Saturday, July 7, 2007

What happens when you don't warm up your voice

I urge every student and recording client I work with to be sure and warm up vocally before performance. That preparation includes:
  • Carefully doing special vocal exercises to warm up the instrument and to find the proper body/voice connection.
  • Singing, at least as long as your upcoming performance, full voice at least 3 and preferably 4 days before your show. (If you are regularly performing and in top shape, you might be able to skip this full voice preparation.)

So, I decided to prove my point by having my own show to do and NOT warming up before it. After all, I do vocal exercises all the time as I teach. And... I was BUSY with deadlines and distractions. Oh, the sacrificial experiments I do for my people!!

The show was at a huge outdoor 4th of July celebration in Decatur, Alabama. I spent the night with my mother who lives in Florence. I started the day, yes, by singing my songs full voice at my mother's piano a couple of times. (Remember, I said to do this BEFORE the day of your show?!...) Then I drove to Studio One Acting School where I taught our Runaway Home (the musical) cast a new acapella arrangement I created for them of "God Bless America". I also rehearsed them on a few songs from the musical that we would be singing at the show. It was great to see them and sing with them again, which we did for a couple of hours!!...

Then we met at the stadium field and rehearsed a little more backstage. Can I say it was HOT, ya'll!!??? I was sweating even before I took to the stage, where I energetically sang a couple of solos and then sang with them. It was a great show, and I felt good about all our performances, but as I left the stage I was talking in a voice that sounded like I'd been breathing helium. I took about 48 hours for my cords to calm down and shrink.

OK, I've turned around. Somebody kick me now. :<

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