Voice Work & the Acting Craft: Conversation with Sam Buchanan

This episode is part of a series where I talk with actors I’ve worked with about their voices and how they incorporate voice work into their craft. In this episode, I talk with Sam Buchanan. Sam is a 23-year old actor from Kent, England. He graduated from @artsedlondon ’s BA Acting program in 2019, which is where we met. I was one of Sam’s voice teachers there. He has appeared on “EastEnders”, is currently shooting a new global thriller for Amazon called “The Power” and a new BBC3 series called “SuperHoe”, written by and starring Nicole Lecky .

Sam and I had a rich conversation about his evolving relationship with voice work and how it’s impacted his craft on both stage and screen.

Themes that come up are:

— what voice work is vs. what it isn’t. Spoiler alert: it’s not about being loud and sounding posh. Sam talks about his process in drama school training—- realizing that voice work made the difference between feeling panicked and self-conscious and allowing him to be present, grounded, responsive and emotionally available in the moment. However, it takes awhile of being in the process to get to that place.

—Sam talks about embodied voice work allowing an actor to have intimate moments (like a love scene on a park bench) on the Olivier stage but be heard in the last row.

— we talk about the difference in voice work between stage and screen: how an adjustment of intention is required and how important voice work is for staying present, connected and emotionally available on screen.

— Sam talks us through a typical body and voice warm up he does before a show and the importance of having a warm up that’s responsive to what you need on any given day. He talks about how his priorities shift when he’s warming up for screen.

— the value of a cool down that allows you to come back to yourself after a show or a shoot

— Sam offers his advice to current and incoming drama school students: stay open to learning, trust the process and find ways to shift your attention off of yourself and onto receiving.

This one is a super interesting episode for professional actors, actors in training, or anyone who is interested in what the craft of acting is all about.

You can listen here or find this episode by searching for ‘Voice what Matters’ on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and other places podcasts are found.