We have a choice as to whether or not we will love and accept our voice – now.
That is not to say that we don’t do all that we can to improve in every way. It simply means what it says: that we have a choice to love or not like our voice as it is now.
In other words, no matter where we are with our singing, technique, style, performing etc., we can choose to accept and even love our voice and the process we’re in.
All of this can be done now, before we are as good as we want to be.
The idea that getting better at singing or improving our voice will make us happy is far from true.
I have so many stories of amazing singers who were miserable.
Listen to how you can make the choice to enjoy your voice now and propel yourself forward in your singing.
The Inner Singer Podcast
Episode 2 – Transcripts
Love Your Voice – NOW!
Hi, this is Mike Goodrich and welcome back to the Inner Singer Podcast. This one’s going to be a little bit of a follow-up to the last podcast that I did. It doesn’t mean that every podcast is going to lead into the next podcast as a smooth segway, but this just happens too because I felt like the first one there, I could’ve kept going on, but I don’t want to make these too long. I want them to be a little bit more bite-sized so that you can listen to them a little bit more easily.
So, I did want to follow-up on what we were talking about the last time. I had mentioned my inner singer years ago when my identity was wrapped up in my voice. And that’s not to say that if I have a bad day singing, I’m not thrilled, but this was pretty extreme years ago. My identity was really, really wrapped up in my voice. As I said in the last podcast, if I sang well any given day, I was on top of the world. And if I didn’t then I was not that much fun to be around.
So, one of the days I was singing alone in my apartment years and years ago, back in about 1990, I can’t remember what I was singing, but I was singing something that wasn’t going in my mind terribly well. And so I got about halfway through the song I think and it didn’t feel good, it didn’t sound good in my estimate. So I stopped singing the song, I took the score like I often did and I just threw it across the room into the wall and it burst into pieces.
Now I have behind me – I don’t want to look away from the mic – behind me, I have shelves and shelves full of music, many of which are scores with broken bindings, the result of the tantrums I used to throw when I bought into the negative input that I was believing about my voice – the victim me, the whole thing that I said in the last podcast, “How could I have such a great love for this and be so mediocre,” the whole Salieri thing.
Anyway, I walked over, picked up the scores, started putting it back together. I was very grumpy and probably cursed a bunch since I was real big on that. I’m just being real transparent, real honest here because I don’t want to paint any pictures that this has always been real easy for me.
So anyway, I was doing this, putting the score back together after bursting them to a million pieces, just out of the blue, this thing my dad said to me one time just popped into my mind. I remembered that he and I were watching this National Geographic special years ago, years before that, he was watching it, just relaxing on the couch and they were showing a tribe somewhere (I’m not sure where they were, probably in Africa or something) and they didn’t have any of our modern conveniences.
They didn’t have hardly any clothes on. They lived in just little huts that they built probably like grass huts and things like that. They had no electricity, no running water. They had nothing that we have, none of our modern conveniences whatsoever.
And yet they were dancing around having the greatest time, laughing and having fun.
I remember my dad looked over at me and said, “Isn’t it amazing that with all that we have, with our nice house and our cars and money, we can go to the grocery store and get anything we want and we’re not lacking for anything and we can do all these things, all the modern conveniences, electricity, running water and everything in the world, with all that we have, at our happiest, our happiest moments were no happier than all those folks are right now.”
And I looked at them and they were just having a great time. They’re laughing and they’re playing, they’re just joking around with each other.
I thought for a minute, I thought, “Well, yeah. That’s really pretty cool, pretty profound.”
So then flashback to me putting the score back together and wondering, “Okay, we’re all well and good. Why in the world is this story popping into my mind right now?” I was like, “You have another score back together.”
And I thought, “Well, okay. Does this relate to anything here? What’s going on?” I thought for a second, I thought, it came to me that the we that my dad and I were back then (the family, the middle class family with running water, electricity, grocery stores, money, cars, houses, and all that kind of thing), I could relate to the singers that I wanted to be like, all these singers that I idolized and that I wanted to be able to sing like. Those singers were my dad and me back then.
I with my voice at the time I was putting that score back together, I was the tribe that didn’t have any modern conveniences, any clothes, any running water, any electricity, any anything really.
Was it possible that I could possibly be as happy as the singers I admired? Could I possibly love singing as much as those singers who had all these phenomenal voices that I loved? They have all the high notes and they had the loud and the soft and the high and the low and everything that I wanted, right? Was it possible that I could be as happy with my voice at that present moment as those people?
I thought, “Well, maybe so. What if I could? Do I have a choice in this matter?”
And that was a really interesting question and a real profound moment as I thought, “Do I have a choice? Do I have a choice to love my voice and to enjoy singing the way it is, the way it feels now?”, which wasn’t great, “the way it sounds now?”, which to me wasn’t great.
And so I thought, “Okay, let’s see if I can do that. Let me try this on.”
So I picked the score back up, I was putting it back together and I thought, “Okay, I’m going to sing this song. I’m going to go all the way through it. I don’t care what it feels like. I don’t care what it sounds like. I’m going to get through this song one way or the other.” I was going to see if I can finish this thing.
So long and the short of it is I sang the song. Then I thought, “Well, okay. I made it through.” Was it great? No. Was it anywhere near what I wanted it to be? Not even close, but I did make it. Was I able to do it the way my favorite singer does it? No, not even close. Was I able to make artistic decisions to validate my current vocal level? Yeah, I could do that.
If I had heard this part of the song really strong, if I couldn’t do it, I could sing it softly and I could make an acting choice that validated that. And if this person sang this particular part of the song softly and I couldn’t, I could sing it louder and I could make an acting choice to validate the way I could do it.
So that was really enlightening to me. I thought, “Okay, what if I can sing some of these other mountain of music that I claim to not be able to sing?”
I picked up another song and sang it and another one and I sang it. I must’ve gone through 10 to 15 songs right in a row.
And again, were they great? Of course not. Were they good? I don’t even know if they were good. Will anybody want to hear them? Perhaps not. Did they feel good? Nah, most of them felt pretty lousy. Was I excited that I was able to do it? Yes, because I felt that I had crossed a bridge. I had made a shift. I had decided that I could sing instead of I can’t sing.
“It’s not good enough. It’s not as good as this person. When is it going to be better? I can’t believe I spent this much time and money on lessons and I still sound like this. What the heck am I thinking?” That’s what my inner singer was telling me all that time. But then at an amazing moment of throwing a score across the room, having a burst of heart and having that story, somebody else’s story I guess, that scene of my dad and I watching the National Geographic and then what he said to me and then realizing that I was, in that moment, finally, it seems like at a choice point.
Up until then, it didn’t seem like I had much choice in the matter. I was being run by wiring, by my programming, by my habits, by my non-conscious beliefs or unconscious beliefs, however you’d like to say it. I really haven’t had much of a choice in the matter. I just had a program running.
But then at that moment of distance, I had some distance, I was able to see more objectively my behavior and make a conscious choice whether or not that was going to serve me any longer.
And so from that moment, I joined a musical theater class, a performance class. I was teaching people in this class, I joined it. Actually, I went to watch it one day because the teacher said, “You really should come and see this class.”
The teacher’s a wonderful girl, her name’s Carol D’Andreas, she teaches in Los Angeles. She was in the original West Side Story movie and Broadway show, and the original Gypsy. She’s a dear gal and we became friends. I taught her daughter and just was teaching all kinds of people in the class. She said, “You should really come and see this class. See what it’s all about. See the people that you teach and support them.” So I did and I loved the class. I called her and I said, “Would it be crazy if I joined this class?” She goes, “No! I mean, come in.”
That was the moment that I thought, “I’m going to join this class.”
And here’s what my inner singer told me then to, “I’m going to join this class, people are going to see that I don’t sing as well as they maybe thought I did and I will lose all my students, everyone’s going to quit” because they’re going to be thinking, “Oh, my goodness. I thought this guy was way better.”
But the joy of singing took me over and I thought, I have to follow my newfound love of my own voice even at the expense of losing all my students.
What happened was I didn’t lose anybody, I actually got more students.
I don’t think it was because I sang great. I mean, I didn’t sing badly. But I think what it was was there was an admiration there, there was a vulnerability and authenticity, which other people related to. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I was little nervous joining their class. That class is ultimately where I met my wife.
And the only reason I tell you this story is because of the amazing shift in that decision to decide to love my voice, to decide to allow myself to have as much fun singing as my favorite singer, to not put it off anymore, to not say, “When I have this high note, it’s going to be fun. When I can sing this song that way, I’ll enjoy it. But until that time, nose to the grindstone. It’s a journey. I’m just going to push. I’m not going to allow myself to have any fun until I sing the way I think I should sing.” At that point, you just have a movable horizon that you never reach.
So, that’s why I wanted to share that story. And the take away to me is when you begin to be aware of the inner singer and the wiring, the programming, the patterning, the habits, the unconscious beliefs, the core beliefs that are running the inner singer, become aware of that, and can step back like we talked about in the last podcast, and become mindful of that, we get to what’s called a choice point.
Well, I call it the ‘choice point’. You probably heard of it from somebody. That’s where we become aware of the behavior, aware of the patterns or the habits. And all of a sudden, there’s enough of a separation. We see ourselves engaging in it and we now have a choice, “Do I want to continue to engage in this? Is this serving me?”
And it doesn’t mean that I don’t get upset about my voice. It doesn’t mean that. There’s nothing absolute, that’s for sure. That’s the only thing I’m absolutely sure of, that there’s nothing absolute. But it’s certainly less intense. I don’t throw scores against the wall anymore. Just the amazing shift in that, it’s amazing to watch what that can do.
So that again, that’s the takeaway – the mindfulness, the awareness, the separation, the awareness and then the choice, “Do I want to continue with this pattern, with this belief? Is this serving me?”
So that’s what I wanted to follow-up on that story that I started in the first podcast and go through and tell you this story and let you in a little bit more about what I am, what my journey has been, what my journey is and why I really felt led to create the Inner Singer after working for so many years with singers and seeing situations like this that I could really identify with and have compassion for because I was there.
So anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I look forward to talking to you in the next podcast. Bye, bye.