Private Voice and Speech Coaching
Changing the voice is complex work that takes focus, practice and time. One-on-one coaching starts by identifying the individual needs of a speaker, to tailor the most supportive and efficient program of work.
Initially, I listen to and observe my clients, and develop a comprehensive picture of their verbal and nonverbal communication, including their own priorities and goals for voice work.
In each session, we explore manageable pieces of the whole voice picture, such as breath support, posture, body language, or speech habits that undermine clarity or authority. I develop individualized and systematic physical exercises that target habitual communication behaviors, and end each session by integrating fundamentals into the practice of effective public speaking. Voice clients gain practical experience and confidence they can take with them into any social context.
Individual Coaching Sessions take place at my studio in the historic Wells Fargo Building in Downtown Berkeley, conveniently located a few steps from the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station.
Accent and Dialect Coaching
Speakers for whom English is not their first language are often self-conscious about being understood, and this can undermine their confidence and authority. Clarity and command of the accent are achieved through ear training, regular sustained practice of the desired speech sounds, and a solid understanding of rhythm, intonation, context and social cues expressed through the voice.
Just as human cultures are shaped by the unique natural landscape from which they develop, so dialects reflect culturally specific information about the people who speak them. Through the exploration of accents and dialects, voice work practices deep listening, with respect for the great potential and specificity contained within human speech of all varieties.
Without quality voice and speech training, even the most startling naturally talented actor will not be able to achieve their potential for lack of the technical skills to channel their inspiration. Actors should walk into auditions knowing how to consciously support their voice with breath, create a resonant sound that can fill a theater without pushing or jeopardizing vocal health, articulate clearly, connect with the text and be able to access a full and emotionally expressive vocal range.
Linguists and speech teachers have long recongized socialized differences between the perceptions of men's and women's voices. There are a fast-growing number of professional women who understand all too well the unique pressure of balancing outdated cultural expectations with a need to be heard and respected in the workplace or public. Gendered vocal behavior is a specialized area of interest and research in my practice.