To schedule a private coaching session or a phone consultation, please contact me at:
+1 917 520 5459
Services offered, in-person and via Skype:
· ACCENT COACHING IN ALL ACCENTS AND DIALECTS
· COACHING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE DIALOGUE
· AUDITION PREP
· SPEECH COACHING
· VOICE COACHING
· PRESENTATION COACHING
· SHAKESPEARE AND TEXT COACHING
- As a trained and experienced actor myself, I am deeply familiar with most actor training methods and understand how to support an actor’s process.
- The goal in accent work is for the accent to be fully integrated into the actor’s impulses and the story being told. It has to live and breathe.
- At the same time, of course, it has to be accurate and consistent. I am expert in both parts of this equation—my technical knowledge of and facility with accents is second-to-none, and I know how to work with actors.
- I am passionate about both art and language, and I bring this passion into the room with me every day.
- I am a Master Teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork, a revolutionary method for acquiring expertise in speech skills and accent acquisition.
- I work with clients—actors and others, native and non-native speakers of English—to design and perfect an appropriate ‘unaccented’ American English accent*.
- There’s no one-size-fits-all American accent—what is often called ‘General’ American is more the absence of certain marked features than it is a single accent pattern.
- I find a client-specific approach is best.
- For non-actors, intelligibility ought really to be the main concern, with a native speaker-like accent a secondary consideration, if it’s even desired at all.
- For actors, of course, being able to like a native speaker of American English is a useful skill, as it broadens the range of potential casting!
*This work is often called accent ‘reduction.’ I don't like this term, as it implies that there’s such a thing as not having an accent. There’s not—every human being on the earth speaks with an accent. But the work, essentially, is the same, whatever we choose to call it.
- The voice and the breath are directly connected to the actor’s emotional and imaginative life. When an actor’s breath or voice is constrained or compromised, her acting will be, too. By working to free the voice, we also free the emotional life and the imagination.
- Human beings are designed to use their voices in a perfectly synchronized, easeful way. This sort of use is quite natural to babies and very young children, who never strain their voices, and have no trouble producing very large sounds. A central benefit of effective voice work is the rediscovery of the natural use of the voice that we have forgotten or relinquished.
- We all have habitual patterns of holding in the body. Voice work seeks to release these tensions and find greater movement and flow in the body and breath, integrating voice work with the whole of the actor’s instrument.
- From this place of freedom and flow, I teach the physical skills of effective and efficient support, combined with a particular set of insights into how we use our voices to affect others.
- I am a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework™. It is by no means the only approach I use in my teaching— I also make liberal use of the techniques, philosophy & exercises of Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg—but it is the most rapid, effective, and holistic approach I know of for effecting fundamental change in an actor’s use of his or her instrument.
- Anyone who uses their voice professionally—broadcasters, teachers, lawyers, business executives, politicians and others—often need to call on their voices to be especially strong, expressive, tireless or deeply connected.
- There is no great mystery about how the voice works, but bad habits often get in the way of its optimal functioning, and over the years a lot of these habits become deeply ingrained.
- With a bit of practice it is remarkable how rapidly you can make progress in freeing up and strengthening your voice. With a little understanding, some skillful guidance, and a bit of consistent effort, radical transformation is not only likely, it is unavoidable!
Uma Thurman • Ron Howard • Eddie Izzard • Gus Van Sant • Patricia Clarkson • Vincent D’Onofrio • Jenji Kohan • Omar Sy • Rupert Graves • Irrfan Khan • Karen Gillan • James Marsters • Nadia Alexander • Matthew James Thomas • Ever Carradine • Damien Moloney • Kate Nash