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Friday, August 21, 2015

What Is the Alexander Technique and What Does it have to do with Voice Over?

Ever heard of the Alexander Technique? If you’re an experience voice over actor then you probably have, but if you’re a newbie, the Alexander Technique may be unfamiliar territory for you.  In short, this is a way to help you relax and feel better, and many voice over artists swear by it. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what the Alexander Technique is, and how it may help you as a VO actor.

What is it?
According to their website, the Alexander Technique “is a way to feel better, and move in a more relaxed and comfortable way.”  What does this have to do with voice over, you ask? Well, your voice is a part of your body, just like your heart or your lungs, and when it is working in conjunction with the rest of your body, and properly, it will perform better. 

How does it work?
The Alexander Technique works to eradicate bad habits pertaining to posture, breathing, and how you carry yourself overall. These bad habits are often formed over a lifetime, and they can lead to unnecessary stress, pain and fatigue.   At the core of this philosophy is the relationship between the head and spine, which sets the tone for the rest of the body’s alignment.  The head should balance lightly on the spine, with no overworking of the neck muscles, and from there the body’s overall coordination should improve.

Can it help me?
Maybe.  Correcting your body’s alignment can have a positive impact on your entire body, including your voice.  When everything is working in concert, the benefits can be seen in all areas of your body – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The Alexander Technique is also said to improve vocal projection and voice quality, as well as aid in better concentration and stress and anxiety relief. 

Some Voice Actors prefer to stand as the record their work. That is always the best stance for performing at the mic. However, that may not be practical for long periods in your home studio.
I make a compromise and sit on a stool, extending my legs to the floor and keeping my back relaxed but erect.

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