How's Your Athleticism?

Sunday musings percolated today from many sources into one question:

How’s your athleticism?

Do you approach your singing as a physical endeavor? Do you recognize that athleticism on all levels of consciousness?

As singing actors, no matter the genre, we can and do, learn MUCH from the athletic world.

If we don’t recognize & develop that athleticism, we falter. We fall behind. We may never get to the starting blocks, let alone get out of them, let alone across the finish line!

I overheard a wannabe actor on her phone in a coffee line last week talking about auditioning, and I will quote this line: “and then they asked me who I was studying with, and I said no one. I mean, I finished my degree, why would I have to keep studying voice?”

Oh boy…

If well over 50% of the “singer/actors” walking into the audition room simply are not ready to be there (and that COULD be a conservative number…) then, it’s time to up your game.

Are you ready to even be in the audition room?

What does that mean? You walking in the room is saying “I’m ready to ask for your undivided attention for 3 minutes of your time” (or longer if you’re doing an opera audition!).

And if you DO grab their attention for 3 minutes and you MIGHT be someone they can call back, can you physicalize the callback? And the callback with the creative team? and the callback again? And then, have the physicality to embody a role and rinse and repeat effectively and solidly?

Guess what? It’s okay if you say, “no, I am not ready”. Why? Because then it’s TIME to get ready!

Just like athletes on the off-season, you PREPARE; You CROSS-TRAIN; You BUILD, DISCOVER, DEVELOP.

You cannot wait until you get a callback to start training. You train to take on the callback. You train to get the job. You train to DO the job. You train to bring your “A” game each and every night and matinee you perform in.

Your instrument is your body; it is also your mind. This is the physicality of craft. You need to know how your physicality responds, in order to allow your craft to have a physical place to reside. You need to know and practice “how” you access craft within that physicality in order to know what your boundaries are. Where are your limitations? How do you know, until you discover what you can actually DO?

So, how’s your sleep? How’s your nutrition? How’s your energy? How’s your health? What are you doing for physical health aka cardio endurance, resistance training?

What are you doing to keep your mind and spirit aware and responsive?

How do you self care?

What are you doing in your STUDY of craft and athleticism of your vocal instrument? How do you practice that?

Do you know why you do what you do?

Start to break it down, and allow yourself permission to say “I don’t know”. That will then give you permission to go on a discovery mission to find out the answers!

Vocal Athleticism isn’t just about the larynx. In fact, that’s one very small (no pun intended) part of it! Your entire body has to sing! How are you discovering that? How are you cross-training that?

Do you know what your voice needs? And if you know, are you doing that? Are you building support, elasticity, balance, breath energy, resonance, range, ease, and space into all aspects of your physical athleticism of instrument? Do you know how to rest? Do you know when to stop?

If you want to be the BEST YOU that you can be, then COMMIT to the fully physical, fully mental, fully psychological, fully spiritual integration and intelligence of HOW YOU TRAIN.

If you are pursuing a career, it is REQUIRED.

If you are pursuing an evolved YOU, it is ESSENTIAL.

Why? Because you owe it to yourself, and you’re worth it to find out what’s possible.

Go forth, and SLAY.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

If you liked this post, please share it or comment with your thoughts below!