DIALECT TRAINING FOR ACTORS
I love working with actors and have been responsible for assisting some of the biggest names in the industry. Having trained as an actor, I understand the need to work with sensitivity, listen intently and guide without judgement to encourage the student not only to feel the sounds of the accent but find the voice of the character.
I prepare actors for a role, be this for a last minute casting or for general skill enhancement so they are ready when that audition or self tape needs preparation.
I offer one to one sessions and group workshops as well as online coaching via Skype, Zoom or FaceTime for those requiring long distance coaching or last minute emergency sessions.
I have extensive experience teaching UK and international dialects, but most frequently hold workshops preparing actors for General American and Received Pronunciation (or the contemporary ‘neutral/ standard English’ accent which casting directors may ask for) which still tend to be the most frequently requested accents for actors.
I have taught accents in English language from Australian to Xhosa, covering all accents including AAE dialects such as Miami and South Carolina; and co-created an entirely new dialect for Fox / Imagine TV pilot Clan of The Cavebear, so no accent is too obscure or unreachable. I have worked with a full cast of non native English speakers, softening accents for international audiences in Vienna Blood.
I work with your own natural voice and will always find suitable examples of appropriate voice models for your reference and work to inhabit an entirely natural and free sound.
I am happy to work on your script, but always want your accent to be unrestricted and flexible, and remind actors that film and TV scripts are very likely to change continuously. This is why I encourage clients to work through exercises for each accent which I will provide you with at each session.
ACCENT SOFTENING FOR ACTORS AND NON ACTORS
My accent softening courses are for individuals who wish to modify their accent for both personal and professional reasons. Most often this suits non-native English speakers, but is by no means exclusively for those individuals.
Perhaps you feel you are not always understood, your clarity could be sharper when communicating, or you lack confidence expressing yourself, then this is the course for you. I will provide you with a comprehensive, step-by-step plan to gain a natural and flexible pronunciation of English.
Working privately or in small groups, you’ll focus on the vowel and consonant sounds of Received Pronunciation (RP); or standard North American English if this is preferable to you.
This is achieved by rigorous articulation exercises designed to strengthen your speech muscles; practical workshops and guidance on the placement of the accent including your tongue and mouth positions; a detailed breakdown of the sounds of the target accent with numerous sound specific exercises to tone your muscle memory; constant feedback on your speech and accent habits and guidance of how to improve.
We work through melody, intonation, stress and you will be provided with audio accompaniments.
VOICE TRAINING FOR ACTORS AND NON ACTORS
Lacking vocal confidence? Maybe you suffer from shyness, so your voice can feel withdrawn or quiet; or maybe you feel intimidated or nervous speaking in front of large groups. Perhaps you need to present a speech for work or university or even for a wedding, I will help you speak with confidence, power and authority.
My voice training for actors and non actors courses are designed for professionals and students who feel their voice for performance could improve. Perhaps there is a struggle with breath support, projection, clarity or with your vocal expression and delivery. I help rectify barriers in speech to achieve full vocal potential. By the end of the course clients will be able to speak with clarity and perform with impact; manage nerves and control their breath support; and speak with projection and authority.
The foundation of these courses is rooted in the principles and practices of healthy vocal use, working on the foundations of actor voice training and focus on these key areas:
- Register– I assess the register of your voice and give you exercises to access a powerful, authoritative register.
- Timbre – where your voice resonates and how to achieve a more engaging, rich quality of your voice.
- Prosody – adapting the tone, intonation and rhythm of your voice, to become clear and carry impact.
- Pace – when to get faster and slow down to add intrigue and excitement.
- Silence – a powerful tool for comprehension, for emphasis, reflection and humour.
- Volume – how to increase or decrease your volume and projection for the most effective communication.
I work on relaxation, using meditative breathing techniques and alleviate any vocal strain or specific vocal obstacles which need addressing.
PUBLIC SPEAKING / STORYTELLING
I offer a practical program to help individuals and groups reflect on how you’ve been presenting yourself and what has been holding you back, whilst providing exercises to achieve executive presence, impact and influence.
When you need to perform in a business context, you may have all the technical competence, but I will help give you the tools to deliver your message.
Public Speakers need to be good storytellers. Just as actors discover and experiment through rehearsal, participants are encouraged to play and rehearse. If you need to influence your team or sell an idea, the way of doing that most successfully is to tell a story and let clients buy into your vision. When delivering a speech or presentation, you will need to now how to prepare, both technically and emotionally. Maybe you want your audience to feel confident about your ability to lead or stand out. Maybe you want them to notice a particular personal quality such as poise under pressure or creativity. Or maybe it’s important for them to feel especially moved or motivated by your message. More than half of what others perceive in your speech comes not from the words you use, but from the delivery.
These courses cover:
- How to warm up and open your speech or presentation.
- How to prepare yourself mentally
- Meditation and breath control
- Building rapport with your audience
- Variation and expressiveness in Volume, Pitch, Tone and Pace to increase empathy and trust
- Use of visual aids and props
- How to deliver a Q&A
- How to connect with your audience and identify the audience persona
- Eliminate verbal ticks /crutch and filler words
DRAMA AND ACTING TECHNIQUES FOR CONFIDENCE AND INTERVIEW SKILLS FOR CHILDREN
I have had extensive experience working with children and have designed programs with psychologically impactful exercises to improve confidence through drama and imaginative creativity. I have coordinated a course for helping children with interview techniques for the 11+ exam and how to use their creativity in other subjects in school where they may feel under pressure.
My research has found several key issues: how to make school more enjoyable, how to provide learning environments where different talents are recognised and valued, how to make storytelling and imagination thrive in children, and how to encourage and promote creativity.
I have also prepared children and teenagers or auditions, helped with their accents and voice for general use, coached for LAMDA exams and drama school and youth theatre auditions.
I have a current, up to date DBS certificate available upon request, and have worked in many education environments.