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Your voice in a new space

Great time this afternoon at the ICAT Manchester showcase at Hope Mill Theatre, a venue well worth checking out if you're in the North. The students really did themselves proud and they had a very good turnout. Those industry types will do anything for a complimentary drinks token. I warmed the students up briefly before the show and it reminded me how important it is to get some time in the performance space pre-show if you can; to give yourself a chance to hear your voice in the space. A few simple exercises playing with sending sound out into the space will really help your volume and clarity:

  • With a gentle bounce in the knees, allow an underarm swing to gather momentum back and forth. Using a lip trill on the back swing, on the forward swing physically throw the sound out into the space by releasing the voice on open vowel sounds. Listen to your voice resonating around you.  

  • Get your scene partner, director, your mum... whoever is there, to pop out into the farthest corner of the auditorium and play your lines to them. Get them to say "pardon" or "I can't hear you?!" if they miss any part of your text and then repeat that line. This will encourage you to slow down and engage with the language again. Always useful when nerves are on the rise pre-show!

  • Work the consonants! They will give clarity to your speech. Pick your favourite tongue twisters and practice them in the performance area. Keep the body free by bouncing at the knees whilst physically patting or flicking the consonants in the air in front of you with your hands. Try to feel like they are pinging off the back wall.

Make some noise. That's the key. Happy voicing!

Note: article from April 2017.