Ysabel specializes in acting, voice, presentation and communication skills. Her research reframes acting and performance as deliberate manipulations of subjective experience and brings aspects of the unconscious into conscious awareness, and has resulted in the development of two new cognitive models framing human experience and the work of the actor. She uses these new models and her wide range of experience to mentor young actors, students and theatre professionals, and to coach presentation and voice. She also has a particular interest in the lived experience of autism.
Ysabel has worked in a variety of fields with the common theme of performance. She gained invaluable experience working in three weekly rep. in Nairobi, Kenya in the 1980s, acting, stage-managing and chorus directing as well as doing costume, props, and set-building. She has been assistant director for Jenny Quayle (La Ronde), Michael Mavor (The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui), and Bert Amies, and for James Falkland, James (Jimmy) Ward and Debonnaire Falkland in Kenya. She has been an acting and voice coach for many years.
She has taught presentation and communication skills and neuro-linguistics for personal and professional development, and works in a more therapeutic vein specialising in performance anxiety, and as a mentor and personal development coach. She has also brought her innovative methods to supporting students and adults with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism. She acts as presentation consultant for artists such as Dash Macdonald (The World Leadership Project) and Dionysia Mylonaki (Voice Booth – decoding Marilyn Monroe) and presents and coaches for the World Leadership Project.
Ysabel graduated first class from RCSSD before taking distinction on the Kings/RADA MA in Text and Performance. Her PhD examined Stanislavsky’s acting exercises and developed a new perspective on his System. She holds licentiate diplomas from LAMDA, Guildhall and the Royal Academy of Music and is a double Master Practitioner of NLP. She has a PCGE in secondary drama and a PGCert in Autism and is studying for an MA in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University.
Ysabel has taught at Brunel, E15, The Actor’s Centre and Goldsmith’s as well as giving private coaching in voice and acting. She has given workshops at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and RADA, and has been teaching at Goldsmith’s since 2002. Originally invited to teach Stanislavsky’s Method of Physical Actions, she has since led workshops and seminars on Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Adler, Meisner, Chekhov, Artaud, Lecoq, Brecht, Grotowski, Brook, Meyerhold, and Viewpoints. She has proposed and developed units on Voice/Text/Shakespeare, Presence of Mind, and Viewpoints.
Ysabel teaches DTA year 1 Dramaturgy, DTA year 2 Acting/action and Voice and Text, and Acting on the BA Musical Theatre. She convenes and teaches the MA Performance Praxis option, and coaches postgraduate essay writing and study skills. She also teaches presentation skills in the Department of Design, for Goldsmith’s Human Resources Department and at Birmingham School of Art, has consulted for postgraduate students at the Royal College of Art, and previously taught communication skills, voice and presentation for screen on the MA in TV Journalism for the Department of Media and Communications.
Ysabel did 15 years’ ballet training, and has also studied modern dance with Arlene Philips, tap, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Kung. She has trained in Comedy Acting, Directing, Working with the Jungian Shadow, Shakespearean Comedy, Physical Comedy, Stand-up Comedy, and singing and voice. She has studied deep cultural modeling in Bali (including dance, gamelan and mask work), African drumming, Improvisation with Keith Johnstone, and Social Drama with Bert Amies, five different Viewpoints courses including with Daniel Kramer, Fitzmaurice voicework with Catherine Fitzmaurice, One Voice with Joan Melton, Ivana Chubbuck Method with Ivana Chubbuck, Lecoq with Complicite, and speaking Shakespeare with Simon Dormandy and the Globe Theatre.
Ysabel is a member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama, a LAMDA recommended teacher, and a member of the International Centre for Voice. She is also a member of the Autistica Insight Group, advising researchers into autism.
As a voice coach, Ysabel collaborated with artist Dash Macdonald in developing the Imagine You’re a World Leader project and is now lead presenter and voice/presentation skills coach on the resulting workshops with artists Dash ‘n Dem. We use rhetorical techniques and staging devices to help primary children devise and present formal speeches articulating their desire for world change.
Ysabel has developed two new cognitive models out of her work with Stanislavsky’s System of acting: the Spatial Adpositional Model of Experience and the Actor’s GRAFT. These offer an innovative visuo-spatial perspective on human experience and the specifics of actor training, allowing for precise comparisons between practices at the unconscious level. As well as using them to teach acting, she has disseminated them via conferences and articles. She is researching the subjective experience of autism for her MA.