Simon Ward



Simon Ward is an actor, psychologist and educator. He trained in the MA Musical Theatre program & LRAM program in teaching voice at the Royal Academy of Music (London), holds a Licentiate in Musical Theatre from Trinity College London, trained with the Actors Centre Australia, and completed Psychology degrees at Macquarie University Sydney. He has performed in London’s West End, New York City & throughout Australia in musicals, plays, opera and extensively in cabaret. Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, a Chartered Psychologist & Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a member of the British Voice Association, the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets, of the Music Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA), and a proud Equity UK & MEAA Equity Australia member. Simon is also a member of the MEAA Equity Wellness Committee. He has worked in the NSW Health Department, as a consultant psychologist for the Australian Ballet & works in private practice. He presented at the MTEA Conference in NYC and at the Estill Voice Symposium in London. Simon teaches on musical theatre and dance programs at a number of universities and colleges in Australia, regularly runs workshops for educational institutions, NGOs and creative arts bodies, and has a private singing studio.


Part 1: All Choked Up: Performance Psychology, Anxiety, & My Voice
Why does my voice shake just when I’m about to sing? Why do I freeze up when I perform? Why can’t I calm myself down no matter how much I tell myself to? Every performer has felt them. The nerves. The Butterflies. They seem to appear regardless of style of singing, location of performance, age, level of skill or experience. And every performer has their own methods for surviving them. Across the performing arts, and especially musical theatre, performance psychology & stage fright are hot topics. But in a world of good advice and intention, how is a performer to know what works and what to do when it doesn’t?
The workshop will include:
  • Brains: a practical overview of how they work
  • What happens when performance anxiety hits the brain?
  • Musical Theatre & Vocal focus – how is performing & my voice affected and how does it respond?
  • Can performance anxiety be activated by different styles of singing?
  • How to handle it when performing & how to calm down healthily
  • Q & As
Part 2: All Choked Up: Performance Masterclass
Intellectual knowledge about my brain and psychology is essential, but I have to audition now, so what do I do? Coz my insides are trying to tunnel out. This workshop gives students a chance to practice some of the skills and strategies discovered in workshop 1. Mistakes are compulsory.
The workshop will include:
  • A recap on the brain & what happens when we get nervous
  • Explore what our bodies do when we are about to perform
  • Exercises to do during a performance – live masterclass style
  • Tips and tricks
  • Q & As