We all have a voice and we can all be singers. With Vanessa, you will learn the elements of healthy and musical singing. We'll work on posture, relaxation, breath control and support, voice production, unrestricted sound, tuning, listening, harmony singing, diverse repertoire, reading music, text clarity and meaningful performance, in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Together we'll work to build excellent technique integrated with your natural musicality and expression.
Above all, Vanessa hopes to develop your love of music and singing, so that you find it as exhilarating and fun as she does and so you'll look forward to your lessons and new musical adventures in every session!
Imagine trying to play a piano if you can't read music... or a guitar, if the strings are out of tune and you don't know where to put your fingers. The actor's voice needs just as much attention to make it the effective tool it needs to be. A strong, healthy and free voice - being able to connect the voice and the breath - is essential to act. If the vocal technique is in place, then the real fun can begin.
Vanessa has successfully taught classes and led workshops at drama schools in the UK and with various young actors programs and community theaters in San Diego. She has worked with professional actors, TV presenters and within businesses to help develop strong and healthy voices, communication skills, projection and confidence.
With Vanessa, you'll work on freeing the voice and the body, on breathing, posture and emotional connection.
Alexander Technique may also be introduced with local practitioner experts.
Observed vocal practitioners: Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenburg, Kristin Linklater, Jan Haydn Rowles and Jessica Higgs
A self-professed "word nerd," Vanessa is a trained, qualified and experienced theatre practitioner who has studied phonetics and accents and is well placed to pass on her knowledge of Regional British and Standard European, Australian, New Zealand, and specific American dialects.
She works with each actor's own natural ability, combining this with a solid technique in voice and accent production to achieve incredible results. Her finely tuned ear can spot a misplaced vowel or inconsistencies in difficult regional accents, and best of all, she knows exactly how to help you correct them!
Observed practitioners: Jan Haydn Rowles and Edda Sharp
San Diego is one of the top 5 cities in the US for theatre and one of the top 10 for film and TV.
Being able to stand out at an audition is essential. How will you differentiate yourself?
Solid and faultless technique goes without saying. Originality, imagination and confidence coupled with freshness, motivation and industry savvy make a winning combination.
With extensive experience on both sides of the audition room in theatre, radio and TV - both in the UK and here in San Diego - Vanessa will help you find the right monologue and/or song that will enable you to book the job you want, and she'll also help strengthen you confidence and industry savvy.
Be audition-ready for professional theatre, community theatre, college, voice and screen work.
Sessions will encompass:
Monologue and audition piece choices along with interpretation, character and text work
Audition songs for the singer and the non-singer
Advice on resumes and head shots
Relaxation in the audition
Support for actors already in training
Helping to develop professional actors' skills and techniques
Where to look to find out when auditions are happening
BEGINNER CELLO AND PIANO
An accomplished cellist and pianist, Vanessa enjoys introducing young students to these two wonderful and versatile instruments.
Learning can be fun as students work on their music reading skills, technique and musicality.
Perfect for young students who want to broaden their musical horizons, or mature students who have always dreamed of learning an instrument.
Always a fun and nurturing environment.
MUSIC THEORY & SIGHT READING
The voice is just like any other musical instrument. Many of us have a good ear and can pick up a tune quickly, but it's important to learn how music works and how to read it to become a fully-rounded musician and performer. When you are cast in a musical, actors often have to know all their music by heart before the first rehearsal. Being able to read music is an essential part of rehearsal preparation. It's also a wonderful skill to have that can prove useful for other work too!
For many, sight singing is a mystical, unattainable goal, but it really isn't that difficult once you know how! Working with your natural ability and your progress learning to read music, Vanessa will also help you hone your sight singing skills and have fun at the same time.
Sight singing required for an audition? No problem!
TEXT & SCRIPT
Learning the lines is the easy part. Knowing what they mean, unpacking the subtext, your character's attitude, and - in essence - how to take the clues provided by the playwright and turn them into a living, breathing, multi-dimensional person is where a lot of actors need a little extra help.
Textual Analysis - or "homework" is every bit as important as what happens inside the rehearsal room.
Vanessa will help teach you different ways to approach a text, how to find the clues in the writing, and how to turn your hard work into a text-driven reality on stage. With a special emphasis on British playwrights, especially the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Restoration comedies, Coward, Rattigan and Wilde, you'll be bringing down the houses on San Diego's theatre scene in no time.
Observed Practitioners: Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenberg
Cicely Berry, Muscularity of Language, Shakespeare (youtube video)
Patsy Rodenberg, The Second Circle (youtube video)
Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, features in the top list of phobias, based on various surveys taken globally, coming in as more anxiety and fear-inducing than death (#4) and snakes (#3)!
You have a speech to give, you need to make an impact. Vanessa is here to help. She'll help you with what to say and how to say it.
Having worked with powerful business leaders who, when it came to addressing a crowd, became a bundle of nerves, Vanessa is perfectly placed to help you achieve your goals and overcome those fears.