Voice and Speech for the Actor

Voice and Speech for the Actor

In this six-week course you will learn a series of fun and interactive exercises that will connect you with a free and open voice and give you clarity of articulation. Participants learn how to be heard and clearly understood, while being centered, connected and focused.

You will learn:

*A warm-up – for use prior to performing, rehearsing and auditioning

*IPA – Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet, the basics of Standard American Speech

*Clear phrasing – operative words, strong and weak forms

*Vocal Variety – allowing full freedom of expression while remaining emotionally connected

The Audition Class

The AUDITION CLASS is a group of 6-10 students, who have good professional training and are auditioning now in New York City.  (The class is a lab class, much more effective when you can try what you are learning within the group on the outside.)  ADMISSION TO CLASS IS BY INTERVIEW.  Students can work three times on each class date as the following three areas are covered in each session:

1. BUSINESS AND INTERVIEWS.  Students are asked to keep a journal of their interviews and auditions.  This journal is written up in a specific format, which is altered as the individual progresses.  The entries are read aloud in class.  The student gets notes and suggestions for changes in the format which will improve his or her performance in a given area.  We do exercises to help the student give a better interview.  The “business” aspect is discussed in each class and we devote an entire class to it towards the end of the session.

2. THE TEXT.  The student learns a method for handling the text that gets him or her deeply engaged quickly, emphasizes making the scene work and helps them organize their thinking and their time.  This method is progressive, involving a number of steps, one to be added when the former has been accomplished.  Sides are handed out and the student works the featured step as homework; then the scene is brought to class and auditioned.  Notes are given.  When these steps have been mastered, they constitute a Cold Reading Technique.  Then students will be given sides to be done as cold readings in class.

3. THE MONOLOGUE.  Time is reserved for monologue work during each class.  The student brings the monologue as if to rehearsal; Ms. Patten will give direction and guide the actor through his or her progress with the piece.  Ambitious students can leave the class with more than one piece in “sterling shape.”

Body Dynamics

Body Dynamics™ works with the body’s muscular defense system in an organized, practical approach to body awareness. It is designed to free the actor’s body to its full range of emotional experience. You will work to identify and remove chronic muscular tension and learn the tools to free your body so that it becomes your friend and not your enemy. The work in class helps promote the flow of energy throughout the body, allowing more freedom, and strengthens the connection between emotions, thoughts and physical expression. This work changes how you view yourself and move through the world.

Class size is limited to 6 people, so naturally there is strong emphasis on individual attention. We are the only studio in the city where the original 12-week structure is being taught, and due to its cumulative nature, we ask that any classes missed be made up in a private session with a teaching assistant at the student’s expense.


Beginning Professionals

For those at the beginning of their acting training who seriously want to investigate entering the profession. Perfect for someone new or just coming back to the craft of acting. We will focus on repetition and sensory work and how to incorporate these skills into the text. Additionally, we will discover how to make choices based on intuition, with the sole purpose of finding a way to work that complements each individual’s style. This, along with maintaining a sense of truth to yourself, your scene partner, the writer, and the play itself, are paramount in building a foundation for the working actor.

Drill Class

To practice relaxation, getting in touch, sensory and repetition exercises. An excellent way for those returning to the profession to warm up and reconnect; crucial to the new actor to build a foundation.

Advanced Scene Study

An advanced scene study class designed for those experienced professionals who have had lengthy training and sufficient life and work experience. (By Invitation Only)

Scene Study

For those with previous training and experience. Students work every time on a scene assigned by Ms. Patten and bring it in at different stages of rehearsal. You’ll also be investigating the use of the self, what you’re “right” for, how to “stay with” yourself-particularly helpful if you too easily lose your own impulses. Once you have your own truth, you can begin to find someone else’s. Learn how to break down a scene organically, progress beat to beat through the given circumstances, and know what it is for the event of the scene to occur “for real for real.” Solidify your interpretation and put your thumb print on the part.