The Importance of Voicework for Camera: Conversation with Mark Street

Mark Photo 2019
Mark Street 

Hey Friends,

Are you an actor who is working or who has an interest in working in Film/TV? If so, this episode is geared for you.

In this episode, Christine interviews her dear friend and colleague Mark Street about the importance of actors applying their voice work to any work they do on camera. Mark is a filmmaker and Screen Acting Tutor at ArtsEd in London, and in his work he identifies several regular pitfalls that actors fall into vocally when working onscreen, including:

  • dropping the voice down and not having intention. This sometimes comes from relying too much on a microphone, and sometimes it happens because actors confuse sounding “natural” or “real” with sounding under-energized and uncommitted
  • Coloring the voice without any intention behind it. This often happens because actors aren’t thinking through the thoughts they’re speaking out loud.

Mark talks about the importance of intention and thought to on-camera acting work, and how crucial the voice and body are to communicating with intention. Themes that come up are:

  • The uselessness of focusing on sounding “natural” or “real”. Instead, it’s more helpful for actors to focus on what they want from who they are talking to
  • Defining “The Victory Statement”– a visual actors can give themselves to know if they are getting what they want from the other person
  • Defining the “Real Space” that actors have to consider when working on camera and how to play it vocally
  • The importance of actors having a rehearsal system for themselves before they go onset that includes working the scene vocally and physically, as film/tv schedules offer very little onset rehearsal time
  • The importance of breathing to Intention in acting, as well as to keeping the actor grounded in high-pressure film environments

There is not a lot of information out there about how to apply voice work to film/tv work, so if you are a Film/TV actor or someone who speaks regularly on camera, this episode is a good starting point for how to consider your voice when working. Let us know what questions this brings up for you! We are already in discussion with Mark about potential follow-up episodes based on your questions.

If this episode inspires you to do some voice warm ups before doing some work on camera, you can find some guided sequences here and here.

If you’d like to download this episode in podcast form, you can find it on iTunes, BuzzSprout, Stitcher, GooglePlay and Spotify by searching for “Bespoke Speaks.”

For more about Mark Street:

Mark trained as an actor before directing and writing plays on the London fringe circuit. He was a co-founder of 104 Theatre Company with which he won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award for a devised piece entitled ‘See Base Of Can’.

He then started his own production company ‘From The Streets Productions’ with his wife and Producer Jane Street. Together they began working on short film projects alongside their theatre work. Mark’s first film went on to showcase at London’s Raindance Film Festival and his second ‘The Noisy Neighbour’ a horror based on Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tell-Tale Heart’ began its festival run at ‘The Commonwealth Film Festival’. Mark has gone on to have a successful career directing for both stage and screen collaborating with a wealth of talented writers, editors, animators and producers.

Mark is currently developing his next feature having just finished his feature-length documentary entitled ‘The Space: Theatre of Survival’ – about a young group of writers, directors, actors and artists that used their work to challenge the racist government in Apartheid South Africa during the 1970s. The film is currently touring the festival circuit with distribution later in the year.

Mark also enjoys teaching screen acting at Arts Ed where he is the Senior Screen Acting Tutor.

Film Website: www.thespacetheatre.com

Personal Web: www.markstreetfilm.com

Twitter: @markstreetfilm

Instagram: markstreetfilm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Mark.Street.Films/

Take good care,

Christine & Lindsay

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