Tag Archives: rehearsal

Change is a-foot

If you have visited the website lately, you will have noticed that the timetable for next term’s Acting Class keeps changing.  Well, it’s about to change again, because I have now been advised by Metro Arts that they have a room for us right through till the end of November.  So, I’m now thinking about whether we will have a break (those who decide to join the Class for both terms) or whether we won’t. In either case, we’ll be having a lot of fun.

I’m off to Seattle next week, then to New York for the VASTA conference, where the main presenters will be Catherine Fitzmaurice, Kristen Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg, with Arthur Lessac giving the Keynote Speech. Can you imagine a richer feast of Voices on Voice?

I will be presenting a performance of The Fall of June Bloom: A Modern Invocation. We (my fellow presenters and I) have been rehearsing online, it’s quite an adventure. Imagine, if you will, being real and imagined in real and virtual space and time, in three different time zones. Up till now it has always been the case that where my colleagues are rehearsing in the afternoon and evening, I am already in tomorrow morning.  But when I get to Seattle, I will be an hour behind John, who is two hours behind Judi and Micha. Weird. It shouldn’t matter. But it does.


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Filed under performance skills training, theatre, voice theory

Preparing a Monologue

Now that you’ve chosen a monologue to work with, here are some thoughts and ideas about how to begin to approach the text.

Start by thinking about, and acknowledging where you want to end up – sounding as if you know what you are talking about – sounding as if you are the character who actually speaks those specific words because they express what the character needs to say at that moment.

Rather than trying to ‘do acting’ at the beginning, begin by getting familiar with the actual words, by taking the time to say those words clearly, honestly and specifically.

I’ve chosen a short passage from Romeo and Juliet, but the same principle applies to contemporary text, to ALL text.


Filed under performance skills training

Hot stuff

Yes, it is indeed hot stuff from where I am sitting right now, with the fan blasting hot air into the hot space around me. 36 degrees Celcius, and rising, according to the weather bureau. But there is one good thing about sitting in an invisible ocean of hot air, and that is the conscious awareness of air as being something all pervasive in our lives. Usually we just take it for granted, never giving it a thought unless something interferes with our own personal supply.

For actors, and singers, that often takes the form of a teacher or trainer asking you to ‘think about your breathing’. Immediately we do so, it all starts to go ‘pear-shaped’. Then the exercises turn into a process of doing consciously what we normally do unconsciously (breathing), only in the unconscious way, rather than the conscious way!

That is where the Fitzmaurice work we touched upon last week is going to come in very handy. It is designed in such a way that we are conscious of breathing, but (eventually) unable, and/or unwilling to interfere with the process, and that allows us to extend the breathing capacity, to fine-tune it for our needs and ultimately to be responsive to the process of thinking/feeling/being/doing which is speaking out loud.

The ‘Russian’ way I introduced you to last week works on similar principles. Do your vocal practice, and you are acting, or performing, however you like to term it. All voice work should be acting work – and vice versa!

I have emailed the first part of the ‘full’ warm up program to class members. I have uploaded it here also, Full Warm Up Program for Performers Part 1 and if anyone would like to contact me for further information, or suggestions for future posts, please do so via the ‘comments’ section.

You will notice there is also a new page, “Warm-ups, exercises, rehearsal and performance preparation”. This is where I will host the links to handouts, as they become available and relevant to the class.

Incidentally, if you haven’t already done so, please use the RSS link to ensure that all Being in Voice blogs are downloaded to your computer as they appear online.


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Filed under voice theory, warm up exercise