Sunday, August 23, 2015

Voice lessons

I've started voice lessons. I'm reading a book called Freeing the Natural Voice, Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language by Kristin Linklater. It is a book written for actors mainly. This is a topic I had no idea about before picking up this book, but apparently there are various schools and methodologies to learn acting.  Some of these schools focus on physical and vocal skills and some emphasize more emotional and psychological exploration. This book is making the point that both are necessary to be a believable actor. That a good psychological, from the gut performance is lost without the vocal skills to support it and vice versa.

So I relate this idea, of course to visual arts. Having good technical skills are important but to be able to see to the heart of things, to bring our full humanity to the process seems necessary as well.  I appreciate my technical skills improving in art making as I practice and learn from different artists. I am also endeavoring to continue a path of self exploration to create from the best self I can. Self exploration and art seem to feed directly back and forth to each other naturally.

As I make art more I appreciate how all the arts are similar and why they fall under the heading of arts. I don't know why I've never really thought about this before. But it seems clear in reading this book on voice and acting how acting is art. We use the fullness of our expression to portray or bring something to life in performance art, visual art, music... there is a similar process to it.

I am at a point where I hear a whisper inside me about this voice work. It says I have work to do here and the work will be fruitful. Voice is our primary mode of expression. I have long felt my voice to be a little black box of the unknown. I sometimes feel a constriction in my throat. I often stay quiet in groups. There is sometimes a discomfort in expression. As I am opening the floodgates of expression in making art and writing I, not surprisingly, feel compelled to explore this life long uneasy relationship with my voice.

One of the first exercises in the Freeing the Natural Voice book is to write a poem to your voice.

A Poem to My Own Voice
Lisa Page
Let yourself be open, open, open
Large and circular without thin lines
Free flowing without the pause of fear,
Traveling up and down
from feet to head,
From earth to sky,
A whole body, joyful bubbling
outward of air enlivened.
Real expression, real connection,
Free of constriction
stopping what is true.
My voice is my acceptance of
myself, my whole experience,
My voice is tender and flourishing,
ripe and rich.
My voice is the expression
of my heart, my mind,
my divine connection
to my own solid truth.

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