Embodiment & Voice:

Priming Your Instrument
Through Embodiment and Vocal Release

Taught by Susan-Jane Harrison

 

Do you know how to breathe for performance?  Are you able to gauge appropriate vocal levels for the performance medium?  Do you sometimes feel awkward in your body and resort to “mono gestures” in scene work?  Most people struggle with these things until they train in voice and movement techniques.  Prime your instrument with Voice & Performance Coach SJ Harrison.  Imagine feeling confident in your ability to sustain your vocal power throughout a performance.  Begin to explore your full expressive range both vocally and physically, in this process-oriented technique class.  As you start to more fully inhabit your physical experience, you will begin to observe what’s blocked and held back in your voice and your body….and learn what to do about it, through the medium of Linklater and Laban based Techniques.

By the end of this class you will have an embodied vocal warm up you can use before performance, scene work and auditions.  You will understand more about your specific physical and vocal challenges and how they tie into emotion and intellect, and be on the path to working through them.  This work is personally empowering and will strongly support your acting, allowing you fuller range of emotive expression.

 

You will be encouraged to keep a journal of process for yourself during this class to record your observations.  There will be no scene work.  The demand outside of class time is minimal.  

 

Susan-Jane Harrison is a British American playwright and performer who trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, with a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of California at Davis. Unusual collaborations in Harrison’s artistic work have allowed her to develop across disciplines.  A member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association), Susan-Jane has an international voice and performance practice coaching actors and business professionals.  She specializes in working with ‘third culture’ and multilingual clients, and has been placed in the 'Top 1% of Voice and Public Speaking Coaches' in the USA by Yahoo! Global.  Her work on Voice and Performance has been published in academic journals in the UK and in Turkey.  Harrison’s work as performer and playwright has been seen in both the UK, USA & NZ. She has worked in the UK, most notably with BBC Radio, A&BC Theatre Co, RADA and the Royal National. In the USA, she has worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Woman’s Will, ACT, California Shakespeare Company and A Traveling Jewish Theater.  She is a Brady Fellow at 3Girls Theatre in San Francisco in the 2021-2023 Cohort for development of her play, "Today I Live.” The originator of the Inhabiting Technique for Actors, SJ Harrison has over 20 years experience as actor, producer and playwright, and has worked internationally in the UK, San Francisco Bay Area, New Zealand and NYC.  She has taught groups and individuals for nearly just as long, at UC Davis, ACT, Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, and California Shakespeare Theater.  She has a private voice and performance coaching practice for international clients 

Class Schedule

 

This class will begin on Tuesday, July 5th and will meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and Saturday mornings from 10:30am to 12:30pm.  The last day of class is on Saturday, July 30th.  There are 8 classes in this special summer class, and tuition is $320.  This is an in person class that will take place at Empowerhouse Acting Studio in Berkeley.

Testimonials

 

Here are what some of SJ’s clients/students have said about working with her (including two graduates of the Meisner Technique training):

 

“Susan-Jane Harrison’s class was one of the most impactful acting classes I have taken. It’s the perfect complementary class to the Meisner Technique training, and I now have tools that allow me to access authentic emotions with freedom and flexibility of expression. After working with Susan-Jane, I could see a path to the creative free fall every actor hopes to find; where scenes are not driven by words but rather brought to life with authentic human emotions. I feel like I have been given a secret weapon.” - Katherine Watson-Darwish (graduate of the Meisner Technique training)

 

"I started working with SJ for accent reduction while I was in my Meisner training. With SJ’s help, I learned how to use my voice and breath effectively to make my work more impactful. I discovered my true voice and learned how to use it to my advantage. It helped me build characters and make choices in my work and towards the end of my training I felt more confident than ever in my work. I definitely recommend voice and breath work for every Meisner actor to supplement their actor's arsenal and SJ has a wonderful way of approaching it as she understands how the Meisner mind works!” - Somtirtha Roy (graduate of the Meisner Technique training)

 

“Susan-Jane is an enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, who listens to her students and adjusts her teaching style to their needs.  She draws from a deep well of knowledge and training in the art of acting – a rare and unique combination.  As a theatre director, I found Susan-Jane’s class to be instrumental in understanding the emotional physicality and the inner work of acting…” -Tatiana Gelfund

 

“Susan-Jane is wonderful to work with. She is a compassionate, empowering, knowledgable teacher and mentor. SJ is really able to see you as an individual with individual needs and identify ways to work with you to free your voice, emotion and tension points. She has a very holistic approach and I’ve been really pleased by how much working on my voice with SJ has led to an overall increase in confidence as an actor, and as a person.” - Lissa Jariyusant

 

“I fall into the category of shy presenter, and I am presenting weekly! After only one workshop with SJ, I noticed a significant shift. I use her techniques before every single speaking engagement. It’s made all the difference to me in terms of enjoying showing up in the world— as myself!” - Danusha Laméris

 

“SJ’s class has given me a fresh and unique approach to delve into my emotional experiences safely and skillfully. I loved the active exploratory lab style of the class. I really like that we did not focus on a final product, but it was instead about our own personal experiences and relationship to the techniques given. Most importantly, as a teacher Susan-Jane is warm and patient, while still pushing her students to explore and push their limits. I would recommend her class to beginning and advanced actors.” Rosella Bearden

 

You can read more about SJ’s work here - https://sjharrisoncoach.com


Payment Options: We accept cash, check, credit card, and Venmo.

Refund policy 

We interview all potential students and request that interviewees examine their ability to make the commitment required before enrolling in any class. Also training to be an actor is an exciting, rewarding, enriching growth experience. It can also be challenging and humbling and like with any growth journey you may experience growing pains that feel a bit scary or uncomfortable. But so often the biggest breakthroughs and growth come when you feel that fear and discomfort and instead of turning away from it, you explore it and move through it. Sometimes the only thing that keeps someone from quitting in a time of fear and discomfort is the tuition they paid. For this reason, we do not offer refunds on class deposits or tuition.