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please help me with my voice  (Read 10695 times)
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2012, 06:27:58 am »

7. Resonate from other areas of your head.  Voice doesn't just come from your vocal chords.  You resonate from everywhere from the chest up.  It won't affect your character voice if you find the right placement.  It will just relieve the excess strain to your throat.
8. Breath. Often straining occurs because we don't have enough breath support or don't breath enough.
PM me if you have any other vocal issues or questions.

I think these two can be key and could go a long way in helping folks.  Would you have any suggestions for exercises that would help the common puppeteer develop these abilities. Might be kind of hard to "coach" via internet though.
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2012, 03:01:10 pm »

Unless you have a ventriloquist act, then you should try opening your mouth more.  Try dropping the jaw more or exaggerating vowel forms with a wide smile - these relax the throat and push the resonance further forward to you hard palate, sinus cavities, and forehead.

A great vocalization exercise is to start with a vowel form like "ah".  In front of a mirror, hold that out that "ah" the way you normally would.  Don't worry about pitch, just find a comfortable middle note. Then slowly and deliberately start trying different things with your mouth - lips forward, smiling, through teeth, exaggerated jaw dropping.  Notice how just changing your mouth doesn't necessarily change the vowel, but it will sometimes force the resonance to be stronger at different places.  Now try this with different vowels.  The more you do this, you become aware of your voice and the added versatility you will gain.

Now for breathing... you've all heard about singing from the diaphragm. We learn bad habits.  One of them is breathing from the chest.  Notice babies or even people at rest.  The breathing moves the belly more than chest or shoulders.  This is what you want.  To exercise this, lay down on the floor and breath in a slow and relaxed pace.  Your breathing should automatically move down so that you feel the contractions below the sternum and above the stomach.  Once you are aware of that placement, try breathing that way all the time.

Simple healthy exercises will also further strengthen your breathing.  Jogging, jumping jacks, burpees, situps, crunches, and just about any cardio and core exercise...  It's good for your health, you breathing, lung capacity, and stamina.  Consider adding exercise as part of your performance practice.  10-15mins a day will make a huge difference.
Clewer Puppets
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2012, 06:24:05 pm »

Hi silverK. I have just logged in and saw your post about your voice. My voice packed up completely several years ago. People kept saying that it was probably voice strain from the voices I was using. Others said I probably had nodules on my vocal chords. My local GP kept throwing antibiotics at me, and telling me I had a sore throat. After insisting on a referral to a specialist (which was a 6 month wait)I finally had the problem diagnosed at Royal North Shore Hospital. It turned out to be a little-known disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia, which means the nerves in the throat spasm when trying to speak.It is worth visiting your doctor to get it checked out. By the way-GP's generally don't know anything about my particular condition-and there is no treatment except Botox injections which help to relax the nerves for about 3 months at a time. I chose not to go down the Botox road, after the specialist said side-effects were unknown, and that the injection can leave you paralysed if the doctor misses the nerve.I simply found ways around using my voice.    Debra Clewer.
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2012, 07:11:32 am »

Thanks Joel! I think that well really help people out. They are simple ways to start "feeling" what you where saying. Smiley

Debra, wow Botox!?  Glad you did not go down that road. I remember seeing a report on a doctor that had helped some people that had lost their voice and could barely whisper if even that. This was something these folks had for years and no one could explain it. Sounds a bit like what your where talking about because the remedy was simply that this doctor learned how to massage and relax the nerves and muscles around the vocal cords. They showed him with one patient that had not been able to do more the croak out a whisper for years and within minuets she was talking normally.  They really did not say if this required on going therapy or if once the "lock" on the voice was released it was all good but it was really an amazing thing to see.
Clewer Puppets
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 06:15:26 am »

Hi squirrely. I just realised that I gave you the wrong information about our link on the Puppets and Stuff homepage. Our link is on the quick links listing-under school of puppetry. (clewer puppets). If you go to the link, you will see a "more" listing on the right-hand side of the toolbar. Click on it and you will see "freebies". Scroll past the first two pages on starting a kid's club and you will see 4 pages of puppet tips. I hope that this is helpful. Debra Clewer.
No Avatar
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2012, 06:33:53 am »

Debra, you could always add your website to your signature in the profile options. That way, whenever someone sees your posts here, they can go directly to your site.

A perfect example can be found below in my own signature...
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