Alexa is joined by guest Louisa Morgan who teaches singing, spoken voice, and audition prep with a specialism in acting through song. She is the main voice teacher for the full-time acting students at the Cygnet Theatre in Exeter and teaches musical theatre students at Italia Conti. Louisa is a Vocal Process accredited teacher and is currently studying part-time for her master’s degree in Vocal Pedagogy with the Voice Study Centre. Louisa is here to talk about her specialist subject of acting through song and that of her master’s research project, which aims to challenge current acting through song techniques for the musical performer.
- The main challenge musical theatre performers face when it comes to acting through song is the synergy of the three disciplines. Generally, we train musical theatre actors by sending them to their singing lessons, then their acting and then their dance. The difficulty is bringing all of those together and embracing that the singer will have to go out on stage and do all three at once.
- Another problem when it comes to acting through song training is that there isn’t enough when it comes to the text-based approach. There is a big gap when it comes to the text that’s in front of the student on the page. What about punctuation? And which words are being emphasised?
- Louisa finds that the skills she learned acting for radio are very transferable when it comes to acting through singing, especially on the script side of things. Add a double question mark when it’s a real question, and cross the question mark out if it’s rhetorical.
- When a singer is fully embodying the character and feeling the emotion we expect them to feel, it can cause problems when it comes to vocal health and on-stage movement. Louisa is studying what people are listening for in the voice to make them feel that emotion. She believes the focus should be on making the listener feel the emotion rather than the performer feeling that emotion themselves.
‘You shouldn’t be approaching a song if you don’t know the context’
‘Pulling out those verbs doesn’t mean just making them louder’
‘If we could collaborate more in training institutes, everyone would benefit’
‘The job is not that we feel the emotion; it’s that the audience feels the emotion’
- Instagram: @louisamorganvoicecoach
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Voice Study Centre: voicestudycentre.com
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast: Ep. 40 Integrated Skills: Teaching Singing to Dancers with Jennie Morton
- Practitioners Mentioned: Stanislavski; Meisner
- David Sabella: davidsabella.com
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast: Ep. 34 The Most Neglected Skill in Vocal Training with Phillippe Hall
- Acting Through Song by Paul Harvard
- Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course by Joe Deer and Rocco Dal Vera
- Actions: The Actor’s Thesaurus by Marina Caladrone & Maggie Lloyd-Williams
ABOUT THE GUEST
Louisa teaches singing, spoken voice, and audition prep, with a specialism in acting through song. She is the main voice teacher for the full-time acting students at the Cygnet Theatre in Exeter, which has been training actors for 40 years. Louisa also teaches musical theatre students at Italia Conti on the Diploma, BA, and CertHe courses. Many of Louisa’s students are either working towards a career in the performing arts or are already working in the performance industry. Louisa is currently working part-time towards an MA in Vocal Pedagogy with Voice Study Centre (due to be completed in October 2023). She is now one of only 19 Vocal Process accredited teachers, a course headed by Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. Louisa takes vocal health very seriously and is a qualified Vocal Health First Aider and member of Vocal Health Education. Because of Louisa’s training and experience as an actor and director, she is able to offer text-based coaching and voice work for speech in addition to singing.