Meghan Markle Carving New Path To Hollywood Following Brief Taste Of Royal Living

It hasn’t been easy for Harry and Meghan, but they are slowly adjusting to their new lives with baby Archie far away from Buckingham Palace and the U.K.’s long tradition of monarchy.

H and M Reinvent Themselves

The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38, ‘stepped back’ in January as senior members of the royal family to create a new destiny and a life of purpose. The pair are hoping to split their time between living on Vancouver Island and in sunny Los Angeles.

Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle had a solid career in the television series called “Suits” in the role of Rachel Zane. She enjoyed acting, and rumor has it that the Duchess got quickly bored with the royal lifestyle. Now, away from the royal bubble, she hopes to regain her popular following as an up and coming star, and Harry fully supports her ambition.

With Energy Out Of The Gate

When Meghan and Harry got engaged, she suggested to the media that she was retiring from acting and welcomed a new change. She was excited to begin working with Harry as a team. She had been on “Suits” for seven years and had made her mark in the entertainment field.

Now, she had the opportunity to bring new energy and ideas with the prince to a global platform. She would take her new role seriously and with respect because her voice was now one that people were listening to. Meghan wanted to strike a proper note.

Her Royal Duties Weren’t Enough

The Duke and Duchess were photographed often by famous British royal photographer Arthur Edwards. He covered their every move in public and could see how Meghan had captured the hearts of the British people, but slowly, things started changing. A toxic relationship had developed between Harry and the media. He began shutting them out, and it was unusual to see his once normal, happy demeanor disappear.

Edwards blamed Meghan for Harry’s sudden coldness to everything royal. He believes that royal living just wasn’t enough for Meghan, and he says that the couple could not have it both ways, half in the U.K and the other half in the U.S.

The photographer says that being patrons of charities demand a lot of time and being immersed in a community and its people.

MM’s Job Is Truly Magical

Disney is called the Most Magical Place On Earth, and that appears to be where Meghan is headed. She nailed a great gig, and it looks like Harry set the wheels in motion for his partner.

The pair was on the red carpet of the “Lion King” premiere in July 2019. Harry mentioned to then Disney CEO Bob Iger about Meghan being available for voice-over work.

London sources say the actress already performed her role and did the voice-over before the couple’s six-week holiday break. It’s a win-win for everyone as she signed the Disney deal in return for a donation to the wildlife charity “Elephants Without Borders.”

How CBD Boost Acting Performance

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the most studied compounds found in the cannabis plant, next to THC. This crucial molecule does not have the same physiological effects commonly associated with smoking marijuana because its levels of THC, the compound that causes marijuana’s “high”, exists only in tiny amounts on full-spectrum CBD oil. CBD does not get users “high”. Instead, it exerts a number of other powerful effects.
Actors are increasingly turning to CBD to harness its potent benefits in the hopes that it will buttress their acting skills. The evidence is clear that CBD can help actors in a number of ways.
Here are the top reasons why, as an actor, you might be wise to consider supplementing with CBD to knock your next audition out of the park.

Anxiety

Stage fright is as old as the acting profession as well. We’ve all been there – even the most outgoing actors are liable to become overly nervous before a big performance or audition. Enter CBD, the anxiety neutralizer. Suppressing anxiety is a major focus point for researchers interested in CBD’s anxiety-crushing effects. The best part about CBD for your next big performance is that, as opposed to other anti-anxiety medications, it carries no risk of dependence. Pharmaceutical drugs like benzodiazepines, the class of drugs that includes Xanax and Valium, carry huge side effects. In high doses, they impair cognitive function and suppress memory – not good if you need to remember your lines. In addition, they create dependency with a host of nasty withdrawal symptoms. Opt instead for the natural anxiety solution, CBD.

Memory

Boost your ability to quickly and effectively memorize your lines with CBD. The compound is so powerful at improving memory, in fact, that it is currently used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative neurological conditions that cause memory impairment.

Getting Your Beauty Sleep

Acting sometimes requires long days on set or in rehearsal. You might feel drained after such long periods of work. Sleep is an important part of the recovery process. After a long day, CBD can help you unwind, relax, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer to rack up the hours of slumber that you need to look and feel your best.

Skin Tone Benefits

CBD products have made a huge splash in the beauty industry, appearing nowadays in cosmetic products ranging from shampoos to lotions. The craze is based on the very real scientific data that shows CBD’s effectiveness in improving skin tone. CBD also benefits the skin by reducing inflammation that can make you appear tired or worn out. For a sleek look sure to impress audiences, consider CBD as a topical solution.

A high-quality, well-sourced CBD product can have a hugely positive impact on your acting career. Finding a good CBD manufacturer is easier than ever, and now is the time to supercharge your acting with CBD supplementation

OUCH! 10 Noteworthy Movie Scenes That Left Actors Wounded

In the annals of film history, there have been many scenes that caused viewers to wince with imagined pain. But how many of these blurred the lines between fantasy and reality, causing actual harm to the actors involved? Here’s a list of ten movie moments that heralded significant real-life injuries.

1. George Clooney, Syriana

During a torture sequence, the Oscar-winning actor was slammed into a concrete floor. The blow to his head resulted in a brain injury that left Clooney with intense headaches and memory loss for the next year. The damage was so severe, it literally caused spinal fluid to leak from his nose.

2. Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. 2

Unlike the majority of the sequences in Quentin Tarantino’s revenge thriller, the scene that left Uma Thurman with a concussion and knee injury wasn’t supposed to be graphically violent. Thurman would later blame Tarantino for the incident, claiming that she requested the use of a stunt driver but was turned down.

3. Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Mortensen’s character, Aragorn, was grief-stricken over the apparent loss of his friends. The actor’s ear-piercing howl, however, was genuine: When the metal helmet connected with his foot, it fractured two of his toes.

4. Buddy Ebsen, The Wizard of Oz

Ebsen was originally cast as the Scarecrow, but gladly switched places with Ray Bolger to play the Tin Man instead. During production, however, Ebsen suffered from shortness of breath, muscle cramps, and body aches. It turned out he was allergic to the aluminum dust in the makeup, and Jack Haley took over the role.

5. Dylan O’Brien, Maze Runner—The Death Cure

During production of the YA adaptation, O’Brien was filming an aerial scene when his harness broke, causing him to collide with a moving vehicle. His injuries, including a severe concussion, caused the actor to miss a year on the set.

6. Linda Hamilton, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Hamilton’s Sarah Connor has a fine hand with a gun. Unfortunately, the actress forgot to replace her earplugs before one shooting sequence. Although the gun was loaded with blanks, Hamilton suffered permanent ear damage from the blow.

7. Jared Leto, Chapter 27

To play Mark Chapman, Leto reportedly gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time—so much so, in fact, that the actor developed gout as a result.

8. Tom Hanks, Philadelphia and Cast Away

Similarly, two-time Oscar winner Hanks dropped so much weight for his roles as an AIDS patient and a plane crash victim (respectively), he was eventually diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The actor believes that gaining the weight back and losing it again contributed to his diagnosis.

9. Sylvester Stallone, The Expendables 3

Although the action-hero icon is no stranger to on-set mishaps, he’s confessed that the back injury he sustained during his work on this three-quell was the worst of his career.

10. Daniel Craig, Spectre

Craig’s fourth outing as James Bond left him with a knee injury that put the film’s production on hold for two weeks. In fact, it could have been halted longer to allow the actor a chance to fully heal, but Craig insisted on working through the pain.

Training for Greatness: Actors Harnessing the Power of Mindfulness Acting Through College and Beyond

In this article, you’ll unlock a stunning training technique that actors keep secret.

Since I’ve been training as a professional actor for over a decade, I have sampled nearly every impressive training technique available. Bringing mindfulness into the life of your performance rejuvenates your senses with the boldness that many seasoned actors crave.

Let’s dive into why actors should try this profound method.

The Benefits of Using Mindfulness When Acting

Why Should Actors Train to Be Mindful?

When we act on stage or for the camera, we embody the actual life of a character. It is your true self that brings life to the character, so it’s important to use what you already know and feel when you create a character.

We use mindfulness to connect with our core beings, and this allows us to ignite the character’s behaviors. When we commit to thrilling actions, we must be completely authentic in order to provide a jaw-dropping performance.

Benefits of Using This Method

  • Supercharge Your Creativity:

    Running out of creative juices is a problem that plagues seasoned acting professionals. Mindfulness is the formula that supercharges the creative powers within each of us.

    Mindfulness has helped me express my manifestation of characters without judging everything that my brain creates. I’m free to explore movements and gestures in a safe setting.
  • Connect With Other Actors:

    Although some performances are minimal ones that feature only one actor, many scenes contain parts for multiple people. Directors struggle to keep actors on task and connected to each other. If one actor in the production isn’t doing their job, the entire piece is at risk of crumbling.

    Through meditation and practicing mindfulness, I have learned more about myself, and this has helped me build a greater connection with other people.
  • Remain Present Throughout Performances:

    Keeping an audience in their seats and fascinated by a performance is a tall order. However, actors and crew members spend massive amounts of time in the rehearsal process. In order to stun audiences, actors must remain present throughout each authentic performance. Otherwise, the audience might start falling asleep.

    Being attentive and aware of each moment has allowed for me to foster an impenetrable connection to other actors during scene work.
  • Listen With Your Whole Self:

    Even if a character isn’t paying attention to the world around them, it’s the actor’s job to be aware of the space and other inhabitants. In order to put on an explosive performance, actors must reach out with their entire beings. Instead of listening with your two ears, you need to take the world in with all of your senses. Imagine you have more ways of gathering information to have a powerful internal life for the character.

    Mindfulness teaches us to connect with the stillness that surrounds us. When we listen (like we were able to as children), we are practicing avoiding judging everything that presents itself.

Annette Bening Gives A Strong Performance In Her Film ‘Hope Gap’

“Hope Gap” is a new film starring Annette Bening as an English woman going through a divorce after three decades of marriage. It is set in the small coastal town where she lives, and this is a very scenic location. Bening’s performance is very strong, and she has also gotten positive recognition from critics who point out that, although she is an American, she has been able to use a believable English accent to portray her character.

The end of a marriage

The film starts with Bening’s character and her husband at their seaside home. She grows nervous and apprehensive when her husband invites their grown son to join them, and she is expecting some kind of announcement from her husband. She is still blindsided, however, when he tells her that, after three decades of marriage, he is going to leave her for a younger woman. The viewer knows this is coming because we have seen the husband prepare his goodbye speech beforehand.

The husband says that the marriage has grown lifeless and that he is no longer in love. Bening’s character, for her part, blames him for the stale routine and essentially accuses him of being a bad husband. Afterwards, the husband follows through on his threat and departs.

The protagonist moves forward

Much of the film centers around how Bening’s character copes with divorce in the days after it. For the most part, she does pretty well, but it is a mixed reaction. She acquires a dog, for example, so that she won’t be alone, and this is a good sign, but she names him after her ex-husband, which indicates that she is dwelling too much on the past.

On the positive side, she starts to do volunteer work on a hotline for people who need to talk, and this helps her move forward. At one point, she makes the interesting observation that women who are divorced unexpectedly by their husbands go through much of the same grieving and anguish that widows do, but they aren’t view favorably by society. Again, Bening does a fantastic job of portraying a flawed but sympathetic woman who is coping with a landslide in her personal life.

Husband and son

The departed husband is not as major of a character as Bening’s character. He clearly doesn’t care as much about his marriage as Bening’s character, and when he has the opportunity to bail out, he does. If he regrets this, the viewer doesn’t see it. The son, on the other hand, is disturbed by how callous his father is, and he takes a good look at himself in order to determine if he is the same kind of man.

In conclusion, this is a story focusing on middle-class adults going through a time of crisis. There is nothing unusual about their story, yet the acting and screenwriting are so strong that the viewer is pulled in. Basically, it’s a film about real life and moving forward.

The Greatest Films Of Great Actor Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro has been appearing in films since the 1960’s, and many of these are considered classics. While, it’s a difficult task to pick out the best films from an actor who has appeared in so many terrific ones, it’s also an enjoyable one. From oldest to most recent, here are the finest (arguably) Robert De Niro movies!

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Although critics at the time this film came out thought that the story line featuring Robert De Niro, who played godfather Vito Corleone in his youth, slowed down the main plot featuring Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, over the years this film has come to be recognized as one of the best films in American cinema history. It also firmly established the powerful on-screen chemistry of De Niro and Pacino.

Taxi Driver (1976)

In Taxi Driver, De Niro plays a character who goes from slightly eccentric to full-blown violent. As with other characters, he gains sympathy even as he repulses, and his dark deeds become understandable. It’s hard to imagine many actors other than De Niro who would be able to play an individual who becomes an assassin for no good reason and still be able to portray him sympathetically.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Released at a time when America was just beginning to try and process its national experience in Vietnam. The viewer sees De Niro’s character in his normal and happy youth, and then they see what happens to him as a result of serving in Vietnam. The before and after is a metaphor for the entire nation, and audiences felt like they were watching a real person who they knew in De Niro’s character.

Raging Bull (1980)

Filmed in black and white, this film is haunting. De Niro plays an aging boxer who becomes a comedian after he has been beaten to the pulp in the ring too many times. While his character is not likable, he earns the viewer’s respect for his perseverance.

The King of Comedy (1982)

This film explores the relationship between fans and celebrities, and it looks at the warped perceptions ordinary people often have of the famous. De Niro plays a part where he drifts to the wrong side of the line between being a fan and being a stalker, and he does it in his own inimitable way.

The Untouchables (1987)

Robert De Niro plays Al Capone in this film, and he even gained weight for the picture so that he could look even more intimidating. Even as his character is pursued by good cops played by Kevin Costner and Sean Connery, it’s De Niro’s performance, especially in the infamous baseball-bat scene, that stays with the viewer.

Goodfellas (1990)

This film is one of several where the combination of Martin Scorcese’s direction and De Niro’s acting, combined with a mafia-related script, yields an awesome film. The fast-pace and violence of this film captivates the viewer, and it’s impossible to look away from the first scene to the last. Although Ray Liotta’s character is the protagonist in this picture, De Niro’s performance is at its heart.

Cape Fear (1991)

In this film, De Niro plays a deranged ex-convict bent on getting revenge on the lawman who put him in jail. De Niro takes creepiness to another level in his portrayal of a bad guy who is persistent, cunning and obsessed. He’ll even go after his enemy’s teenage daughter.

Heat (1995)

With Al Pacino’s cop to De Niro’s robber, this film has two very strong leads. Even as De Niro plots bank robberies, you gain sympathy for him as you see him struggling with the challenges of running his crew and trying to have a relationship. This film also has one of the best gunfight scenes in film history.

Casino (1995)

As in Goodfellas, this film has De Niro and Joe Pesci playing gangsters who work together. In Goodfellas, however, the relationship is more volatile, and casino-manager De Niro is sometimes repelled by the disregard Pesci’s character shows for the boundaries. Set in 1970’s Las Vegas, this film sparkles.

Working Actors: Job Shaming Actors With Regular Jobs

All you need to do is watch the latest celebrity roast to listen to celebs get roasted (even by each other) for “falling off the map” or working regular jobs. There are a number of celebs who say goodbye to Tinseltown and opt for low-key positions. Others take on less prestigious gigs simply to pay the bills in between acting jobs. Actors need to work, too. However, many people make fun of actors who take on these jobs. It’s looked at as a failure and often used as entertainment. It’s time for people to stop today.

The Gig Industry and Acting

Acting is essentially a gig industry job. This means that as soon as the job is done, the actor is no longer getting paid. He must go out and apply for new jobs until he finds the next role. Unfortunately, this is more difficult than you may realize. The actor may go to audition after audition only to get rejected. It’s a lot of time and effort to not even get the role. It also doesn’t help that as actors get older, roles become more and more scarce as new, younger actors fight for the same jobs. It can take months or even years of auditions before an actor gets the next job. He may need to find alternative work during this time.

Why Actors Can’t Get Work

Many people assume that when an actor doesn’t take a new role for awhile that they must not be able to get jobs. However, they may simply not be interested in acting for the time being. There’s nothing wrong with that. They may have found new hobbies or simply decided to take a hiatus.
Other actors have made things difficult on themselves with public scandals. People don’t want to support someone like Mel Gibson who has proven himself to be a bit of a racist and sexist.

Shaming Actors

It’s time for people to change their attitude about how they speak about actors who work regular jobs. It’s perfectly acceptable. We should not laugh at people who may be going through a hard time just to make ourselves laugh. It’s probably not nearly as funny to the actor, even if they handle the abuse with grace. Imagine if the tables were turned and someone laughed at your for your profession, especially if it’s not your professional high point. It wouldn’t feel good, right?

Mark Hamill Isn’t Always Luke Skywalker

Mark Hamill

Most people look at Mark Hamill and can’t see past Luke Skywalker. Though his iconic role in the “Star Wars” franchise is one to remember, he’s been in many other movies. Here’s a look at the six best Mark Hamill movies.

1. Joker – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

It may come as a surprise, but Hamill has been playing Joker for about 30 years. Hamill plays Batman’s adversary in “Batman: The Animated Series.” His voiceover work is stunning as he shows his wide voice range of acting between mayhem and evil.

2. Ted Mitchum – Brigsby Bear

Hamill jumped into show off his dramatic side in the indie drama/comedy “Brisby Bear.” He played an obsessive father raising his adult son as if he were still a child. The movie reveals Ted abducted the son as a baby. He and his wife raised the boy by watching the fictional series, “Brigsby Bear.” The adult son finds out the truth, and decides to make the series into a movie. The movie shows off Hamill’s sweet side so much that you forget he kidnapped the boy.

3. Professor James Arnold – Kingsman: The Secret Service

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a goofty, raunchy movie. Hamill played Professor James Arnold, a fun, edgy dude. The movie is wild and crazy, but provides a way for Hamill to show off his diverse acting skills.

4. Firelord Ozai – Avatar: The Last Airbender

Hamill gets to play the antagonist voiceover card again with Firelord Ozai in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” As the main bad guy, Firelord Ozai tries to destroy nations and destroy anyone in his way. Hamill has a way to make people fall in love with, yet hate the villian. No one knows why, but Hamill is one of the best voiceover villainous characters out there.

5. Private Griff – The Big Red One

Hamill stepped away from the galaxy into a very serious 1980 war drama in “The Big Red One.” As Private Griff, a member in a squad of soldiers in Africa during World War II. He showed off his serious, dramatic side in this supporting role. Though it’s a smaller role, Hamill stands apart in this film. He was trying so hard to step away from his Skywalker role into something else. He succeeded.

6. Colonel Muska – Castle in the Sky

Enter another amazing showcase of Hamill’s voiceover acting. Hamill played Colonel Muska in Disney’s “Castle In The Sky” in 1986. Muska was an evil man who tried to take control over a castle in the sky. Though usually known for his “good guy” roles, Hamill turned the tables to play an animated antagonist. People say he’s so good at voicing Colonel Muska they often don’t even recogize him.

Most Common Reasons Actors Stress About and Ways To Fight It

Many people dream of being an actor but don’t know how challenging it can actually be. Actors deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis whether they are on a movie set or not. Here are the most common reasons actors stress and ways to fight it.

1. Lack of Sleep

Being on the set can include some really early 4 or 5 am mornings that last well into the evening. It is exhausting. Many actors end up sleepy. They must go what they can to have enough energy to provide a dynamic scene. Actors may drink coffee and energy drinks. They may also find time for naps throughout the day.

2. Memorizing Lines

A large role will have pages and pages of lines to memorize. This can be difficult for some actors. If the lines aren’t memorized, the actor won’t be able to give the most authentic performance. To memorize the line, the actor will have to spend hours and hours practicing. They not only have to memorize the lines, but they have to practice how to say them in the most impactful way.

3. Landing the Next Role

Actors don’t get paid if they don’t work. It’s crucial for them to get out there and hustle for roles. However, there is a lot of competition. The best way to combat this is to get a good agent and go to as many auditions as possible. Some actors choose to be overly selective or think they are above auditioning. This will only stop them from doing auditions.

4. Aging

The industry can be harsh on both males and females when it comes to look and age. In order to combat this, actors must take efforts to make themselves look good. They will exercise, diet, perform good skin care, and some may even get plastic surgery. Another option is for them to age naturally and look for suitable roles. Since there may not be as many opportunities, it’s important for them to save money or find alternative sources of income.

5. Lack of Chemistry on Set

In certain movies, you can just feel the connection among the cast. In other movies, you may notice a disconnect. Actors must work well with each other in order to make their performances believable and enhance each other’s skills. The actors must also have a harmonious relationship with the director and the rest of the staff behind the scenes. In order to ensure the chemistry is there, the actor must be agreeable and put effort into it.

On top of all of the work stress, actors must also deal with stress from the press. Many of us dream of a life in Hollywood. However, we have to be prepared to deal with the stresses that come with it.

Acting Tricks to Help You Stop Playing the Stooge

Acting Tricks to Help You Stop Playing the Stooge
Acting Tricks to Help You Stop Playing the Stooge

Are you one of those people who values cooperativeness over-assertiveness? Would you rather back down in a confrontation, doing anything to avoid seeming too bossy? Are you constantly afraid that others won’t like you unless you give in to them?

Possibly you have your favorite seat on your regular commuter train or space on the floor to stand during a kickboxing class. To make sure you get this spot, you arrive early enough to occupy it. Some latecomer arrives and insists on pushing you out of the way. To avoid seeming rude, you feel like you have no choice but to accommodate that other person’s demands. You might not even have a regular spot that you claim as your own, but instead may be stuck waiting in a very long line at a checkout counter. Just as you’re about to move to the head of the line, someone comes racing in and, without even asking, stands right in front of you. Not to the side, but right in front. Your cooperative nature surfaces, and before you can question this person’s right to shove you around, you’ve got to wait that much longer for your turn.

People who assert themselves over others, despite what’s “right,” perhaps rarely have insight into their own behavior. They continue to be rewarded for their pushiness, because there are enough people like you who find this behavior difficult to confront. Although your niceness can win you all kinds of praise and regard from those you interact with, aren’t there times when you’d like to be the one to have your way?

A new study based on the voice patterns that professional actors use to portray certain types of characters may be just what you need to help express, and satisfy, your needs in these situations. McMaster University’s (Hamilton, Ontario) Matthew Berry and Steven Brown (2019) investigated the vocal tones that actors use to convey assertiveness as part of their character depictions. As the authors note, to get into their roles, actors can take on the personalities and identities of their characters either through “method” acting, in which they literally become the character or by altering their outward appearance to make it seem as if they are what the audience expects from a given role. Even if they do try to slip inside the character’s identity, they have to make some changes in their speech, mannerisms, and ways of interacting with the other players to convey the particular persona the role requires.

Think about Meryl Streep in her iconic role in The Devil Wears Prada, where she is anything but a pushover as a fashion magazine editor, and her completely contrasting role as a meek and humble mother-in-law in the latest season of Big Little Lies. Whether or not she herself feels she has become the person she’s portraying, her outward mannerisms from the Prada Streep are barely recognizable. Berry and Brown believe that all acting roles fall into one of nine types based on whether they are high, medium, or low on the two dimensions of assertiveness and cooperativeness. Knowing how actors navigate these spots on the matrix could help you move from the cooperative to the assertive side on those occasions when you worry about being a pushover.

The nine character types with their associated dimensions are as follows:

Bully: High assertiveness, low cooperativeness

King/Queen: High assertiveness, medium cooperativeness

Hero(ine): High assertiveness, high cooperativeness article continues after advertisement

Cynic: Medium assertiveness, low cooperativeness

Self-portrayal (for actors portraying themselves): Medium assertiveness, medium cooperativeness

Librarian: Medium assertiveness, high cooperativeness

Recluse: Low assertiveness, low cooperativeness

Loner: Low assertiveness, medium cooperativeness

Lover: Low assertiveness, high cooperativeness

If you’re the “lover type” (romantic or otherwise), then you want to seem as “lovable” as possible. To move up the assertiveness hierarchy, you could stay cooperative by progressing slightly up to the hero type, if you still want people to like you. Becoming a bully would most likely not feel very comfortable, so perhaps you could take on some of the features of a king or queen.

Berry and Brown presented 24 actors with the nine character types (14 men, ranging from 20 to 63 years of age). Rather than give the players scripts with already established characters, the Canadian researchers gave their actors the category names, as above, along with a monologue script consisting of seven neutral sentences, organized around a narrative of representing objects in a room. The authors then analyzed audio and video recordings of the performances to learn primarily how the actors used their voices to portray the nine types of roles. Recording the actors in an ordinary conversation also allowed Berry and Brown to obtain a control baseline.

Imagine hearing what some of those characters would sound like to you. According to Brown and Berry, the most important qualities are pitch (high or low), loudness, timbre (wavering or solid), speed (rapid or slow), and continuity (taking pauses or speaking without a break). Comparing the speech ratings of the actors, the authors found reliable differences according to the assertiveness dimension, but only scattered results with respect to cooperativeness. Apparently, it is more difficult for the actors to distinguish themselves as loners vs. lovers than loners vs. cynics.

What ways of speaking led actors to seem more assertive? The study team’s findings can be summed up with these six acting tricks:

  1. Up pitched—Use a higher-toned voice without going up into falsetto tones.
  2. Loud—Speak up, as a quiet voice conveys low assertiveness.
  3. Clear—Use clear tones in your speech without wavering.
  4. Swift—Speak quickly to show you know what you want to say.
  5. No gaps—Leave out the “ums” and other signs of hesitation.
  6. Add Variety—Allow your voice to go up and down in tone, loudness, and rapidity to show that you are in control of what you want to say.

Practice these tricks yourself now by trying to portray the role of your favorite hero, or perhaps, your beloved bully. How has your voice changed from the way you normally speak? Hold onto this the next time you are faced with a potential pushover-like situation.article continues after advertisement

One other interesting result from the study involved the performance persona that the actors used when portraying themselves. Berry and Brown regard some aspects of the tonal qualities of this type of speech as similar to infant-directed communication (“motherese”), which, in their words “is the characteristic situation of caregiver-infant interaction, but is also the discursive arrangement of a seminar speaker, a tour guide, the narrator of a story, and many other situations where one speaker plays a dominant role in an interaction with attentive, but typically silent, recipients” (p. 15). If you’ve had to read a speech to your audiences, instead of talking without notes, you’ve probably adopted this tone of voice as well. Teaching versus conversing, therefore, carries distinct qualities all its own.

To sum up, it appears that, whether or not you feel more assertive, you can fool your listeners into thinking that you are just by virtue of the way you speak. Rather than needing weeks of assertiveness training to be better at getting your way, the Brown and Berry study hints that using your voice can help you accomplish the same goals.