Five Minutes with Viva student Michael

“People are starting to realise I can speak without feeling nervous”

In this interview, Viva Voice student Michael gives insight into the effect Voice and Acting™ classes have had on his confidence, and how it benefits his professional sporting activities.

Michael is a committed and avid tennis player. He trains five times a week and travels frequently to competitions, so it’s no wonder that Michael is doing very well in the Australian tennis community!

We look forward to seeing Michael speak in court interviews post-match, just like his role model, Roger Federer.

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with Viva students.

Can’t watch the interview right now? You can read the full transcript below.

My name is Michael, I’m in Year 8 and I’m 13 years old. My parents told me, you’re going to Viva Voice, and I’m like, “Oh, okay. Let’s try it out,” because it was something new instead of sport. Then I came here and then I told them, “This place is good. It’s exactly what I wanted.”

After the first couple of lessons, I loved coming to Viva Voice. I was like, “Oh, yes, Tuesday! It’s Tuesday. I get to go to Viva Voice.”

Before, I wasn’t as confident when talking to people. My voice was really soft and people called me Mickey Mouse, because I was like a mouse, I just didn’t say anything. Since I came here, everything changed – sport, home, school.

A lot of people are starting to realise that I can speak without feeling nervous. At home, my sisters now respect me, because I’ve started to speak better than them. That’s exactly what I want!

We learn how to use our tummy to speak, to project our voice really loud, change our tone, make eye contact. When we do poems we can change our tone from happy to sad, and read the same poem with different expression.

I like having a strong voice because when I’m on stage, everyone can hear me and they know what I’m saying. They understand, unlike when you’re on stage and you start mumbling and you start getting softer, they’re not as into what you’re saying.

A sport that I’m very involved in is tennis. It’s a really fun game. Usually you get to compete with a lot of people and there’s a lot of respect in the sport.

Last year I got into a high school team for Year 7 to 12, it’s meant for older kids who are seniors at their high schools. I got into the tournament and at the event and I was ranked number five, which I was really happy about, because it’s Opens and I’m a Junior!

When I become a professional tennis player, these skills from Viva Voice will definitely help me. When I speak in an on court interview or in presentations, I can actually… when I go up to the microphone… I’ll feel like I’ve been in the situation before. I’ll have to speak because a lot of people are watching me, I’ll know I’ve done this as a kid and speaking with a loud voice will definitely catch the audience’s attention.

I usually get nervous when I’m about to do a speech in front of the whole class. They give us a topic and we have to write it at home and then say it in front of the class. When I’m nervous, I just breathe in and then I let it out and just pretend all the nerves are gone right now.

My favourite piece that I’ve performed is Sir Smashem Up. I performed it in the Showcase and I did it in my exam as well. It was a funny poem definitely!

My Showcase experience was awesome because I actually spoke in front of a lot of people’s parents. I got to speak in front of my mum and dad as well, and show them how good I am at speaking, and how loud I can now be when I’m speaking. Also saying a poem, which is really long, I can keep my consistency all the way to the end.

Now it’s time for…rapid fire questions!

Poems or monologues?
Poems definitely.

Roald Dahl or J. K. Rowling?
J. K. Rowling.

Books or films?
Films.

Favourite film?
Harry Potter.

Musical theatre or plays?
Plays.

Badminton or tennis?
Tennis.