Saving your throat

At a recent performance of “A Little Night Music” on Broadway, one of the leads, Catherine Zeta-Jones, had to cancel due to a bad throat.    I found that interesting, as I’ve worked with actors and noticed – especially nowadays with Broadway performers being amplified – that many actors don’t support their voices.  Consequently, they may develop laryngitis or a raw throat and have to cancel a performance.

I often emphasize the importance of correct breathing as a key to vocal stamina and to help protect your voice and throat.  Here are other hints that will help  before a presentation.

  • Make sure you have plenty of rest.  Speaking, like acting, singing or dancing, is physical, and you need energy to support your voice.
  • Keep your throat moist and  “well oiled,” especially in air-conditioned rooms and in dry, winter air.   Avoid alcohol, and drink plenty of water.  Hard, sucking candies are also good.
  • Be sure you are breathing from your diaphragm or belly, thus supporting your voice.
  • At all costs, avoid yelling, which is very hard on your vocal cords.