Los Angeles voice teacher Saul Kotzubei is a certified Master Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework who coaches actors, singers, business, legal and academic professionals, and people wanting to develop their voice for personal growth. He offers private vocal coaching as well as group voice classes locally, and he teaches voice workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. Saul also teaches public speaking to a wide range of clients including executives, academics, clergy, television hosts, and people preparing for important speeches, meetings and job interviews. Click on "About This Work" above left for more information on this work and "Bios" above left for details on Saul's background.
ACTORS: Saul Kotzubei provides voice coaching for actors in film, television, theatre, and radio. His coaching addresses the individual needs of each performer: for example, some actors concentrate on accessing diverse aspects of their voice and its expressive powers; others on a sense of freedom while speaking when they’re nervous, upset, angry, joyful, etc.; others on connecting with those they speak to; others on accessing impulses and emotion without pushing; others on being expressive and clear without experiencing vocal fatigue; and others focus on being heard in different venues.
Saul also focuses on actors simply being in front of others. As a voice teacher in Los Angeles, Saul believes that it is crucial for many performers to learn to be in front of other people (or a camera) and be able to breathe. For many actors in Los Angeles, being in voice class compliments and enhances their work in acting classes.
SINGERS: Saul is a vocal coach for singers and singing teachers. He doesn’t teach singing, but he does teach singers how to find greater freedom and expressivity with less effort. His emphasis is on linking freedom and control in breathing while being vocally expressive.
EVERYONE ELSE: Saul teaches a wide variety of people in Los Angeles who want to develop their voice and communication skills:
PROFESSIONALS: Saul teaches professionals how to communicate effectively and powerfully when in meetings, while giving presentations, and in other public speaking contexts. He helps teachers to communicate in healthy ways while engaging their students. He teaches lawyers how to be more effective communicators. He is also a vocal coach for members of the clergy. In addition, Saul coaches professionals who experience anxiety or fear of public speaking.
PERSONAL ENRICHMENT: Saul coaches people in Los Angeles who want to enrich their lives. In some cases this means people who don’t like their voices, who think they have ‘bad’ voices, who experience vocal fatigue (a hoarse voice) or have lost their voice, who are afraid of public speaking, or who have developed a phobia of speaking in general. Saul also helps people who want to access a greater range of vocal presence and a greater feeling of freedom and ownership of their expressivity. Saul's approach to voice training also helps people to breathe more fully and easily.
LOCATION: Saul is based in Los Angeles, but he also teaches nationally and internationally.
For those who are in the Los Angeles area (actors, singers, businesspeople, trial lawyers, teachers, members of the clergy, and people who want help with their voices for purely personal reasons), Saul Kotzubei offers vocal training through private voice lessons in Los Angeles, as well as workshops and classes. Saul also serves many clients based in Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and throughout Southern California.
There are many options for vocal training in Los Angeles and beyond with other certified Fitzmaurice Voicework teachers. Workshops specializing in Fitzmaurice Voicework are located all over the world. See www.Fitzmauricevoice.com for a complete calendar of events. The teacher listings there include voice teachers who offer private voice lessons in Los Angeles, and in some cases public voice classes, as well as workshops around the country and the world.
There are also many wonderful voice teachers from different traditions. No single tradition of voice training, or single voice teacher, is right for everyone. See my links page for some excellent suggestions. If you're looking for more options in voice training in Los Angeles specifically, you can also check out the Fitzmaurice site mentioned above.
FITZMAURICE VOICEWORK: specific adaptations of yoga, shiatsu, Reichian bodywork (from Wilhelm Reich) combined with classical theatre voice training techniques form the basis of this work. It was developed by Catherine Fitzmaurice over several decades of teaching, coaching, research, and personal exploration. Catherine adapted various disciplines -- such as hatha yoga and shiatsu -- to make them relevant to the voice. In many ways the specific genius of her work is the synthesis that she has developed that she then asks the voice teachers who she has certified to discover anew for themselves. Her work was originally designed to train theater professionals, but has since found wide-ranging application. It is taught as a core class in many professional theater training programs along with acting technique, movement, etc.
Speech pathologists have increasingly become interested in her methods as an aid in treating people who chronically suffer from a lost or hoarse voice, as well as those who lose their voice often, have a weak voice, or have restricted breathing patterns which limit their expressivity, or other voice problems such as nodules or muscle tension dysphonia.
Saul teaches three voice classes in Los Angeles each week for performers based in Fitzmaurice Voicework and two which are a combination of that work and Richard Seyd's stretch work. These classes emphasize free breathing as the basis for a free voice.
The foundation of the work with the voice is breathing. Breathing limitations are one of the biggest factors in an underdeveloped or inhibiited voice. Free breathing is enormously helping in freeing the voice. Why is breath so important? For a brief look at the role of breathing in voice work, see this article. It is possible to think of the classes as a breathing class. Some people in Los Angeles go so far as to take private lessons and only think of them as breathing lessons.
PRIVATE COACHING: Saul Kotzubei offers private voice lessons in Los Angeles for those who want free and expressive communication with others. Saul’s style of vocal coaching is based on the philosophy that authentic and dynamic communication is achieved, in each case, by a unique and individual process, and that certain principles can be followed which make that process more clear. Saul believes that everyone can learn to speak and sing; everyone can have a freer and more powerful voice. For some, taking private voice lessons is helpful because of the specificity enabled by one on one interaction. For others, private voice lessons provide a safer context than group study. Private voice lessons are offered in Los Angeles, and Saul can travell when needed
You don't need to have a voice problem to work with Saul. It's great to explore your potential or hone your instrument. If you're a theatre actor preparing for a major role on Broadway, or a film actor about to do a major role, or you're a professional preparing for a big presentation, it's generally a good idea not to wait until the last minute to find a voice coach. The more prepared you are in advance, the more freedom you'll have when the time comes to speak.
About half of Saul's private voice students are theater or film and television actors; about 10% are singers or singing teachers; the rest come to Saul for private voice lessons for a wide variety of reasons. The heart of the lessons, for many of his clients, revolves around breathing, discovering what it is to breathe freely and then to be able to manage the breathing deftly while communicating.
WORSKHOPS: Saul offers voice workshops of varying length and emphasis. Most of the voice workshops are intended for performers or teachers of performers (including voice teachers); however, some workshops are also open to everyone who wants voice training. See above for details. Every few months, Saul offers a two-day introductory voice workshop in Los Angeles for performers and teachers of performers. From time to time he also teaches five-day workshops that explore the whole arc of Fitzmaurice Voicework. In addition, he teaches workshops of varying length that cover specific subjects.
The core of these workshops involves breathing techniques useful for speaking; finding a free and easily managed breathing system. If you feel like your acting technique is solid but you know you can be more available and don't know how, the introductory workshop is an ideal place to start.
VOICE CLASSES: Saul’s voice classes in Los Angeles are for performers and teachers of performers. They are ongoing and offered at a variety of times each week. See above for details. Saul’s voice classes are used by LA-based actors who employ a wide variety of acting techniques and have a wide variety of experience. For some actors, attending voice class means having a place to develop and practice effective, healthy vocal technique; for some it is becoming more vocally expressive or developing certain aspects of the voice; for some it is overcoming phobias and facing their fear of revealing themselves in front of others in specific contexts; for some it is opening up the body and finding a deeper connection to oneself; for some it is about repatterning a habit of getting hoarse after being very expressive; for some it having a place to play each week. Saul's Los Angeles voice classes are appropriate for theater actors as well as television and film actors.
Often actors in Los Angeles don't consider voice to be a relevant part of their training. In most professional actor training programs, however, voice class is considered an essential companion to acting technique. For examples of how voice training can specifically benefit actors in Los Angeles, see Saul's article, To Breathe or Not to Breathe.
Saul has occasional workshops, open to everyone, to help people communicate to groups. The workshop uses a variety of techniques to enhance public speaking. If you fear public speaking, experience public speaking anxiety, or if you find yourself anticipating that you will be afraid while speaking in public, this voice class might be very helpful. If you simply want more experience with public speaking techniques, or you want vocal training in Los Angeles in a group setting, this class may fit your needs well.
EXCELLENCE: some students feel they need the best voice coach in Los Angeles in order to work well. But it's worth wondering what best voice teacher means. Is it someone who has good technique, who understands what good technique looks like? Is it someone who is or was a performer or public speaker; in other words, is it someone with personal experience? Is it important that your mentor works with famous or sucessful clients? Is it crucial, if you are an actor, that you find the top voice training for actors? Or if a public speaker, the best coach for public speakers in Los Angeles? All of those might be important. But it isn't enough. Just as important as your teacher really knowing something, is that you have a good relationship with the teacher. Why? Because the voice is so intimately linked to relating, to connection. Sometimes the top voice teacher is the one with whom you have the best connection. So, do you need the best coach in Hollywood? Do you need the best voice training in Los Angeles? Or would you do better to find the best voice coaching for you? These aren't trivial questions.
It may take time to find a good fit. No need to be discouraged. Think about it like food or even better like clothing. We have different tastes. Sometimes it's easy to find a good fit, sometimes it takes a while. It may take a little more work to find who the best voice coaches in Los Angeles are for you, but it's worth it.
VARIETY OF GOALS: there are many voice teachers in Los Angeles. Saul’s goal is to help his students realize their potential as they develop in the areas that are specific to them. He teaches his students to breathe easily, to reduce tension, to be heard more easily, to free high or tight voices and to become more emotionally available without pushing. His students gain vocal confidence, communicate more freely and expressively, balance resonance, and learn an effective warm-up to use before public speaking, trials, lectures, auditions, and performances.
If you frequently lose your voice, or your voice becomes hoarse, a voice coach may be helpful in training you to develop new, efficient habits. In addition to helping people train their voice for optimal use, Saul works with students who need to address a specific voice problem: a lost voice, restricted breathing, thin, weak, shrill, hoarse, etc. voice.
Saul also works (in conjunction with medical professionals) to retrain vocal function for people with nodules or muscle tension dysphonia. If it doesn't look like Saul is the right match for your needs, you can find other voice coaches in Los Angeles listed at the Fitzmauricevoice.com website. For issues like nodules or muscle tension dysphonia, you may also want to see a laryngologist or a speech pathologist.
VARIETY OF CONCERNS AND BACKGROUNDS: Saul’s students range from those who are just beginning voice lessons to those with enormous experience with vocal training. If you're looking for a voice coach in Los Angeles, Fitzmaurice Voicework is an exciting approach to consider.
Some people come to Saul because they do a lot of public speaking and experience vocal fatigue, or frequently lose their voice. Some of his students have had extensive training in public speaking techniques but find that they have a hard time connecting with their audience. If you're looking for a Los Angeles public speaking coach, Saul has extensive experience working with professionals in a wide range of fields.
Some theater actors come because they are about to open a big show. Some of his students have extremely successful careers based primarily on their voices but want a vocal coach in order to increase their range. Some people had a great voice coach a long time ago and simply want to renew their study.
Many models in Los Angeles come to work with Saul because they are wanting to become actors, or because they have other jobs that require public speaking. If you're a model, there are specific challenges related to breathing and aesthetics that it is important that you face directly.
Some people with no prior training want coaching because they have been told that they are hard to hear. Some feel inhibited vocally but cannot put their finger on what is holding them back. Some have a phobia of public speaking that they want to address.
ROLE OF THE VOCAL COACH: the role of the voice teacher is to help clients develop useful options with their voice - it is not the role of a voice teacher to prescribe the single correct way that all people must sound. Depending on the student's needs, the kind of approaches that a voice coach might employ vary a great deal. Even the context is important: some students will require the specificity of private voice lessons; others will discover more in a class or workshop setting because their challenges arise more in a group context (such as in public speaking). In either case, there isn't a formula. Each case is individual.
Actor and director David Schwimmer says of Saul as a voice teacher: “Saul’s approach is invaluable for any actor working on camera and essential for working in the theatre.”
Singer and actor David Rasche says of his vocal training with Saul, “When I worked with Saul, things moved very quickly. I have been able to do things vocally that I would never have imagined possible.”
Catherine Fitzmaurice, the founder of Fitzmaurice Voicework, says, “Saul is the lead trainer in my teacher-training program because he teaches with a rare combination of clarity and compassion.”
For more quotes, click on "Testimonials" above.
c. Saul Kotzubei 2013