USE YOUR VOICE TO GET WHAT YOU WANT
For over a decade I’ve been a Hollywood dialect coach with clients all around the world, working with movie stars on some of the biggest blockbusters from Wonder Woman to Guardians of the Galaxy—coaching the minutiae of breath and sound, and the nuances of human communication.
BUT IT’S MORE THAN PUTTING ON FUNNY VOICES.
As I began working with non-actors, too—women running for office for the first time, employees navigating prickly workspaces, introverts needing to pitch, and entrepreneurs about to go big—my WHY became super clear:
I’ve been FOREVER fascinated with the relationship between how we sound and how we get treated—and what the hell we can do about it.
Even when I was little. I remember being comically obsessed with Eliza Doolittle, the flower girl in the musical My Fair Lady who learns what a fancy accent can get you. Same time I had posters on my bedroom wall of Marilyn Monroe, another social experiment in persona-building—the hair was iconic but how about that voice??
I got a degree from Princeton by studying dialogue: I was an English major who got to read mostly plays. And a total social psych and linguistics nerd. And then I got a Masters’ in acting, with a lot of speech and dialect work, a lot of changing up how we sound to play different roles.
“Why would anyone change how they sound?” a journalist at Jezebel asked me for a piece on our favorite con-women and their infamous voices.
I WAS LIKE, PULL UP A CHAIR.
When Bay works with actors, she approaches developing accents by determining the style of speech best suited to conveying the character’s story. “That actually ends up being what it is for all of us: what story are we telling?” she says. “That’s the question with Anna Delvey. That’s the question with Elizabeth Holmes.”
And that, even without the conning and manipulation, is what you’re doing too. All of us.
TELLING A STORY WITH OUR VOICE. A STORY ABOUT POWER.
WHEN I WAS 24, I LOST MY VOICE. FOR WEEKS.
I wasn’t sick, but something was clearly very wrong. I had to go to a speech pathologist to learn a whole new way of talking. Honestly, a whole new way of being. It turned out somewhere along the way I had picked up a habit of speaking just a bit below my body’s preferred pitch, presumably because I came across as older and wiser that way. I wasn’t entirely aware I was doing it, but it worked.
Until it didn’t and my voice was GONE.
What WAS that?!
Why had I picked up a destructive way of speaking?
Did it help me get treated better?
Most of our habits do… until they don’t. Until we’ve outgrown the benefits of playing small or faking big.
Data and case studies tell us we get judged or at the very least categorized all day, every day, based on how we speak.
It’s a thing we don’t talk about much when we’re talking about cultural biases, but we feel it. And we adjust accordingly.
TILL WE END UP WITH A VOICE THAT ISN’T OURS.
And won’t lead us to the future we want. Won’t lead us to the power we deserve.
And THAT breaks my heart. THAT is why I’m here and that’s why I coach.
So the people who deeply deserve power, GET POWER.
MY SECRET SAUCE IS BLENDING...
THE TECHNICAL: a real owners-manual understanding of your actual sounds. Your breath. Your pitch and tone and volume and pace. Linguistic markers for class, race, age, and gender that are charged AF. Your habits and options. Your voice’s possibility.
BIG PERMISSION WORK: cleaning out your mindgunk from a lifetime of, well, speaking while human. Hint: it’s not NOT about white patriarchal capitalist BS.
SO YOU SHOW UP WHEN YOU SHOW UP.
With a voice that's specific not generic, brave not safe, joyful not self-serious, varied not squeezed into one boring note, diverse in all the ways.
So you move the room and get what you want—the gig, the raise, the respect, the vote, the future that is calling to you.
So you use your voice to get what you want.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
Chris Bubser, candidate for United States Congress
“Over the course of a single VIP day, Samara taught me how to use my voice–how to use my own voice that I’ve been unable to access on command for my entire life.
And I also left with a warm up I entirely trusted to get me there over and over again, and a stump speech that I was so ready to deliver and have fun with. Samara blew my mind, and the best part, honestly, is that it worked.”
Hannah Diop, Founder and CEO, Sienna Naturals
“Working with Samara was a game changer and helped me tap into the personal narrative intrinsic to my story as a business founder.
It was always there, but wasn't getting the shine it deserved. She helped me unlock the power of my story and connect it to the research and products which gave my pitch the x-factor it needed to be successful."
Spade Robinson, Hollywood writer
“Samara’s workshop was like going to public speaking church!”
LET'S CHANGE WHAT POWER SOUNDS LIKE
Use your voice to lead us to a better future with this game-changing guide to redefining what power and authority sound like. Brought to you by Penguin Random House.GET YOUR COPY >
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