Myra, 26, had been auditioning unsuccessfully for bands for several months after having some singing coaching and also some life coaching.
Myra was notably tall with model looks but her general demeanour caused her to shrink visibly.
As she performed her songs for me, I realised that she was hiding in every way she possibly could.
Myra was folding her arms, turning her toes inwards, looking down at the floor, closing her eyes etc.
This hiding pervaded her vocal delivery, which was small and under-energised. This led me to ask her if she enjoyed performing.
It’s You Up There
Myra explained that she loved the idea of performing but every time she approached a stage, she was overcome with shyness.
We discussed her notable features, beginning with her long hair and striking looks; she then alluded to her height and it became clear that this was the issue.
With the added floor height of a stage, Myra simply felt that she was towering over everyone and found this very uncomfortable.
We discussed the notion that she would need to overcome this since her height was not an aspect we could alter!
Initially I played a few games with Myra; she sang lying down, sitting on a chair, lying across the piano, wrapped around a large cushion.
Gradually her voice began to release and she warmed up a lush and expressive alto timbre that surprised us both!
I recorded her voice and played it back to her.
Cat-walking the Stage
Together Myra and I watched footage of models on the catwalk.
We examined their whole alignment and I asked Myra to describe out loud what the common features were, such as a high sternum, loose knees, forward facing eyes.
Myra returned to the stage area and played at cat-walking whilst she sang.
She also worked to recall the new relaxed timbre she was developing.
The result was very encouraging; Myra was really finding herself in performance.
Everything is Connected
Initially Myra hadn’t made the connection between her body and her voice; she hadn’t imagined that one could so powerfully influence the other.
Once she began her upward spiral, a lot more self-confidence came into place.
Sometimes when we can upgrade one aspect of our performance – the rest follows.
Myra was afraid of every aspect and it wasn’t until she heard herself sounding more confident that she was able to consider letting go.
This reminds us that all aspects of our person on stage are interdependent.