Tag Archives: sound

“Deep Voice” is coming to The Acting Class

Just back from my trip to the States, I managed to sleep from 8 pm till 3.30 am, so here I am…

And I am inspired!  So much rich inspiration at the VASTA Conference in New York, catching up with the work of Kristen Linklater, Catherine Fitzmaurice and Patsy Rodenburg,(in workshops) and Arthur Lessac (4 weeks short of his 100th birthday) gave a totally wonderful, political and joyous Keynote speech. He actually danced down the aisle to receive his Lifetime Honorary Member plaque!

I collected my copy of the latest Voice and Speech Review, dedicated to “The Moving Voice”, and an article by Marya Lowry has reminded me just how far our voices will take us, inwards and outwardly, if we allow them the space and size of our imaginations. So –

Not only will be working on our Archetypal qualities, physical and vocal, but they will be HUGE. We will be playing with some of the lamentation work I did with Marya six years ago, Frankie Armstrong’s Voices of the Archetypes and the Roy Hart work I have done with many wonderful teachers and performers over the years.  There will be much laughter, and many adventurous explorations.

And in a day or two I will report on the performance of The Fall of June Bloom which I gave at the conference with my amazing co-actors, John Graham and Micha Espinosa.  Suffice it to say, for now, that it was very well received…

See you Sunday week!

June Bloom at VASTA

June Bloom at VASTA

Jerome (John Graham) and June (Flloyd Kennedy)Jerome (John Graham) and June (Flloyd Kennedy)
watching Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

watching Shakespeare in the Parking Lot


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Filed under performance skills training, techniques and exercises, theatre, voice training, workshop

Catching Up

You’ll be pleased to know that the Handouts page now contains fully working links to all the handouts!

Just a reminder, class continues until – and including – 15th June.

The new class begins on 13th July, and runs for 8 sessions.

For those of you who couldn’t make it today, we discovered a new variation warming up the voice-in-the-body exercise:

After thoroughly warming up via Core Mechanics and the full-body stretches and floor work, plus a bit of Fitzmaurice scrunching and tremoring on the floor, we worked with the image of the centre filling with sound from the well of sighs. The centre encompassed that part of the body nestling between pelvis and diaphragm, and between the small of the back leaning into the floor and the top of the belly – a lovely large area to play with, and to fill with sound. When full, we let the sound flood downwards, but actually flowing upwards through the thighs, through the knees and then down through the lower legs into the feet, and thence into the floor. With the lower part of the body now full to squishing with sound, we rolled and turned and made our way to standing. Once standing, feeling the weight of the fully sounding lower body pressing into the floor, we let the sound flood upwards through the rest of the body and down the arms.

Next, we opened out to each other from our centres, and shared the ‘mmmaaaa’ sounds with each other, noticing the giving and the receiving of sound. We used the 4, 8 pattern thus:

Mmmaaaaaa mmmaaaaaa mmmmaaaaaaaa mmmmmaaaaaa

ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma

nnnnnaaaaa nnnnnaaaaaa nnnnnaaaaaaaaa nnnnnaaaaaaaaaa

na na na na na na na na

rrrrraaaaaaa rrrrraaaaaaaaa rrrrraaaaaaaaaa rrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaa

ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra

ssssssssss ssssssssssss ssssssssssssss sssssssssssssssss

ss ss ss ss ss ss ss ss

shshshshsh shshshshshsh shshshshshsh shshshshshshshsh

sh sh sh sh sh sh sh sh


Then we turned it into a version using





We worked with the notion of giving specifically to one, or to another, sometimes one sequence of sounds, sometimes a group of sounds to the same person, trying to catch ourselves losing energy, or focus in between, and noticing how much more fun it was to keep the energy up between each section, to always have somewhere to put it.

We also worked some more with Practical Aesthetics, and clarified the difference between those aspects which are relevant to the character, and those which are relevant to the actor.

To put it briefly: The literal translation of the moments, the literal sentence describing the beat, and the want, are all about the character. The want should give you some ideas for Actions, but the Actions and the As If’s are to do with you, the actor, the person who happens to be playing the role. But they are NOT derived from, or interpreting, or playing with the scene.

The Character wants something from the other character/s.

This is like getting someone to do x

Getting someone to do x is

As if I were getting someone specific in my life to do some specific thing in real life, which hasn’t happened yet, but could, and it excites me to think I could actually get them to do it, so I am going to GET them to do it.

Playing with the As If is NOT playing the scene.

If you can learn to trust the process to this stage, you are ready to discover what happens in the scene, but before this discovery can happen, you must let go of trying to play the scene. Instead, you play your As If, and the scene plays itself.

Too Easy! (Joking…) Actually, it is easy, or at least easier than you think. As Mara discovered, it’s not multi-tasking at all, it’s doing one thing at a time, i.e. going for your cap.

N.B. I did not say ‘getting your cap’, I said ‘going for your cap’.

Compare this with working with Archetypes. You manifest Archetype qualities, knowing that you will never, ever ‘be’ the Archetype. You play with the qualities in your body, you let the qualities play you. You stay clearly focussed on the Archetype, knowing that you will touch upon it, and then lose it, and then aim for it again, and again, and again….

See you Sunday


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Filed under performance skills training, voice theory, warm up exercise