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In this episode I’m joined by my talented & deeply funny friend Tim Murray. Tim is an actor, comedian, podcast host and all-around wonderful performer. Tim and I both watched the Netflix film based on the Broadway musical, The Prom, at the same time, and his response to the film inspired a very specific question from me: “Why was James Corden’s performance in Netflix’s The Prom offensive to gay people?” This question opened up several other interesting pathways for our conversation, including the question of whether actors should play characters they don’t represent in real life, whether there is a “gay accent,” and how media depictions of certain groups of people can affect how they are treated in real life.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
In this episode, I’m joined by my longtime client and friend, Kevin Clayette. Kevin is an actor originally from the French-speaking island of New Caledonia. He’s also lived in Australia, England, and now the US and he asked the question, “Is there such a thing as a natural accent?” Like many people who have moved around the world, Kevin’s accent has changed over the years and while he can consciously change his accent to be “American” or “Australian” or “French,” he’s not quite sure how to describe his “natural” accent…that is, his accent when he’s not conscious of being *in* an accent.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
In this episode, I’m joined my friend, Dominick Bailey. Dominick is an actor, dancer, writer, and clinical pharmacist who asked the question, “How do I manipulate the volume of my voice?” Most of the time that I talk to clients about volume, it’s because they’re wondering how to have more volume, but Dominick asked the question because he’s sometimes gotten the feedback that he’s too loud. We talked about the ways in which our volume might be involuntarily affected by various circumstances, and I offered Dominick some tools to give him a better sense of how to consciously adjust his volume.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend and colleague, Rachel Finley. Rachel is an actor, director, spoken-word artist, writer, and teacher specializing in acting, voice, and speech. Rachel is currently researching dialects of the African diaspora and I invited her as a follow-up to my last episode. I asked Rachel “What are your thoughts on the “So-Called African American Vernacular of English?” We talked about why AAVE is a useful term for linguists, but less so as a term to describe the accent of an entire race. Rachel shared her thoughts on what might be a better term, and offered perspectives on how she approaches researching and teaching accents of the diaspora (and beyond).You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Brandon Piper. In this episode, Brandon asked the question, “Why do we make assumptions about people’s race based on how they sound?” We talk about the technicalities of accent including the dialect, African American Vernacular of English, and what linguists have to say about his question, but we also talked about our personal experiences related to the biases and assumptions we experience in our own lives.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my colleague, Joanna Cazden. Joanna is a speech pathologist, with a specialty in vocal health. She’s also a singer and a certified teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, so she has a well-rounded approach of marrying health and technique in performance. In this episode, I ask Joanna questions from YOU, our listeners. We cover everything from which type of tea is best for your voice to what vocal nodules are to what tongue tension could be telling us. You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
In this bonus episode, I'm a guest on The Modern Actor Podcast talking about the importance of actor training for breath and voice.For more on The Modern Actor Podcast: https://www.the-modern-actor.com/podcastFor more on Speaking Of...Conversations on Voice, Speech, and Identity with Ryan O'Shea: https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast
In this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend and colleague, Helena Walsh. Helena has a thriving voice studio in Dublin, Ireland, though her teaching covers so much more than voice. One of Helena’s current class offerings is called “The Actor’s Practice,” a 10 week advanced actor training practice using Fitzmaurice Voicework, Organic Intelligence and other leading voice and body methods. The class aims to “build resilience in the mind & body so that the imagination can be free to create a more energized and vibrant sense of self, character & storytelling. This resilience will make it easier to risk in life, in an audition, in the rehearsal room, on set & on stage.” Helena is a brilliant teacher and mentor, and I took the opportunity to ask Helena about how she developed her class, and what practices she recommends actors develop regardless of where they are in their career.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend, actor-writer-photographer-editor, Jessica Barrett Denison aka Jess. Jess asked the question, “When I shut down, how do I come back?” The way I reframed Jess’ question was “How can I help myself be more present when I feel overwhelmed?” Her question is relatable to performers, especially if you ever have a feeling being “stuck” when the performance isn’t going the way you think it “should” be. And it’s also relevant for anyone with any degree of social anxiety. In the episode, we talk about some tools and concepts for helping you get present with what matters, whether you’re in performance or in conversation.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend, voice and acting teacher, Scott Ferrara. Scott specializes in coaching voice as well as acting for classical texts. He joined me to talk about “Shakespeare voice”—the tone and accent that many actors often go to when first exploring Shakespeare in performance. We talked about why he believes this is so common, and he shared some tools and experience for how to guide actors toward their more authentic voice. (And it is far more advanced than saying “Hey, don’t do that voice.”) While the main conversation is from the context of Shakespeare in performance, the conversation is absolutely relevant for actors of all genres and mediums, and even for non-performers interested in finding their more authentic voice.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend, actor Vivi Devereaux. Vivi’s question was, “How do I release my voice when I’m under stress?”Vivi is regularly performing and auditioning, and his question is related to the stressful “fight-or-flight” response that often accompanies performance. Throat tightening is a very common side-effect of nerves or fear, that affects performers and non-performers. We talk about WHY this happens and I offer an array of tools you can use both in the moment that the tightening is occurring, as well as some exercises to add to a vocal practice.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m answering listener questions. My boyfriend, Cam, co-hosted with me, serving as the reader of questions (not to mention he was letting me know whether or not I was making sense).Some of the Interview Highlights: The most common “cringe-worthy” ticks that detract from a message.The four pillars of accent work, and how to find specificity in any accent.Tools for finding more ease in performing Shakespeare, so that you never need “Shakespeare voice.”How breathing affects actors’ ability to be affected.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my wonderful friend, actress and writer, Lisa Ermel.Lisa’s initial question was “What is a woman’s voice?” We quickly discovered that another way of asking her question is “When am I managing how I sound because I’m trying to manage how I’m perceived?”This was a really important conversation that has relevance to anyone who has ever found themselves adjusting the sound of their voice in order to fit some ideal of how they *think* they should be. We talk about some of the reasons why womxn, in particular, might change the sound of their voices, and how this is likely limiting their power.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by actor and founder and creator of The Modern Actor, Eddie Ramos.Eddie had two questions: “How can I express myself without using vocal fry? What sort of warm-up should I be doing before going on set?”Eddie and I talked about how on-camera actors, in particular, often rely on vocal fry in their speaking. We talk about what vocal fry is, why it’s so common, and why it might actually be a useful choice for an actor. Then I share thoughts on how to find a fuller, more expressive voice as well as what type of exercises actors might do in order to perform in any context.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
Today on Speaking Of… I’m joined by actress, writer, director, and producer, Cara Myers. Cara asks about some specific challenges she’s experienced in performance. We start by talking about why she sometimes has a tendency to drop off of her words in performance and how to overcome this difficulty. Then Cara mentions an upcoming project where she’ll be performing on stage, and her concern about her ability to project her voice in a larger venue. Like many Los Angeles-based actors, most of Cara’s acting experience has been on camera, so finding ease in projecting her voice is a relatively new requirement for her. We talk about the major differences for speaking on camera vs. on stage, and I offer some tools for finding ease in projection regardless of the medium.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
Today on Speaking Of… I’m joined by my partner, Cameron Cramer.Cameron is a non-performer working in YouTube marketing, and he asked: why do I feel fine having conversations in meetings, but feel really nervous giving presentations? This question is a really common one for people in the professional/corporate world, but it’s also relevant for performers who often feel a shift in their ability to be present in different performance scenarios.  Cameron and I talk about how the context we give ourselves around speaking engagements ultimately decides how we respond to those scenarios, and why we must give ourselves a positive context in order to find enjoyment in any speaking scenario. We also discuss some of the public-speaking tips he’d been given over the years and how that “one-size-fits-all” approach has been unhelpful.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we’ve mentioned in the episode on https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast.
Today on Speaking Of… I’m joined by a longtime friend, Arianne Villareal. Arianne is an actress and singer based here in LA, and she asked: how does our posture affect our breath? This question is an incredibly useful one for performers and non-performers alike, and brings up some really interesting follow-up questions and exercises.  Arianne and I talk about how our breathing and our emotions are intimately connected and why paying attention to your breath when you’re feeling anxious or unsettled may not always be the right answer. We work through some useful breathing exercises, talk about how her most recent performance affected her breath and body, and how you can anchor yourself physically if you’re feeling off-balance onstage or in everyday life.  You can find complete show notes and links to everything we mentioned in the episode at https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast 
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m chatting with my friend Kevin Whitmire, an actor and teaching artist based in LA.  Kevin and I start off by talking about performance and how he changes his voice for each role. We then dive into his question: what makes a voice masculine or feminine?  What follows is a fascinating conversation about what constitutes our most “real” voice and how speech and acting coaches can reinforce stereotypes about how certain groups of people do – or should – speak. We also talk about having a “gay” voice, feeling uncomfortable when you hear yourself on a recording, and the vulnerability of speaking aloud.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we mentioned in the episode at https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast 
On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m speaking with singer and actor Ana Lorena Sánchez about how she got into acting and her relationship with her voice.Ana wanted to know: How does our ancestors’ experience of their voice affect ours?We then dive into a fascinating conversation about generational trauma and why women are often silenced. We talk about why so many people are disconnected from the power of their voice – which resides in the gut and diaphragm – and the workarounds many people develop to overcome this disconnection.Ana and I also walk through some practical breathing exercises that can make you feel more grounded and connected to your feelings when speaking in public or performing. We wrap up by touching on the practice of structuring your voice and talk about the intimate connection between your body and your speech.And, if you’re in LA in June, come join me for a weekend intensive workshop on the principles of Fitzmaurice Voicework. You can learn more about the workshop and register here!You can find complete show notes and links to everything we mentioned in the episode at https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast 
For the very first episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend and singer Daniel Jaar. Daniel and I met in a workshop in LA and he has such incredible presence, I’m delighted he’s the first guest on the show!Daniel brought a really fascinating question with him: Can the sound of someone’s voice tell you whether they’re a good or bad person? We talk about the story that inspired Daniel’s question and then dive into a discussion about what someone’s voice can tell you about their identity (if anything). We touch on code-switching and its impact on both singing and everyday life, why some people might put on a “fake” sounding voice, and whether we can gauge someone’s intentions by the way they sound.You can find complete show notes and links to everything we mentioned in the episode at https://www.voiceandspeechwithryan.com/podcast 
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