April 2017 - investigating 53two
Since moving back to Manchester a few years ago I've been trying to investigate all the new theatre goings-on. There are some great new theatre spaces and collectives up here breathing new life into theatre in the North. I was asked along to 53two this month to run some voice workshops for the Italia Conti auditionees and was delighted to have a wee nosy. What a great space! They have little space called '53', a larger space called 'Two', a bar (THE most important bit...obvs) and a brilliant program of work coming up. Last night I popped along with my @vosocial north partner Leah to catch The Significant Other festival, a selection of 10 x 10 minute plays created by The Pensive Federation, which is on all week I think. Some lovely new writing and strong performances. Highly recommended. Get yourself down there. Talk nicely to the bar man. Watch some theatre. Delightful.
What else is happening? Oh yes, I'll be yabbering away on a panel at an event by The Voice Over Network, VON Goes North, on 5th May. So if you're interested in what's going on up here in the VO world, get yourself along.
And stay tuned for news of a monthly voice workout session I'm setting up in Manchester, for all you people who want to keep your voices in check on a regular basis. Details to follow soon.
Peace out voice gang.
April 2017- 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 turn out. 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 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 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!
March 2017-Animation voice actor at your service
This weekend was all about animation. My new animation demo has arrived, thank you Kirsty of Sounds Wilde. I also took myself over to Animation Dingle, which is an international festival specifically for those in the animation industry, in the West of Ireland. There were panels from broadcasting channels, discussions with animation artists, writers and creators on ideas and new technologies as well as inspiring key note talks from Russell Hicks (Spongebob Square Pants, Powderpuff Girls, Scooby Do) and Dean Debois (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon). I was also luckily enough to attend a workshop with Ed Hooks on Acting for Animations which gave a fascinating insight into the importance of the animators themselves understanding the acting process when creating and animating their characters. There may also have been a bit of Guinness drunk...in the name of networking. All in all a great weekend learning lots about the process of pitching, creating and making animated projects.
JANUARY 2017 - NEW TEAM MEMBER, new little voice
So I made a baby. Which was exciting. He is called George and he'll be available for voice over work as soon as he begins to make noise. We are rather pleased with him. Anyway, after a few months of 'mum-ing' I'm back in the booth recording and back in the room coaching. Delighted to have joined the team at ICAT in Manchester, as their voice coach. They've welcomed me and my new mum yawns with open arms and voices. I'm also back at LIPA coaching accents with the 2nd years and running various workshops for The Actors' Lab in Media City. So all in all, it's quite a hectic return! I'm still taking on 1-2-1 clients so if your New Years Resolution is to pimp your accent and voice skills, drop me a line.
MAY 2016 - BACK IN THE REHEARSAL ROOM
After a busy year coaching 1st year voice at LIPA, I've been back in the rehearsal room giving voice and accent support to the cast of Opera for the Unknown Woman, in association with Melanie Wilson and Fuel Theatre. A great team of cast and creatives - it is shaping up to be a brilliant production! Opening in Coventry on 26th May and touring through Cardiff, London and Huddersfield.
APRIL 2016 - HELLO SHEFFIELD!
I've been delighted to cross the boarder from Lancashire into Yorkshire and bring bespoke voice training workshops to the people of Sheffield this month. With a good old 'Back to Basics' voice session for both Carney Academy and StandBy Method Acting Studio, I was able to give advice and support on getting the voice performance ready to some brilliantly talented performers. Here's to more spreading of the voice gospel across the North of England soon.
JANUARY 2016 - VO SOCIAL NORTH HAS LANDED!
Now that it has made it past the inaugural meet up, I'm delighted to announce the creation of VO Social North. My self and fellow Manchester based VO Leah Marks have wrangled together a diverse group of voice over talent from across the North of England for social shenanigans. We talk all things voice, share stories, give advice and do lots of celebrating, and a bit of moaning, about our industry. It's becoming a great resource and source of support for voice folk up here and long may it continue. If you're reading this and want to get out of your booth and into the pub/Chinese with us, then get in touch!
DECEMBER 2015 - JOINING THE RANKS OF THE ACTOR'S LAB
Delighted to be on the team of The Actors' Lab as their Voice Coach. I'll be running various voice classes and one off workshops at their studios in Media City (ooh posh...), Wilmslow and Liverpool. If you're interested in what they do, check them out here.
AUGUST 2015 - WELCOME TO TIDDLEMINSTER
It was back to Edinburgh this August where I provided voices for lots of characters in the 5* Welcome to Tiddleminster, an "an absolutely inspired hour of comedy" written by Chris Cantrill, You can read the review here, and keep an eye out for Tiddleminster in a town near you soon... Maybe.