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Variance: Play

When was the last time you played? With abandon. Like a child.

If you are like many adults, you might have to reach pretty far for that memory. It seems to be a state of adulthood to construct a manner that is appropriate and lock ourselves in. Appropriateness can become more important that expression.

But, since you are here, I am going to assume that you wish to expand your communication. That, my friends, requires some play.

“It’s so valuable to learn to expand the flexibility of your imagination and the fluidity of your sense of self enough to be able to include almost anything you experience in the moment”

Saul Kotzubei, Master teacher of Voice and Speech — Voice and Speech Training in the New Millenium

The quote above refers to actors, but the flexibility and fluidity of which he speaks are valuable for all of us as we do the work of embodied voice. We can only create what we can imagine. We can only change, grow, explore when we are fluid. But, we may be out of practice so we must return to play. Try a few of these on:

  • Describe yourself in 50 words or more — Say those words in jibberish.
  • Get on the floor and make-believe you are a Tiger or a Frog. Look at the world through that lens, move in that way.
  • Create a funny walk and commit fully to it — even if it is just in your own hallway.
  • Sing loudly, don’t stop to consider if you think you can or not, just sing anything.

Whichever of these you choose, it is likely you will feel ridiculous. But, if you fully commit to it, you may feel something else — Silly, joyful, full of mirth. These feelings live at the very threshold of fluidity. Appropriateness has its place but to be a fully developed human who embodies their voice, you have to allow other places as well.

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