Archive by Author

Vagus, baby

15 Sep

The vagus nerve is IN CHARGE. It makes up the parasympathetic nervous system, which you probably learned about in high school biology, but researchers have been paying a lot more attention to it in the last 30 or so years. But why, as performers, do we care? In short, the vagus nerve (or one part […]

On discomfort and breath

07 Feb

This morning I decided to meditate with my legs crossed the opposite way, just to play with discomfort. Right away I noticed I couldn’t find ease in my breath, and I got curious: if I sat this way tomorrow and the next day, etc., would my body and breathing adapt? I’m guessing they will, but […]

Singing in the bathroom with three friends

07 Dec

When I was a kid, my Dad would sometimes join a group of Barbershoppers for Friday lunch at a hotel downtown Vancouver. After enjoying their food, they would go into the old, tiled bathroom and sing together where the sound would reverberate beautifully. They must have enjoyed it a lot, since they went back week […]

How concentrating too hard on singing can wreck your singing

26 Nov

You’ve no doubt heard the admonitions to work harder, practice more often, and get your technique dialed to be able to sing better, and of course these things are important. However, engaging with a preference instead is an oft-neglected superskill that solves a multitude of problems. Let’s try an experiment together around concentration. Hold up one […]

How to animate a frozen face

20 Nov

Every group has those few singers who seem to have faces that are just not expressive. They might even be aware of it, having been told they need to ‘notify their face’ of all the fun they’re having! Unfortunately, this is exactly opposite of what they likely need. Lots of us enter fight-or-flight mode when […]

Why use a trauma therapy for performers?

01 Nov

For two years I’ve been training in Somatic Experiencing, a therapy for helping people heal from trauma, and it’s become clear that it’s an excellent way to help performers manage their nerves. But why does it work? It all starts with the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is in charge of everything we do, […]

What would you choose?

22 Jan

How would you sing if you knew that the audience felt everything you felt? If they breathed with you, moved with you, danced with you? What if they also felt all the worry, the trying, the fixing, the conscious shaping of vowels and crisping of consonants? The *obsessing*? How would you choose to sing? Aiming […]

Stage Fright = Energy

16 May

If you have a voice and you use it, this workshop will lead you to your powerfully authentic expression. We will use Fitzmaurice Voicework to deal specifically with the energy (nerves!) that arrives in a heightened situation such as performance or public speaking. May 24th, 10am-4pm Green Thumb Theatre, 5522 McKinnon St, Vancouver $99/person Register […]

Après-Contest Track Sale

05 May

Now that contest is over (for most Regions), I bet you’re hungry for some new music! To celebrate the successful culmination of another contest season, I’m offering $25 of all learning tracks for the next week. Sale ends May 12th! As always, if you’d like to hear something in its entirely, just send me an […]

Now that contest is over…

12 Nov

The lashes are off, the costumes are put away, and thousands of singers left their hearts (and a few sequins!) on the stage. After that week in paradise, it can be a bit rough to return to the chill of winter and our regular routines. But, it’s the perfect time to cozy up and celebrate […]