Project Description

We are pleased to announce that another eight-week session of Voice & Speech with Tessa Auberjonois begins in March 2020! Tessa Auberjonois has worked diligently to structure the class into an eight-week format that we feel will give our students a greater 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 8-week 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.

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

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

Week 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.

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

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

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

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

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.

WORKSHOP DETAILS: When: Thursdays, 3:00-5:00PM, March 19 and 26, April 9, 16, 23, 30*, May 7 and 14

* Please note, Berg Studios will be dark the week of March 30, so Voice & Speech will not meet on April 2 Where: The Berg Studios Annex, 3273 Casitas Ave Suite #105, Los Angeles CA 90039 Cost: $280 for 8 weeks**

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Tessa Auberjonois started her voice-over career soon after graduating from the Yale School of Drama and has consistently worked as a voice-over artist while also performing on stage and screen. In 2017 Tessa was nominated for a Behind the Voice Actors award for best featured actress in a television series. She is trained in Linklater Technique and International Phonetics, and has taught Voice and Speech at NYFA, AMDA, Cal Arts, and the Sag-Aftra Foundation.

Tessa has been the voice of several national campaigns, including Princess Cruises, Glade, White Castle, FEMA and many others. She’s voiced video games, re-voiced starring roles in feature films with major directors (and signed NDA’s saying she can’t tell you what or who), and narrated audiobooks. For more information, you can find Tessa’s bio on our website.