Project Description

Berg Studios is excited to announce a new Voice and Speech Intensive taught by Tessa Auberjonois starting in March/April!

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 intensive course will teach a preliminary voice and speech warm-up, give you an excellent understanding of the mechanics of articulation (essential for accent work), as well as how to explore text vocally.

Workshop Description: VOICE & SPEECH

Class 1: Relaxation and body awareness. Identifying articulators. Speech warmup intro.

Class 2: Breathwork. Speech drills.

Class 3: Unformed Sound and adding pitch. Speech drills. Beginning to drop text in using sounds and imagery.

Class 4: Gathering vocal vibrations on the lips. Sound and movement, exploring sounds in text.

Class 5: Review vocal warm-up and speech drills.

Class 6: Freeing the neck. Text exploration with movement.

Class 7: Opening the channel: jaw, tongue, and soft palate. Beginning to perform text.

Class 8: Review of Vocal warm-up and Speech drills. Beginning to perform 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 focuses on relaxation, body and breath work as the foundation for free expression, and will consist of some active floor and movement 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, audiobooks, 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

September 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 21st, 24th, 28th.
October 1st.

Where: Online!

Cost: $280 for 8 classes**