Voice from a Director’s Perspective: Conversation with Dan Bird

In this podcast episode, I talk to my friend and teaching colleague at ArtsEd, Dan Bird. Dan is an acting teacher and director, and has some really useful thoughts for actors about what he’s looking for vocally from performers when he’s directing. 

The big theme that emerges is the importance of vocal color and a sense of play with pitch range variety, so that the voice is responsive from moment to moment to what’s happening in the text. Here are other themes that come up: 

  • The connection between differentiation of thought and the voice organically changing 
  • The usefulness of Gibberish
  • The importance of listening 
  • Learning your lines around the events that happen in the scene 
  • The usefulness of playing around with pitch for the sake of it 
  • How not useful it is to focus on how you’re feeling as the character, which sometimes creates a vocal “tone”, and some alternative issues to focus on instead 
  • Voice work is not about the voice sounding beautiful, but about it being connected to the performer’s experience 

Let me know what you think about our conversation and/or ask questions that came up for you by emailing me at christine@voicewhatmatters.com.