150. Vocal Athleticism w/ Mindy Pack

November 23, 2022 00:58:37
150. Vocal Athleticism w/ Mindy Pack
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
150. Vocal Athleticism w/ Mindy Pack

Nov 23 2022 | 00:58:37


Show Notes

If you know me, you know that #voice is extremely important to me… And not just MY voice, but the voice of artists as a whole. That’s why I am extremely excited to introduce you to this week’s guest Mindy Pack. MINDY. DOES. VOCAL HEALTH! In this episode we talk about all of the ways you can hurt and HEAL your voice. We dig into the importance of having a great team and what makes a great coach. We also talk about the role that mental health plays in vocal health and how shame and guilt surround injuries (specifically vocal injuries). Enjoy this conversation with Mindy Pack.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers like you get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host Dana Wilson. And I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Hello, welcome to the podcast. I'm Dana. This is words that Move Me and you must be a mover and shaker, thank you for being here. I am stoked that you're here because this episode is special and I am aware that I say that every week. And truly they are all special. Speaker 0 00:00:56 That's the sound of me patting myself on the back, <laugh>, uh, but this week's episode is extra, extra special because we're not just talking about moving and shaking. We are talking about moving and speaking, moving and singing even. Yes, actually moving and shouting with the right training <laugh>, of course, yes. Today we are joined by Mindy Pack, and Mindy is a vocal health specialist. This is her life's work and she is good at her job. So I'm very excited to share this episode, but first I wanna give a little bit more context. If you know me, you know that voice is extremely important to me and my relationship with mine is complex. I won't even say complicated, but it's, it's thick because I had vocal cord surgery a little over a year ago, and I have been very interested in voice, uh, since I found out that I had a vocal cord cyst and all during my recovery up until the present. Speaker 0 00:02:03 But it is not just my voice that I'm interested in. It is the voice of artists as a whole. You know, hence this podcast. I think you'd be very surprised just how much your creative health and your vocal health are linked. That is what I found for myself. That's what I've found in conversation with so many others. So that is why I think this episode is special, and I'm excited to introduce you to this week's guest, Mindy Pack, cuz she does voices. Um, I'm so stoked to share that with you. But first, we do wins every week on the podcast, we start with wins cuz I think it's important to celebrate what is going well. And y'all <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:02:51 Today I am celebrating a bookshelf, a bookshelf that is much, much, much more than a bookshelf. It is a monolith of struggle. It is a, it is a eight by 13 foot reminder of my humanity, of my good ideas, of my bad ideas, especially my bad ideas of other people's ideas. Um, and it used to be kind of a black hole in my wall over there. Uh, it was black and now it is sage because I painted it and I also wallpapered it. And now I am here with my win to keep you from losing your mind in the future, because I'm gonna tell you right now, you do not need to wallpaper the back of your bookshelf ever. You do not want to. You do not need to. It is not worth it. I did it and now I know it's done. I'm celebrating that the done part. Uh, and now, you know, and I'm celebrating having shared this with you. You don't need to wallpaper your bookshelf. No matter how many blogs tell you that. It is fast and easy, it is slow, and it is painful. So I am struggling the completion of this task and having been face to face with it for I kid you not weeks from beginning of project to end of project multiple weeks. Speaker 0 00:04:30 So I've learned a lot. I've now shared what I've learned. That is my win. Now you go, what's going well in your world? Bit me. Speaker 1 00:04:50 Yay. Speaker 0 00:04:54 All right. Congratulations, my friend. I'm so glad you're winning. This is huge. Even if it's small, it's big. You're doing it. I've got you. Let's keep going this week. I know I've already said that. I'm gonna not say this week. Okay? In this episode, we talk about all of the ways you can hurt and heal your voice. We dig into the importance of having a great team and what makes a great coach. You know, I love that part of the conversation. We also talk about the role that mental health plays in vocal health and how shame and guilt often surround injuries, specifically vocal injuries. So you're gonna learn all about what you should be doing and what you should not be doing in order to achieve good vocal health and to maintain it. Those are different things, by the way. Uh, you'll also learn what to do if you think that you've lost your identity in an injury. Speaker 0 00:06:01 If, if when becoming injured, you think you don't have an identity anymore, or you don't know who you are without this healthfully working part of you. Whoa, we're digging into that topic today. You'll also get a masterclass in turning lemons into lemonade. And as if that wasn't enough, you're gonna hear about this little tool that saved me post Operation Mindy Pack's Voice Straw appropriately named the Voice Straw. Um, it, it is for Straw Foundation, which we'll talk a little bit about more in the episode Straw foundation in general, but specifically the voice draw are real game changers. They are made for people who use their voice. They are made for people recovering from vocal injuries. And I am so thrilled that Mindy is offering 10% off the voice draw to all words that move me. Listeners, this is freaking awesome. So if you like what you hear and you want to help yourself to better voice health, head over to voice straw.com and use the discount code W t m M V O I C E. That's W T M M voice, no spaces, all caps, wtm voice at the checkout. All right, that is mash spiel. You are in for a treat. Let's do this. Enjoy the fabulous Mindy Pack. Speaker 0 00:07:38 Mindy Pack, welcome towards that move me. Thank you so much for being here. Speaker 2 00:07:43 Absolutely. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me. Speaker 0 00:07:46 I am so excited too. Um, I only recently have kind of unwillingly stumbled upon a serious interest in voice, so I'm very lucky to have you hear. Um, I, I think I came to know about you from Rob Stevenson, who is also a podcast guest and a vocal coach to the Stars. I do. I know whispering is not good for your voice, but I do think Rob is a voice whisperer. And if you are anything like Rob, then you are a voice angel as well. I am stoked. Let's get into this. Okay. Uh, tradition on the podcast, you are asked to introduce yourself, which is sometimes daunting. Uh, but go ahead and let it rip. Anything you want us to know about you? Speaker 2 00:08:34 Uh, well, my name's Mindy Pack. Uh, I'm based outta Salt Lake City, but I have studio in LA and then teach globally. Rob Stevenson's actually my partner, so I agree. He is a voice whisperer and I'm very lucky <laugh> that we get to team with some amazing clients and, you know, he's like my long lost twin. So we're very similar. Um, what else? Uh, I'm a clinical ologist, meaning that I specialize in rehabilitation and rehabilitation of the voice. I'm also a performer myself. I had my first professional job at 16 where I moved to Japan. Um, so I really feel like I understand demands of what is placed on a singer where a lot of voice coaches may not have had that professional experience. Um, and I've also been injured as a singer, uh, coming from not anything I was doing vocally, but an emotional trauma that manifested my itself in my voice, which then led me down into this whole ology kind of program and really figuring it out. So I just wanna be a resource and tool for voice users across the globe to say, you know, you're not alone and let's fix it. And how can we make it better and stronger and be uniquely you, you know, like, let's find your, uh, vocal fingerprints. So that's just kind of, Speaker 0 00:09:49 Oh, Mindy might cry during this episode. <laugh> might cry. It Speaker 2 00:09:53 Wouldn't broadcast without that Speaker 0 00:09:55 <laugh>. Oh man. Uh, voice is such a personal thing. You said fingerprint and Yes, it is. It's like such a huge part of a person's identity, especially a creative person. Um, both physical voice and, you know, metaphorical voice. I think so important and linked. So, uh, before we get into it, I wanna ask a question, um, that I have never asked any of the vocal professionals in my sphere because I, I think I assume that I know the answer, but you know, what they say about assuming things. So here I am asking the vocal professional <laugh>. Um, okay, so you, you mentioned you started performing very young and you were a vocalist, I'm assuming not like a singer dancer theater kid, but like a singer. Speaker 2 00:10:45 Yeah. So I did like these, I call it like party band stuff, where it actually was singing and dancing. Okay. I was never like a strong dancer. I call it <laugh>. It's okay <laugh>, you know, but, um, yeah. So I, but I was always like the dominant powerhouse singer in it. So it was kind of like think party band with movement. Speaker 0 00:11:05 Okay. Okay. Okay. So you're, you're a vocal health worker. I am a movement health worker. This is, we are lining up beautifully. But my question if I could fricking arrive to it, is like, were your relationships with Normies, I call them people who do not perform <laugh>, they're called Normies. Um, was that kind of like estranged because you were so into this other thing? Like I just assumed that all performers have that thing. When I was in high school, I was taking, I was dancing 40 hours a week and my friends would roll their eyes and like stop inviting me to things because they knew the answer was, I've got dance. And I just assumed that it's the same for all performers, but maybe it isn't. Were you like praised because you had this wicked talent and were you the party cuz you sang everywhere you went? Or what was, what was your experience of your talent early on? Speaker 2 00:12:02 I mean, I had, I was, I called myself like I wa I had a bunch of different groups of friends. Like I make, like, I was nominated for a homecoming queen by the chess club <laugh>, you know, but I dated people on the football team, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, I mean, I had a variety of group of, of people and I love just being around everybody. So I always tried to make the effort, but I did have a core group of friends who were actually performers with me that, you know, I hung out with all the time and like, and did everything. But, you know, I tried to do as much as I could to have a life outside of it just to bring some balance cuz you know, sometimes there's some ego and arrogance that kind of gets involved on certain things and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, nice having a little bit of balance. And then also I loved hanging out with really, you know, talented people because it pushed me to try and be better. Cuz I am competitive too, so Speaker 0 00:12:54 <laugh>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, little, little bits of your answer there. Remind me a tad of myself. I was definitely a social butterfly, like had a foot in every click at school, but wasn't really tight, like, deeply, uh, tight with anyone other than my dance friends. And so many of those are lifers, you know, so many of those are forever. But I suppose I didn't start finding real balance in terms of intimate relationships from fully other walks of life until a little bit later, probably until I moved to here to LA started a professional career, um, and was surrounded by fascinating people of so many types. Uh, but yeah, I I just always wondered like, is that just the dance thing? Cause it really was, I don't think I'm exaggerating. I'll have to ask my mom who's listening. Hey mom, could you text me or call? Uh, I really think it was probably 40 hours between dance class rehearsals and conventions and competitions. What, what do you think your hourly regimen was like in your early training days? Speaker 2 00:14:04 Oh man. Uh, I mean, I was probably the same at the time of like high school. I mean, I was doing the school plays, you know, so I was in rehearsals until five and then I was a part of like this performing organization where then I would jump to private voice lessons, group voice lessons, the actual like staging rehearsals of the singers and dancers. And then I was in, I mean, I had to be in like four dance classes, you know, I was in the ballet jazz. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like all of that too. So, I mean, I was probably at the studio five times a week, you know, going through it. And then we had shows, you know, our shows weren't typically like convention time. It was mostly like the holiday brackets and like summer stuff, you know, like we were kind of going through things. Speaker 2 00:14:47 And then it turned into things like the performers that, like you'd see at Disneyland where it was like you had like, set times at the different theme parks and stuff like that, that we would go to, you know, as, as a cast. So it just kind of like varied. And then when I was 16, we got a call, kind of this group that I was with to go over to Japan for a little while. And so, you know, I was a sophomore in high school and I asked my mom like, I want, I really wanna do this. She said, okay. So I pulled outta high school and went over there for a few months and had this amazing opportunity and just then was like, this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life. Like, I know I'm meant to do this. So, yeah. Speaker 0 00:15:26 Wow. Speaker 2 00:15:26 But I will say, going back, my best friend still to this day, I met her when I was in kindergarten. We're still best friends. She is com like the worst singer I have ever heard in my life. So on performing, create like that. But she is the most bad a female human ever. So, you know, just saying Speaker 0 00:15:51 <laugh>, I, I have one of those as well. Rachel Izer who did, we used to dance together, but she's not a dancer anymore. Whatever. Um, okay. This is, this is interesting. I I, I don't think I was fully right in my assumption, but it's, I always wonder how training lines up with different disciplines. I always just assume that for everyone. It's all in all the time. Um, but balance, thank you for that reminder. Always it al it comes up in almost every episode actually <laugh> the value of balance and the importance of finding it. Speaker 2 00:16:22 I think that that assumption isn't incorrect because it's like you surround yourself with like minds mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so you were probably surrounding yourself with people who wanted a professional dance experience mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so that's why it narrowed in that kind of bubble. Cause I don't, there's people who make it on a professional level like yourself. There's a certain drive and dedication that comes into honing in that craft. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so I think because you had that drive and that dedication at a young age, that's probably why you think that way cuz you were surrounding yourself with other people of like mind. But people who maybe aren't looking at that in a professional way mm-hmm. <affirmative> see things a different way. Speaker 0 00:17:02 Totally. Thank you for that. Um, okay, so 16 years old Japan. Awesome. I love that. How did performing transition for you into coaching? What did that look like? Speaker 2 00:17:16 So I did a bunch of different kind of these like USO party band type things until I was, mm, 20, about 23. And then I got, I got approached to teach at a performing arts studio. And I never really thought myself as a coach, um, in the setting, but I was like, sure, you know, I was getting ready to go to college. I'm like, this is good money. Like, whatever, let me, let me try it off season and just kind of see what it's like. And I just fell in love with it. I thought everybody trained the way I trained or like everybody was like me. And I learned very fast that that is is not the case. And so, um, yeah, I just started really trying to figure out what the, you know, I was one that never had issues with my voice ever. Speaker 2 00:17:59 So I didn't understand people who do mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, when I was starting out that there was actually things that had to happen in order to create sound mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so from there I just started really researching and studying and finding mentors and like listening and like who did they study with? And doing everything I possibly could to get, um, in these different, I guess, uh, presence of, of different people to learn how to teach and why voices work the way they work. And so it wasn't until I was about 27, 28, I auditioned for a national tour and made one of the, the leads. I was married at the time and I went to go get my physical and I found out that I was pregnant and I had made the tour and we weren't trying like, it was like this huge shock. And um, I was like, okay, everything I've worked for for like a national tour now is like out the gate gone. Speaker 2 00:18:55 And so it took me a minute to like really process that. And uh, you know, I, I had my first son, my first son and it was the best thing that could have happened to me cuz it like kind of forced me to prioritize boundaries again and still find passion and love and drive in a field that I absolutely love, but just not tour. So in the same way of I still get to do what I do, I get the same thrill I guess as, as a coach that I do as a performer on stage when I coach an artist or someone and I see them on stage fulfilling the energy and the excitement to the millions of people in the audience. You know, that I had some teeny weeny, weeny little part of helping bring joy to so many people. So something that I thought was like, oh my gosh, my like career is over, turned out to be way bigger than I ever thought it was gonna be. Thank you universe. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, you know, manifested itself that way. So 27 is kind of when I really hit in hard as to this is coaching full time and went from a performing art studio into, I'm gonna go into, I wanna work with professionals, Speaker 0 00:20:05 People who do the type of work that you were doing before you changed course. Speaker 2 00:20:10 Yeah. And it was like, how do I get there? You know, I'm in Salt Lake City, like there's only so much you could do in Salt Lake and I have a family and I couldn't relocate. Yeah. You know, so it was just like, how do I navigate this? And Rob was actually a huge part of that, you know, like, cuz at the time I didn't know him. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it wasn't until I met Rob and we like instantly connected where I was like, oh, I, I can do this. And things just kind of started shifting into place. Speaker 0 00:20:35 Interesting. Yeah. What does networking look like in your field for dancers? I mean, there's a billion d dance related events happening all the time. And there's professional training environments like, you know, in LA I could on two hands the number of studios that you go to take class at. But it's networking. Like that's how dancers ascend to being professionals and that's how dancers also transition into being choreographers. Um, is there a kind of system like that in your world? Or is it really just like, find somebody on the internet and be like, Hey, you do this thing, I it can't be like that. I'm daft. I sound ridiculous. I sound like a child. No, I mean, Speaker 2 00:21:18 And some in some things it is that way. I mean, so I think it just depends, you know, like somebody, for me it's like for a coaching, it was a lot of networking, like going through different things and like being able to have the education and confidence mm-hmm. <affirmative> to show that I knew what I was doing because you know, when you're working at a level of high professionals, like they can smell <laugh> Speaker 0 00:21:43 Self doubt or insecurity. Yeah. You need a, you need a pedigree of some sort. You need like a, Speaker 2 00:21:49 You're put in intense situations Yeah. Fast. And so you have to be able to like calm it down or figure it out or you know, like keep a, keep it cool but really advocate for the artist. And so, I mean a lot of it to get into it was, you know, a lot of networking. A lot of it is my schooling and the education that I had behind it, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> landed the, the credence to what I do, you know? Cause as of now with the credentialing that I have, there's only two of us in the United States that have full credentials that I have. Um, and then they have, you know, networking and just being a nice person. You know, like just like really advocating for the artist and you know, really figuring out management. Cuz management will either make or break you on certain things as much as you like, hate that. But it's true. And um, you know, learning how to stay in your lane, you know, cause it's hard sometimes. We wanna like have all this say in a lot of stuff and you have to just kind of stay in that lane and, and figure it out. Speaker 0 00:22:51 I'm glad that you brought up the interfacing with management idea. There's like, there, there are, there are two different worlds on purpose. The artist and the management, because they speak different languages, they operate on different schedules, in different modes of communication. And I think so many dancers communicate and operate more like artists and sometimes lack the, uh, you know, the, the business jargon, the email reading and responding and all that. It is such a part, such a huge part for a coach who's usually the person <laugh> interfacing with both sides the most. Uh, so yeah. I'm glad you brought that up. Um, okay. In terms of network and, and pedigree and your kind of the level that you work at, you coach some of the top, top top tops. And actually I wonder how many overlaps we have cuz I didn't know that you worked with JT or I did know Miley Cyrus, um, and Miley and I worked together back in 2016. Speaker 0 00:23:57 I'm sure there are more. Um, but I'm curious specifically about the way that you helped JT during the Man of the Woods tour. Uh, he had a, a vocal injury and I did two at the same freaking time. I remember, um, we had a rehearsal for something and he was on mandatory vocal rest and I had lost my voice. So I was not <laugh> on mandatory vocal rest, but I was on like physically mandatory vocal rest. And he and I were practicing some ASL together, like practicing some sign language <laugh>. Um, but, uh, I'm, I'm wondering how you were brought into that fold and if you're able to talk about it all, you know, any of the things that you would recommend for anybody in his situation, which was, you know, with a lot on the line and some pretty serious damage. Speaker 2 00:24:54 Yeah. I mean, I can't go into specifics on what, you know, he and I did mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I can talk in general, you know, because rehabilitation is something that, you know, I deal with a lot. Um, how I got brought into that was Rob Stevenson is his main coach. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Rob was out with another client and because my specialty is rehab, um, he was like, you know, give my girl a shot type thing. And it was a, it was a, it was a, it was an interesting process, you know, because, you know, I'm coming in at a very vulnerable space mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, of someone totally new. And um, you know, he has to be able to trust that what I'm doing is right. And I'm very different in how I teach in a rehab setting than I am in just a maintenance setting. Speaker 0 00:25:42 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:25:43 <affirmative>. And it ended up being a beautiful relationship. One that I, I mean, you know him, I mean he's just like the nicest and coolest person. Ok. Um, you know, one where it was just like one of my best experiences on tour, but like, probably one of the most stressful because our first show out the gate was Madison Square Garden on his birthday. And so it was like, we were like gearing up, gearing up, gearing up and I'm just like, sweet bitch Jesus. <laugh> take Speaker 0 00:26:09 The wheel. You know? And Speaker 2 00:26:11 Everybody's like looking at me like, are we clear? Are we clear? Are we good? Are we good? And I'm like, we're good. And then my side, I'm like, <laugh>, Speaker 0 00:26:18 Are we good? No, I Speaker 2 00:26:19 Didn't have any doubt, but, you know, I mean that's intense. You know, birthday and Madison's Oh Speaker 0 00:26:25 Yeah. Like super, super high stakes and oh man, a lot of, you know, I think about him. Any, any like headlining vocal artist, uh, what am I trying to say? Any like headline level recording artist who's like playing Madison Square Garden is in a position where they're not just responsible for all of the people coming to see the show that night. Right. There's a lot of like pressure on them in terms of the audience and the show they put on. But think about everyone on staff that's looking to them for their paycheck, the bus drivers, the crew, the, the dancers. Yes. All of us. Like that man's voice was our livelihood. And so there's so much pressure packed in. And maybe you can talk a little bit about, cuz I know you had an injury as well, like the psychosomatic elements of voice and how pressure can maybe adversely affect the healing process. Um, yeah, Speaker 2 00:27:31 I mean, I mean that's, it goes hand in hand, hand in hand in there, you know. And one thing I always say is that, you know, you're bringing me in so I can eliminate that pressure from you. Like, let me worry about it and get it to work. You don't worry about it as long as you stay with me and we communicate, I'm gonna take that stress and pressure so that I can, I'll take that away so that you can just work on healing mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the minute they can like trust that process. And this is with everybody, you know, like if you're injured or if you're feeling that way, you need to have a, doesn't matter how good you are, you have to find someone that has an ear, um, that can help you and that has a qualified voice team to help make these decisions, you know, for you. Speaker 2 00:28:15 Um, so for me that's like the first thing out the gate is let me help you by taking that pressure away. The more, and you're absolutely correct, there is an immense amount of mental stress that happens when those two little muscles are reliant on millions and millions of dollars, you know, at out the gate. You know. And so, you know, the best thing for them to do is obviously take that stress away and then we set up a routine that is customized to what their voice is doing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, whether that's different stretches, scale patterns, even nutrition, looking at medication. Are they drinking coffee? Are they smoking, are they vaping? Like all these things that have a component to vocal health, we start breaking everything down so that we can try and get healthy fast. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, go through that. Um, I also have a great therapist that works with, um, this, our team so that the pressure that they feel if we need to have more tools in the toolbox, we have those mental health components that can help, you know, strategize with that because it is, there's a lot of guilt, there's a lot of shame, there's a lot of embarrassment if something like that happens. Speaker 2 00:29:23 And the thing is, is that it's, it's normal, you know, we, we look at dancers or we look at athletes, you know, who do the same repetitive movement, you know, every time, you know, a free throw mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, they tear, tear an acl and everybody's like, oh no, they torn acl, like they're out best wishes. And then somebody gets a voice injury and then it's like, well, what did you do? Like you don't, like, you Speaker 0 00:29:45 Just see you must have done something wrong. Speaker 2 00:29:47 Yeah. And like, you know, people don't realize when the orchestra tunes to that, that pitch of a four 40. Okay. So you hear that duh in there, you know, whatever that pitch is, it's a four 40, it's, that's the hertz that's with it. Your vocal chords collide 440 times a second on that pitch. So when you think about the millions of collisions that happen to create sound in a two hour set, a three hour set, we're talking millions and millions and millions that they as an artist have to execute night after night after night, keeping it together. And then you add in someone like JT or Pink or um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, like people who actually move, like, who move, Speaker 0 00:30:29 Who are like physically exerting Yeah. Speaker 2 00:30:32 Like a whole other type of training because you have to get your body in these like situations so that it, it becomes a new norm. Or like the back bends on the freaking stage. Like that is not a normal body position to create sound. So how do you facilitate that, um, in a prep so that you don't get injured on stage. Speaker 0 00:30:53 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I remember once working out with Jay, um, it was, oh, I don't remember when or where we were, but, um, I was, I had just seen the Chadwick Bozeman, James Brown biopic get on up and Jay had just seen it also. And we were working out together that morning and I was walking on an incline and he was started on flat and then started inclining and then started running <laugh>. I was still walking at an incline pace. He was at a jog on an incline and talking to me like it was easy for him to hold a conversation. And I was huffing and puffing. And I think, you know, one of the things that I think led to my vocal chord injury was my dance training teaching me really encouraging me, reinforcing me to, uh, not belly breathe, belly stays in and tight. And I still daily have to coach myself into letting my belly release to breathe, keeping a ribcage lifted and letting this do the rest versus ribcage up and down traps up and down. Like I really used to breathe from my neck and and chest. So the, like, the posture of the dance moves that we had him in on tour makes it challenging to sing. But also the exertion, like the breath control and the type of breath that's required to support that kind of singing plus the type of breath that's required to support that kind of dancing. It flows my freaking mind. Unofficial JT appreciation episode <laugh>. Um, but it really is, it's remarkable. Speaker 2 00:32:47 Yeah. We do that. So depending on the type of tour, like you can see, and it went viral, you know, so this I can talk about it was Miley training on the treadmill when we were getting stuff. And so cardio component, when you're doing a hour and a half, two hour show, even if 20 minutes set, you know, is difficult for some people, you know. But that cardio component is something that's really important because it starts to train your adrenaline and it controls the breath movement and it gets it so that you can figure out the pacing on when you start doing it. Right. And so there is this whole correlation that happens when we are, we're getting ready, you know, to go on, go on a tour, go and do that, that I work with my clients, you know, like really figuring out what is that routine so that we can build up endurance. The breathing is not an issue and we start calming the adrenaline, which then helps the nerves as you take stage. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:33:40 <affirmative>, you know, so there's a lot Speaker 2 00:33:41 Of like, full circle things that happens when you do it. Speaker 0 00:33:45 Interesting. The way nerves are tied to breath. Yeah. Like when you're nervous <laugh>, it's the same as being excited or winded. Wow. What happened? Um, okay. So you were out there with JT on Savannah, the Woods stuff. I was, I'm actually wearing my, my man of the woods. There you go. Hoodie right now. I, um, was the stay at home swing on that tour. Uh, my seniority granted me the option to do that. Uh, been with Jay since I was 20 or actually like yeah, Speaker 2 00:34:19 I'm, I'm like, this is like full circle. I've seen concert Speaker 0 00:34:22 Totally Speaker 2 00:34:22 Million times. Yes. Speaker 0 00:34:24 Oh, so cool. Speaker 2 00:34:25 Yeah. One, this is my favorite funny story with him was, um, he, I love him. Like I have watched him from Mickey Mouse Club. I have never missed a concert of his truly, ah, like I am a fan and fan through and through, but I couldn't like say that to him, obviously when I met, cause that's weird <laugh>. But when I came home on like, you know, where you have like five days on and three days off or whatever, I was home for like three days before I went back out. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I get stressed, I organized and I was cleaning out a closet and I found my journal from when I started teaching and I was like, and it's like, what are your goals? Blah, blah, blah, you know? And I was like, Speaker 0 00:35:02 Here comes here, it comes. Speaker 2 00:35:04 Number eight was I will work with Justin Timberlake. And I like, literally died. I thought it was the, and so I sent a picture, I took a picture of it and I sent it to him and I was like, guess what I just found? And he was like, <laugh>, I was laughing and he goes, you clearly need to have higher aspirations. <laugh>. I was like, clearly I do <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:35:26 Oh, the picture of humility. Yeah. Time to set that, time to re-up that, uh, that goals bar. Speaker 2 00:35:32 I know, right? It's like I need to do a new vision board, but, you know, I don't know. Things are, things are popping. So I'm okay for a minute. Speaker 0 00:35:39 All right. I'm so happy for you. That's such a cool, uh, a cool story and a cool overlap. Um, okay. So back when J Jay was injured, I had, I was, I had lost my voice. It was gone for like six days. What I think had happened was, I think I had a cyst that ruptured and I think that left me with some temporary paralysis. I think that because of conversations I've had with my new close friend, Dr. Naii, uh, E nt, um, who I was put in touch with. Thanks again to rub the voice whisperer. You, you mentioned earlier how important it is to have a team with a well tuned ear mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And after I had Rob on the podcast, uh, to, you know, just talk about voice and training and all his wonder, uh, he, uh, I I paid for a session with my assistants at the time to have a training session with him. Speaker 0 00:36:40 Uh, just the three of us and him. And so we did that. And afterwards he was like, Dana, let's let's you and I do another one of these. During that little one-on-one, he in the kindest way said, have you thought about seeing a doctor <laugh>? And I was like, oh my God, Rob, is it that bad? Is it that freaking bad? He was like, you're not tone deaf. You're not like a bad singer, but I can tell you have some damage. And, uh, he was like, you should go, go get scoped. Go see Dr. Naii. I did. And on that day, Dr. Naii was like, all right, we, we got a plan. I was like, what's the plan doc? I'm thinking, he's like, you've got some soft nodules. I'm gonna give you a voice pathologist and you'll see him twice a week. Whatever. He said, surgery immediately. Uh, we need to remove that school bus size cyst that is parked sideways in your throat right now. And I was like, dang, I'll, I'll text you some photos, Mindy, you're gonna love it. Yeah. I wanna see anything. He, he was like, I've never, he once in his career, has he seen one as big or, or Yeah. So anyways, I went through that. Speaker 0 00:38:04 It's like, yeah, it's emotional for me to think about being voiceless. Speaker 2 00:38:11 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:38:12 O so 21 day recovery and really close, like, inspection on what made that happen? Was it the way I was breathing? Was it teaching constantly over loud music? Is it my posture when I talk to people leaning forward? Because I think that's how you show enthusiasm. Is it a combination of everything? Probably. But I certainly in that time was like, I guess still so emotional about it. Like, I, I don't know what, what was I, it's not, it's not unnatural. I think I get emotional with any injury when you're thinking I'm broken, I can't do it, or I did it wrong. That sucks. Speaker 2 00:39:06 Yeah. There's a vulnerability, there's guilt, there's shame and there shouldn't, there shouldn't be. Cuz you could have even been born with it. Speaker 0 00:39:14 Mm. Speaker 2 00:39:16 You know, if it was, if it was the true cyst where they pop it out, like you could have been born with that and you wouldn't have ever known until it just kinda grew and manifest just based on getting older, you know, which wasn't, wasn't that anything? And so like the, it is emotional. I mean, I remember Yeah. You know, when I was injured I felt like my world was over, you know, like I was like, I'm a teacher who's teaching how to sing correctly and I'm injured. Like I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the entire world. Speaker 0 00:39:51 Right. I'm a fraud, I'm a scam. Speaker 2 00:39:53 Yeah. And it wasn't, I mean, which I've talked about in other things, but I had a child who was kidnapped and I got him back, you know? But it like manifested that stress and emotion manifested in my throat because I didn't sleep for days on end. My hair was falling out. I mean, I was a wreck. And because that's where I hold my stress and emotion is in my throat. That's when I became injured and something, you know, that I always, you know, and I say this a lot is something that was truly so traumatic for me because it was, I lost my identity. I was known for my voice. I was known to be the singer. I was known like, you need somebody sing. It's here. You need somebody to present on stage. I'm here. My personality is my voice. And I lost it. And it was humbling. It was scary. I have many recordings of me laying on a piano with my coach sobbing, going my life literally Speaker 0 00:40:51 Is over. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:40:53 <affirmative>. Yeah. Like, what am I gonna do? And he just would, you could, you can hear him walk around the piano and he would just hold me and he's like, it's not over. I got you. We're gonna figure it out. And um, like I didn't even know I was injured. Like, this was before I really went into like a thing. And how I found out I was injured is by Dr. Mairi. Get Speaker 0 00:41:14 Out Speaker 2 00:41:15 On a stage at a voice conference where I volunteered to be scoped because I was like, my voice feels a little rough and I'd never been scoped. And I was in front of 400 people who were singers and he scoped and instead of like pulling me aside privately, he's like, oh, you're injured. What did you do? And I was like, uh, <laugh>. Speaker 0 00:41:35 I just fell out. Okay. So you found out you were pregnant during a physical to go on tour and you found out you had a vocal injury. Go big, go big or go like god mind. Speaker 2 00:41:48 And it was like, I got done with the, and he came out and was so gracious and kind like after, but it was like the worst place to be diagnosed because I was in a room Speaker 0 00:41:59 Full of your peers. Speaker 2 00:42:01 Yeah. Like teachers, peers, other students. Like, I was leading this conference, like, I mean it was just, it was just this whole thing. But because of that injury, that's what forced me to go into this whole rehabilitation thing because I was like, I never ever want anybody to feel as isolated or as alone or the shame that I, I mean in my community did not support me. Like they definitely, like, it was a minute and it wasn't until I realized that because of the, uh, it, I didn't get injured because I was singing or doing something weird. It was from this, this kidnapping which manifested itself, you know, a couple months later in my voice. And that's where I, I figured out the correlation and wow, that traumatic experience ended up being the best blessing in my life. Speaker 0 00:42:51 Lemons into lemonade. Mindy. Yeah. This is what you do. 100%. Um, also lemonade. Not great for the voice. Very acidic. Let's sugar avoid it. <laugh>. Um, okay. I, it's tough. I wanna go a handful of different directions, but all, let's stick right here because I wanna leave it so bad. <laugh>. Uh, what would you say to the person that's in that place of feeling lost without their identity other than what your teacher told you, which is you're not alone, this isn't the end. Speaker 2 00:43:28 Yeah. I mean in and of itself that's like key. Like you're not alone. What if there's an injury? There's very, very, very few injuries that you cannot come back from. Like there's only really one <laugh> that I know of that you just won't come back from. The rest you can come back from mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, in some way. And so to not give up hope to really find, um, somebody that you trust because not every coach is trained in rehabilitation. Not every coach understands the patients that it has to come to in, in the rehabilitation process. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and so I would say that would be one thing is really making sure you have the right team surrounding you, um, to do it and to also make sure you got diagnosed correctly. Cuz there's a lot of things where you've been mis people have been misdiagnosed and you know that both Rob and I and other coaches that I know that and other doctors where it's just like, Hey, wait a second. Speaker 2 00:44:34 You know, you know, you know the, a great example is one artist that I was working with never ever saw, uh, a voice coach ever was having issues on a tour, went to a different state because they were on tour, saw a doctor, um, ended up getting, I can't remember getting my name through someone and called up, sent me the video of the scope so I could see it. And I was like, you've been misdiagnosed. And they're like, wait, what? And I was like, yeah, your doctor misdiagnosed you. Like this is ac cuz they just wanted to do steroids, give steroids, voice rest will do it. And I'm like, no, you probably need surgery. Like, do not go on stage tonight. And this person literally had to blind faith, trust me, never having met me. Whoa. I'm the coach going up against a doctor and I was like, I need you to trust me. And um, ended up sending him to a different doctor and the different doctor was like, yeah, you were misdiagnosed. And within like week we postponed some of the tour dates, had surgery and then we had to rehab, you know, which again for an artist is very scary because they don't want coach to change their identity. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or who they are, the sound that got them. Oh yeah. Speaker 0 00:45:46 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:45:46 <affirmative>. So, you know, there's a lot of trust that had to go in and be like, trust the process. Just, you know, I'm not gonna change your sound, I'm gonna make it better. And so it's been, you know, it's been amazing cuz we rehab back, they saw the benefit, they saw the goal and they're on this international tour currently and it's the first time in a 15 year touring career that they've never had to cancel a show because of the voice. Like Nice. So it ended up being this great thing, but going back to it, it's just making sure that your team diagnosed you correctly and to trust your gut. Speaker 0 00:46:20 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That's huge. Okay. So outside of the trauma moment, outside of like the red flashing light emergency moment, what do you encourage people who use their voice regularly? And I actually do include, I'm like, I, I know I have a lot of listeners who are pursuing musical theater careers, Broadway voice singing voice is a part of their life. But also a lot of educators, dance educators who for sure, like there was this moment where I was like, oh, if I can't teach, if I can't talk, I can't teach. That's a huge part of, as you mentioned before, like I found a fulfillment in teaching that was on par. Very, not very different, but a little bit different than what I feel on stage. Still creative, still energizing, still rooted in the thing that I love, but different in challenging ways and fun ways, whatever. Anyways, it's a, it's probably 50% of what makes up my income and my my love cup, you know? So when that my ability to teach went away trauma. So we're talking to educators, we're talking to vocalists, we're talking to people who speak in their daily life. What do you recommend that people do every day and what do you recommend people stop doing right now? Speaker 2 00:47:43 So recommending every day is STR foundation, so hence the reason. Speaker 0 00:47:53 Love it. Speaker 2 00:47:54 It's actually been, one of the things that back in school, you know, that I went back to was I actually got a study with one of the leading voice scientists in the world, Dr. Za. And he's done 20 plus years all on the research of, of STR foundation. But I realized that there wasn't the correct straw lengths and diameters for singers. And so I ended up creating the Speaker 0 00:48:18 Voice, the voice straw, which I have and love. Speaker 2 00:48:22 Yeah. So straw foundation warmup is the fastest, most effective way to get your voice in balance to constantly check in with that. So everybody should have, you know, anybody who's an active voice user. And I say I do the same thing. School teachers, like I have a warmup that I do with school teachers, you know, people that you know, teach dance, you know, it's like besides the amplification system like where you can have a mic to talking to um, there's a, you know, like how do you yell correctly? How do you know like there's a difference of yelling to the kid in the corner to be like, Hey, 5, 6, 7 versus pronouncing it and being in it. There's a correct way of doing it in an incorrect way of doing it. So we can show you Speaker 0 00:49:04 How. Speaker 2 00:49:05 Um, so really kind of getting a vocal routine that's gonna help you before a cool down is as important as a warmup. Speaker 0 00:49:13 Um, I'm learning this <laugh> in dance specifically because I'm 36 now and yo I need that cool down. Speaker 2 00:49:20 Yeah. You have to Speaker 0 00:49:22 Okay. A vocal cool down. Yeah. What does it look like? Is it the same as the warmup? Speaker 2 00:49:26 No, cuz you start warmup, you start smaller into longer scale type stuff. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you're getting it warm. You go out and do your vocal athleticism, you know, whatever that is the show ministering or teaching dance or whatever. And then you come back and you have your voice is on fire, you know, it's hot and so you gotta bring it back into a normal speech mode and cool it down. So like that sort of Speaker 0 00:49:50 So it's the inverse of a warmup. Exactly. Shorter scales. Speaker 2 00:49:56 Yeah. So you would start like longer pattern into a shorter pat pattern type deal. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, into speech. So that would be where that would go. Um, so yeah, so I think that would be a thing everybody needs to do now. Any, everything that people need to stop if they're a serious voice user is smoking and vaping. It has, it's the worst thing you can do for your voice. Um, and that's really difficult to get around to people cause they're like, but it's natural. No anything you inhale passes the vocal chords and it is the worst thing you can do. Um, clearing your throat as you already know and then figuring out what triggers your voice. You know, like if there's something that makes it so, like you mentioned lemons, um, like I can, I can't do lemon, like lemon is the worst for me cuz it will make it do, but I could sit there and drink a gallon of milk and not have any issue. Speaker 0 00:50:52 Interesting. It's Speaker 2 00:50:53 Really, it's really figuring out what like to not do like an umbrella like I heard this. Really figure out what works with your pH you know, and go through that. Speaker 0 00:51:04 Cool. That's great. That's a great suggestion. Um, alright, any other thoughts that you would like to leave our listeners with or, or how we might find more of you and the voice draw, which I will 100% be linking to because if I may, um, it's not just the straws but at least the package that I got had these awesome little silicone cups, uh, that are way safer. Especially if you are in the car <laugh>, uh, would not recommend your aluminum straw foundation while you're driving. But these little silicone cups, it creates this like, uh, the, this pressure, it just feels like velvet on my voice. I really love it. Um, so all 100% linked to that and make sure people know how to find it. Speaker 2 00:51:51 Well hopefully, well if not, we're going to, you have a big discount for your followers, so Speaker 0 00:51:57 Awesome. Speaker 2 00:51:58 Have that in there so that you have it. And it also comes with a workout. So for those that don't know how to do a good local workout, there's a guide that how to do it and the silicone cups, um, they help it so you can train how to yell essentially. Like it really pings your voice into that. So people that are needing to yell, that's one of the components of doing it. Cuz you know, you mentioned the straw brings this awesome back pressure in cuz that's what puts the vocal tract in its configuration. But you can't, with the straw in your mouth, you can't create vows and sounds, you know, cuz you're just doing pitch. When you add the cup, you're able to sing, pronounce, yell, learn. So it's a, it's a training thing that we do on all of our songs to learn how to get that placement in the right way. Speaker 2 00:52:41 And there's a whole bunch of science that goes around it, which you can find on the website. Um, if you want voice try.com, um, that or just DM me man, I will message you back <laugh> and like, and talk about it cuz like I'm a voice nerd and really honestly, I made it to help every type of voice user be able to, you know, figure it out. You know, every all these other instrumentations and dancers, they all have these tools to make 'em better, but voice users didn't have anything and so mm-hmm <affirmative>, we finally created one that is the right diameters and lengths and have the cups with it to, to really help the voice user. So yeah, voice draw.com or mindy pack.com and you know, you can find us. Speaker 0 00:53:23 Fabulous kick ass. Mindy, thank you so much for being here. Yeah, I appreciate it. You Speaker 2 00:53:27 Kidding? I had the best time. Thank you so much. So Speaker 0 00:53:29 Such a good time, <laugh>. Oh, we shall do it again. And actually I will almost certainly be contacting you about some lessons in shouting because it seems like, and I do, I'm I've made it a requirement, a microphone when I teach in a ballroom period, the end. But I sometimes I want to shout. Yeah, it's not even that I have to, it's not even like I have to get that kid's attention, but I want to and I am like in my recovery, it's been a year, a little over a year. I am afraid to, and I know I don't wanna be afraid with this instrument. So you'll, you'll be hearing, you'll be hearing more from me for sure. Speaker 2 00:54:11 I got you girl. I can show you how to yell with the best of 'em. Speaker 0 00:54:14 <laugh>. Appreciate it. Um, alright, well I will link to all your good stuff. Thanks again. Um, I'll talk to you soon. Thank Speaker 2 00:54:21 You. Yeah, see you later. Speaker 0 00:54:22 Bye. Speaker 2 00:54:23 See you. Uh, Speaker 0 00:54:29 All right, I'll write my friend. What do you think of that? Woo. I thought that was very cool. <laugh>, I especially loved to hear about Mindy and my, wait, Mindy and I, Mindy and my May and Mindy. Oh mom, help me. My grammar police. I'm, uh, I was excited to hear about our JT overlap, um, and how she crushed her own goals in working with him. Uh, I was also blown away to hear her story about her vocal injury, about her pregnancy and how it changed her life. Wow. This is really a person who makes the most of things that would stop most of us, and that is, is really something that we can all learn from. I think. Uh, I was really inspired to hear what she had to share and I hope that you are too. I also hope that you want to try some straw foundation with me, right? Speaker 0 00:55:32 I mean, I do it daily all the time. Very, very much in love with this. I, I'm in love with the velvety feeling that I have after I use this little warmup. So go check out Mindy and snag yourself a voice. Draw [email protected]. Don't forget to use the discount code wt M M V O I C E, all caps, no spaces at the checkout. Enjoy that 10% savings. Ooh, by the way, as we near the end of the year, you know what you could do with that 10% savings, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You could take it right over to dance resource center.org and make a year end donation to words that move me, aka me, us yours truly, the dance resource center is our fiscal sponsor. And I would be lying to you if I said that we are ahead of our fundraising goal for the year. Speaker 0 00:56:30 We are not, we are 100% behind our fundraising goal, which means we are completely not at our goal. I mean, we're not like 100% away from our goal, we're just 100% not at it yet. Um, so if you are able to, if you are digging what you hear here on the podcast, please consider making a donation. Donations made through the Dance Resource Center are tax deductible, which is a super bonus, but there is a minimum donation of $50. So if you wanna donate, but that mark is a little high for you, reach out to me on Instagram. We will find a different way that you can show your support, like by leaving a review or a rating, for example. Simple as that. Wow guys, I did not see that. Um, outro plug going the way that it just did. But alas, there it was. Here we are. Speaker 0 00:57:24 Voice draw, dance resource center. Both of those links will be in the show notes to this episode. Be sure you go check them out and be sure, be absolutely sure to keep it funky. I'll talk to you later. Ba, this podcast was Produced by me with the help of many Music by Max Winnie, logo and Brand Design by Bree reets. And big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor. Also massive thanks to you, the mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action. I will not, cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review and a rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you there. I will 100% not stop you from visiting words that move me.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me, and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also, I will not stop you from visiting the dana wilson.com if you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related. All right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you soon.

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