A person who doesn’t breathe deeply reduces the life of his body. If he doesn’t move freely, he restricts the life of his body. If he doesn’t feel fully, he narrows the life of his body. And if his is self-expression is constricted, he limits the life of his body.”
What is Fitzmaurice Voicework?
Fitzmaurice Voicework was conceived by Catherine Fitzmaurice, at the Central School of Drama in London, for actors. Catherine Fitzmaurice has been interested in healing and, for 35 years, has experimented with the work of William Reich, yoga, shiatsu, Reiki and other somatic arts to unlock the breath and open the voice. She discovered that the voice cannot open if the breathing is not free, therefore, breathing is the foundation of her voice work. The result is Fitzmaurice Voicework, which is now the most sought after voice work for actors, and is taught at Yale, Harvard, Julliard and most professional acting conservatories. Trained in Fitzmaurice Voicework, Heather Lyle undertook a rigorous two year certification process to safely teach the work and now teaches in the Fitzmaurice teacher certification program as well as workshops in Los Angeles and NYC. Although very specialized, the work can be easily learned, and is of supreme benefit to all who practice it. Anyone interested in improving their breathing and increasing their vocal power and freedom will greatly benefit from this work. Fitzmaurice Voicework releases the breath and voice from places in the body where it has been blocked or braced, due to emotional or physical stress. Since the voice can only go where the breath is, the voice is opened in places never before experienced. Fitzmaurice Voicework is a series of breathing exercises and a sequence of yoga postures, called Destructuring, that target all of the breathing possibilities of the body. Normal yoga postures are transformed into autonomic breathing exercises. Some of the postures are yoga arches to stimulate the breathing and release the voice from certain areas of the torso, while other postures are designed to stimulate the body to tremor gently, freeing the voice from unwanted tension. When learned, the sequence can be practiced as a highly effective vocal and physical warm-up that can be added to any training routine. If gives the actor a practical tool to relax and energize the body, open the breath and free the voice for performance. Most people also find the exercises induce a calm, tranquil, theta state that can reduce performance anxiety.
The second part of the work is called Restructuring. The newly freed voice is retrained to engage the proper muscles for vocal support and power through the use of strengthening exercises from classical British voice training and The Bel Canto School of Singing. Through Restructuring the actor gains a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the voice and is quickly able to experience greater vocal flexibility and stamina. The voice is no longer limited in any way, and becomes an asset instead of a liability. The actor is now free to use their energy to solely focus on acting.