Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: voice

The deadly whine of inaction

Did I promise to write something every day? Did I commit this to myself? Here is the danger. I have been stopping myself from writing because my thoughts turn political and I keep trying to gauge the temperature in the room for my own political voice. I have become self conscious, and awkward, strung between what’s politically correct (I mean that quite earnestly), rebellious, reactionary, very white, indulgent, racist, offensive, privileged and passive aggressive. I haven’t felt like I have had this problem before and and I need help to traverse it.

But. Why should anyone help me with this? It is nonsense compared to what is really going on. People are busy with life or death scenarios. NGO’s doing amazing work have no money at all. People are victims of crime and injustice and poverty and genuine lack of any kind of delivery of anything. Even my industry of theatre is its own battleground of no resources, corruption, egos and patriarchy, with terrible feelings and hurts and rages and helplessness.

So I am a little paralysed and useless. And even as I say that I hear my own navel gazing bullshit. I want to be part of some radical change and yet I have no idea how to initiate it. I am desperate for someone to whisper it into my ear, but I am suspicious of the who, and will criticise the how.

And all this has silenced my voice of indignation, of outrage, of ideology. When I woke up this morning though I saw a very particular trap. This is the design of politics right now. This place of corruption and capture, of shenanigans, greed, total lack of consequence and blatant criminality can only happen when there is no genuine push back. To expect it from other political parties is useless and naive. To expect it from the poorest and most suffering is wrong. To expect somebody else to help me find the way to do it is a waste of time, and a privilege I cannot afford.

I don’t know what I am going to do yet, but I am going to start by finding my voice, and then calling shit out.

Liz Mills Voice Boot Camp

Honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would NOT do this.

Voice Boot Camp 2013


Once again I have returned from a Liz Mills voice class inspired, delighted and excited. I was reminded today of how influenced I have been by the work we have done; I spent the Grahamstown festival listening to many of the actors’ voices and seeing how consciously they were working with them.

Many actors are stuck in their voices. Many actors have bad vocal habits, over stress, or have developed a very small range of expression. I saw an actress who, because of her huge physical size, had chosen a teeny voice to compensate. I heard actors who were not being kind to their voices with harsh stresses and sore throats. I heard actors whose voices were not in their bodies. And I heard actors who were getting their voices, their unique, individual sounds to really work for them.

I was lucky to see the results of Liz’s work so acutely in Mark Hoeben’s performance in Sadako. Mark, who was at drama school with me, has also been attending these awesome classes, and the work has so paid off. Because he is a puppeteer in Sadako all his performance is through his voice. And what he produces is an almost unrecognisable pitch, vocal quality and range, giving him a sincerity, compassion and connectedness without being an inch sentimental. It’s as if he has taken all the work, all the notes, all the observations and put them directly into practice right there.

So bravo to Mark and bravo to Liz.

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