Cathleen’s academic and practical grounding in voice and how to apply it is second to none

Michael Corbidge, Associate Voice Practitioner, RSC

I have over ten years expertise working on Voice for Performers and Voice for Business and Professionals.  

During the Covid 19 pandemic, sessions are available via Zoom, Skype or any other online platform we can both access.  I am based in London (GMT) but sessions are possible across all time zones.

Voice for Performers

The work we did together has not only given me a better voice – with more truth, range and resonance – it has made me a better actor

Louise Brealey, Actor

Your voice is one of your greatest assets as a performer.

Whatever your area of performance – actor, narrator, storyteller, comedian, speaker – I can work with you to make your voice and text skills the best they can possibly be.

As a voice coach with an acting background myself, I’m passionate about helping people to develop the best possible version of their voice, finding range, flexibility and freedom without ever losing their unique, idiosyncratic qualities.

My work is person-centred, non-judgemental, supportive and enabling

 

Working with the cast of Love, dir. Alexander Zeldin, at the National Theatre. Clockwise from left: Anna Calder-Marshall, Hind Swareldahab, Nick Holder, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Bobby Smallwood, Janet Etuk, Luke Clarke, Cathleen McCarron.  Photo: Sarah Lee

There are many areas I can help with

Vocal Technique

Producing your voice requires the involvement an extraordinary number of muscles and processes within the body: breath, thought, alignment, ribs, diaphragm, throat, tongue, spine to name but a few. This means that there are many areas we can look at to improve your technique, or to solve any issues you feel may be holding your voice back.

Detailed Work On Discovering Character Through Text And Language

If you are preparing to play a part with complex language, classical or modern, there are many practical and fun ways in which we can break down the text, find the acting possibilities within it, and equip you to go into rehearsal confident and ready to play.

Dialect Coaching

Some people are lucky enough to have a fabulous ear for accents, but if not, then fortunately there is a systematic process we can apply to any accent, working practically on areas such vowels, consonants and rhythm/intonation and marrying these with aspects of text and character.

Audition Speeches

Whether you are preparing for drama school or professional auditions, we can work together on a specific speech, classical or modern, to really mine all the possibilities of the text and leave you feeling confident and ready.

Audio narration & voiceover

Whether your area is narration, animation, gaming or drama, the world of audio demands great vocal creativity, flexibility and clarity. I can give you techniques for developing character voices whilst protecting your vocal health and stamina, help you prepare accents, or offer ways of exploring texts to bring pace, rhythm and variety to your work.

Voice Warm Ups

if you would like to learn how to warm up your voice, or would like a reminder of old, half-forgotten warm up techniques from drama school, then we can work through a safe and effective sequence which can also be recorded for your future use.

A Christmas Carol, Royal Shakespeare Company, dir. Rachel Kavanaugh.  From left: Phil Davis, Brigid Zengeni, Nicholas Bishop Photo by Manuel Harlan ©️RSC

Voice for Professionals and Business

Whatever your job, much of your effectiveness and success depends on how you use your voice to communicate with others. It is easy to feel that your voice is somehow letting you down at work: perhaps you find your voice wavering when asked to present at meetings, or you feel that you speak in a monotone and want to find more variety and colour. Perhaps you find your voice getting strained and tired by the end of the day, especially nowadays, with endless online meetings. Or perhaps you want to refresh the way in which you present material at work, finding new ways to use words and language in a way that makes them “sticky” for your audience.

Over the past ten years, I have worked with lawyers, doctors, teachers, bankers, police officers, fashion buyers, politicians, film and theatre directors, media professionals and many many others, using my voice and text skills to help them to achieve a healthy, flexible and expressive voice and to use language more persuasively and effectively. I can work with you to identify the precise source of any issues and give you practical exercises, tips and strategies for development.

Areas I can work on include

Voice

Practical work on developing the range, resonance and clarity of the voice

Public speaking

Dealing with nerves, being loud enough for the space, using pitch, pace and pause appropriately

Presentation skills

Making language persuasive and “sticky” by drawing on techniques from the world of rhetoric and dramatic writing

Vocal stamina

Practical strategies to prevent the voice becoming tired during demanding activities such as teaching or lecturing

Sophie Stanton in The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, dir. Jo Davies, RSC
Sophie Stanton in The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, dir. Jo Davies, RSC photo by Helen Maybanks ©️RSC

Testimonials

Cathleen’s skills base is vast….she has a passion for sound-making, the spoken word and how stories are told. She knows her way around technically and anatomically so is always to help actors find range and flexibility as well as pinpointing anything that prevents them using their voice to maximum effect. Coupled with her understanding of language she is able to open up the myriad of possibilities within text for actors. Her academic and practical grounding in voice and how to apply it is second to none, so coupled with her strong clear communication skills she’s an expert workshop leader, teacher and facilitator. She is a thoroughly likable person with a sunny disposition who cares deeply for the work. She is conscientious about all she does, working with initiative and, most importantly, she is well liked by all who come in contact with her for her clarity, passion and skill.

Michael Corbidge

Royal Shakespeare Company

I am amazed at how much I have learnt…I’ve been impressed by how many of the issues I had with my voice she picked up on, just by listening to me, and she’s also identified some other areas for me to work on that I hadn’t previously been aware of. Cathleen has taken me through a series of exercises, each time building on the work of the previous lessons and then exploring a new area. She gives very clear explanations of why each exercise is important and enough detailed instruction so I feel confident about practising by myself. She has followed up the sessions with really useful notes to remind me what to do. Above all, the lessons have been very relaxing and enjoyable. Cathleen has been a pleasure to work with, a thoroughly dedicated coach and I would highly recommend her as a voice coach – the whole experience has been one of the best value bits of training I’ve ever had and I shall certainly go to her in the future, when I feel I need to do some more work in this area.

Katy Cawkwell

Professional Storyteller

You’ve made a hugely vital contribution to this production. Thank you!

Anthony Green

Director, “Othello”, London 2013

Your mastery of voice work helped me receive fantastic reviews for my HERO in Much Ado. You are incredible.

Amara Karan

Actor, Hero in "Much Ado About Nothing" RSC 2012

I wouldn’t have had the skill or the confidence to have played three roles in The Gate’s Trojan Women without working with Cathleen. The work we did together has not just given me a much better voice – with more truth, range and resonance – it has made me a better actor.

Louise Brealey

Actor

I learnt more with Cathleen in a few sessions then I did on my 3 year acting course. I didn’t really know anything about voice and was very unsure in my own ability. I was quite nervous for my sessions at first but Cathleen made me feel extremely comfortable and confident. I have learnt skills and techniques that I can take with me throughout my whole career and even after a short time I have a much greater understanding of my voice and body. I always leave the sessions feeling like I’ve worked really hard but at the same time had lots of fun – there’s a lot of laughter! I can’t recommend Cathleen enough, I know I’m extremely lucky to have found such a great teacher.

Meghan Doyle

Actor

Voice Coaching and Teaching Credits

2020, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

Europeana, dir. Maria Aberg

Company voice work (production pulled just before tech due to COVID 19)

2019, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Boy in the Dress, dir. Gregory Doran

Company voice work

2019, Great Theatre of China, Shanghai in association with RSC

The Merchant of Venice, dir. David Thacker

Company voice work

2019, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

Crooked Dances, dir. Elizabeth Freestone

Company voice, text and dialect work (French, Chilean, contemporary London)

2019, Royal Shakespeare Company, London/Stratford-upon-Avon

As You Like It, dir. Kimberley Sykes

Company voice and text work

2018, Royal Shakespeare Company, London/Stratford-upon-Avon

Troilus and Cressida, dir. Gregory Doran

Company voice and text work

2018, Royal Shakespeare Company, London/Stratford-upon-Avon

The Merry Wives of Windsor, dir. Fiona Laird

Company voice, text and dialect work (Polish, Russian, Chelsea, French, Welsh)

2018, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Duchess of Malfi, dir. Maria Aberg

Company voice and text work

2018, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, dir. Jo Davies

Company voice and text work

2017, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

A Christmas Carol, dir. Rachael Kavanaugh

Company voice and dialect work (Cockney)

2017, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

Salome, dir. Owen Horsley

Company voice and text work

2017, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

Vice Versa, dir. Janice Honeyman

Company voice, text and dialect work (Greek, Scottish)

2017, Young Vic, London

A Midsummer Night’s Dream dir. Joe Hill-Gibbins

Company voice and text work

2016, National Theatre (Dorfman)

Love, dir. Alexander Zeldin

Company voice and text work.

2016, National Theatre (Dorfman)

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, dir. Bryony Kimmings

Company voice work.

2016, National Theatre (Olivier)

The Threepenny Opera, dir. Rufus Norris

Assisting Head of Voice with company voice work.

2016, National Theatre (Olivier)

Les Blancs, dir. Yael Farber

Assisting Head of Voice with company voice and text work.

2016, National Theatre (Lyttelton)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, dir. Dominic Cooke

Assisting Head of Voice with company voice and text work.

2016, National Theatre/Wyndhams Theatre, London

People, Places and Things, dir. Jeremy Herrin

Company voice work.

2016, Gate Theatre, Notting Hill

Diary of a Madman, dir. Christopher Hayden

Dialect coach (Scottish)

2015, National Theatre (Temporary Theatre)

Comedy of Errors, dir. Bijan Shebani

Company voice and text work.

2015, National Theatre (Temporary Theatre)

Pomona, dir. Ned Bennett

Company voice and text work.

2014, Big hArt Theatre, South Bank Centre, London

Namatjira, dir. Scott Rankin/Luke Kernaghan

Company voice work for two indigenous Australian actors on international tour.

2014, Hampstead Theatre, London

The Glass Supper, dir. Abbey Wright

Voice development and character voice work with cast.

2013, Peckham Theatre Company, London

Othello, dir. Anthony Green

Individual voice and text sessions with cast members

2012, Royal Shakespeare Company (RST and Noel Coward Theatre, London)

Julius Caesar, dir. Greg Doran

Assisting RSC Head of Voice with company voice and text work

2012, Royal Shakespeare Company (RST and Noel Coward Theatre, London)

Much Ado About Nothing, dir. Iqbal Khan

Assisting RSC Head of Voice with company voice and text work

2012, Royal Shakespeare Company (Swan Theatre)

Song of Songs dir. Struan Leslie

Company voice and text work

 2012, Trafalgar Studios, London

Tape, dir. Tom King

Accent and dialect coaching (General American)

2011-2016, Cambridge Theatre, London (RSC)

Matilda, dir. Matthew Warchus

Member of voice team providing nightly cast warm-ups and voice training for cast members.

2014 – 2017, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, London

Permanent member of faculty (0.5 contract) and sole voice tutor for the MA Acting, Classical and Contemporary strands, teaching practical voice, voice into acting, accents and dialects and providing show support.

2013-2014, Fourth Monkey Theatre & Rep Training Co, London

Practical voice, storytelling, character voice and accent and dialect tutor for actors training within a rep company system.  Accents taught include: RP, General American and Cockney.

2013-2014, East 15, Loughton Campus, London

Voice and text tutor on BA Acting and MA International Acting courses.

2013, Rose Bruford College, Sidcup

Storytelling tutor: devising and leading a module on vocal techniques in performance storytelling for second year BA Acting/Actor Musician students.  Also teaching speech fundamentals to second year BA Acting/Actor Musician students.

2012-2013, Arts Educational, London

Regular text and accent/dialect tutor on MA Acting course.

2012, American Musical Theatre Academy, London

Practical voice tutor for first and second year musical theatre students.

2011, Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham

Tutoring MA Professional Voice Practice students on the pedagogy of accents and dialects and assessing their final accent presentations alongside the Head of Voice.

 2011, Urdang Academy, London

Regular guest tutor: classes included modern text work and New York and US Deep South accent coaching.

2011, Giles Foreman Centre for Acting, London

Running a weekly “drop in” two hour voice class for students ranging from complete beginners to professional actors.

2010-2011, Rose Bruford College, Sidcup

Sole voice tutor for BA American Theatre Arts course 2010 – 11, writing and delivering a voice curriculum covering accents, dialects, body, breath, phonation, resonance, articulation and text work, conducting individual feedback tutorials with each student and providing written reports.

2020, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, India

Leading Zoom Shakespeare workshops

2019-20, Apple Inc, London

Voice support for recording projects (details covered by NDA).

2019-20, British Guild of Tourist Guides, London

Voice and presentation coaching for trainee London Blue Badge Guides.

2019, Lansons Communications, London

Rhetoric and public speaking workshops for reputation management firm, on behalf of RSC.

2019, BP, London

Rhetoric and public speaking workshops for oil company BP, on behalf of RSC.

2010-16, Speak Easily Voice Studio, London

Associate Coach for private voice studio providing one-to-one coaching in accent reduction, storytelling, communication and presentation skills. Hundreds of clients over the years included finance professionals, lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, police officers, academics and many others.  Work ranged from one-to-one sessions to group classes, mostly in the Speak Easily studios but sometimes at the client’s office or home.

2018 and 2019, Teatro D. Maria II, Lisbon, Portugal

Summer intensive workshops on voice and text at Portugal’s National Theatre.

2015-17, Sussex University, Falmer, near Brighton

Running workshops on vocal clarity and communication skills for BA Journalism students as part of their broadcast journalism module.

2015, United Nations, Rome, Italy

Workshops on voice and presentation skills, plus one-to-one accent clarity work with staff of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.

015, Birkbeck College, University of London

Running a series of workshops on voice and classical and modern text for MFA Directing students (on behalf of RSC).

2013-2016, National Operatic and Dramatic Association, UK-wide

Running intensive residential summer schools on specialisms including Shakespeare, Restoration Comedy and the work of David Mamet.  Also travelling to individual theatre companies within the NODA network to run voice and acting workshops.

2012-2016, RSC “Open Stages”, UK-wide

Delivering numerous workshops to amateur theatre companies as part of the RSC’s nationwide programme to develop local theatre groups. 

2012-15, National Theatre Learning, London

Delivering a variety of workshops on voice and text to groups of young people, teachers and theatremakers.

2011, Historic Scotland, Edinburgh

Working alongside a business coach to devise and deliver sessions on “Engaging the Customer” for workers in properties run by Historic Scotland.

2011, National Trust for Scotland, various venues around Scotland

Working alongside an educational consultant to devise and deliver training for National Trust tour guides on storytelling skills, tour guide technique and vocal use.

2011, City University, London

Working with another voice coach to devise and deliver training to academics and researchers on public speaking and presentational skills, including structure, content, delivery and dealing with nerves.

2011-2013, International Centre for Voice, CSSD, London

Volunteer role in the development and running of an organisation dedicated to the professional development of professional voice users, including planning workshops, seminars and members’ events.