So, um, remember that post I wrote a little bit back about singers being horribly paranoid about getting sick?
Yeah. I got sick.
Not for opening weekend – that went great. And our mid-week performance on Wednesday was good too.
I started feeling it on Thursday – kind of a scratchy feeling in my throat. I got through Friday night’s show and Saturday afternoon’s okay. I could tell I was a little off, but everyone assured me that I sounded just fine. By our last show of the run on Saturday night, my voice was almost completely gone. I was a victim of INSANE post nasal drip. In the beginning I thought it was allergies, as post nasal drip is the only manifestation of allergies that I ever get. (Believe me, I’d rather have a runny nose and itchy eyes than have gunk drip down on my vocal cords.)
It’s times like these that I’m insanely grateful for good vocal technique. The skills I’ve learned over the many years of being a singer – support, placement, control, and just totally knowing the inner workings of my voice – really came in handy. When I was faced with a voice on the fritz, I was able to salvage things fairly well because of knowing HOW to sing the right way. I knew I was not singing my best. Others said they couldn’t tell. (My insecure inner self thinks they’re all just saying that to be nice.)
I’ll be honest – I was pretty much freaking out the entire time backstage. (My friends in the show will assure you that I am not exaggerating that statement…) Instead of enjoying my last performance, I was stressed to the brink. By Monday, I was full out sick as a dog, as that gunk fell into my chest resulting in a horrible cough that’s still lingering today. Although, today I finally feel like my voice is starting to sound like me again. Not quite ready to do any full out singing, but I don’t sound like a raspy baritone anymore – hey that’s progress, right?
In opera, a theatre will announce if the lead singer is vocally ill before the performance. It’s usually a difficult decision for the singer and management to make, but is sometimes necessary so as to not hurt your career. But I found out that that’s not done in musical theatre. (Or at least most of it?) I was living in total fear of crashing and burning out there on stage and having people think of me as bad. But perhaps that fear gave me enough of an adrenaline rush to keep me hanging on for dear life. Which might also explain why I crashed so hard and got so sick after the show was over.
I’ll be looking forward to my next big sing – a recital on May 14th in Quakertown to promote my most recent CD. And you KNOW I’ll be in total paranoia mode the entire week before! Haha! 🙂