Why the hell do we study Voice in Acting class?

Why the hell do we study Voice in Acting class?

Have you just Googled that in earnest?

Actors are made of many components, but the three that create the holy trinity of divine actors are Imagination, Body, and Voice. If you lack control and dexterity in any three of those components you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your craft, and possibly giving an unsuspecting audience a horrible performance within (insert popular play here). Having an acting course that separates Voice into its own specialised class is on the right track to giving you a solid foundation. 

Imagination lets us create beyond ourselves, Body enables us to place actions on those wants and desires, and Voice...allows us to reflect upon those desires and create the complexity required for the dramatic interchange between playwright, actor, and audience. 

Voice within an acting course is crucial. You’ve been living with your voice your entire life, and more than likely you’ve never had a serious reflection on how it works or functions. It’s not until we become ill with some malady and lose our voice that we take any notice of the complex processes that come with speaking. The voice reveals where we were raised geographically, the amount of energy we have, the burden of stress on our lives, countless aspects of character waiting to be mined by the actor. It can sometimes seem that a Voice class can be an endless series of deep breaths and tongue twisters. Although there is certainly a fair share of she who sells seashells by the seashore, an acting course in voice is teaching you anatomy and control, in the most practical ways possible. 

Consisting of an entire tract the Voice originates with the breath where air is constricted by the vocal cords, resonated in no less than FOUR possible zones, directed by the articulators and then sent through the air where the delicate bones in our ears sense those vibrations and register sound.  

We take voice, because understanding this process and how to manipulate and protect it allows us to communicate in endless ways. The voice allows us to access our deepest grief, and most unbridled joy and put it forth into the world in a way that creates a distinct personal interpretation. The voice of course isn’t always based in text. It’s the way we grunt, moan, pant, scream, it’s what we do with our breath when we are incapable of speech. 

Voice is acting. It’s one of the many messengers we can use to communicate with each other, and to ignore it, or fail to give it the respect it deserves within an acting course is to your grave misfortune. So...Breathe, support that diaphram, tongue twist it up, and protect and own your voice.

Michael-Alan Read
Course Leader, Foundation Acting Course


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