What does authenticity mean to you?
As you know #authenticvoice is one of my hashtags. The pursuit of authenticity through voice is such an integral part of what I do, and how I teach. I combine my knowledge, my studies, my ears and my intuition to continue to find my own authenticity, and where it leads me, as well as helping guide voices that come to study with me to discover theirs.
Authenticity seems on the surface to be a no-brainer, and yet it is more complex and ongoing than we might initially assume. Authenticity isn't just the physicality of the voice, but the actual motivation and intention behind it.
The combination of discovering and integrating the tangibles with the intangibles and establishing behavior and then creating intention and what is revealed through it all about YOU, and how it can affect those listening, is perhaps how I would describe what we are working to do as we claim authentic voice.
This is why I rebel against one size fits all; one way or the highway; pedagogical principles as gospel; vocal terminology that has no truth in nature; you have to sound a certain way or like a certain person...and the list goes on.
I don't want you to sound like someone else. I don't want you to think you have to "sing in a certain voice". I don't want you to speak and hold and hesitate and apologize.
You have ONE voice. The authenticity of that voice is how you access it, and integrate it physically with breath and support: (your breath and support) in order to release it fully. That voice has the ability to discover its own power, its balance of resonance, its range, its colors, its timbre, its athleticism. All of that is part of who you are: physically and emotionally; dramatically and energetically.
As you change the language that affects you negatively, you will begin to give yourself permission to become more conscious of what you do, and what your possibilities are.
If you have something to reveal, if you have a story to tell, if you have something to say that is a truth in your life as a human being, as an actor, as a speaker, then your truth can only inhabit the authenticity of your voice. It doesn't belong anywhere else.
Creating that authenticity does require knowledge. However, that knowledge needs to be translated into YOUR body and YOUR psyche in order for it to be inhabited with authenticity. We all know what it feels like physically to wear something that doesn't really fit. We can fake it on the outside, but we can't wait to change and never have to wear it again!
If the authentic voice is truly developed and belongs to you, it should fit as if it was made for you! You shouldn't feel like you are faking, or making excuses, or pretending, or creating slight of hand.
If the authentic voice of who you reveal is truly YOU, then whatever you have to say, will be heard and acknowledged and not dismissed.
Is it complex? yes. Is it work? yes. It is ongoing? yes.
Why? because we are all complex and evolving and responsible to that growth.
Is it worth it? oh HELL YES.
You don't have to have it all figured out. You just have to acknowledge that it's a possibility and until you claim that responsibility and begin to discover, you will never know.
Knowledge is power. Your knowledge of your power and your authenticity is your birthright.
Find the tribe that will help you find it, reveal it, develop it, and encourage you to inhabit it without hesitation or apology.
You have ONE voice. ONE. YOURS.
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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