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Let’s talk about you, and the uniqueness of you. In this blog I’m going to explain why we all have different voices and why your voice is special and should be celebrated!


Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself saying “I wish I could sing like that” - if you didn’t raise your hand, I don’t believe you! Whether you’re a confident singer or not, at some point in your life you’ll have said or thought to yourself that exact phrase, or something similar.


We are all made differently, our bodies are different, our voices are different, our minds are different and our souls are different. We speak in different languages, different accents, with different styles, at different pitches, at different speeds. (Have I said different enough yet?! - I can’t promise I won’t say it again!) This is the exact reason your voice is one of a kind! Even identical twins have differences in their voices.


So, we’ve established the fact that we all have different voices for a number of reasons but let’s have a look at what else can have an effect on your voice. The voice changes with more or less sleep, more or less practice, more or less water, more or less use. For example; if you’ve been up really late one night and not had a lot of sleep, the next day you can feel physically, mentally, emotionally tired- the voice feels that too. Let’s also look at another approach; if you’ve been training your body and working out a lot, your body gets stronger and more flexible- same happens when training the voice. Like the body, the voice is moldable, you can learn various styles & techniques to sing or sound a certain way - this is super useful for singing different genres of music! But at its core it is still YOUR voice! -Isn’t that incredible?!


Still unsure about your voice? - That pop singer who’s #1 in the charts, has said they wished they could sing like someone else. The Broadway star you listen to on repeat, has thought why don’t I sound like that singer. I have personally said, more times than I can count, “I’d love to have her voice” about a fellow singer. By trying to be somebody else, you are neglecting your biggest, most powerful tool- YOU! So compliment & support other singers, absolutely! But don’t forget to take a look in the mirror and compliment yourself, congratulate yourself for your successes and celebrate your achievements. If you’re practicing a song and you sang it well, say “wow- I nailed that today!” Just hit a Top C for the first time- “amazing work!” Learned the tune and/or lyrics to a new song- “fantastic!” Throw a little positivity your way, because your voice is special!


Singing is connected to your soul so be kind- find a song or genre of music that best suits you, that you enjoy singing, embrace your unique voice, your unique sound, your unique identity- nobody else can do you better than you.


If you liked this blog, please share with your friends or anyone you know as a reminder to celebrate their voice!


For anyone who would like help on mastering their unique voice or if you have any questions or maybe just want to say hi, please don't hesitate to get in touch via email: info@gemmaannebarnes.com


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Updated: Aug 19

How do you know which school is going to be best for you?

In this blog, I am going to share my step-by-step guide & give you a few of my personal tips on choosing the drama school that is perfect for you!


STEP ONE: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY GOING TO DRAMA SCHOOL?

What is your dream job? What work do you want to be doing? You are going to spend 3 years (on average) studying at an institution so you need to make sure you know what you want to spend your 3 years working on - you’re not going to go to the Royal Ballet School if you don’t want to be a ballerina! So work out what you want to achieve, what area of the industry you want to work in and therefore, what you want to spend 3 years studying- this will help you pinpoint what you are looking for.


STEP TWO: RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH.

Look into drama schools - find out as much as you can about the institutions that provide training in the area of the industry you want to work in; whether it be musical theatre, acting, dance, popular music, etc. You will also want to look at the type of programs they run; ie Professional/ Foundation/ Intensive, and what qualification you will receive; ie Diploma/ BA/ MA/ etc.

Below are some things to consider:

*What is the school's reputation?

*What are their facilities like? What facilities do they have?

*Who is going to be teaching you? Are they still performing or working in the industry?

*What is the ratio of students to teachers?

*What performance opportunities do they provide?

*What work have previous students gone on to do?

*What agents/ casting teams/ creatives attend their showcase performances?


Note: All drama schools are Accredited nowadays, there are also Conservatoires, if you would like to look into this further, I suggest: https://howtodrama.com/accredited-drama-schools-uk/


STEP THREE: RANK SCHOOLS ACCORDING TO ‘BEST FOR YOU’

So for this step, write down the drama schools you have researched in a list down the right side of your page. Along the top of your page, write things that are important to you, ie A specific qualification? A specific location? Does it deliver training in all the areas you want? Do they have good facilities? Are graduates from that school going on to do jobs you want to do? etc

Now give each school a rating out of 5 for each of the things that are important to you. That way, you can see which schools are going to serve your best interests and open the doors you want opened, so you can achieve your future goals & dreams.


STEP FOUR: DRAMA SCHOOL IS EXPENSIVE

This is the harsh reality... If you/ your family can afford it- Great! Move onto STEP FIVE.

If you want to look at funding options (this is also something you could add to your ranking system), some schools offer scholarships and bursaries, part funding and full funding - each establishment will differ. However, getting into drama school is competitive. And getting funding is even more competitive, so really look at your options; talk to family, look at student loans, for further reading take a look at: https://actinginlondon.co.uk/pay-for-drama-school-training/


STEP FIVE: DRAMA SCHOOL AUDITIONS

Before going or even before you are offered a place - you need to audition! My advice is revisit your ranking of schools and audition for your top 3-5 schools. This way you can get a taster of different schools and really know if you’d want to spend 3 years there. Audition fees can be costly (between £30-100), but I would encourage auditioning for a minimum of 3 if possible.


Note: Auditioning doesn’t guarantee you a place. As I said in STEP FOUR- Intake is limited and competitive.


STEP SIX: DON’T RUSH!

This step is in two parts. Part one: If you get offered a place somewhere, don’t panic-accept. You’ll be spending 3 years at this establishment, make sure you would be comfortable and inspired going there everyday.

Part two: You won’t get accepted everywhere. You might not get accepted anywhere! - Apply & audition for other schools on your list, audition again the following year, but whatever you do - DO NOT GIVE UP! In this industry, you need a thick skin, you need to be able to deal with rejection because trust me, it is not going to be easy & you will get rejected more times than you can count BUT you WILL succeed, you WILL get to do what you love and earn money doing it- if you are determined, passionate and proactive!


STEP SEVEN: BE PROACTIVE- START NOW!

Wherever you are in your dream career journey- always be proactive & get into this habit now!

*Go & watch the work you want to do

*Take classes & practice your skills

*Grab opportunities with both hands- do that am-dram show, singing competition, dance comp, acting class, etc.

*Use Social Media to follow schools, groups, artists, actors, teachers, students etc so you can engage with them, stay up to date & increase your knowledge of the industry.

*Life & breathe it all- this isn’t just a career, it’s a lifestyle!


“Be brave & do what you love, they’ll be no limits to what you can achieve.”


IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO AUDITION FOR DRAMA SCHOOL & WOULD LIKE FURTHER GUIDANCE & SUPPORT, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.

PREVIOUS STUDENTS HAVE ACCEPTED OFFERS FROM THEIR TOP CHOICE DRAMA SCHOOLS AFTER GETTING AUDITION READY WITH ME- BOOK YOUR SESSION NOW!


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© 2020 by Gemma Anne Barnes.