I’ve had a lifelong love of theatre and voice. I became acutely aware of language and voice from an early age: I was brought up in a bi-lingual household, speaking German and English, and subconsciously I must have soaked up the differences in nuance between the two languages, their accents and the attitudes they embody. Acting was also always a passion for me, highlighted by my first ever role, portraying an exhausted shepherd in the school nativity play: Teacher: “Why are you so out of breath?” 6 year old me: “Because I’ve been chasing that big star all night”.
My love of language and literature took me to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where I studied English Literature and acted in as many theatre productions as I could. I then trained as an actor at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. It was here that I received the finest voice training under Patsy Rodenburg and Jeannette Nelson. I began to understand what voicework actually was, about how the body and breath are intrinsic to safe, creative and authentic voice production, and how voicework can both liberate the actor in a role and also liberate ourselves in our lives outside performance. This training has underpinned every aspect of voicework I have since studied and taught.
I worked as an actor for the next 10 years in theatre, radio, film, voiceovers and TV. Highlights were playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, appearing as a social worker bearing bad news in EastEnders, and being privileged to appear with a stellar cast (Lyndsay Duncan, Michael Pennington, Hugh Bonneville to name a few) in a Radio 3 production of Antony and Cleopatra.
After 10 years of work I realised that the reactive nature of the actor’s life was not for me and that I had so much more to offer. It occurred to me my voice classes at Guildhall provided the core of my acting skills training and united my love and understanding of the craft of acting, with my knowledge of language and literature. Thus I embarked on the MA Voice Studies at The Royal Central School of Drama.
Having graduated in 2008 with Distinction, I have taught at various drama schools including ALRA, Central, Bristol Old Vic, Mountview, Fourth Monkey and the International School of Screen Acting. I have also worked with Strangeface Theatre Company, as a language consultant on the Royal National Theatre’s West End production of Warhorse, and for Tiger Aspect as a voice and dialect coach, as well as being part of the voice team on the RSC’s Matilda The Musical.
I have especially enjoyed working in the corporate world, bringing the work to people who do not consider themselves to be performers. Together with Fluxx Consulting I worked on developing the presentation and communication skills within the Lab group of Lloyds TSB, as well as working on various projects with the Audit Commission and Lufthansa German Airlines.
Having considered myself to have given up acting completely in 2007, I was recently delighted to find myself performing in a portmanteau film about London, directed by Nick Cohen and Rosanna Lowe. It was a joy and a challenge to put into practice what I teach.