Hello readers and bloggers. For those who have been following my “Becoming Shirley” journey of Walking the Voice Talk as the Inside Out Voice Coach, I wanted to give you an update. Rehearsals have been going well and we had our first run through on the stage at Victoria Concert hall, Cobourg on Sunday, where I am performing on Feb 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd.

On the way to that rehearsal, the first one on stage with lights and sound I was nervous and a little terrified! It was getting real. What the heck was I thinking? Two hours on stage by myself. Today, while I was journaling I likened it to walking a tight rope without a net. I mean I have the Stage Manager as a potential safety net, as he is reading the script and could help with a line if I blanked, but frankly that would ruin it for the audience. It would be better, from an audience point of view if I fell without the net. Wow!

Where is all this coming from? Well in my experience we all have that one bad rehearsal where it is literally a comedy of errors, and last night was mine. Night two in the hall. For all you performers out there, do not underestimate the importance of having a meal and feeding your brain. The first night in the hall I was well fed and energetic and even though I was dealing with a mike for the first time and my voice echoed a bit I got through without asking for the net. I could think on my feet. Last night I forgot to eat and I went on and boy was it tough. I fell off the rope more than once and definitely needed the net.

Interestingly enough I did my vocal warm ups and set myself up well to begin. However I did something differently. Instead of going on with the energy I had created from the warm up I didn’t give myself enough time to become Shirley and find her inner voice and instead I tried to calm myself and call on all my theatre angels. Vocal warm ups get the body and the voice ready to be present to be on. Use it!

You know the great thing about last night? I was able to Walk my Voice Talk in many ways. I got through the whole show during rehearsal and it got better and better. It was my first time with speakers and costumes and brighter lights and no food and I got through it. The other wonderful thing was I didn’t beat myself up at the end of it. I used my own “inner critic to inner coach” process and just took away the learning from it, once I had had my mini moment of “ouch that sucked.”

As speakers and performers and actors, we will fall. The question is, can we pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, find the pothole so we don’t fall into it again, then keep going or start all over again? Therein lies the bravery, not just in perfection. Performing without a net allows us to see if we can get up after the fall. Oh and remember to feed thy brain!!!