I was very happy the other night, when making a fruit compote for hubby’s birthday, that I was able to use the last of a bottle of red wine for one of the ingredients. Why? Because I needed the cork! James Clamp one of my voiceover buddies had sometime ago shared with me one of his tips for warm ups and enunciation which included putting a cork in your mouth and reading.
I had been using a champagne bottle cork, but it is quite big, so I was glad to get my hands on something smaller. This exercise really works a treat. I do notice an improvement in my diction immediately after. When I have time, I now often do this exercise before recording an online audition. It’s kind of like sit ups for the lips (ha, ha!).
At a Character Voice workshop that I attended a while back, I was able to purchase from my teacher, Yvonne Morley, a copy of the Voice Care Network Uk’s excellent booklet, “more care for your voice”.
Let me share with you one of the exercises in the book for relaxation to release tension from the face and jaw:
“Slowly stretch the face vertically: lift the eyebrows and drop the jaw as if surprised.
Slowly allow the muscles to relax back to normal, then continue moving to the other extreme, with eyebrows pressed down, eyes shut, nose wrinkled, lips pressed together, and chin raised towards the nose as if compressing the face to its centre line.
Relax and repeat as before. Because of the muscular activity, you should feel your face warming.”
Here’s a question for you! One of my voice over colleagues who specialises in animation says that the type of shoes that he wears when doing a session in the studio, affects his mood and thus his read. He likes to wear his favourite cowboy boots to get himself in the mood. I have a lovely pair of racing green boots that I like to wear. I feel “artsy” in them and I like the colour and style. Thus if I feel good and comfortable in myself, it could result in a better, more vibrant read.
What about you — do you have favourite “working shoes” & why?
Headed for the Actors’ Expo ’08 next Saturday. I’ve not much idea of what to expect — but I’m happy to sniff around and see what useful tidbits I can pick up. Plus I’m looking forward very much to meeting one of my Voiceover Universe “cybermates” there.