Yesterday morning I attended a voice workshop organised by the Talking Newspaper. Originally I was scheduled to go last week but the dreaded death flu put paid to that. So, Tony, very kindly, slotted me onto the second session.
The workshop was being run by David, one of the readers who used to be a presenter before work took up too much time and who, originally, was a voice/drama teacher. He’s a lovely man and someone I always enjoy working with. It would be fair to say, I was looking forward to it though I had no idea what it would entail.
There were nine of us, sitting in a semi-circle, all facing David. He handed out a piece of paper which we were all told not to look at yet – sort of like in an exam – as he explained what would and wouldn’t be happening in the workshop. We were then told to turn the paper over.
It was the speech from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure where Claudio is trying to explain to his sister, Isabella why death is a lot worse than sex. David recited the piece for us with great relish and asked us what indicators were contained within the text that gave hints and clues about how to read it.
There was then a lot of chat about punctuation, alliteration and onomatopoeia. All of this is very well and good but it’s not really the sort of actor I once was. Taking the words in both sense and rhythm is fine for some people but I always found it was easier for me if the director told me what was required and I just made the words fit the intent.
Anyway, we then had to read the piece to each other (having been paired off), trying to get the sense of it by changing the way we delivered and modulated our voices. I always love a bit of recitation so this bit was fun. I was reading to Rosemary who said I’d convinced her.
At the end of this section of the workshop, David asked if anyone would like to read to everyone or just read it together as a group. Yeside then spoke up saying “I’d like to hear Gary read it.” I thought this was rather odd but, always prepared to show- off, I launched into it, giving it a whole picnic basket full of emotional heart string tugging. I was rewarded with an appreciable applause.
The rest of the workshop was more to do with how we approached reading stories from the paper given the information that David had taught us during the Shakespeare bit. All very good and worth while and enjoyable.
Then, today, I had a Talking Newspaper with David as a reader! Very odd.
In fact, I think I had one of the best teams ever! We went through the edition like a knife through butter, coming out the other end, happy, bouncy and satisfied we’d created an excellent recording.
Maybe it was a result of David’s workshop…who knows.