Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Voice Class Experience by Jane Anne Wilder

I recently took Gin Hammond’s eight-week Voice course. It was terrific; changed my craft – and even my life – in ways I couldn’t have possibly foreseen.

I have to ‘fess up and say I expected it to be boring. I mean ‘Voice.’ Yuk. But I want to do more voice work, so I took it like a flu shot.

Can’t talk about the course without a few words about Gin Hammond, for those of you who don’t know her. Gin is extremely knowledgeable, well-respected, caring, passionate about her subject, non-judgmental and a joy to be with. She made what I consider a boring subject intriguing.

Yes, we studied the voice itself. But we also learned how to make it work for us; a heavy emphasis on breathing and how to give our voices power. We did a lot of yoga, because apparently you need open hips to have a strong voice. Ditto lots of posture work. That’s one way my life changed. I now am very conscious of my posture, especially when recording.

We used monologues for practice. Although Gin rarely commented on our acting, it was amazing to see how our acting improved once we put her techniques in practice. She even taught us how to walk into an audition and what to do once there.

We did one exercise about chakras – yes, I rolled my eyes – then did our monologues ‘from’ each chakra. I was astounded – each version of my monologue was different. I saw the imaginary person from entirely different viewpoints depending on the chakra. This gave me a feeling of depth for the monologue I had never had before.

Now that the course is over, it looks like I’m going to have to get back into yoga. I may even study chakras. Am I going to take her upcoming Voice Over class?

I think I was the first person who signed up.


Gin Hammond will be teaching a Voice Over at Freehold this Winter Quarter.

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