Fall in love with your voice. Get to know how it works. You will soon feel how good it is to sound like you.
In The Voice Exercise Book, Jeannette Nelson - Head of Voice at the National Theatre - shares the voice exercises she uses with many of Britain's leading actors to help to keep their voices in shape. Her belief is that all of us, not just actors, can learn to use our voices well.
Whether you perform professionally or you just want to be understood clearly and easily, you can improve your voice by knowing how it works and by practising simple exercises. The aim is not to 'fake it' – to try to sound like someone else. It is to find your authentic voice: to be honestly and clearly you in any situation.
'Jeannette’s warm-up sessions are tremendous and this book extends those exercises.' Zoë Wanamaker CBE
'Jeannette’s knowledge is astonishing, and her approach so gentle and effective.' Derren Brown
'She makes voice production endlessly fascinating and fun. There is no one better.' Rory Kinnear
'A must for anyone who is serious about producing a strong, clean noise from their voice box.' Sir Lenny Henry
Jeannette Nelson trained as a singer and dancer at the Arts Educational School, then worked in theatre and cabaret for ten years in Britain and around the world. In her late twenties, she took a degree in English at Queen Mary, University of London, and then trained as a voice teacher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Jeannette taught for many years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as working as a voice and dialect coach in theatre, film and television. Besides the National Theatre, where she has worked since 1992, becoming Head of Voice in 2007, she has been resident voice coach at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Sydney Theatre Company, Australia. She has also worked on many productions for other British theatre companies in London’s West End and leading regional theatres.
As a voice and dialect coach in film and television, her work includes the films The Merchant of Venice (with the cast, including Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes), Kingdom of Heaven (with Orlando Bloom) and Wuthering Heights (with Juliette Binoche). Her most recent work in television includes The Hollow Crown (with the cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Philip Glenister, Keeley Hawes, Sally Hawkins, Sophie Okonedo and Tom Sturridge).