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Ep. 10: How do I release my voice when I’m under stress?

“When I get into that fight-or-flight response, one of the first things to go is my voice.” – Vivi Devereaux

On this episode of Speaking Of… I’m joined by my friend, actor Vivi Devereaux. Vivi’s question was, “How do I release my voice when I’m under stress?”

Vivi is regularly performing and auditioning, and his question is related to the stressful “fight-or-flight” response that often accompanies performance. Throat tightening is a very common side-effect of nerves or fear, that affects performers and non-performers. We talk about WHY this happens and I offer an array of tools you can use both in the moment that the tightening is occurring, as well as some exercises to add to a vocal practice.

Interview Highlights:

  • Why stress causes the throat to tighten.

  • The most effective exercises for releasing the throat.

  • Exercises for releasing the tongue root, larynx (voice box), and jaw.

  • Why it might be useful to explore tensing the body in performance.

  • The best practices for beginning or maintaining a voice practice.

  • How the thoughts you have around speaking or performing affect the voice.

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