The Voice Work

get to know your voice

Lisa has been a professional actor since 1992. Her career led her to play on the stages of The Shaw Festival, Atlantic Theatre Festival, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Manitoba Theatre Centre. She has a deep respect for the process of rehearsal and performance. So much so, that it led her to learn how to guide and support students in their quest to be professional performers.

The Voice Work is inspired by many folk, including Kirsten Linklater's 'Freeing The Natural Voice' teachings, meditation and mindfulness studies, a basic understanding of skeletal, muscular and vocal anatomy, Richard Pochinko's Baby Clown training, as well as, Alisa Kort and the Breath Experience.

Lisa's training includes BFA Acting from UBC and an MFA Acting from York University; The Royal Conservatory Artist-Educator Foundations Course; The Month Long Intensive at Shakespeare&Co; National Voice Intensive; The International Voice Intensive with Richard Armstrong at The Banff Centre; Baby Clown with John Turner; 200hr YYoga Certification, Yin Yoga certification.

"The soft animal of your body..."

This is part of a quote from Mary Oliver's poem, Wild Geese. It's a poem I often have my students read aloud when beginning the voice work. It's one of the touchstones for my own personal explorations in voice as it reminds me to be aware of the larger patterns of life . Wild Geese also suggests the value of being (performing, living life) from a "soft animal body" awareness.

What is "soft animal body" awareness? 

By way of explanation, here are a few perceived benefits: my sensitivity to self and others is heightened. So, I will have greater understanding of how certain stimulus moves myself and others which aids in choosing to adjust behaviour depending on the desired result within a scene.

Another benefit is the reminder to be a sensual being. So much of living can lead us to move from a state of over-thinking, fear, and caution. Where feeling is a hinderance and numbness is desired. However, choosing to be numb is a definite hinderance to being an actor. A good actor has the ability to move an audience through their senses: sights, sounds, feelings, thoughts, and imaginations. And the more we are able to feel, the more affecting we can be to an audience. I often ask my students, "how can I expect to move an audience if I do not allow myself to be moved?". 

Another benefit of Mary Oliver's poem, is the reminder to be  gentle with myself and others in this trying, at times, process of life.