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Tips for radio actors

  • Hold your script at chest height. If it is held high in front of the voice, your voice will be muffled. If it is held too low, then the voice will be projected downwards and will not record clearly.
  • Turn the pages of your script quietly.
  • Remain still and quiet when you are not speaking.
  • Plan and rehearse movement around the microphone carefully. Actors may still need to move around to allow others good access to the microphone when it is their cue, or to move for particular effects. It is important not to trip over each other or make unnecessary noise.

Critiquing your own work

Once you have recorded your work, it is important to listen to how it sounds, so that you can judge for yourself whether your intentions are being communicated to the audience. This is also a useful thing to do while you are rehearsing your play.

Getting vocal

Teaching voice technique is best integrated into a context, for example storytelling, working with a script, performance poetry, or radio drama.

The most important ingredient however is to link what you are teaching and practising with pieces of text, whether scripted or devised so that students get used to using their voice to create character and meaning.

Knowledge about the voice

Some aspects of voice production that might be introduced at this level are:

  • anatomy (how the voice works) – lungs, fixed ribs, floating ribs, diaphragm, larynx, vocal cords
  • use of breath – breath control, posture
  • articulation:
    • vowels sounds: long and short
    • consonant sounds:
      • plosives (produced by closing oral passage and releasing burst of air) p, t, k, ch, dj, g, and b
      • continuants (that can be prolonged as long as the breath lasts) m, n, ng, l, r
      • fricatives (produced by forcing breath through a constricted passage) s, z, f, v, th, th
  • projection – aiming the voice to a person or a place
  • delivery – tone, intonation, inflection, pace, pitch, volume, rhythm, use of pause.
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