Vocal Observations

Voice Projection

For a recent stage performance the Bradfordians (based in Bradford
on Avon, England) prepared their actors the daunting task of projecting the
voice so that everyone in the auditorium – in this case, a long Tithe Barn
can hear what is being said.

John Palmer had us partner up and one half walk 20 metres
away.  We then had to try and pick out
from the ensuing sounds what phrase our partners were saying without them yelling and damaging their voice.  We found it was still possible to speak and
be heard, so long as we used the correct technique.  The next exercise had small groups walk a
third of the way down the barn and say in a quiet voice a phrase that the
remainder of the group had to repeat.
Those speakers then repeated the exercise by walking further away –  two thirds of the way and finally the whole 51
metres of the barn.  Again, the remainder
of the group picked out what was said and repeated it back.  So how was this done?  By engaging the diaphragm (such as ‘Breath for Singing’ video by Felicia Ricci) and articulating the words.

For Voice Over work, the target is very different as the
target – the microphone  – is inches away
from the performer.  I am currently using
the tip of Troy Dean, who provides a great visual concept called the ‘Tiny Box’.

I think that using both these tips – engaging the diaphragm
and projecting correctly – will be very important in providing a good vocal
performances in future.