Fondazione Zoé

The importance of the voice for actors, managers, politicians…

I listened to a young Italian actor who plays a part in a TV adaptation and I was disappointed by his lack of talent. Flung on the set for merits that have nothing to do with good artistic training, he spoke his lines in the same monotonous tone to say the camp is on fire or that there are clouds in the sky. All with a vague Roman accent which you could put up with from an actor playing Spartacus, but is painful when he should be playing a Viking.
I asked myself why foreign actors seem better and more well trained, and maybe this is only a feeling. But there is another important factor to consider: foreign actors are dubbed and our dubbers are, by a unanimous verdict, the best in the world and know how to value the voice they are giving the character. They have certainly studied at acting and elocution schools, where they also teach, among other things, how to be aware of your breathing to increase the volume and control of the voice.
It is a breath which is seemingly abdominal thanks to a complete relaxation of the diaphragm, allowing you to take in enough air to breathe out enough to vibrate the vocal chords adequately. In this way, they make the most of their voices’ potential to enable it to show anxiety, fear, joy or serenity.
When I hear politicians, from anywhere, scrapping over words, the volume is always high and abusing its power, a sharp tone which is hard to get out of the throat, with staccato phrasing followed by unexpected pauses, the body in continual shock with frantically gesturing hands, which make you wonder where the people who can use their breath well to produce infinite variation and vibrations to give warmth and colour to their voice have gone.
From this we have moved to the distorted and aggressive use of the voice of the technocrats who have taken the place of politicians here, a use of words which although clear is also cold and inexpressive, incapable of producing emotion and therefore of communicating. They do not know that it is the breath which gives the energy which warms the meaning of words.
But real actors and singers know this as should all those (managers, heads of industries, politicians) who are often called to speak in public to demonstrate the value of their ideas and projects.

Let’s make the most of such an important tool, the voice, which is comparable to a wind instrument to which we give tone, timbre and volume. It is up to us to modulate our words so that they take a logical rhythm and the right intonation so that the resulting message is clear and efficient.



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