Voice training for actors and performers

voice-lessons-actors

The essential task of every actor or art performer is to express deep thoughts, emotions and created atmosphere using vocal skills, body movement and language and spoken narrative. Body and voice have to coordinate perfectly, but the voice has to picture the story of a given text or scenario. Thus, the powerful influence of vocal capabilities is far more important than some performers see it. Also, your voice is not finally determined by its natural form and traits; it can be trained and modified successfully. Another thing you can train is your capability and skill to control your voice and modify it according to the current needs. Every actor or art performer is advised to take vocal lessons and voice exercises regularly to improve his performance. Here are just some of the exercises you may try, but the best is to work with a professional voice trainer.

It all starts with proper breathing

Perhaps the best way to start exercising your vocal skills is to study a bit anatomy and natural mechanism of voice production. Once you get familiar with this, you will understand that the whole process starts and depends on the proper breathing (or contraction of the diaphragm and costal muscles). Series of specific exercises are designed to help you keep neck, shoulders, jaw and stomach muscles relaxed, as well as to maintain complete control over the muscles contractions to control air flow.

Hold your adequate posture

woman guitarThis might sound a bit banal, but in fact, proper posture is essential for adequate air flow and muscle coordination while producing voice of various intensities and levels. Remaining proper posture while performing at the stage is an even harder task. Thus, there are specific exercises to help you keep your spine straight, but relaxed and your head crown parallel to the ceiling while looking straight forward.

Various routine exercises

There are exercises for each region of the body important for proper voice production. Thus, you may try to press your tong against your teeth while producing vocals with your mouth closed. Try bending your body forward, shaking hands and producing vowels while shaking and raising until you are standing straight up. Shout vowels across the room are trying to adjust your voice, so it reaches all areas of the room powerfully. Use some of these routines to get prepared and book yourself regular lessons with professional voice trainer.

Vocal lessons are not only for singers

By James Walker / October 3, 2017
vocal-lessons

When thinking about acting in movies or at the stage in theatres, most people enhance the importance of truly understanding the role you are up to perform, profiling it precisely, trying to express it vividly and convincingly. Focusing on proper characterization, body movement and body language and adequate performance of the script and scenario surely is important, but way too many people neglect the importance of the voice and vocalization itself. Whether you are a theatre actor, musical actor, singer or performer, aiming Broadway or staying satisfied with your successful local career, training your voice will help you improve your artistic performance in so many ways. Voice exercising, vocal lessons or singing classes are not reserved for singer only.

Namely, the voice is our natural instrument and a powerful weapon when performing in front of the audience in any form. If you are not a true natural talent for singing, this doesn’t have to impose any limitations onto your artistic career, because you can train your vocal skills at least to the point of being truly competent. This will instantly open you up for many more potential roles and casts, including musicals and all the roles requiring singing at some point.

Mastering your voice and improving your vocal capacity and skills will boost your self-confidence at the stage and make your performances more powerful and outstanding.

singVocal lessons are not only designed to teach you singing. Learning specific skills and tricks on how to modify and control your tone and a level of voice intensity will help you achieve more convincing performances in every role where your voice has to sound powerful, dominant and authoritative. Vocal lessons will teach you vocal hygiene that will protect your vocal chords and increase the strength of your voice.

Vocal lessons will train you to combine your chest voice with higher pitches and upper mixes, as well as to make your chest voice sound more like singing and expand your overall vocal range. The only important thing is to work with a professional vocal trainer. Personal exercises and DIY lessons might prepare you a bit, but you will need experienced and educated guiding to achieve obvious, high quality and fast results.

Three ‘must see’ performances in NYC theatre

By James Walker / October 3, 2017
must-see

One of the Broadway classics and probably the longest-running show in this theatre history is multiple times awarded musical “The Phantom of the Opera.” This masterpiece performed by exquisite talents, combined with captivating costumes and stage design will impress you on so many levels. The mere story based on the gothic novel written by Gaston Leroux is quite of an experience itself, but when performed with intensive emotional expression and visual effects the way this theatre performs it, it is a truly unique experience. Beautifully sang love story of Phantom in Paris had impressed millions worldwide so far, and it remains one of the classic pieces you must see when visiting NYC theatre.

phantom

 

“The Lion King” is another ‘must see’ if you wish to enjoy impressive visual experience accompanied with a heartwarming story and award-winning performance. Although “The Lion King” is essentially Disney classic, children and adults equally enjoy this stage adaptation with impressive costumes and memorable songs. Minskoff theater in NYC has its standard team performing this show, and the ticket is usually sold long before the performance. The inspiring, emotional story of friendship and true values in life is alive and reflected by the group of great and truly talented actors and performers at the captivating stage design.

Provoking, amusing, charming and inspiring musical “Chicago” is the experience you have to afford to yourself when in NYC on Broadway. Bob Fosse and his spiced with exotic choreographies, combined with powerful performances and vocals of leading actors of NYC theatre guarantee a memorable experience and a great evening time. The unique performance of famous “All that jazz” is a true manifestation of vocal superiority and superb acting, and the mere story is intriguing as well. Modern art music has got its exquisite form in this show proving that directors can play at the edge of burlesque and still keep it classy and stylish.

Past concerts and performances

By James Walker / October 3, 2017
past-concerts

Our first concert, in November 2005, paired masses by Josquin and Isaac based on the chanson Une mousse de Biscaye. In April 2006 we performed Lamentations by Lassus; the St. John Passion by his best student, Leonhard Lechner; Holy Week motets by Victoria; and Lotti’s 8-voice Crucifixus.  In October 2006 we presented some of Heinrich Isaac’s greatest work, including motets for his two most important patrons, Lorenzo de Medici and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. In December, we performed two concerts of Christmas music centered around Josquin’s motet Praeter rerum seriem, and works inspired by it: Rore’s 7-voice mass, and a Magnificat by Lassus.

We presented “War and Peace,” in May 2007 in NYC, then at the Boston Early Music Festival in June. It featured works by Josquin, La Rue, and Ramsey based on the biblical quote “How the mighty are fallen”; Janequin’s La Guerre and a chanson celebrating peace; several versions of Da Pacem; settings by Isaac and Palestrina of the liturgy for the Votive Mass for Peace, and J.S. Bach’s ‘motet’ “Es war ein Wunderlich Krieg” from the middle of his Cantata #4.

In March 2008, we presented Renaissance settings of Salve Regina by OBRECHT, MARTINI, MORALES, & VICTORIA–interspersed with other Marian motets by OCKEGHEM.

nyc theaterSince the beginning of 2011, our vocal studio has expanded the field of interest and work and has begun close interaction with NYC music theatre. At the same time, we started to work as co-directors and group vocal trainers for NYC theatre performers and actors and kept performing on our own. Intensive performance training resulted in altogether directed and performed Broadway performance, where major roles were given to NYC standards actors and performers, but a master group of singers training in our studio took part as well. “Madam Butterfly” was a mutual project that was slight jumping out of our standards performances, but it fit perfectly into NYC theatre schedule at that moment. Combined mutual talents, techniques, and styles resulted in hugely praised performance that inspired our team to try even more modern art music pieces and performances. Another significant turn we’ve taken towards more modern art music pieces was the recent performance of “Hair” our singers created together with a group of young students of art music and theatre performance in NY Academy. Choral music and performing of classic pieces remain our dominant field of interest, but the vocal studio is expanding activities towards modern experiments and more alternative forms of art music.