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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
As a theatre director, I have read a lot of books about other directors and stagecraft, and far fewer about the intimate work of the actor. I never got around to making a close study of voice until now, and FTNV has been a wonderful revelation for me.

Not only is Linklater's work imagistically strong and physically clear, but the thoughtful and careful way she...
Published on August 23, 2007 by brooklyn/last exit

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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intresting exercises
This text has an interesting approach to the production of sound. The problem is most people don't feel vibration in their feet when they phonate(i took that from one of the exercises in the book). It's basic Idea is a good one- a physical approach to voice work, what is missing is a practical explination of the work. There are very few specifics in any of the exercises,...
Published on August 8, 2007 by james


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, August 23, 2007
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This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
As a theatre director, I have read a lot of books about other directors and stagecraft, and far fewer about the intimate work of the actor. I never got around to making a close study of voice until now, and FTNV has been a wonderful revelation for me.

Not only is Linklater's work imagistically strong and physically clear, but the thoughtful and careful way she approaches "release" seems a metaphor that extends well beyond the borders of the voice. It has inspired me in all facets of my artistic work. Wonderful, insightful, highly recommended.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just goes to show you CAN improve on a classic., August 13, 2007
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
The original edition rightly cast Linklater as a leading figure in the world of voice training for actors and professional speakers. This edition is clearer, more specific, more exciting and more accessible. Greatly expanded, with useful (and diverse) illustrations, the text moves easily from theory to practice, with detailed exercises, musings, and references to a broad range of disciplines.
While nothing can substitute for learning this discipline from a qualified teacher, this book serves as an excellent road guide and reminder/refresher for the serious student or teacher.
As a professional linguist I can also vouch for the sound scientific grounding and accuracy of the discussion of the vocal process, which is all too often either lacking from dramatic voice work or else is so detailed that the student gets mired in anatomical minutiae and loses sight of the practical goal. Linklater ingeniously balances the science and art of voice in this improved classic.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, inspiring new edition, August 13, 2007
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
The second edition of Freeing the Natural Voice is a vastly expanded, inspiring and practical book for anyone interested in the human voice. Especially useful for actors at any level of experience, it de-mystifies the process of working on the voice. Linklater generously shares the depth and breadth of her life's work in language that stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect. Based on her understanding of human psychology and anatomy and the nature of the actor's process, it offers a window into the ways an artist develops craft and creativity simultaneously. The book is essential for teachers and students of voice, and is inspiring to anyone practicing related arts. For singers, the book might offer a new dimension to their level of personal connection with their voices and their material.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Reference For Not Just Actors, But Everyone As Well, December 7, 2007
By 
D. Styler (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
While nothing can compare to the real deal of a professional Linklater voice instructor, this freshly updated and expanded 2nd edition (from the 1976 inaugural printing) brings with it 20 years of Kristin honing her voice exercises, and it truly shows in the meticulous explanation, improved illustrations and the careful word choice.

And when the book cover says expanded, it isn't kidding. Many warm-ups have been extended with additional exercises, and one useful feature is the commentaries at the end of exercises, which manage to put the exercises into a real world perspective that makes easy sense.

This book's language never gets caught up in intellectual logic. Instead, the text is so well laid out that exercises move from explanation to actual practice, and then to the next exercise before you realize it. The text is a definite improvement from the 1st edition, and that says a lot considering that when it first came out in the 70s, Freeing the Natural Voice became a staple in the voice acting industry and in many American acting curriculums.

When read, the text feels like Kristin is there having a conversation with you, and that is impressive considering that it is an exercise book, though so much more than that. It should be used as a helpful reminder and refresher for every instructor and student of acting (not just voice), as I myself intend to refer back to it on a regular basis.

Another thing that should be said that the text and exercises make the whole warm-up purpose simple by breaking down the body-emotion-voice connection to its most basic level. If you pay half-attention, you'll learn more that you could possibly be prepared for about not just your voice, but more importantly about your body, and how common habits of tension and emotional restraint truly affect everything you are.

This book is about the deconstructing of the physical and mental self-made blocks that inhibit the natural voice and the natural body - seeking to instead rebuild a direct emotional impulse essential for great acting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great in a class or with a study group..., October 4, 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
I had to buy this for a class. Honestly, I hate some of this. I DESPISE it. The exercises are painful and annoying...But...it's one of the best damn things I have pursued as an actor. So, as much as I hate it, I love every single thing this #!$@ing text has put me through! I have had so much growth, and it's not just voice--it addresses things that will release you as an actor. I just really don't think most people could seriously apply it as a solo effort. It's just so easy to throw this thing away as idiotic (as it can sound ridiculous) or just bail on when it gets painful (it can bring out things that will surprise you). If you are interested, I would seriously consider finding an instructor, or at the very minimum an extremely dedicated study group. Not saying that anyone could not do it on their own, but I could see this book gathering dust for individuals not knowing how to tackle it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, Practical and Thorough, August 13, 2007
By 
L. Porter "asil" (DeWitt, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
As a teacher, I
find this new edition invaluable for students of all levels. It is complete, available and thorough. After working with many different books on voice, this book is the one I keep coming back to. My students love it.
The exercises are specific and continually return the student to the purpose of developing their voice- communication and the revelation of thought and feeling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful new edition, August 13, 2007
By 
B. Blair (Santa Monica, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
This book is a new treatment of a powerful, innovative and long established technique replete with exercises, explanations and theoretical grounding by this phenomenal teacher. It has marvelously expanded the descriptions of exercises, philosophy of the work and practice in the world for the actor who yearns for a more artistic process that fosters the development of the expressive human voice with all the nuanced emotional intelligence that contemporary and classic acting requires. It is a refreshing relief when many voice books offer little more than physical exercises as if the voice were an objective instrument for tuning and adjustment. This book is a marvelous "must buy" for any serious teacher, student or artist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of vocal production, June 19, 2010
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
Anyone who has looked at the job market for voice instructors will see Kristin Linklater listed as one of the sought-after systems of education. Her approach to vocal production is specifically targeted at actors, and is heavily based upon the movement philosophy of F. Matthias Alexander (Alexander Technique). In essence the philosophy, as the title implies, rests in relaxation so that the voice can work to its capacity. When the voice is forced in any way, it becomes restricted. :ikewise, when the body is tense, the voice can be restricted. Ms. Linklater addresses the means to free the voice through recognition and elimination of those factors which restrict it.
Ms. Linklater eschews the "technique" approach to vocal production common to most speech teachers. While she gives articulation its due, she does not believe in "standardized" speech, but rather encourages the student to "find his own voice".
Her method is not one which can be consumed in a single semester, but rather is a lifestyle choice. She herself recommends an hour of practice a day for at least a year before the system can begin to be assimilated.
Her book has many valuable insights, such as "Muddy thinking makes clear articulation difficult", which help keep the student focused. There are also many valuable self-awareness and relaxation exercises in this text which anyone might employ.
If you are a theatre practitioner, this book is a must read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This new and expanded 2nd edition is a gem., August 19, 2007
This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
This new and expanded second edition is a gem. Hundreds of pages of clear, easy to follow exercises and commentary are presented in a step-by-step format that allows actors (and speakers in general) to progress at their own pace no matter what their level of experience. The vocal exploration is made even more enjoyable by the lighthearted and effective drawings found throughout. This is required reading for anyone interested in developing a more free and expressive vocal instrument.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing tool, August 7, 2008
By 
Richard J. Flis (INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language (Paperback)
Took a workshop with a teacher of the Linklater method. I was hooked. A former singer and actor, a car accident left me with a permanent trach and very little speaking voice. These exercises are helping me to recover volume and expression in my voice. I watched the effects of the exercises on "normal" participants and was blown away.

Don't try to reinvent the method- give it a real try as is. I think it would be extremely valuable when working with new actors. Teaching projection can be tough but this leads right to it.
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Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language
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