Ben Corbett | The Voice Blog
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The Voice Blog

21 Jun Learning from my three-month old niece

My new baby niece is a voice master.  She has no need for Linklater voice classes, no need for audition workshops, and no need for private voice and tutorials or confessionals.  She is already connected to her desires, trust me.  That little power house can fill a space quite easily.  Over winter break, while vacationing with my family in Colorado, that little girl, that newly-born package of thoughts, feelings, and desperate needs, awoke a  three-story cabin with wails, crying, and screams.  (6:00 am….I needed to get up anyway.) Throughout the day, she is as receptive to her environment as an open nerve.  The slightest movement or noise in the room piques her interest.  Her voice and body responds instantly with wiggles, coos, chirps, giggles (she loves my husband…she’s still not sure of me).  She blocks nothing out.  She is open to every impulse, every trigger.  She is a response Jedi.

What a tragedy that we lose this connection to our environment and to ourselves as we get older. After years of learning that we might not receive love from others if we say the wrong thing, or making sure we vocally fit in with a peer group, or any other actions we exercises to make sure we are acceptable, our powerful voices become drab, quiets, monotone, and ineffective.  Often, we identify this voice with being an adult, with growing up.  What a fate that awaits us!  This voice used onstage and onscreen is often called “natural” and “like real people talk.”  What a horrible drab world we must live in, then, if this is our daily world.  This voice risks nothing, and hides everything.  This is life? We live in a wonderful, harrowing, painful, glorious world.  We, as actors, must speak from this experience.  If we’re truly adults, then we are brave enough to speak emotionally, impulsively.  Haven’t we, as adults, earned this right through our experiences?

Keep screaming, dear niece.  I’m listening.




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17 Jul new chapter



I write this first brief blog post from a coffee shop in Independence, KS.  I am now the new Instructor of Acting and Voice at the William Inge Center for the Arts, a theatre that hosts the William Inge Theatre Festival each spring, along with several events that introduce new works to new audiences.  Under the excellent leadership of Karen Carpenter, I join a faculty and staff ready to train young artists for careers and lives in the theatre.  I’ve been welcomed with open arms, and I humbly thank those new colleagues and friends for allowing me a permanent place in the Inge family.

I’ve not been one to accept change willingly, and my breath and belly have been quite tight recently in response to the feelings  that arise when life changes course.  However, I choose to have a thought, relax my belly, let my breath drop in, and speak about my experiences, my struggles, and victories. I’ll be using this blog to share my thoughts on my new adventure and my discoveries in the world of voice, body, and acting.

I’m reminded of Uta Hagen and her book, Respect for Acting She writes about working with an actor who was so committed to his character’s life, need, and action that she was never able to get in her lines when it was her turn to speak.  She had to work hard just to get in her lines because this actor would not let her “take her turn.”  Hagen writes that she approached the actor and said, “I can’t apologize enough, but I never know when you’re through!” He was amazed: “I’m never through! And neither should you be.”

Likewise, I am not through.  No matter what I’ve accomplished, created, or experienced, I am not through.


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08 Jun Voice Coach for Hire


What an amazing journey life is!

The curtain rises on a new adventure for me now. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and now I’m really thrilled to begin offering Voice Coaching in one-on-one lessons, small classes, and a variety of formats.

My greatest ambition is to help you achieve yours. Join me on the journey — follow my blog and let me know how training your voice could help you to achieve your goals, whether they be professional or personal.


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