Confidence Building - How To Take Care Of Your Voice

Let’s start with the mandatary basics : Sleep. Without enough sleep, your voice pays the price. Dairy makes your voice phlegmy. Caffeine/alcohol dries out your vocal cords, so avoid when working. Health. When you get sick, your voice is the first thing to go. Smoking. There are better ways to get that sexy voice. Warm up. Just like an athlete would. Hydrate. Drink water. Lots of it.

Then, you know about warming up—but what about cooling down? In general you should always warm up really well and cool down properly before rehearsals and performances, just like any other athletes would warm up and stretch prior to a race or game.

You think whispering is your life-saver, but actually… Whispering does not conserve your voice. In fact, whispering is one of the worst things you can do if you want to maintain a healthy voice. It is incredibly taxing on the vocal cords because it is produced by placing the vocal folds close together and then keeping them there. This irritated and swollen tissue keeps touching and vibrating, which further damages the vocal mechanism.

Finally, don’t sacrifice safety to please others. The director wants you to scream, growl, or make some other sound and when you try it, you can tell it doesn’t feel right. This would be a good time to say, ‘Can we bring in a voice coach to help me with this?’ If they’re not willing to bring in a voice coach, try saying, ‘Would it be OK if we mark this for today? If you give me some time to work it out on my own I can bring it back to you.’ Use the comparison that aggressive vocalization is like a stage fight and needs time to prepare and practice.

Improve Self-Awareness With Acting Classes

Will, Awareness and Self-Trust should be the aim of any performer, but the most difficult of these to manage is AWARENESS – more specifically non-judgmental self-awareness. This means that as performers, we should develop the skill of listening to what we are doing in any given moment (performance, rehearsal or otherwise). With true awareness, we are able to evaluate and assess what we have done with kindness and decide what went wrong and how to improve next time instead of the harsh and often brutal self-assessment we give ourselves for no real reason.

The world of acting is so submerged in different styles of teaching and techniques that the actor often finds themselves lost in what is right and what is wrong. But more importantly, these teachings only focus on the outward skills an actor might need and neglect the inner game that is happening inside, neglecting the battle the actor finds themselves in – when their mind turns on them, saying they have failed, or that they are worthless, or that maybe acting isn’t for them.

The skill of non-judgemental self-awareness is so vital to the actor that without it, there is no hope to fulfil the potential they have. Audition after audition and role after role, they will criticise themselves with no real base point of reference. That is, they are certain they have made terrible mistakes when in truth, they don’t really know how to judge whether they really were mistakes in the first place.

With proper coaching and a commitment to challenging long held personal beliefs about our own level of skill, any performer can develop the ability of SELF-AWARENESS. With time, the voice inside us that is so convinced we have done everything wrong will quieten and in its place will be a professional who can perform to maximum efficiency and afterwards, perform a self evaluation that is free of negative self-talk and harsh criticism.

Self-Confidence and the Actor's Inner Voice

The way we talk to ourselves has a big impact on our acting abilities. Self-talk is the name given to the internal dialogue we constantly have with ourselves. When our inner voice is negative, it increases pressure and potential for failure. As actors our inner voices greatly influence our performances.

If our self-talk is damaging and turns into a permanent critic, it will constantly impede our progress. However by increasing concentration we can calm the inner voice down. Yoga, meditation or simple breathing and visualising exercises will quickly show great results. The secret is to incorporate these practices in your daily life so they become part of your being.

Once a state of calm can be reached and maintain periodically, it is time to invite positive thoughts about yourself and your acting capabilities. To start with, remembering big or small achievements on stage or in the rehearsal room, perhaps a drama teacher’s praise or a friend’s encouraging words may inspire you to find your own reasons to feel confident in yourself as an actor.

Little by little you will notice changes. Firstly, less stress will make your enjoy much more the performing experience. Then, this new confidence will allow you to step into new territories and therefore develop your drama skills: you'll become a better actor. With repeated effort and increased awareness the inner voice will become gentle and will provide support and motivation when faced with the next obstacle.

Mark Westbrook's Actor's Guide to Overcoming Mental Interference

Even the best actors can struggle to convert audition opportunities in acting jobs. The 12 Obstacles, An Actor's Guide to Overcoming Mental Interference in Exceptional Performance, reveals how all of us are challenged by the mental interference of performing under pressure, because audition success requires more than just good acting and a bit of luck. 

Author, acting coach and performance psychology expert Mark Westbrook reveals the 12 most common obstacles that stand in the way of our best acting performances under pressure. Mark offers powerful tools for overcoming these obstacles, freeing your natural ability from the restraints of the Inner Critic. 

Mark Westbrook is one of the most outspoken acting coaches in the UK, his blog is regularly read by over 30,000 people. His clients include Oscar and BAFTA winners. He is the author of Truth in Action, a Manual of Common Sense for Actors. Every day Mark helps actors overcome their mental obstacles on their way to a more truthful and captivating performance.

Marks says: "We are masters of self-sabotage. t's my mission to help you overcome the mental obstacles that block the route to exceptional performance. In my eBOOK The 12 Obstacles, I'll introduce you to the 12 mental obstacles that you'll have to overcome to give every performance your best.  Then, I'll give suggestions about how to overcome them. And you can download it for free. So what's stopping you?"


National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain is a world-leading youth arts organisation. Established in 1956 as the world's first youth theatre, they have nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people over 60 years. They inspire, nurture and showcase exceptional performers and theatre technicians from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commissioning brave and relevant new writing and reinterpreting classic stories for our time.

They are ambitious as the young people they serve, platforming young talent on West-End stages, in stadiums world-wide and at iconic sites both homes and abroad. Their world renown alumni include: Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom..

National Youth Theatre gives young people the opportunity to learn as much about themselves and how to relate to others, as they do about acting and technical theatre. Whilst some of their members go on to become well-known faces of stage and screen, many others go on to be great lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, CEO's and much more.

Last year, NYT awarded £140,000 of bursaries to young people in need to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent young people from reaching their full potential. 

Roundabout Drama Therapy Turning Lives Around

Roundabout is the largest and most successful charity of its kind in the UK. Their mission is to use drama therapy to provide psychological, educational and artistic benefits to a wide range of disadvantaged people throughout Greater London. They are the only organisation in the UK that offers tailor-made professional facilitated drama therapy sessions to such a wide range of audiences, from individuals to groups of all ages.

Drama therapy includes verbal and non-verbal practices. It makes use of a wide range of theatrical and dramatic techniques, such as story-telling, story-making, enactment, improvisation, role-play, mime, puppetry, movement, music and voice work.

The general aims of Roundabout drama therapy sessions include: building trusting relationships, expressing and exploring feelings, developing social interaction skills, developing artistic and creative skills, improving self-image and self-confidence, working with the imagination and having fun!

Roundabout therapists regularly present their clinical work and research to conferences both throughout the UK and internationally. The dram therapists are registered with the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC).They work according to the British Association of Drama Therapists' Code of Ethical Practise. 



Displace Yourself Theatre UK

Displace Yourself Theatre is a company that combines precise physicality, an engaging and highly accessible performance style and a developed political consciousness. This ambitious young devising performers use the power of movement to shine light on the shadows of society. The socio-political work is reflected in Displace Yourself's distinctive form using projection, live performers, minimal props and precise energetic scores that disobey tradition theatre conventions.

At the heart of their productions lies a throughout and intimate process of devising, working closely with the people their productions are about, providing a platform for under-represented communities using theatre as a way to have their voice heard. Including the audience at all stages of the show's development through live events, discussions and workshops is as important to Displace Yourself as the show itself.

Creative together is a monthly training for adults to try out and develop new skills in a range of creative and art activities. The sessions are open to everyone and suitable for people who have never taken part in arts and drama before as well as those with more experience. Creating together provides the opportunity to meet new people in your community, to improve communication and learn how to express yourself through body and voice and to release inner tensions and anxiety. 


Grants for Performers Announced

International Performing Art Camp in Tuscany Italy, 24-29 October 2016.

We're pleased to inform you that Art Universe Agency has announced several grants for professional performers: dancers, choreographs, actors of dance, physical theatre, drama, musical theatre, contemporary circus artists, movement directors, physical theatre directors, multidisciplinary artists.

International Performing Art Camp is opening its doors to performers of all continents! The grant supports accommodations and meals during the International Performing Art Camp 2016 in Tuscany, Italy. The camp is based on the territory of the 12th century monastery famous for the name of Dante Alighieri.

Performing Art Camp is the international residential for performing art practitioners from different countries working in various techniques, genres and styles. The program is open to dancers, actors, choreographs and contemporary circus performers with professional stage experience, multidisciplinary artists passionate and inspired by movement, drama and physical theatre interested in practical research of contemporary performance practice together with colleague from all over the world.

The artistic director of the program is the theatre director, choreographer and teacher Sergei Ostrenko. During the program participants will have opportunities to explore Ostrenko method of performer's physical training and rehearsal based on the method of Stanislavsky, M. Chekhov, principals of Meyerhold's Biomechanics, Tai Chi and contact improvisation.

For all information http://www.artuniverse.org/grants


Playing On Theatre Company Hearing Things

Playing On Theatre company presents a moving and provocative drama that opens a window to the closed world of psychiatry. Hearing Things, by Philip Osment, explores the blurred lines between perceptions of mental illness in society and the many different realities from the point of view of patients, relatives and staff.

This event is part of the new season opening at the Wellcome Collection in September: Medicine, What Now? The program includes many events centre around a major free exhibition, Bedlam: the asylum and beyond. The exhibition traces the rise and fall of the mental asylum by following the story of one such institution, Bethel Royal Hospital in London, know in popular slang as Bedlam.

The display focuses on the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of individuals who inhabited the asylum or created alternative to it - their voices have shaped the meaning of mental illness and the current landscape of mental healthcare. Bedlam juxtaposes historical material and medical records with individual testimonies and works by artists such as David Beales, Richard Dadd, Dora Garcia, whose works reflect or reimagine the institution, as both a physical and a virtual space.

Another event of interest for actors will be run by Siobhan Davies Dance: Moving Conversation. Choreographers and scientists explore the connection between mind, body and feeling, through performance and discussion, as part of research for a new work by Siobhan Davies Dance.