Acting secrets for a strong, dynamic voice
Enter from stage left. On the stage, that
is the left. It’s from the actor’s point of view. That’s my left, that is my right. This
is downstage, because traditionally you would be going down the stage and that is upstage,
so I just appeared from stage left. Benjamin, what are you talking about?
Get to the point. Hello. Welcome back to engVid. This is a lesson
to help you get your voice from your body. That’s right, your body is an instrument like
a violin, so we need to get the body ready to produce sound, just as you would warm up
to play an instrument. How do we do that? Well, I picked up a few tips from my time
as an actor, I’m going to be sharing some of these with you now. The main thing is you’ve got to be physical,
you’ve got to be really in your body, you’ve got to be present to it, you’ve got to know
how your body feels for good sound to come out. Okay. So, I’m just going to talk you
through how I would get ready if I was about to go on stage. This isn’t something you’re
going to do on a tube on an underground metro line, but if you’re getting ready to do a
presentation in a hotel, staying somewhere, and you’ve got some time to kill, then play
around, do something like what I’m going to be doing now. So, I’m going to be doing some yoga poses,
so that’s why I’m going to take my shoes and socks off. No, I’m not a yoga teacher, although
I have taught children yoga before, which was a good chat-up line when I met my wife;
she thought that was good. So, okay. So I’m just going to start by just going, jump like
that. Huh, huh. Ruh. Ahhh. Awh. Shaking out a bit, getting my arms around a bit. Ah. And
I’m going to go straight into a famous method acting vocal warmup. So, this is about getting
tension out of your body, and as I’ve just messed my mobile phone, I’ve got quite a lot
of tension in me right now, so it should be good. Okay, so I’m sat down. Okay. And we’re
starting from the head down to the feet. Okay? So, what you’re doing is you’re making circular
movements. You have to close your eyes. And where you feel a little bit tense, you release
the tension with a: “Hah!” Okay? So I’m… Just watch, and we’ll talk about it in a sec.
Ahhhhhh. Hah. Hah. Hah. Ahhhhhh. What I’m trying to do is… You’re just feeling where
you want to move, so you can roll your head, you can roll your shoulders, you can roll
your middle, your groin, you can roll your legs, you can stretch out here, you can stamp,
you can really get into your body. Ahhhh. Hah. Hah. Hah. Ahhhhh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… Hah.
Hah. Hah. Ahhhhhhhh. Hah. Hah. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hah. Ahhhhhhhh. Hah. Now, I’m not going to,
sort of, be totally self-indulgent. You should do this for about 20 minutes. People do it
from 20 minutes anyway up to an hour, and you will feel your voice change after you
do the exercise for longer and longer. I’d love to carry on doing it now, but you might
just sit there, going: “Uh, Benjamin, you okay?” Okay? So that is an exercise to do
over a space of time. Shut the door, turn your phone off, or just smash it like
me, and you won’t be interrupted. Okay. Next we’re going to do a bit of yoga, so don’t
know if you know a sun salutation, hello to the sun. Okay? You probably do. You can probably
do it better than me. Hands together like this, like they’re in prayer, okay? And then
we’re going to go up, and then down. Okay? So… Probably doing in totally the wrong
order, but there we are. And now we’re sort of going down, we’re going up, and then we’re
going to Downward Dog. My 18-month old baby can do this, so you can, too. That foot up,
that foot up. Ah. Wah. Ah. So you do it on the right, now you do it on the left. Ah.
Ah. Ah. Ah. So, one set is when you go with your right and then your left. You want to be
looking at doing it about 12 sets, continuously, get into a real rhythm of doing it.
Ready for the next one? Okay, so I’m looking forward and I’m going
to spin around, clocking you each time. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. I
would go around for 21 times, but I haven’t practiced this in quite a long time and I’ll
probably knock something over. Okay? And now I’m going to… Sorry. I need to take
two big breaths. Ah. [Inhales]. Hah. Next exercise: Kneeling down like this. Ah.
Ah. Ah. So you’re leaning back, you’ve got your hands on your butt… Bum, you’re just
going back like that. Okay? Now, I feel like… I’m just listening to my body. I’m trying
to listen to my body to feel what it needs to do. I need to strengthen, I really want
to use my muscles, so I’m going to go down into plank pose. Okay? And I’m resting on my
forearms, trying to be as straight as you possibly can. Can you do that for a couple of
minutes? Go for as long as you can. Strengthen your core. Okay. Not going to do it for two
minutes now because it’d be boring. I’m going to show you… Woo, side plank there. So try to
do that for as long as you can; nice, straight line. Let’s go the other side, there we are.
Do that for some time. Do some push-ups. Okay. Again, I’m not going to show off or bore you
by doing loads, but there we are. Okay. I’m centering myself again. Okay. Maybe imagine
some earth energy coming up from the earth, coming up through my feet and
going back down into the earth. Checking in with myself: How am I feeling?
Hah. Little bit stiller, a little bit calmer. If I feel I still have tension, I’d go back
onto that chair, and I’d carry on with that method acting exercise. Okay, I’m not saying I’m
a method actor, but that’s just one exercise I like from their
school of thought. Okay, what I’m saying to you is: Our voice
comes from our body. Okay? So let’s not forget about it. In today’s age with emails, computers,
it’s very easy to forget about our body. But if you want to have a great voice, it’s important
to use it, because your sound reflects your relationship with your body. Until next time, it’s
been a real pleasure. See ya in the next video.