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#festvoice

Well what a summer its been. And by that I mean I was in Edinburgh for the International Fringe Festival and it only rained twice!? Couldn't quite believe it. 

Not only was I honoured to have directed and voice acted in the 5* rated Welcome to Tiddleminster, "an absolutely inspired hour of comedy", written by Chris Cantrill, but myself and fellow #voicegeek Laura Hunt provided our voice coaching services to performers at the festival on a 'Pay What you Can' basis, what we liked to call #festvoice...#catchy...#thenextbigthing.

We had a grand old time running around Edinburgh assisting actors, singers, puppeteers and comedians with their vocal quandaries in exchange for beer, show tickets and gratitude. And the odd quid here and there. The whole thing went down very well and we aim to provide the same service next year as it seems like something that could be of benefit.

Laura wrote a great blog about keeping your voice in shape pre festival, which I'd recommend checking out if you're a performer planning on heading up next year. Aaaand along the same theme, here are three basic reminders of how to assist vocal recover after the festival so you can be totally prepared for next year. 

 

- Drink some goddamn water mate; I know what it's like up there for booze and caffeine, yeah? I did coaching in return for beers and even sometimes gin so fully understand the temptation, so give yourself a break. Detox. Stick to water, herbal teas and the odd proper tea, maybe, as a vehicle for a digestive dunk. 

- Go to sleep; yeah you heard me. Get some shut eye. It shouldn't be too hard, you've been performing for a whole month. You body has a habit of repairing itself when you're asleep (*insert science-y bit here...) so if you rest the body will do the work for you. Which is nice to know.

- Shut the heck up; just give it a rest, yeah? Have a day or so where you stay in bed, crack on the telly and watch that box set everyone has been telling you to watch but you didn't have time as you were preparing for the Festival. Nowt better than just resting the voice for a wee while. And thing how grateful your housemates/family/significant other will be to have some peace and quiet. Or is that just mine?

 

So there you go! It's that simple. If you're being really prepared and planning next years Festival already, get in touch with any voice questions or requirements. 

Over and out.

Nic

I'm baaaaack...

Yes, that's right gang. I'm back on the blog, miss me? I missed you too. I do hope you've found other blogs to fill your minds with in my absence. 

It's been quite the year. A full time MA and keeping the VO biz going. Good job I'm an organised bod with a penchant for fourteen hour days and no social life. But it was all for the greater good. Nine months on and a new stage of life begins - me the voice coach. It's been going well so far. As well as work in various Drama Schools (RADA, Arts Ed, East 15) I've been collecting an eclectic bunch of 1-2-1 clients who I help with accents, voice for voiceover and general vocal assistance. Add to this some work with comedians for comedy pilots on TV and Radio, merging my two passions of comedy and voice, I don't think I can ask for much more.

Not one to exaggerate (I literally never do...) the course has been a life changer. Not only for me as a voice practitioner but as a person (#barf) Going back to studying at this age has been really hard and my brain has been put through its paces. But now, having survived, I've rediscovered a love for learning things. Some of which is science?! Whaaat? Yes. I know stuff about anatomy and muscles and acoustic science and things. Turns out learning IS fun if it is something that you're actually interested in. Who knew? And they have apps for literally everything these days. Which is both helpful and entertaining. 

The main purpose of this blog is to spread the word about next months exciting project. Myself and fellow voice colleague and pal Laura Hunt are offering Pay-What-You-Can voice coaching to those at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. I'm up at the Fringe with a brilliant show, Welcome to Tiddleminster starring comedian and Twix fan Chris Cantrill, and want to lend a vocal hand to those in need. Be it help with an accent, some warm up ideas, vocal health advice or text work, if you or anyone you know is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, send them our way. (#festvoice) We are happy to help. We are accepting all cash donations and offers of drinks/show tickets as payment. Which isn't too shabby. Prices usually start at £40-50/hour so if you've got the budget for something that would be fabulous. But I will accept part payment in haggis and hog roast. 

Anyway, a 12,000 word thesis awaits, which is more than I'm used to these days, damn Twitter and it's 140 character limit, so I shall sign off for now. 

Keep an eye on #festvoice and #tiddleminster for all the shenanigans and goings on at the Festival.

Kind regards and thanks for reading.

Nic

 

So far so good...the mature student vs the SU bar

Sorry if my typing is all over the place guys, I'm just sooooo hashtag hungover from ALL the Freshers week shenanigans, like. Man, was I throwing down the shots and wines and literally all of the pints of booze.

Yeah, that's all a lie. I'm 30. The smell in the SU bar brought back a whole heap of bad memories about 70p double vodkas, The Killers anthems and sticky floors. I rolled my eyes. At a smell. A first year undergrad open a door for me. All the excitement, I must've looked ready for my afternoon nap. So, it's not exactly like the first time I was a student. Or even the second. I did get a very interesting DVD out of the library on the anatomy of the larynx which, to the untrained passerby (e.g., my fella) definitely looked more like a niche rude-y video. I also picked up an eco-friendly bio degradable condom at Freshers Fair. Not sure exactly how that works but it made a great balloon puppet.

This is just a check in to say, holy moly I'm excited. Great bunch of people on the course it seems. There is also a REALLY BEAUTIFUL DOG! A guide dog, called Jemma. Not in training itself, but guiding someone who is training. Look, I'm not saying it's so far the best thing about the course, but it's definitely a close second. To the accidentally rude-y larynx video, obvs.

I'm still recording voice over work folks, so don't  panic. If you need anything get in touch. If anything, my lovely/bookable Irish voice will only get better. I'm aiming to sound like the love child of Christopher Walken and Emma Thompson. 

More to come...stay tuned.

First day of school nerves v disembodied voiceover female

Eep! So tomorrow is registration day for the next chapter in my professional life, if you'll remember I blethered about it here briefly.... The time has come for me to return to study for another MA. Like I said to my bank when them pitching the idea, who wants one degree when you can have three? Am I right?!

After months of sorting financing, buying books, attending conferences and retraining my mind in the ways of study, all of a sudden emotionally I'm 11 years old again, pulling up my knee socks and donning a satchel to have a 'first day of school'. ARGH! What if they don't like me? What if I fall on the way into the dinner hall? What if I get a terrible nickname about my ears again? ('World Cup'...incase you were interested)  Funny how those feelings don't go away, no matter how old you get.

Now. The course is in Voice Studies. So I'll need lots of guinea pigs to practice voice coaching on. Be it general voice skills, voice in performance or presentation, accents, Alexander Technique etc etc... If you are an actor, or a voice artist, or a preacher, or teacher, or bin man, or anyone who has a voice and you want some to improve your skills, have a voice issue you've always wondered if you could fix, or need to sound like you're from the purpletuktuk tribe in Innerouterfarawaycountryland...CALL ME! I NEED YOU! Spread the word to family and friends and please send folk my way via this site. 

Making new friends and embarking on a new student journey is a daunting prospect. But I'm focusing on the positive and exciting experiences to come. And the 10% off in Topshop.