7th December 2015, after six weeks of workshops on acting for the screen, the day had arrived to film a couple of scenes for my showreel.
There I was in a studio with a professional film crew and the director of the course I had been attending.
To cut a long story short, between takes the sound engineer kept complaining about a hissing he was hearing during the shooting. I asked if it had anything to do with a particular word and how I was pronouncing it. The sound engineer said it could be the case to which the director interfered and said there was nothing he could do about it, I needed a Voice Coach!
I had been working on my accent and pronunciation for many years. I’ve lost count of how many courses for pronunciation I did during 17 years of living in London and I have been aware of phonetic sounds I have struggled to produce for 17 years ! The ‘ae’ as in words for man, can, sat, cat, mat being the number one phonetic sound that I have struggled with, among others in British English.
I know I have made progress with my pronunciation, but on the day I heard that I was producing ‘a hissing’ while speaking my lines and being filmed, I felt very deflated.
Two weeks later, I met with the director of the acting for screen course/showreel to ask him for advice about the future.
In his opinion my foremost priority should be to improve my voice in terms of diction and articulation. I explained I had been working on my pronunciation for so long, what else could I do? “Go away for a year. Do a weekly affordable acting course, find and work in tandem with a voice coach because your voice is paramount.” He added that if I intended to pursue acting I could only succeed with a clear and well articulated voice. “But act to enjoy ” were his final words.
There wasn’t much else I could do but to follow his advice and become aware of the need to FREE my voice. And so, 2016 has been a year of searching for a Voice Coach whilst getting started in a Foundation in Drama Course and acting for enjoyment. I have been finally pulling the reins of my life and nothing or anyone will stop me on this ride.