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Balanced Lifestyle? Out the Window!

All my plans for early nights and no alcohol have disintegrated! We’re away from home and having so much fun—going to bed early is proving to be much harder than I’d ever expected.

Press night was one such incident. Many glasses of champagne and wine were drunk and I didn’t make it to bed until 4am. I’ve no idea how I’ve got away with not losing my voice after some of these nights but water is a great healer, not to mention a good portion of eggs benedict from Cafe Rouge!

What fun! How lucky I am to be in a touring musical for a job—I’m rehearsing all day and singing all night. The reason my voice is holding out must have to do with my technique—it can’t be my life style (!) so it simply must be down to singing well.

The area of technique which has really seen me through so far is support—using my lower abdominals to give strength and body to my sound. When I’m vocally tired I use the strength and energy left in my body to really help myself out and keep going.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had the odd off-day but I’ve still managed to hit the top C every night so far. Fingers crossed.

So, have I managed to stick to my well-intentioned plans for vocal health? One of the hardest things, it turns out, is eating well. It appears that I’ve been living off pizza, mostly because the local cinema (another place I’ve readily frequented in my spare time) gives out two-for-one vouchers for Pizza Express. Maybe this is just excuses, excuses…I will honestly try to do better when the show moves on to our next stop where we’ll be in self-catering digs.

On the positive side, I found a gym and spa just around the corner from the theatre. It’s got salt-water baths and everything and although I’ve been eating like a fool, I’m sure I’m healthier from taking the exercise.

Am I pushing my luck with my voice? Watch out for my next blog.

If you have a question for Emma Sewell (who is currently covering for Maria – Connie Fisher – in The Sound of Music) you can email her via the VoiceCouncil editor: editor@voicecouncil.com

  • guillejosef

    Very useful article!, actually I've shared it on my facebook profile.
    By the way, I've always suffered lack of sleep…My band's gigs end up at 4 am and I get into the bed at 6am, so you can imagine… If I decide to sleep for 8 hours I won't have lunch… and If want to have lunch I won't rest properly…to BE or NOT to BE.. But I made up my mind, my vocal chords need to rest.
    I'm suffering the Pizza syndrome too! we can't change the menu, the venues gave us the food for free so, that's my dinner.
    Obviously I can't look for a gym cause we only stay one day, perhaps two, at each city, so we're like nomads! Fortunately I've never lost my voice, actually, the more I perform the better I sing, besides I do my exercises everyday ;)
    that's all, cheers!


  • kimbutler

    Long term your voice and body may pay the price. At younger ages, we seemingly get away with unhealthy behaviors. The better you treat your body and voice, the longer it will perform at higher levals. Lack of sleep will affect performances eventually too.

    Kim Butler MS. Exercise Physiology Ohio University Eastern

  • shelbypayne

    His thoughts are well taken. Very useful!

  • garymckinney

    We all know that a great vocalist draws energy from more than just his larynix. We're all aware of the role the nasal cavities, the diaphragm, lungs and throat play, but I sometimes wonder if indeed the entire body, to some degree, involves itself in vocal performance. Tired feet, an aching tooth, sore calf muscle, any of a myriad of ailments but they no doubt affect the vocalist's performance.