The “undependability” of your singing voice.
No matter how hard you train and prepare, the one factor that you cannot totally control in your singing is your health. I’m writing this today sick in bed with bronchitis and laryngitis- lovely. All my students had to be cancelled this week, there is no singing for me, not to mention my energy level… blahh.
My brain is still working though…since it is not quite a head cold, so I am able to write about it .
This moment reminds me of the MANY times in my life when my health has failed me during a crucial singing moment and all the emotions and pressures that came with those times. I know I have blogged about these types of things before, but it is a huge part of a singer’s world, psyche, and life. -And it can be very frustrating if not crazy making.
Since I am not due to be recording or preforming this week, all it is costing me is quite a bit of my income from my teaching. (Which can be problematic as well- but definitely much more tolerable than dealing with missing important performances or performing mediocre or even badly when the show must go on.)
It really is just something that happens. For singers, more than any other artist, I believe it is the most difficult, since our performing is a direct result of what is happening in our throats and bodies.
All I can say to this is it is a part of our lives as singers. We can do our best to stay healthy, save our voices, not yell, use humidifiers, stay hydrated, wash our hands, and stay out of crowds. But the truth is, sometimes we will just get sick. And maybe once a year we may just not be able to sing well for a week or two.
Rather than live crazed about this, my advice to all is just to learn to live with it. Directors, composers, and producers also get sick. Audiences get sick. They all need to accept that we are not super human. Sometimes we have to cancel, step out, or just say no. Do it respectfully, and hopefully not too often, and let it go. Don’t spend your time feeling guilty or pressured by it. It is part of what you signed up for – using your body for a career. And it is a risk that anyone who hires you has to take. That is why they invented the understudy.
There will be moments that are crucial that your voice will just not be there for you in life. And it will be very hard to accept. But it is all a part of the journey. Whether it is a MET final, an American Idol performance, or your senior recital, there are always health risks that can be devastating in a moment of opportunity.
The odds are always in your favor though. We tend to be healthy most of the time. Enjoy those moments and sing gloriously through them.
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