New York Speech Coaching provides training in Public Speaking, Accent Change & Standard American Dialect for Actors, Accent Reduction, Speech Coaching, Voiceovers, and more for business and corporate clients, models, singers, spokespeople, and those seeking accent reduction.
If you depend on your voice for success, they can help bring out your voice’s full potential.
Some of the expertise that you can receive from New York Speech Coaching includes:
- Public Speaking
- Voice Projection
- Accent Change
- Accent Reduction
- Speech Pathology
- Speaking Voice Engagement
This is what New York Speech Coaching has to say for actors on their website:
“An actor’s vocal ability can be critical to their success in the entertainment industry. Actors must be vocally engaging, clear, and excel in the interpretation of various types of writing. Many of our Associates have acted professionally; their credits spanning a wide range from Broadway Musicals, Shakespeare and classical theatre, to television and commercials, as well as VoiceOver acting. We have the experience to help you reach your vocal goals as an actor and entertainer.”
Below we spoke to Speech Pathologist and Teacher Brendan Houdek at New York Speech Coaching school in New York City.
MB: What inspired you to study Speech-language pathology?
Brendan: In order to understand how I came to study speech-language pathology, a little background information is in order. I am from Long Island, New York. Long Islanders tend to be quite well known for our rather distinctive dialect. At a young age, it occurred to me that I did not feel that this dialect was an accurate representation of me as an individual. It is a wonderful dialect, but I simply did not identify with it. Thus, I sought to make some modifications to change it. I became very aware of how I produced sounds as well as how others around me produced sounds. In addition to this period of exploration and transformation of my speech, I have always had the reputation for being an incessant talker! Thus, communication in general and speech in particular has always been a great interest of mine.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college, however, that I learned of the field of speech-language pathology. My passion for communication and for adapting my own speech had been a large part of my life up to this point in time, but I was unaware of the fact that there was an entire field of study dedicated to this love of mine. I was excited at the prospect of learning about the speaking mechanism in depth. It was quite a shock for me to discover that there are a great number of individuals who suffer from communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists are able to bring hope and assistance to individuals with these conditions, as well as serve those who wish to enhance or modify their communicative abilities in the absence of a disorder, as I did with my own dialect. This more than fascinated me.
I was inspired to pursue this field because it would enable me to dedicate my life to serving others through the art and science of speech and language. I have been passionate about the field and assisting others with their goals ever since!
MB: When you mention that there are a great number of individuals who suffer from communication disorders, could you describe why this was initially a shock to you?
Brendan: I had been aware of some of the more well-known speech and language conditions prior to my studies. What I did not know was just how far-reaching the field of speech-language pathology is, the vast array of different types of disorders that exist, and therefore, the large number of individuals in need of service.
Speech-language pathologists serve individuals of all ages, work in various settings, collaborate with numerous different professionals, and counsel clients, students, patients, families, and caregivers regarding the difficulties that their clients face. Speech-language pathologists treat conditions related to articulation, phonation, resonance, respiration, prosody, fluency, motor planning, semantics, syntax, phonology, morphology, pragmatics, literacy, swallowing, cognition, and auditory habilitation/rehabilitation. These are all simply broad domains of speech, language, and swallowing, all of which contain a great list of disorders within them. In addition, speech-language pathologists may work with individuals without disorders for the purposes of public speaking, accent modification, speaking voice enhancement/modification, and professional voice use.
All of these services combined painted a much larger picture for me of the true scope of a speech-language pathologist and the amount of people that could be served. Learning of all those who could benefit from services was much more “shocking” than my initial perception of the field. This shock increased my desire to pursue the field that much more in that I knew there were so many more individuals who I could assist.
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MB: You currently teach at New York Vocal Coaching, have most of your students been actors?
Brendan: One of my favorite aspects of teaching at New York Speech Coaching is the diversity of our clientele. Our clients come from all walks of life and are involved in many different professions. While I have had the opportunity to work with actors, I have also been able to teach individuals in industries such as business, finance, hospitality, travel, medicine, and others! Since communication is an essential skill in every field, there is no limit to the types of careers that we encounter our clients pursuing.
MB: Can you share with us one of the most rewarding experiences that you have had as a teacher so far?
Brendan: I have had so many rewarding experiences during my career thus far as a speech-language pathologist and speech coach that it is difficult to simply name one. Truly, seeing any client of mine meet his or her goals brings me joy each and every time. Regarding speech-language pathology, one client of mine who has a condition known as apraxia of speech comes to mind. This is a condition that hinders one’s ability to plan the order of articulatory movements necessary to produce speech. Sounds are often difficult to make, are made inconsistently, and may be produced in the incorrect sequence. His speech was very unintelligible. During one of our sessions, he had difficulty saying his name. Using various techniques he was ultimately able to say his name with clarity. He had expressed to me afterward that this was the first time in his life that he had been able to produce his own name clearly! This was a breakthrough moment in his speech journey. I can also recall working with a woman whose passion is to sing. However, she had been struggling with vocal tension and vocal nodules for quite some time. These ailments brought her years of having to sing with a sense of frustration and fear that she wouldn’t be able to perform at the level she needed to, if at all. I am pleased to report that as a result of our time working together she no longer has vocal nodules and sings regularly without incident!
What made this particular case so rewarding is that I have been privileged to see her perform since our time together. It was gratifying to see her be able to participate in her passion unhindered from the difficulties that previously had minimized her ability to do so. As with speech-language pathology, speech coaching has brought me numerous experiences of equal fulfillment. Every time my clients inform me that they have been better understood in the workplace, felt confident during an interview, or had an excellent audition due to the work done with me at New York Speech Coaching, I am reminded of just how much I enjoy doing what I do!
MB: Thanks for sharing this with us and our visitors Brendan!
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