All of the homework, research, memorization, rehearsal, and technique will be worthless to any actor who does not have a well trained voice and body.
Your voice is a vital part of your work and needs to be clear and expressive. If you cannot be heard or understood you will be doing a disservice to your audience, your fellow actors, the story, and yourself. If you are working in theater, especially in a larger venue, it is extremely important that you learn how to project your voice. Allow your voice to come from your center, your core. Support your voice through your breath. The more relaxed your body is the easier it will be for you to project.
If you are working in television and film you will have microphones attached to your clothes, taped to your body, placed around the set, or fastened to a pole which is known as a boom microphone. These microphones will pick up every nuance of your voice and breath and allow you to speak much more naturally. In television and film it is not necessary to speak as if you are trying to reach the last row of a theater. Speak as if the person you are talking to is as close as the microphone is to you. That being said, if you are inclined to scream or yell, do what you need to do and the sound operator will adjust accordingly.
There are many aspects of the voice that every actor needs to be aware of. I am only scratching the surface here. I am not a voice teacher but I have taken many voice classes and workshops throughout my career. I strongly recommend you work with a voice coach or take a voice class for actors as part of your ongoing training.
Your body is as equally important as your voice and can communicate so much when used properly. The term “body language” is very accurate because it is a separate language. We speak with our bodies constantly. What is your body communicating right now?
Observe people every day; at parties, at work, around their family and friends, at bus stops and train stations. There are so many opportunities to study body language. Then apply those observations to your work. You can tell if a person is tired, bored, nervous, protective, anxious, excited simply by the way the carry themselves. The way people sit, stand, walk, or enter a room all communicate something, usually something very specific.
Here are two exercises you can practice to improve your physical and vocal work:
At the risk of stating the obvious, here are some tips for keeping your voice and body in top condition:
For more information or to schedule a coaching session, please visit www.ryankitley.com.
Thanks for reading. Good luck and keep going! I wish you nothing but success in your acting career.