Well it seems like just yesterday that I auditioned for the part of Shirley Valentine. I thought it was to walk my talk as a voice coach, success coach, and an actor. Little did I know that Shirley Valentine would have such a real and honest impact on my very being. Did I have any idea what I was getting into? Absolutely not. If I had thought about the fact that I would have to memorise a two-hour monologue, act on stage by myself with no safety net other than my wonderful stage manager; even my insanity would not have made me stupid enough or brave enough. I believe I have always jumped into risky situations, but I never realised just how important the statement, “ignorance is bliss”, really was until I took on this mammoth project.

Do you know what really made me stop and think about the magnitude of what I was doing? It was talking to the audience after the shows. It’s always lovely to have the wonderful feedback about your performance and I was thrilled every night when they stood and clapped and then met me later. What was perhaps more surprising and even more touching, was the feedback that I had taken people on a journey; and made them laugh and cry. Many women came up to me later and made me realise that what I had done was no small thing. Comments and questions ranged from, “how did you remember all those lines?”, to “I was so scared for you”. Shirley Valentine is a two-hour monologue with the audience as my only conversational partner. Comments about how brave I was, and how I had the audience with me all the way, were surprising, humbling and also reminded me that we very rarely acknowledge ourselves for our accomplishments. I encourage all of us to not just depend on others to notice when we are brave, when we take risks, when we fulfil our dreams; but to notice and acknowledge and praise ourselves; not out of a sense of vanity, but out of a sense of love and respect for ourselves.

As for the journey of the voice and accents, three people asked if I really was from Liverpool, one of them being scause (Liverpudlian) themselves, so I’d say that was a win, WOO HOO! Many commented on the other characters I portrayed through voice accent and body. They said they saw them all there and felt like I was having real conversations with them. What a fantastic opportunity for me, to play in the world of voice and Shirley Valentine. Of course one of the most often asked questions was, how did I not lose my voice? They especially wondered how I still had voice and energy for the second show on the Saturday, where I had already done a matinee? All my regular readers know what I am about to say. I practice what I preach. Half an hour before every show I would warm up my body, my breath, my resonators and my articulaters just as I teach my clients to do. Let’s just say there would have been no second show on the Saturday if I had not been diligent in my vocal warm-ups throughout the last few rehearsals and the shows. It works folks. Story telling needs a magical and healthy voice.

Dear Shirley,

You inspire so many to live a fuller life and follow their dreams.You inspired me and I will carry you with me forever; in my work and in my personal life. “I love you Shirley Valentine”. Those are not empty words, but an incantation from my heart.

Please feel free to sign up for a Free Consultation with Dr. K. if you have any concerns with your voice or setting it free.  Your comments and successes will be greatly appreciated. www.insideoutvoicecoach.com

If you are in the Port Hope Cobourg area I am doing 2 free 2-hour seminars in March. Check out the website!