talking tips #3

Just wanted to put these out here for you to look at.

See what you think! Maybe drop me a line (below). Meanwhile, I’m off for a bit of a yarny faff . . . 🧶

❣️ ❤️ ❣️

Here are a couple of books and a couple of exercise programs I’ve found beneficial, and thought you might enjoy knowing about, too. Truth be told, I could do with using those exercise programs more. 🥴 All are TNT (tried & true, to use the online sewing community’s terminology.)

The Actor Speaks: Voice and the performer; Patsy Rodenburg. My copy is UK, Methuen Drama Series; ISBN 0-413-70030-5; Forward by Dame Judi Dench.

  • Ms. Roderburg’s website is here.*
  • Watch and listen to her here (6 min.), and here (10 min.).
  • An excellent NPR interview (from 2002; 29 min.) is here.

The Use and Training of the Human Voice: A practical approach to speech and voice dynamics; Arthur Lessac, 2nd edition, 1967; Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain View, CA.; ISBN 0-87484-845-8.

This has great illustrations of consonant use being similar to orchestral instruments, the facial shapes for better diction, and physical exercises to relax specific body tensions. There are also videos on the Lessac Institute site.

The Royal Institute’s 2017 Christmas Lectures started with a wonderful program of sound in animals and humans (60 min.),  “Say it with sound.”

My outline of the program is here.

Callanetics by Callan Pinckney is an exercise program that combines yoga and ballet. It gently trains core muscles and is particularly good for those with back problems. The exercises also help actors and singers with their breath and support work. The program isn’t high impact and can be modified so people of any age can benefit. Note: I remember some sort of controversy when Pinckney sold the company, so be sure to get the original Pinckney teaching.

Flex Effect is a program of exercises specifically targeting the face and neck. If anyone seems to be speaking/singing lower as they mature they should try the Short Program’s Cheek Press exercises. I use the Tongue Press exercise with singers and actors to relax tongue and jaw tensions. Works a treat!

I am not affiliated in any way with any of these programs; they’ve dropped into my experience through the years, I’ve used them myself and with students, and they work.

(If you’re intrigued, Talking Tips #1 is here, and #2 here.)

*Links updated February 2021 to reflect current health guidelines.

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