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Help with Singing on Stage

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shirleydw2005
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I am posting in the hope that someone can answer this query for me.  I belong to a Stage Society and, at least twice a year, take part in stage shows.  During all rehearsals my singing voice is fine but the minute I am on stage with the full stage lighting on my voice breaks and becomes croaky and then I have to cough to relieve a tickly throat.   It does make me worry about taking part in these shows.  I don't suffer from nerves at all and love performing but I am now starting to worry whether my voice will hold out.  I do have asthma and hay fever and make sure that I take my daily medication when in shows, as well as drinking plenty of water whilst the shows are on to keep my throat moist.  Any suggestions on what may cause this or possible solutions would be appreciated.  Thanks.  x

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Even if you dont think you are nervous even the best have some sort of nervousness, no matter how controlled it is. Your body releases adrenaline and hormones. So it may be inflaming your medical conditions.

Also alot of medication dries out your throat and vocal folds. It messes with your natural saliva secretions that lube the throat area. Which may not seem huge in practicing. However, under the gun of nerves may increase the issue.

Also only performing once or twice a year is very hard to get used to controlling nerves. You could be over singing live. This is just my two cents on your post

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I studied a little bit of psychology. You don't even have to be aware of stress, trust me. It can be there even if you feel cool. That's extremely weird, but that's how sometimes our bodies work. It's the same reason why one guy was unaware that he had a knife in his back for a longer period of time.

 

I won't give this piece of advice to you, because it's a very bad habit, but what I used to do is to drink one or two shots of vodka before perfroming. It was enough for me to be very slightly influenced by it and to reduce stress, but not enough to make my performance worse. I repeat - I do not suggest that AT ALL. It's a bad habit. After about three or four performances like that I didn't need any alcohol anymore.

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Thanks for all your help. As I don't drink at all the suggestion (that wasn't really!) of a small drink to calm nerves is a no go I'm afraid and I'm at a loss as to anything else I can do to help with this problem. Whilst I only do 2 amateur productions a year, I have been doing them for 31 years now and the singing problem only surfaced about a year ago and I have no idea why. x

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I guess only thing is to try and sing as much as you can in front of as many people as you can...you will overcome the stress once im sure...i used to be terrified of singing in front of anyone and now im posting audios of me breaking into falsetto like a strangled cat to tons of ppl on forum and in person :P

 

I guess practice does make perfect :) in this case experience :)

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Well if she was saying it just started a year ago....

Just a random question, how old are you? If you dont want to answer that is fine, my mom taught me to never ask lol. Anyways, I just saw been doing this for 31 years. This could possibly be a hormone balance issue...

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I'm 48 in 10 minutes time. Singing in front of people isn't an issue. I'm also the choreographer and twice a week sing in front of all the cast whilst dancing. If anything I'm more confident with my singing now, it's just my voice lets me down when shows are actually on. x

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Funny thing is, I don't have a problem singing in front of people. Recording trips me up.

 

But my career has been as an electrician. I have hung by harness and rope 30 feet in the air with my foot anchoring me to a scissor lift. I have been in the bucket on a service truck and the bucket goes 60' feet up. And sways. And I did not like it.

 

I have climbed 95' tall pole lights with nothing but a slip hook on my harness at St, Mark's in Dallas. I did not like it. But, I found a way to deal with heights. Mostly, it's about trusting the equipment you are using. 

 

So, to handle the stage, the way to deal with that is take the spotlight off of yourself and focus on the song. Sing it as a fan, as much as the audience is a fan of the song. You are sharing the song, not being judged because of the way that you style your hair.

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Thanks again. I genuinely don't feel that it's nerves. It affects me as soon as the stage lights are turned on and even when I'm just singing as one of many in a chorus, not just solo bits. It affected me on Sunday at the dress rehearsal when no one was even watching. Guess I'll never know the reason why but thanks for all your suggestions. x

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My first performance was infront of a crowd of 5000 (XFactor UK Arena and Bootcamp stages), I was only nervous BEFORE going on stage and then after they disappeared. Maybe it's how I deal with it.

 

It could sub consciously be nerves.

 

Adrenaline pumping round your body, heightened senses. 

 

I get nervous before gigs then as soon as I'm on stage I'm fine, they disappear and I'm fine.

 

I can sing fine in the studio AND in the shower, but there are times where I croak or get trembly, I just put it down to nerves or over thinking things.

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My first performance was infront of a crowd of 5000 (XFactor UK Arena and Bootcamp stages), I was only nervous BEFORE going on stage and then after they disappeared. Maybe it's how I deal with it.

 

It could sub consciously be nerves.

 

 

 

I had forgotten that you were going to do that. So, I youtubed x factor and your name. And there you were, being sliced and diced by Simon. And ole softie Cheryl Cole joined in. Proof that it is a set up and they have already decided before the auditions who is going through and who is not. Just like the current run of AI. But, like a train wreck, ya just can't stop from watching.

 

I think you did fine. What does Cheryl mean about you needing to be over-rehearsed? Total nonsense and did just as well as she did on her first competition to join Girls Aloud.

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I had forgotten that you were going to do that. So, I youtubed x factor and your name. And there you were, being sliced and diced by Simon. And ole softie Cheryl Cole joined in. Proof that it is a set up and they have already decided before the auditions who is going through and who is not. Just like the current run of AI. But, like a train wreck, ya just can't stop from watching.

 

I think you did fine. What does Cheryl mean about you needing to be over-rehearsed? Total nonsense and did just as well as she did on her first competition to join Girls Aloud.

 

I wasn't meant to have a room audition with the judge's. Got an email through saying I wasn't successful and then a week before everything started I was told I needed to get down to the studios to audition, so I had little rehearsal time. The way they cut it on TV though makes it out that I didn't get through that stage but infact I got past that stage through to arena, bootcamp round 1 and then bootcamp round 2. Believe me, from my experience there is definitely some string pulling in the background.

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I wasn't meant to have a room audition with the judge's. Got an email through saying I wasn't successful and then a week before everything started I was told I needed to get down to the studios to audition, so I had little rehearsal time. The way they cut it on TV though makes it out that I didn't get through that stage but infact I got past that stage through to arena, bootcamp round 1 and then bootcamp round 2. Believe me, from my experience there is definitely some string pulling in the background.

 

Wow, i googled too. How dumb. 5 seconds of you singing in tune, and then 'no.' What's the point of even airing that?

 

Those shows encapsulate so much that is wrong with modern singing to me. X Factor was caught auto tuning performers.

 

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/956653/x-factor-bans-auto-tune-after-controversy

 

Give you 5 seconds of singing in tune and tune their favorites. Yuk.

 

Edit:

 

Wow just looked up this clip. The auto tune is warbling her voice beyond belief. No wonder audiences caught on.

 

 

Simon's words. "You have this really cool, old school jazz voice, like the 1920s or 1930s." Hahahaha. Real old school.

 

D Starr, I think next time you 'fully rehearse,' you should do so by dressing up as a young girl and making up a sob/inspirational story about overcoming obstacles so people can better remember your artistry through copious amounts of auto tune.

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I never even noticed that, Killer. You are right, they about have that voice squashed to death with it.

 

Anyway, Jordan, you were good. And it helps to remember that in spite of the judges saying it's about the voice and singing ability, it's not. It's a "reality" show, which is, itself, a misnomer. It's about ratings, which means drama, stress, surprises, etcetera.

 

But at least you got your name known.

 

People that know my name don't brag about it. :lol:

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shirleydw2005

 

You have a similar background to me, I take part in community musical theatre show 2 or 3 times a year. I am rehearsing as Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray currently, showing at the end of May in Scarborough UK. I also have asthma... are we related? I also write (prog rock) songs and record in my home studio.

 

Anyhow, I am pretty sure my voice changes in live performances compared to rehearsals and home practice, and I don't find that any fun. I also pretty sure some of it is nerves, although I am not consciously aware of being nervous - I feel really cool and up for it generally. I think another part of it is amplification - not being used to the sound of your singing amplified in a full (hopefully) theatre. I earlier rehearsals for the show nobody is amplified and we you have the real sound in the tech or dress rehearsals, and then its different again when the audience arrive and soak up all the sound anyway.

 

What I have done to overcome the nerves in the last shows it to get out there and do a night or two of karaoke in each of the last 4 weeks leading up to the show. It gets me up singing in front of people in a low risk way, and anyway I only sing songs I know I can nail. This has helped, maybe it also helped with me getting use to hearing myself amplified in a room full of bodies aswell. I have tried to sing my show songs on the karaoke if they are available, if not, some other show songs I know or similar.

 

George

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I feel everyone is skipping over the fact she said it has just started to happen after 30 years. So I would look at everything that has changed since this started happening. Medication, mental factor, diet, hormones ect..

Also I know males voice starts to change as age increases so perhaps females may change as well. Little more weight is added, so there is a possiblity to over compression and over sing. Just thinking out loud.

But that is just my two cents of where I would start. When something starts out of no where after decades of good service, something changed somewhere

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I feel everyone is skipping over the fact she said it has just started to happen after 30 years. So I would look at everything that has changed since this started happening. Medication, mental factor, diet, hormones ect..

Also I know males voice starts to change as age increases so perhaps females may change as well. Little more weight is added, so there is a possiblity to over compression and over sing. Just thinking out loud.

But that is just my two cents of where I would start. When something starts out of no where after decades of good service, something changed somewhere

I concur with m.i.r. (in bold), particularly where medications are concerned.

 

Shirley had mentioned that she suffers from asthma and hay fever and takes medication daily for same. She also mentioned that  "I genuinely don't feel that it's nerves.."

 

Being on various medications myself, I can certainly relate. No matter how much water I drink, sometimes it just doesn't help and my mouth, throat, and sometimes my sinuses dry out terribly. As such, I began to use various vocal sprays and other remedies. Personally, I use "Clear Voice" and "Vocal Eze" sprays as well as some others. For the sinuses, I sometimes spray distilled water in my nostrils which drains down the throat. It has helped me immensely. I also use a product called "Vocal Zone Throat Pastilles".

 

"Clear Voice" and "Vocal Eze" can be found by clicking on this link >> http://astore.amazon.com/thevocastudin-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=7

 

I also prepared a vocal gargle, which I also use as a mouthwash as well before and after performances, and sometimes DAILY ! Following is the "recipe" :

 

MIX:

 

2 TBS. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

2 TBS Honey (Preferably locally produced)

1/2 tsp. Slippery Elm Powder

Approx. 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt (Good Quality)

1 oz. Aloe Vera Gel/Juice

4 - 6 Drops Glycerin

1 cap full Hydrogen Peroxide

1 cap full "Alkolol" TM

Few Drops Lemon Juice

4 - 6 Drops Tea Tree Oil

4 - 6 Drops Licorice

Pinch Cayenne Pepper to Taste (Be CAREFUL)

Mix with warm water until you have a total of 12 oz.

Use at Room Temperature

(Refrigerate after use)

 

Hope this has helped.

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N1ck, I have absolutely no idea. As I've never suffered from nerves my initial thoughts were that it was due to the vast amount of dust on the stage lighting that was perhaps affecting my voice. I love performing. I was a dance teacher for 18 years and now, as well as being in the shows, I also choreograph and direct too. There's never any feelings of nervousness. It always occurs the minute I go on stage and the lights are on. I tried drinking lots of water during my last show to see if that helped but it didn't really. x

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