Finding a Way: More Tales of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia in Psychophysical Actor Training

Oram, Daron (2018) Finding a Way: More Tales of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia in Psychophysical Actor Training. Voice and Speech Review, 12 (3). pp. 276-294. ISSN 2326-8271


This article proposes a radical paradigm shift for actor training and voice training. Using heuristic practice-based research findings, the article highlights how progressive education methods at the heart of psychophysical actor training dysconsciously discriminate against students who are dyslexic and/or dyspraxic learners. It discusses the psychological and cognitive impact of experiential learning models on neurodiverse acting students and challenges the widely held “truths” in this training. The article draws on the philosophical framework proposed by Jacques Rancière in his discussion of the emancipatory pedagogy of Joseph Jacotot, The Ignorant Schoolmaster, to offer an alternative perspective on actor training that starts from an assumption of equality, rather than a position where equality is a distant objective. The author argues that it is possible to reject a hierarchical expert-novice approach to training and implement a process of collaboration with students as fellow artists. The article reviews the position of knowledge within psychophysical training, and the author rejects the use of a universal language of experiences. The author proposes that, by trusting the student’s ability to learn what is needed, actor trainers can adopt a position of ignorance in relation to a student’s own self-knowledge. Finally, the author incorporates this work into a revised vocal pedagogy that embraces neurodiversity and effectively engages all students’ will to learn with full attention.


Accepted Version - PDF (Journal Article)

Export and Share

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email