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Performance – Play to Your Strengths

We are circus people. By that I mean, I am suddenly spending time in a circus school while my child learns circus things.

While observing a particularly graceful and terrifying maneuver on aerial silks, I stated, “I don’t think I’d have the upper body strength to attempt that.” In response a veteran practitioner told me, “Then use some other strength.” Well, duh.

In singing, it is pretty clear that you have to adapt to what your voice enjoys doing. If your voice likes to move, you sing music with runs and melismas. If you have stratospheric high notes, perhaps you look at repertoire that plays to that characteristic.

With speaking, sometimes playing to your strengths isn’t as simple.

It comes down to how well you know yourself. In particular, what you do well. If you aren’t traditionally funny, then perhaps adding traditional humor to your speaking will go down like a lead balloon. You may, however, have a natural sense of physical comedy or exceptional timing. If you aren’t comfortable moving around, then practice being comfortable with stillness. You get the idea, if you can’t do something as expected because you lack that strength, then use another one. And if you can’t identify your strengths, get thee to a play space (improv, acting, circus, etc) ASAP.

Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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