Actor’s Voice Collection

Marianna Rubino, BA, MFA, MS, CCC-SLP
Ümit Dasdogen, BA, PostDip, MS, SLP
Katherine Verdolini Abbott, PhD, CCC-SLP
Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Delaware

The actor's voice is underrepresented in current research. A review of the Journal of Voice archives identified 47 articles regarding this subject, roughly 1.47 articles per year since the journal's inception in 1987. Of note, in a number of the articles, actors' voices were addressed simultaneously with singers' voices. While both populations rely on similar anatomical functions, the two activities are physiologically and professionally distinct as anecdotally evidenced by use of nomenclature distinguishing "actors," "singers," and "actors who sing." Training of speaking and singing voice are similarly distinct. One would attend a Lessac, Fitzmaurice, Linklater, Berry, or similar training experience expecting to gain expertise in expressive speaking voice, while not necessarily anticipating intensive work in singing. Further, despite the differences between acting and singing and the shared title of "professional voice user," a number of authors use the term "professional voice" in the titles of articles that subsequently address only singing voice. The field is ripe for the emergence of research focused on the training of the speaking voice in acting.

Five subgroups of the literature addressing speaking voice in acting were identified from the existing Journal of Voice archives. The first, "Effect of Training," addresses changes that occur in the voice as a result of training in the speaking voice methods used in acting. The second focuses on incidence, prevalence, assessment, and treatment of voice problems in actors. The third compares trained and untrained speaking voices. Fourth is a brief consideration of acting in voice overs. Finally, unique properties of actors' voices are examined.