yakim, Jacques LeCoq, and others, we will explore the power of the voice to reveal the inner life of the characters you play. Our goal is to coordinate the use of your body, breath, voice and imagination in a way that frees your creativity and expands your range as an actor.
For this class, you will need two monologues: one from a role in which you would easily be cast, and one from a role significantly different from you and with a very different vocal quality (as a result of differences in age, gender, physicality, accent, social class, etc.)
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