Watching Idol last night – third episode of Hollywood week, I was inspired to write after watching Jessica Furney’s rejection from the judges along with her plea to them. She had lost her voice from over singing during the group rehearsals and had to battle that throughout the competition. As a result she pleaded with the judges to keep her saying that she didn’t have a fair opportunity to show herself since she was battling with her voice and it was not fair to compare her to others who weren’t dealing with that.
Well, whether I felt her plea to them was too dramatic or not, I do feel for her. It is one thing to be rejected after showing your best performance, at least then you know they made a choice after seeing the best you. But to have to perform sub par and then to be rejected leaves you filled with regret and frustration, if only they saw what I can really do…
I would imagine that if they were crazed about her from the beginning they would have found a way to keep her fighting vocal strain or not, but it still has got to be a harsh reality for her when she looks back at that group rehearsal and the strain “she allowed ” to be put onto her voice.
Did I say “she allowed” the strain to be put on her voice? - (that’s pretty harsh Ariella Vaccarino the empathetic voice teacher that you are…)
Maybe it is harsh but it is true. We need to protect ourselves as singers. No one will do it for us, no one knows our limitations except us. It is so important singers that you save the juice for the right moment. Like any athlete, we can only use our correct muscles for so long before we strain and thus compromise them. Singing has its limitations, you as a good singer need to learn to feel them and to listen to them, no matter the circumstance.
“Marking“ is a term that we use when not singing out. Some people are better at it than others. Essentially you sing down the octave, or with half a voice, or speak gently in tempo to mark the vocals while learning the harmonies, dance moves, blocking, or trying to memorize lyrics. I am not referring to whispering which is very harsh on the voice, rather, gentle singing- no powerhouse sound.
This is what you need to do in a situation when you are repeating a song to get through a rehearsal. Especially when you have a lot of important solo singing coming up. I am not saying you should be marking your chior rehearsals. If you are rehearsing to work on the sound then by all means sing. But, when a performance is pending you have to be protective and only give when the judges are listening.
I am sure that was a hard thing to do for the singers during group rehearsals on American Idol- they want to be impressing everyone around them, make their mark, stand out to be filmed etc… but, like Jessica Furley, they needed to weigh the whole week of singing- not just the moment of singing.
As a professional singer, you need to learn how to “mark”, but like everything, it takes practice. If you don’t do it right you could strain your voice. So practice it every once in a while by singing light, half voiced, with no pressure on any muscles when learning or going through your own music.
I feel for Jessica Furney because she will never have peace in her mind that she was rejected for a fair reason-”if only they knew what I could really do...” That will play in her mind for a long time- a really horrible feeling that I am sure most of us performers have had. Hopefully she will find a way to take the experience as a positive for all her exposer and be dignified about the results.
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