Are you an experienced theater actor hoping to take your skills to the next level? Maybe you’re a beginner who wants to develop your skills as effectively and efficiently as you can. One way to do so is by taking voice lessons. Yes, voice lessons! Contrary to popular opinion, vocal lessons are not limited to singers. These lessons can help open up and expand the range of any actor’s voice, as well as shield it from incorrect use and stress. With multiple rehearsals, dry runs, and actual shows, damaging your voice is a real possibility.
Voice lessons can also provide an understanding of proper speaking pitch, optimum vocal cord closure and how to handle potentially difficult vocal situations as well. One extremely important area is handling emotional scenes, sounds and dialogue, such as yelling or screaming, without putting additional stress or fatiguing the actor’s voice.
Many singers spend a lot of time learning to bridge the gap between their chest voice and head voice, or lower and upper registers. When actors and singers fail to learn this skill, they risk major vocal problems such as hoarseness or even permanent voice damage.
A high chest voice is what we use when we’re experiencing a heightened state of emotions, such as anger or fear. An actor will be asked to perform in this same state over multiple shows or takes on the stage. Taking vocal exercises can help to access this state and range without causing untoward issues. The solution is to learn to access parts of the head voice when at the top of the speaking range. This technique is done by slightly narrowing pronunciation of vowels and avoiding over-shouting.