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  • Foto del escritorMaria Bernardes

How can the practice of improvisation help voice artists?

Actualizado: 9 abr

Voice artists tend to have a pretty lonely routine, working by ourselves from our home studios, those little boxes where we spend hours a day talking to a microphone. After the covid pandemic more studios have adopted remote sessions and I’m hardly ever asked to leave home and record on another studio, which collaborates to the feeling of isolation. Even though I love my job and find it creative and entertaining I do miss being around people, sharing experiences and learning from others. On this search to add a little more joy and diversity to my routine, I found the improv world here in Barcelona, at the Barcelona Improv Group school.

I didn’t know much about the art of improv, or what the lessons looked like, so I started by taking a drop-in lesson on a Sunday afternoon and fell immediately in love. I realised the practice of improvisation could bring much more to my life than I expected. BIG is run by Kiva Murphy and Ella Galt, two fabulous women who make sure the environment is as safe and welcoming as can be so we can be creative without fearing rejection or being ridiculous. We’re encouraged to be supportive to each other, to imagine with no boundaries, to try new possibilities and to lower our self-criticism levels. And we learn to think fast, to be present, to face vulnerability, to work as a team and to listen to each other.

Improv Acting Maria Bernardes

So how did the improv experience benefit me as a voice artist? Besides making my life personally more joyful and allowing me to meet new interesting people, with all sorts of backgrounds, the art of improv helped me to be more creative, work with different characters (which can be also objects or animals) and be more flexible with my readings, as it makes it easier to navigate in different emotions and intentions and really broadens your horizons. I have to admit: working behind the microphone is beautiful, but stepping on a stage, seeing our audience (which we can only imagine when we record the audios) and being seen is also such a powerful and beautiful feeling. I recommend the practice of improv to all voice actors in the world!

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