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Bio
 
Ginny Kopf, Professor
| Friday, 01.05.2018, 01:57 AM |   (31640 views)


Ginny Kopf


By Ed Donovan


 


I wonder if most actors think of their voice when it comes to acting. Most think of acting as knowing their lines, being in the moment, stage movement, reacting and everything related to the art of acting. How many know how important their voice is to the scene and to the Producers and Directors involved in casting actors in their projects? There probably isn’t anyone more qualified to teach voice in acting then our own Ginny Kopf. She was born to teach the subject.


 


Ginny was born in the Bay Area of California, in Santa Clara. Her father was a professional drummer and her mother Phyllis was a housewife and played piano.  Her two older sisters didn’t get involved in the arts at all, but Ginny took to acting right away, doing plays in school, oral interp, singing, and playing clarinet in the orchestra. She continued performing at Santa Clara High, doing some touring with of musicals with her church choir. It was while she was in high School that she already knew she wanted to make a career out of teaching, as she fell in love with the process.  She’d always enjoyed the rehearsals just as much as the performing.  


 


She went on to community college and fell in love with her theatre voice and dialect classes. Ginny says, “I was painfully shy in junior high and high school. Acting changed my life. I guess I wasn’t nervous performing because I was always playing a different person, plus I was focused not on myself, but on being the character. Working closely with other actors in rehearsals and theatre classes helped me get over my nervousness.  I thought I would like to teach this, as I want to help people to get that same confidence that helped me.”


 


Ginny went on to Humboldt State University in the redwoods of northern California for her BA, majoring in Acting, and then on to San Diego State for her first Masters Degree in Directing. Ginny says, “There was no vocal coaching major.  I had to design my own program.  I focused everything towards voice and dialects, even directing plays that had dialects and vocal challenges.”  Ginny’s family was not well off, so she put herself through college, waitressing  for over 10 years, but she loved it because she could study, help and encourage people.


              


After graduating, Ginny auditioned for Lambs Players, a Christian based theater company.  For two years, she toured the country with them doing improvisational street theatre, doing Italian Renaissance based Commedia characters. That eventually brought her to Florida, where their sister company, Sak Theatre, was doing improv comedy at Epcot. “I came out here opening crew, sight unseen, and worked at the Italy Pavilion for four years.  At this time I was making more money as an actress with benefits and all, than I would as a teacher.  Though I enjoyed acting, I wanted to teach, particularly community college, because it had helped me so much.” 


 


So Ginny applied for her first teaching job at Rollins College.  She wasn’t sure how to go about it, so she walked into the office and asked if they needed a teacher. At this time she had no teaching experience and they gave her a shot at the job, teaching Acting 1 and Voice for the Actor for four years. At the same time she was teaching speech part time at Seminole Community College.  Her department head at Rollins suggested that she get a PhD so that she could become a full professor.  “Again, I designed my own degree, since there was no program  in voice and dialect coaching.  I was so interested in how the voice worked and how to keep it strong and healthy, so I focused on Vocal Health, which was partly in the Speech Science department and partly in Theatre.”  Ginny drove from Orlando to Gainesville every Tuesday and Thursday for a year and a half, while still teaching at Rollins.  While busy commuting and taking classes in an intensive program, she was dialect coaching and directing shows at Rollins at the same time.  For the 3rd year of her program, she interned for a summer at the London Academy, then moved to Gainesville.  She ended up completing a 2nd MFA in Theatre Voice.


 


Ginny has been a theatre instructor for over 25 years, and still loves every second of it.  She was at Rollins Theatre Department for 5 years, UCF for 11 years, and she is still at Valencia Community College.  She teaches Acting 1, Voice for the Actor, Dialects, and Movement.  Ginny says, “I’ve been at Valencia for 25 years now and I love to help people get more confidence, and to bring out their best and realize what their strength and weaknesses are.”   At Seminole Community College in Sanford she teaches Public Speaking, helping new students gain confidence speaking in front of an audience.   


 


Since early college years, and while touring with Lamb’s Players, through to this day, she has given private lessons.  Working out of her home she teaches anything voice and speech, from dialects for a show, singing (all styles, all ages), speech presentation skills, accent reduction, to audition preparation for actors. Ginny also goes on site to wherever she is needed, whether it be following doctors or nurses to observe how they deal with patients or sit with receptionists and assess their interaction on the job. She specializes in helping people how to present themselves through voice and body image and improve their social skills.


 


As if she isn’t busy enough, she also has dialect coached productions and individual actors through her many years in the theatre.  She’s dialect coached plays, films, theme park, TV shows, including a lot of coaching out at Disney and Universal Studios.


 


Ginny has written The Dialect Handbook, Learning, Researching, and Performing. A Dialect Role, featuring The Dialect Directory. She’s also written Accent Reduction Workshop, for Professional American Speech, with a 3-CD set, and “S Drills to get the hiss out,” a drill CD to help those with an “s” lisp.


 


When not working Ginny makes time for her love of kayaking, the outdoors and going to plays.


 


 


For more on Ginny go to: www.voiceandspeechtraining.com


Ginny can be reached at gkvoice@cfl.rr.com



Ed Donovan is a SAG-AFTRA member since 1982. He is a Writer, Biographer, Producer, Director, Screenwriter and the Editor of the Award winning online magazine, In Focus- Magazine. The magazine is linked World Wide with writers and readers throughout the World. For more on Ed Donovan go to IMDB,  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1105025/?ref_=rvi_nm

Ed Donovan can be reached at edono31@gmail.com


 




Ed Donovan


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