The roar of the tiger - Image of tiger roaring - blog by Beth of VoiceCare

Happy Chinese New Year!

This is the year of the tiger so let me hear you roar!

When I read the descriptions of personality traits of those born under this sign, I recognise my own family member, a tiger who is full of fiery passion with the hair to match, sometimes calm and clear and wise and the next minute switching to an outburst of dynamic zany action! 

What does being at one with the tiger mean for us vocally?

I have been asking clients how mask-wearing is impacting their vocal delivery and the answers vary. For some, it is causing them to close up and hide away more whereas others find it feels less exposing and they can speak or sing with more confidence.

There is no doubt that communicating through a mask or a computer screen means we have to vocally work harder and I think this can be a good thing for our articulation.

Our lips, teeth and tongues must be working more to define our speech and song. However, can we roar behind our masks? Can we indeed roar through a computer screen? Does taking off our mask after each day out in it make us want to roar more or does it feel like we have been muffled and suppressed rather like a hooded hawk?

I invite you to comment on these questions from your own experience. I definitely do not have all the answers in response to our new world.

Be assured, I do have ideas about how we can incorporate the tiger into our communication! I have not written a post, blog or newsletter in many weeks now – “if you have nothing to say, say nothing at all!” was my thinking there. 

Idea number 1:

Take an affirmation that resonates with you. It can be something like, 

“I am bold, I am brave and I let you hear this is my voice” 

This affirmation is something you say both in your head and out loud. You are affirming to yourself first then the world will believe you. 

Another option could be,

“I have the strength to speak up.” 

Option 3:

 “I am passionate about this project.”

This last one can be useful in a job interview or when fundraising/selling because if we can hear the passion and drive in your vocal delivery then we are with you on the journey. 

I am Figaro, hear me roar!

I watched a film this week called ‘Falling for Figaro’. Ok, it’s a rom-com predominantly but they do base it around the theme of opera singing. Now, singing opera is rather like a musical roar where the voice is extended consistently to portray the sheer passion and plight of the characters. There is no holding back in opera, it is all about the rage and the drama. 

My second idea is similar to what the singing coach needs her study to learn to do in ‘Falling for Figaro’ – feel the music, feel the story and bring it to the stage. He holds back and she needs him to give in to his feelings so that he can engage with the audience. He needs to find his inner tiger?

Idea number 2: Can you awaken your inner tiger?

This brings me to my second idea on our Chinese new year theme. Can you awaken your inner tiger? (He or she may be lying next to the dragon so give them a nudge too.) 

If the situation arises, and you need more “oomph” (technical term) in your speech or song, it can be a matter of feeling the inner roar rather than any technical exercise I can teach you, to deliver the appropriate vocal effect. 

 So go boldly into this new year. You may be a rabbit or a goat but you can still access the strength and courage of this beautiful cat- the king of all creatures in China. You can speak up, out and across if you need to, it is within you.