This past weekend I took a 12-hour Fitzmaurice Voice Workshop with Noah Drew and got my mind blown… again.
I could write a long, long post on the workshop but I’ll refrain and just tell you about one salient experience that changed my mind about tension. We did some deliciously deep stretching of the sides, ribs and neck – but only on the left side.
Then we sat there, curiously asymmetrical, and Noah asked us to say ‘Hi Noah’ twice, the first time giving voice to the stretched-out left side (which felt warm, open, and lengthened) and then giving voice to the right side which we hadn’t stretched yet (which for me felt shorter, tighter, and with a bit of pain in my shoulder). As you can imagine the first ‘Hi Noah’ came out big, loose and easy from all voices. The second one, from the as-yet-unstretched side, came out smaller, tighter, and a bit scrunchier from all of us… but there was definitely some spark of truth there, some vitality or opinion, that made each person’s voice unique.
Here’s where it got funky, and where I got my mind changed. He asked us to give voice to the tighter right side, THROUGH the openness and ease of the freed-up left side. Imagine what we heard: each person’s unique truth, sensory experience and opinion voiced with ease and power!! Amazing!
And then, not to worry, we stretched out the opposite side. :)
We spent the remainder of the workshop exploring and experiencing this idea – allowing, inviting, seeking the fuel (energy, tension, sensation, opinion, emotion) and sending it through the vehicle of our free, easy, powerful voices. It worked for every person, without a single exception. By the end of the weekend we were this collection of wonderfully supple, emotionally open and electrically expressive human beings. It was a truly beautiful experience of humanity and I’m grateful to have experienced it. (Thanks Noah!)