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  • Writer's pictureLisa Marie Newton

Doing it "Right"

I was a good student. I admit it. I was one of those people who sat at the front of the class. I was always good at taking tests and at figuring out the "right" answer. (hint: A lot of times, teachers will actually give you the right answer if you pay enough attention to the way they ask the question.)

There comes a point, though, as you grow into an artist, where you have to figure out what you want to say with your work. And I had trouble with that transition.

I spent years (nay, decades) trying to get praise and a pat on the head from voice teachers and acting teachers. I would follow all of their clues, I would do all the work they said to do, and somehow when I got up on stage, I didn't get the praise I wanted. For all my trying to do it "right," I actually became more invisible. (You know, that moment when you walk into an audition room, nobody looks up, and you barely get a perfunctory "thanks" before you leave the room. Ouch.)

That wreaks havoc with your self-confidence.

And when the only goal you have is to get it "right," you miss opportunities for expression and, well, FUN! You miss your performance entirely, because you are only focused on what THEY think and how THEY are reacting.

Luckily, I've aged a little, so I give less of a s*** what other people think, and since the pandemic began in 2020, I've started to work with some truly wonderful coaches and teachers who have encouraged me, not to get it "right," but to express what is really happening in that moment. It involves less planning what it will sound like, and more feeling into that moment and allowing the moment to happen.

I will be forever grateful to these folks for helping me find my real "voice."

The Spark File

Susan Blackwell & Laura Camien's community of creatives, where the motto is "We love it! Keep going!" (They have a great podcast, too!)

BGB Studio

Risa Bramon Garcia & Steve Braun's acting studio in LA, where actors are told, "What the industry really needs is your authentic voice." (They ALSO have a great podcast! I'm sensing a trend...)

Loryn Barbeau

My voice teacher of nearly 10 years (on & off), who wants her students to "show people who you really are!"

David Rosenthal

A fantastic voiceover coach, who always wants MY take on a script, and loves it when I use my most powerful voice.

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