Stretching Your Voice

I’m losing my voice.

My throat is sore and scratchy, my energy is low.  I feel crappy.

This wasn’t supposed to happen today. Not this week….I can feel my vocal cords swelling and absolute confusion mounting, as I ask myself

How did I get here?

And the pain underneath of,
I don’t want to be sick.
I don’t have time for this.
This is soooooo unfair!

I don’t want to be where I am.

 

Have you ever felt like this?

I’ve been sharing with all of you my health journey over the past year, and most recently, I completed a very intense 28 Day Cleanse.  My last day was a Sunday, and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.

I imagined a wonderful celebration at the end.

I imagined an inner ticker tape parade, my blood and organs all standing tall, cheering saying,

We DID IT!

Instead, I started to feel sick the evening of my last day.

I had planned to wake up Monday morning, excited to add back in eggs, nuts, and coconut, ready to move back to some level of normalcy.

And instead, I woke up feeling sick and went into management mode, trying to ward off what felt like an impending cold or infection.

I gargled with salt water.
I took tons of natural supplements.
I drank lots of tea.
I made sure to get solid sleep.
I stayed in Astoria, instead of venturing into Manhattan, and didn’t take dance or yoga.

I did everything right….didn’t I?

And yet, come Thursday, after waking up feeling really fantastic and convinced I had beaten off the germs….I started to lose my voice.

Ironically, it happened while having lunch with my voice teacher.

And the panic started to rise.

I had big plans for the weekend.  I also had lots of clients and my business IS my voice.

But, with each sentence, I could feel my vocal cords swelling even more, and my voice getting raspier and raspier, and by Thursday night….it was completely gone.

Despite my best efforts, my voice was done.

So, I stopped speaking.

For DAYS.

I re-scheduled clients, and doubled down on rest, steaming, hot tea, and echinacea.  I started a Z pack, tried a whole new regiment I found from another singer who had lost her voice, and stayed in as much as possible.

And then the cough began.

I felt like I couldn’t cut a break.

Wasn’t I doing everything right?

It was SO frustrating to put in so much effort and healthy intention, and feel like I was moving at a snail’s pace.
Have you ever felt like this?

Been working so hard on what matters in your Creative Passion, and feel like the pace of your results doesn’t equal the level of what you are putting in?

Have you ever wanted to scream,
Can we just BE there ALREADY??

I imagine it feels like you are staring at a chasm.  You SEE your Vision, your goal of what you want to achieve.  You can even hear your raving fans, your completed novel, or hear that gorgeous symphony….

And yet, the question remains,

Why am I not there YET?

Maybe the chasm is there for a reason, though.  And perhaps the real question to ask yourself in the moment is something all together different.

What if in that moment, you took a breath, checked in, and released the death grip?

What if the chasm is actually PART OF the process and there to test you?

What if your Dream simply takes more time?

We all desire the quick fix, but at the end of the day, the test of having to stay in the process is really going to bring to light the most powerful tool we have as Artists,

Your commitment.

And by this, I mean your commitment to your work, and to your audience who is in witness to your expression.  Your commitment to the role Art plays in your lives, how it opens your heart and brings you to song.  None of us became Artists for trivial reasons.  This work is far deeper, and feeds us unlike anything else.

Music
Dance
Art
Photography
Writing

We are all changing lives, and it begins with honoring this within ourselves.

This isn’t automatic.  It’s deeply human, and this kind of work takes cultivation and intention.

When you are in the midst of the struggle, come back to your vision, and come back to your commitment.

Because the truth is, you have NO idea what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow,
Broadway may call
Your book may make the Bestseller List
The booker may book your band
A new collector may ask to buy your whole collection

You honestly can’t KNOW the future, but you can CREATE it.

You can wake everyday and continue to put in the effort from a place of honest intention, and doing the work it takes.

So your voice can be heard.

YOU decide.

 

This past week, my voice began to come back, slowly but surely.  My cough subsided, and my throat infection cleared.

It took way longer than I wanted, but I knew I had to stay in it, every day and take care of myself.

And my commitment?

You.

While I may have lost my physical voice, my commitment is that you never do.  And it gave me time to really reflect and come back to why I created my business in the first place and decided to empower Creatives across the globe.

My commitment to remind you of your brilliance, and remind you to stay IN it.

I’ve only lost my voice twice before in my life, so it was scary and frustrating to experience, but it also reminded me of what I’m capable of, and the moment of illness was temporary.

I imagine how scary it can be to start believing you won’t “make it”, but the truth is, with every day you ARE.  You are becoming in every moment, with every stroke, picture and note, the artist you desire to be.

Every day is a new day, one you have never lived before. And the list of “overnight successes” really is speaking to the night it all came together, after consistent work and effort.  In truth, most of these artists just stayed IN the process, no matter what. Tom Hanks was an overnight success after 10 years….take that in.

Live in the stretch and stay committed to your Art.

You create the life you want.

Share your glorious voice..

The Successful Artist’s Permission Slip

What’s the DEAL?

You have a calling and passion in the Arts. You want to have an impact with your work, but something isn’t clicking because no one’s buying and you have a minimum to non-existent audience.  You’re looking out at empty houses and an empty calendar and starting to feel discouraged.

You know you have talent, and creative ideas coming out every pore, so why are you still struggling on how to convert it to a thriving Artistic Career?

Honestly, how the HECK do the celebrities do it??

What if I told you the answer was right in front of you, and is something you can change today?

Well, then hop on board, because we are going to take you from struggle to success with one thing,

Integration.

 

Get out a piece of paper, and list all your creative abilities.  Let me guess, it’s more than one!

And I’m curious, what were you told growing up?

Pick ONE thing
Can you make money with that?
Is that practical?
You’re doing too much!

I get it!  I found myself in high school madly in love with four things…

Singing
Dancing
Acting
Choreography

Choosing ONE of these just felt wrong and I wanted to find a career and a place where I could express ALL of these things.  That was when I found my oasis,

American Musical Theatre.

On their own, I wasn’t at my strongest.  It was when everything was combined, I was in my element, and also creating a career.  A career that lasted for 20 years, and took me across the nation on professional stages. It even landed me kicking eye high as a New York City Rockette.

Are YOU using all of your talents?

 

One of the most damaging things I’ve heard said to any artist, is to stop expressing a part of yourself, and hone your craft to ONE thing.

Well…..if you sing, you probably don’t want to put your attention on your writing.

I mean….if you’re a photographer, you probably should put down the guitar.

Imagine if someone had said this to Tina Fey,
Tina, your writing is really amazing….but you probably shouldn’t try any acting.  And don’t even TRY producing.  That’s just TOO much.

Tina Fey has brought more joy and laughter than I can even begin to imagine from her character Liz Lemon on the successful and Emmy Award Winning sitcom, 30 Rock.  Not to mention blowing open the workplace for other female writers to step into producing comedies on TV and film.

Want to know how celebrities do it?

They bring ALL of who they are as an artist to the table.

Tina Fey’s fans love her and buy her books and pay for her movies because of the fact she does ALL of these things.  She’s not hiding.  She’s proclaiming she:

Acts
Writes
Produces

I have a very successful friend named Colman who literally turns down work, and has worked with Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Susan Stroman, and has won an Olivier Award for his acting.  What does he do?

Playwrighting
Photography
Acting
Singing
Dancing

Do you see a pattern?  All these successful Creatives are multi-disciplinarians, by nature.

 

Take a moment and look at your sheet of paper, and let me ask you this,

What if you integrated ALL of these things, and then put yourself and your work out from THAT place, instead of feeling like you had to cut off pieces of yourself to fit in?

Your uniqueness as an Artist comes from the unique combination of your gifts and HOW you express them.

If you are not being true to your own artistry, then your audience will feel that, and not show up.  

Tina Fey is unique because of her wit, and sharp writing.  Her sense of comedy comes from being on the other side of the table.

Colman is in such high demand, because you can put him in just about any show and he has the toolkit to perform at the highest level.

And both of them come to their art with joy because they are not in conflict with themselves.

Have you been cutting off or hiding parts of your expression that you truly love and are completely natural?

If you want things to click in your Art, and truly connect with your audience, take a look at WHAT you are putting out to the world.

The house will fill up with a raving audience when you allow yourself to be seen.

ALL of you.

So, here’s my permission slip.  Look at that piece of paper, and connect the dots.  How can you bring ALL of you to your Art?

This is when you will stand out from the crowd and make an impact.