Can’t help this post. I’m obsessed with all things voice. Listen to yourself – if you even suspect you might be a bit nasal – you will be! If you don’t care, I certainly don’t, but if you do care, then you can stop being nasal. Here is how to check if you are. Make a long, sustained, “eeeeeeeeeee” sound on any note that is comfortable and while you are doing that, squeeze and release both of your nostrils. If you sound like a siren, then you are nasal. Just thought I’d mention it.
It seems strange but there is an especially nice freedom/focus at being able to look at you with a sustained intimacy that isn’t threatening. My voice work operates just as well which has amazed me. What’s more, it’s a nice challenge for me as an educator because I have to be super clear in my instructions to you.
Here’s an exercise for you The Wallow in Vibrations Experience…….. 1) Hum on a a long, indulgent “m” sound with your lips gently closed. Feel where the vibrations fall. (You might like to touch your face lightly with your finger tips to increase the tactile nature of the sounds.) 2)Then….. without opening or moving your lips, allow your lower jaw bone to drop just a little inside your mouth. 3)Keep humming and you will feel the vibrations more intensely. 4) Release your belly for breath to replace whenever you need to and 4)enjoy the sensation.
If you don’t like your voice, then do something about it. Your voice will be yearning to be free and expressive. People who have to listen to you also will be yearning for you to sound “better”. It’s not hard. I’ve spent a life-time doing this work and while it is challenging, it’s very pleasant to do. BTW, someone said they didn’t come to me because I look so fierce in my website image. Well, I am fierce but I’m very friendly to my clients. Yawn, stretch the throat, yawn again. Keep your throat easy. Dianne
Before I speak, I must ask myself three questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it kind?
I keep forgetting however and have to begin again over and over.
TEN TIPS TO LAUGHING HAPPILY
An Actors Guide to Safe Stage Laughter
1. Rest and hydrate all through your run.
2. Warm up your voice before the show.
3. Maintain supported breath in an open chest, throat, and vowel space — the more relaxed your system, the less stress on it!
4. Gentle on the inhale — laughing is a breathing pattern, and the inhales can be short and sharp. If you can inhale through your nose, do so.
5. Start slow and low — give yourself somewhere to go.
6. Take breaks in the laughter — don’t “freight train” the work. Stop and sigh it out throughout. This also keeps the laughs natural.
7. Make sure the text is understood — this will put focus on the words and not the laughter, and help you treat the laughs lightly. The words matter more.
8. A little bit of hysterical laughing goes a long way — you don’t really need to sell it as hard as you think.
9. Reset with a sigh — a beautiful series of happy exhales of relief can “reset” the body, breath and ribs so you’re ready to move into the next moment.
10. Ramp up slowly — return to natural conversation with your breath supported, and your chest, throat and vowel space open and relaxed.
YOUR FREE, OPEN VOICE IS IN THE PALMS OF YOUR HANDS
- Stand, say a few lines of something or count just as a test. Yup, there is your normal voice, (maybe it’s a voice you don’t much like).
- Then, press the heels of your hands together quite strongly in front of you. Press them in parallel, not like you are saying a prayer. When you do that, you will feel two little pieces of movement involving your ribs and your pelvic floor.
- Keep pressing (watch you don’t include shoulder effort) and now repeat the lines or count. This time you will “feel” and hear your voice in a new way.
The big jump in improving your vocal skills is learning how to feel your voice. . You will like it more if you understand how it works and can feel it in your bones. Try it. Dx
Why Julius Caesar could not say the sound “v”
Scholars have always believed that his famous phrase “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) was pronounded “weni, widi, wici”. However, scientists now claim humans have only been able to pronounce the letters “v” and “f” relatively recently because our hunter-gathered ancestors had worn down teeth through chewing hard meat and bones. A much softer diet has led to an overbite which allows “v” and “f” sounds by touching the lower lips to the top teeth.
Now, I know that information does not shake your world and it may not be true (and I don’t much care whether it is or not) but I found it an interesting enough thought to share with you.
There are heaps of voice exercises out there on social media. I was thinking that one of the things I tell my students and clients is that we must not take our selves too seriously. Voice and speech work should be fun. I have been teaching actors and worrying about how to help them enter the profession, and being very serious. I’ve just seen something on the web that make me laugh. I did the exercises and they work. I want to share them with people who care. I don’t know who posted it but thank you very much.
Your best voice is clear, intelligible and effortless. You want people to listen to what you say, not listen to your voice. When you are making a speech, you will feel more confident if you do this exercise about 30 minutes before. Actors love it.
*Slide your tongue, flatly, out of your mouth so it rests on your lower lip. Keep it there as you speak you first one or two sentences. Use your lips so that you can be understood, (you just sound very strange and it is also quite a big effort.) Make sure you don’t push your head forward and that you continue to breathe low. Speak with strong meaning and intention so that you don’t sound like a robot. I should be able to follow you as you do this.
*Then, let the tongue slide back into the bottom of your mouth (where it wants to be) and repeat those same sentences. You will find that, because you have stretched the muscles at the back of the tongue, the tongue is happier, faster, more specific in its movements. You
will feel that it is just so easy to say the words. As Shakespeare said your words will be …..trippingly on the tongue.
Try it and let me know.