Last Sunday I did a voice/singing workshop at Evolution called Free your voice. The tutor was Alan Mars who practises the Alexander technique.
When I walked out from the workshop I didn't think and feel very much as it's often the case when I've done something quite intense; I feel empty. But the week that followed was very emotional for me. The workshop brought a lot of things up.
First of all I'm a person who has spent most of my life in my imagination and intellect. I'm not very connected to my body. If you know me well you know I've got complicated relationships with all bodily things including going to the toilet, eating and sex. I'm not very good at listening to my body's signals and I often find bodily things a nuisance, something that takes up my time. I'm also quite clumsy and find my body a burden, wishing I was more of a rhythmical person. (At gigs I never clap as I lose the beat!)
If you are a writer it might be an advantage to be disconnected from your body, but as the times are changing a writer is no longer a person who's locked away somewhere in a cottage never going out. You are supposed to do readings and engage with people. And that's one of the reasons I became a performance poet; it was a good way of being seen, a good way of saying Hey I exist.
Yet I've never paid much attention to my voice, my breathing and my posture. And those things are key when you are performing. It was very useful doing simple (but for me very complicated!) voice exercises like just singing the vowels and feeling the vibrations in the body. (Even though I could only feel my lip vibrate.) Also lying down in the Alexander posture (can't remember what it's called) made me aware of my posture and the full potential of my body.
On Monday morning I woke up finding myself singing! I never sing. (Only when very drunk.) I'm too embarrassed about my voice to even sing in the shower and when it's time for "Happy birthday" I just mime along hoping that nobdody's hearing me. But thanks to singing a few songs (some beautiful Celtic folk ballads) together at the workshop I opened up to the singer inside me again. I loved singing when I was younger, but stopped in my late teens when someone told me I was singing out of tune.
It would probably take several workshops for me to start singing in public, but at least this is a start. My goal is not to become a singer; I just want to be able to sing for fun. And it's very good voice practise, something that will make me a better performer. Some of my poems contain lines that could be sung. Watch this space ...
But at the moment I'm still focusing on short stories. My piece "Ex love" was accepted for the Short Fuse Story Salon Event!!! Come and hear me read it at Komedia on Sunday 9 May, 8pm. I'll try to be aware of my voice, my breathing and my posture.