People today consider Clark Gable as the “The King of Hollywood”, but before all this fame, he toiled hard for years to perfect his voice. Initially, he was rejected for possessing a naturally high-pitched voice. But through rigorous training, this was lowered, and other aspects of voice training were also incorporated into the regimen. Some of them were better posture, breathing and body control. After this, he developed the famous baritone with which he uttered one of Hollywood’s most legendary, famous dialogue, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
This exemplifies the potential that voice training has to shape entire careers.
The underlying mechanics of voice
In general, people have the ability to make noise. Through evolution, we have developed the anatomy to channel meaning into the vibrations of air.
It’s therefore highly essential for any actor to understand the fundamental mechanics that guide their voice before starting the training sessions. Once that is done, we can get to the actual exercises to be better at dialogues and monologues.
Breathing exercises: As we all know, breathing is intricately connected to speech. Breath can control the pattern of your addresses. Hence, before looking to get better at speeches, you must learn the art of proper breathing. Do these recommended exercises which are also part of a popular yoga technique.
- Count to 3 while inhaling and exhaling: This is the best breath control exercise.
- Lion-mouse technique: Open your mouth as wide as possible and let your tongue out. Then scrunch your face like a mouse thereby straining your face muscles. This is akin to cardio for top athletes. Repeat this 10-12 times continuously.
- Tongue stretching: Stick out your tongue and try to touch your chin. Then try to meet your nose with your tongue before doing to same with your left and right ear. Of course, you won’t be able to actually touch these parts, but these movements will release tension in your tongue and jaw.
Improve diction through a set of exercises:
- First attempt to say “P”,” T”,” k”,” T”. It is uttered in the form of “puhh”, “tuhh”, “kuhh”, “tuhh”. Try to do this for about 8-10 times.
- Do this same thing with “B”, “D”, “G”, “D”.
- Then try to form the “rrrr” sound by rolling the tongue, and this might feel similar to your mouth in vibration mode.
- Attempt tongue twisters now.
- When you are trying to do so, keep all the aforementioned points in mind. Relax your mind and body through breathing. Then release tension through the tongue exercises that have been mentioned. Also, ensure that your muscles are always stress-free.
Also, keep the diction exercises in mind. The tongue twisters have to be spoken in one complete breath. Also, most tongue twisters have rhyming phrases in them, and they sometimes start with the same letters. Try to practice by choosing letters that feel unclear and vague to you.