The show must go on!

I woke up yesterday with a cold and hoarseness in my voice. I had three hours of performance to do later in the day, so I knew it was going to be a tough one with a lot of careful attention and energy to complete the job!

First, I had a hot shower and my usual … pot of coffee. I didn’t utter a word until 2:00 pm. I did a few exercises of lip trills and light sirens. I took a moment to gauge where I thought I was with my voice, compared to my “healthy voice”. I was somewhere around a 6 or 7. My goal was to be 8 or 9 before leaving for my gig. I had two hours.

I continued to warm up my head voice lightly. I paid acute attention to my body and energy to make sure I wasn’t putting any undue stress on my vocal cords. I did some sit ups and took a walk around the block. I continued to sip water all day.

This has happened many times before and I have learned over the years how to pace the day and night. It’s a delicate balance. I don’t talk. I only sing ….. when it’s absolutely necessary. In this case, it was necessary or else I would be letting down many many people who simply wanted to enjoy their Christmas party!

I made sure I could hear my voice well in the monitor. I would be singing at about half volume, so this was doubly important for this gig. I chose my repertoire very carefully…no “big” songs during this show. Instead, I focused on my “presentation” with by body and with my facial expressions.

When the night was finally over I was totally spent. I had maxed out my vocal cords for this gig, and I was mentally and physically exhausted from the energy it took to maintain a careful journey to get me through to the end of the night…..but it worked! As I headed out the door with my car jammed pack with my gear, my employer waved goodbye and said “see you next year!”

Oh no, not laryngitis again!

Usually once a year it hits me. Laryngitis. A combination, I suppose, of the cold dry air, a viral infection, and stress from the Christmas season which is my busiest time of year for singing jobs. I’ve been singing daily for almost two weeks and the last three days have been troublesome. Today was certainly the worst.

I know what I need to do … rest the vocal cords. But it’s difficult. People are counting on me.

 It’s not always easy to have a career in “singing”. While it’s certainly fullfilling to do what you love to do every day of your life, it’s not always easy. When you depend on a part of your body to be in tip-top shape all the time, certain hurdles are bound to get in the way.

 I’ll re-evaluate things in the morning after some lip bubbles and easy exercises. More than likely, I’ll be cancelling my gig. I can’t risk any permanent damage…it’s just not worth it.