Moving into char­acter like flip­ping a light switch, Antonio Ocampo-​​Guzman is first a young woman con­versing on the Green Line in high-​​pitched banter, then an affect-​​less male in his 20s chat­ting with friends in a hushed monotone.

For Ocampo-​​Guzman, an assis­tant pro­fessor of the­atre, individuals—like the ones he imper­son­ated for a vis­itor to his office—often model com­mu­ni­ca­tion after what they hear and see at the movies or on TV, and slip into clichéd or habitual ways of speaking.

Most people are ter­ri­fied of speaking with their most authentic and nat­ural voices to say what they really mean, and to really mean what they say,” said Ocampo-​​Guzman, who teaches the Lin­klater voice prac­tice, a method for anyone—including stu­dents of the­atre, politi­cians, preachers and journalists—who wants to have a more expres­sive voice.

It’s for any­body inter­ested in having a deeper rela­tion­ship with their voice and improving the ways in which they com­mu­ni­cate ver­bally so people can hear and under­stand them,” he explained. The method focuses on freeing the voice from phys­ical ten­sion and psy­cho­log­ical lim­i­ta­tions through a series of relax­ation exer­cises for the breathing mus­cu­la­ture and the body.

Other methods are inter­ested in the emo­tional release of the voice or in sounding beau­tiful,” he said. “The Lin­klater tech­nique is more specif­i­cally about sounding authentic.”

With the approval of Kristin Lin­klater, a the­atre pro­fessor at Columbia Uni­ver­sity who devel­oped the tech­nique in the 1970s, Ocampo-​​Guzman recently started training six Mex­ican the­atre pro­fes­sors to teach the method exclu­sively in Spanish.

Backed by Northeastern’s the­atre depart­ment, Ocampo-​​Guzman has been teaching the instruc­tors through Mexico City’s Center for the Study of Voice for the past year.

Though it usu­ally takes four years for anyone to fully grasp the Lin­klater tech­nique, Ocampo-​​Guzman, who became the first Spanish-​​speaking Lin­klater teacher in 1998, is trying to train his dis­ci­ples in half that time, a daunting task on a ped­a­gog­ical level, he said.

There are 100 Lin­klater teachers in the world and each one of us is very dif­ferent, with our own expe­ri­ences and teaching methods,” he explained. “It’s a fas­ci­nating chal­lenge to help teachers in Mexico develop their own teaching per­son­al­i­ties so there are no cookie-​​cutter teachers.”

Ocampo-​​Guzman, who moved to the United States in 1993 from Bogota, Colombia, where he trained at the Teatro Libre, has written sev­eral arti­cles about the prac­tice in Mexico’s pre­mier the­atre mag­a­zine, Paso de Gato. Recently, he fin­ished the man­u­script for the first book on the Spanish ver­sion of the Lin­klater tech­nique, which will be pub­lished next year by National Autonomous Uni­ver­sity of Mexico.

Over the last decade, Ocampo-​​Guzman has found that using the Lin­klater tech­nique makes acting easier. “Acting is very simple,” he said. “All you need to do is play with the idea that you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Releasing your breath by using the Lin­klater tech­nique allows you not to con­trol what’s going to happen next.”

Next summer, he’ll orga­nize a con­fer­ence in Mexico City for teachers at the Center for the Study of Voice and the Voice and Speech Trainers Asso­ci­a­tion, which brings together teachers from all over the world to share ideas and methods.

Ocampo-​​Guzman has worked pro­fes­sion­ally in the­atre in the United States, Ire­land, Greece, Sweden, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Spain. In Feb­ruary, he’ll make his North­eastern directing debut with “Blood Wed­ding,” a tragedy by the Spanish play­wright Fed­erico Garcia Lorca.