Project Description

We are pleased to announce that another session of Intro to Voice & Speech with Tessa Auberjonois begins in October 2020! Tessa Auberjonois has created an eight-class, four-week format that we feel will give our students a great degree of noticeable progress and an even stronger vocal foundation.

Voice and Speech production is a technique that takes time to learn and integrate. Our everyday, habitual patterns of breathing and speaking tend to be very sensitive to factors such as nerves and personal inhibitions.

Over time and with practice, we can use vocal technique to find awareness and learn to use breath, voice, and articulation in a way that can be relied upon to communicate the versatile character choices we make as actors instead of being trapped by the limitations of our own habitual vocal patterns.

This process is akin to building new muscles at the gym or learning to play an instrument. It takes time and practice before results can be felt and utilized effectively. Therefore, each session builds upon the last as students integrate the technique into new and specific use of the voice, body, and speech. This twice weekly foundation course will teach a voice and speech warm-up, give you an excellent understanding of the mechanics of vocal production (essential for accent work), as well as how to explore text vocally.
Workshop Description: VOICE & SPEECH

Class 1: Relaxation, body awareness and breath work. Identifying proper use of articulators. Speech drills.

Class 2: Adding vocalization to diaphragmatic breathing. Integrating movement to breath and voice and releasing lip and neck tension. Speech drills.

Class 3: Opening the channel: jaw, tongue, and soft palate. Speech drills. Students will begin to explore a new piece of text, reading text out loud before memorization.

Class 4: Review of vocal warm-up and speech drills. Beginning to drop text in using sounds and imagery.

Class 5: Using the resonators: chest, mouth and teeth. Speech drills. Exploring the text through articulation and movement.

Class 6: Review of vocal warm-up and speech drills. Speaking memorized text.

Class 7: Nasal and Head Resonators. Speech drills. Slating and speaking “on voice.”

Class 8: Review of Vocal warm-up and Speech drills. Performing Text.

For a long while now, Berg and the instructors here at the studio have worried about a serious lack of vocal training among our students. This lack of training is not just about volume, to be sure. Without the ability to fully utilize their voice, no actor can be counted on to express themselves in the dynamic, creative way our industry demands.

Indeed, the purpose of vocal training, a standard element of all conservatory acting programs throughout the world, is to free the actor’s habitual patterns of tension. This allows the vocal instrument to express character via the actor’s imagination and engage the listener with language written by another, but spoken as our own. Similar to building new muscles at the gym, vocal work takes sustained and intentional practice, which gradually leads to a shift in the actor’s use of their voice as the vehicle of emotion. This class will primarily teach the technique developed by Kristin Linklater, as described in her book Freeing the Natural Voice, and will consist of very active exercise work.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Tessa Auberjonois has appeared on The Affair, Shameless, Lucifer, I’m Dying Up Here, Modern Family, Law & Order(s), ER, and many other shows as well as feature and short films. On stage she has originated roles and helped develop new works in numerous new American plays and worked closely with playwrights such as Rajiv Joseph, Annie Weisman, Neil LaBute, Lucas Hnath, Melissa Ross, Jessica Goldberg, Richard Greenberg, Lucy Thurber, Noah Haidle etc. and has performed in many classical and contemporary plays Off-Broadway and at theatres across the country such as the Kirk Douglas and South Coast Repertory, Hartford Stage, Yale Rep and The Shakespeare Theatre of D.C. among others. Her voice-over work is extensive and includes Cartoon Network and The Simpsons, audio books, videogames, and re-voicing lead roles in feature films. Awards & Nominations include the 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Award, Best Actress in a play 2017 OC Weekly, Nominated for Best Female Guest Star for a TV Voiced Performance 2018 from Behind the Voice Actors, Sermoonjoy Fund and Fox Foundation Fellowships, and the Oliver Thorndike award for excellence in acting upon graduation from The Yale School Drama, where she trained, as well as LAMDA. She has taught and coached voice and speech, dialect and accent work and voiceover to actors at many programs in LA and privately as well as being currently on faculty at AMDA. For more information, you can find Tessa’s bio on our website.


When: Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 PM to 3 PM PST

January 12th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 25th, 29th.
February 2nd, 5th.

Where: Online!

Cost: $280 for 8 classes**