By Cari Cole
Speaking from your true voice is something singers, actors, entertainers, public speakers and people in general strive their whole lives to be able to do.
If you’ve ever gotten on stage and doubted what you really have to bring, if you’ve felt off-kilter, or like there’s nothing special about you – then you probably haven’t found the full power of your personal voice. And that takes time. Or what about when you have a gig and you have a cold or your voice isn’t there for you?
As a singer, performer or speaker, you probably want to speed up that process of finding your voice (figuratively and physically) so you can start standing in your true power right now! And you may be lacking in one category or another.
a. If you write your own lyrics and have a natural talent for singing, it’s easy to overlook practicing vocal technique even though you aren’t totally confident in your singing strength and flexibility – and as a result you end up gypping your true potential.
b. If you’re a trained vocalist and have a grounded, healthy technique but you’re used to singing pre-written material, it can be hard to find your individual sound and message and break away from your training.
c. You may have no trouble being powerful in your room by yourself, but melt into a bundle of nerves every single time you hit the stage! Finding and standing in your individual voice requires a little exploring, discipline, self growth that fall under these three categories.
You need to:
1. Know Your Instrument.
That means knowing your voice, your body, your emotions and how to use them to fuel you and not hold you back! When you lack technique for instance, your voice can’t go the distance – it will crap out on you when you need it the most. If you don’t know your body you will push yourself too far or not heed the preliminary signs of burnout or exhaustion. If you don’t know your emotions it will hold you back as a performer.
2. Know Your Signature Sound & Style.
The next step of your Litmus Test is being absolutely sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have the right record producer for you and your project. I hear this story often. An artist works with local producer or friend of friend kind of referral, instead of researching who is the best producer for their project and budget. As a result, they end up with a mediocre project that features whatever the producer does best, not what you do best. Do your research. Don’t rush. Don’t settle for less. Don’t take the cheapest option. Do it right. And that goes without saying that you are NOT producing your own record- right? You need objective ears to do better than your best.
3. Know Thy Self.
A performer or public speaker who stands in their truth stands out. You remember them. It comes from that inner passion and dedication to do all the work and soul-searching. From the trying and failing to make it all happen – to have something to bring to the table. It comes from your “why” – your mission in the world. Which is way bigger than applause and adoration. What is your reason for playing music?
More often than not, your “why” is going to come from something that you had to struggle with and overcome (or you are still struggling with!). Maybe you started writing music because you didn’t fit in in school. Maybe that was how you found solace and now you’re so much more confident and have an amazing group of friends.
The confidence that comes from having the self-knowledge and discipline to take ownership of these three things – from having a rock solid voice that you know won’t give out on you and a unique message and brand to build on – will let you stand in your power and speak from your true voice.
When you play now, is part of you playing for that lost little kid who thought they’d always be an outcast? Would you dedicate yourself to all aspects of your craft if it meant that you could inspire kids to find their own way and not have to go through the pain that you did?
Make your music about something bigger than yourself and it’ll give you the motivation to keep chugging when you just don’t feel like it.
Have you found your “why?” Let me know in the comments below!