Who is the Mighty Foe?

I’m going through the Transformational Voice® Apprenticeship program a second time this year as Assistant Teacher, although in all honesty, I’m learning more than I’m teaching.

In last Wednesday evening’s seminar my teacher, Linda Brice, said that fear is the “mighty foe” of any vocalist. When you experience fear (also known as stage fright or performance anxiety), your body fills with tension, the abdominal muscles clench, and – of course – that impacts your voice. The authentic voice can’t ring out clear and true in a tight and clenched body.

More often than not, that fear is in our own heads. It’s not like somebody is holding a gun to our temple and saying if we don’t sing perfectly we’ll be killed. We make it up ourselves, we expect perfection of ourselves, so that foe is faux.

That was to be the crux of this message until…

Oh, friends, where to begin?…I don’t really know fear.

Okay, let’s begin with Sister Zeph. https://www.facebook.com/donate/319227991932881/ Last Saturday, I hosted an Empowerment/Self Defense class presented by my friend and colleague, Michele Moore Maupin http://www.empoweredfsd.com/.

Michele’s Story: A young woman called me wanting private self-defense lessons in 2015, because she was heading to Pakistan to teach an art class to a group of women. 1.5 years later, one of the girls headed to school was murdered, because she walked to school alone and was hassled by a man, and her brother, out of “honor,” had to kill her.  They asked if I would be willing to help the girls with self-defense.  Yes indeed.  I created a YouTube video and live training for these women.  In the past year that we have been doing these classes, we have trained on street safety, assertiveness, and domestic violence (rampant there).  Two girls in the past few months have attributed this training directly to their survival – both of them were kidnapped with the apparent intent to rape (and possibly kill) them. BOTH girls fought back and got away.  

Sister Zeph is a Christian woman in Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country, trying to make a difference by educating women.  She has been attacked, shot at, cyber-bullied and more, but she does not stop.  She is determined to fight for change for the women there, through education.  She has recently opened a second school for the poor children in her region.  I deeply admire her – and donations that come through these empowerment/self-defense classes will go directly toward security for her schools.  

Friends, this girl heading to school was just trying to get to school. Girls aren’t allowed an education, so that by itself makes her a target. And, she was walking alone – you simply don’t do that in Pakistan, as a woman, because it means you are inviting sex.  When a man approached her, harassed her, and it was reported to her brother, it was his “duty of honor” to beat his sister to death. So, he did.

After Michele’s workshop, I turned on my computer and found a message from my dear friend, Nasreen Sheik. This video link was in it: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uqrCX97MhnK0D4KOGR_UTvgmyU2tg2bS/view.

Watching the video will take six minutes. This is Nasreen’s sister. Do you see how thin many of the people are in this video? Perhaps they don’t have enough to eat.

Not long ago, I saw a pretty awful sci-fi movie, in which the question was asked, “How is it that you have a simultaneous epidemic of both obesity and starvation on your planet?” The movie was bad, but the question is good. How is that even possible?

These women are raising their voices in a big way, in Pakistan and Nepal. Will you join me in sending a generous donation?

That’s one way we can raise our voices.

That all felt so serious. Which, of course, it is. So, let me tell you about something fun! I’ve teamed up with Katie Ramseur, Licensed Hypnotist, to help you – your employees, students, organization – combat performance anxiety! We’re working with alternative high schools and organizations like Dress For Success, for starters. This is one of the most exciting and impactful things I’ve ever been involved in. Join me LIVE on Facebook Friday 4/20 at 2:30 pm PST to get a few of the juicy details!

Laura Handke’s Transformational Voice® therapy lessons are wonderful! She is a treasure trove of valuable information about voice, speaking, singing and acting. Laura guides you in understanding how your own voice “works” and provides easy practices to do between appointments. I want to thank Laura for being a very warm, encouraging, supportive vocal coach. I warmly recommend her.

-Paivi PV

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)