Welcome to Michael’s ‘Intimate With Strangers’ Page 7
VOICE AND BODY TRAINING
The basic means of the actor, which have traditionally served as the primary area of
his training, are voice and body gesture. The methods used to train these tools of the
actor derive from other fields, such as from the training of the singer’s voice and of
some forms of dance and pantomime.
These contain many useful exercises for the strengthening of the respective muscles of
the voice and body. But the singers voice must retain its beauty and its musical quality
regardless of the circumstances involved, and the dancer’s body must always wind up
in a formally acceptable attitude; and their respective training is so designed.
Their needs are quite different from the needs of the actor. His voice must be flexible
and expressive of all situations and experiences. It must be able to deliver a “poor” voice
or a vulgar, rough, angry, or harsh voice. It must vary as much as the events to be
created. His attitudes must be those of the character - of a human who may be ill at
ease, slovenly, awkward, debilitated, or natural - giving no indication that it is being
accomplished by a skilled craftsman. The technical accomplishment in the singer and
in the dancer may represent a large part of what is appreciated in their performances;
but in the actor, the very fact of the accomplishment must remain hidden. Technical
accomplishment should go unnoticed by the audience.