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  • Writer's pictureAnnalee Scott

It's as easy as breathing

Breath Control & Projecting

“It’s as easy as breathing” they say…but they probably never had to narrate a long run on passage…

The more time I spend behind the mic the more connected I am becoming to my breath and I’m seeing this show up in other areas of my life outside the booth.

Something you may not know about me is that I work at a theater on the weekends bartending, managing, and occasionally doing the curtain speech. This past weekend I was delivering a curtain speech to a sold out house when I noticed something…

I’ve always been comfortable with public speaking and have acted on stage many times but I used to always get the note “speak up!” or “can you be louder?”. You’d think that projecting one’s voice would come naturally to an actor but for me it just didn’t. I felt like I had to strain and push to get the sound out at that decibel. And the more time I spend behind the mic the more aware I’m becoming of just how shallow and unsupported my breathing used to be!

"But you're a trained actor and studied theater in college!" Yes, I did. But when you're in a big open space you're not as conscious of your breathing as you are when you're in a tiny booth with headphones listening to every nuanced sound your body AND BREATH makes. If you're looking to become more connected to your breath get into a quiet booth, get on a mic, and really listen to yourself...

While I was on stage this past weekend, I didn’t even realize it at first, but my eyes were naturally scanning the page for “phrasing” and my body was taking large diaphragm breaths in anticipation of making it to the end of the phrase. It was as if I was in my booth narrating and with my posture and body engaged my voice came out more freely. Rather than taking lots of quick shallow breaths I was able to release the air in my lungs fully allowing each subsequent breath I drew to be fuller and better support my voice.

Of course we can’t always stand in perfect posture and take a big diaphragm breath before every line as an actor, but in the booth we can! And hearing my voice come out as freely and loudly as it did this weekend feels like a win. I can breathe easy knowing the next time I’m in a production I might not get the note “we can’t hear you!”


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