The Voice on NBC features blind auditions. This is supposedly waaaaaay better than sight auditions where a person’s attractiveness, or lack of, could cause their vocals to take on a different quality to the listener. It’s crazy how the eyes can override the ears like that.
Coaches on sight audition programs like America Idol have been heard to say things like “Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Was he singing?” as they wiped their mouths with a napkin after a good looking contestant gave it all they got.
Back to The Voice.
Blake, Usher, Adam and Shakira don’t get to use their eyes in round 1, so their choices are pure. Once they turn around, you immediately find out what they think about the rest of the package. When looks enter the picture, questionable calls can happen at any moment.
Just because someone can sang good doesn’t actually mean they will get to advance. There are two primary reasons good singers go home – even good looking singers…
Number one, they sound like the person who recorded the song they performed for the coaches (and all of America!)
Yep, some of these singers have the audacity to reproduce the exact style and tone of the person selling 1.3 gagilllion downloads of the single. Can you believe it? Wanting to sound like someone who has enough money to buy a country and then fill said country with inhabitant based solely on fan base? Crazy, right?
Contestant sings “Dude Looks Like a Lady” by Aerosmith. He sounds just like Steven Tyler. On top of that, dude actually looks like a lady. You would think that would be a double whammy of positive outcome. There’s no way this cat can’t win.
Blake, “I don’t know. You really look like a lady and all, which I find attractive and so does Adam, but I couldn’t hear YOU. I just heard Steven Tyler. Maybe if you’d had a scarf draped around you, it would have been better for me. But what do I know? I’ve only won The Voice 3 times and have a bunch of Grammys that are under my butt right now just in case I fight for one of you guys.”
Number two, they don’t sound like anyone. This is sorta unfair. One contestant gets reamed for sounding identical to the original artist, and the next is told they don’t stand out. They don’t have a unique sound.
Moments later they stand in front of the camera fighting tears while exclaiming that it was a honor to be on the show, but deep down they will always remember those words, right?
“You’re trying to sound too much like famous singer who’s mega-rich.”
“You don’t sound distinct. What’s your name again?”
You know what? I think those two reasons are the same reasons we used to go home and stay home instead of releasing our voice.
One the one hand, we clone people. We read an author and feel like we can write that way. We hear a speaker and want to talk that way. It’s natural.
On the other hand, we don’t feel like we have anything special to say. We feel nondescript and monotone.
I’m gonna help you find YOUR voice.
Huh? No. I’m not lying. I’m gonna do it!
Why would I give you such a gift?
Cause I am super nice that’s why! Just ask the three friends I will personally direct you too, and you’ll see it’s true.
Another reason I want you to “find” your voice is because you and the world will be better when you do. You’ll stop whining about not being a snowflake, and you’ll be happy since snowflakes melt in heat and don’t last long in general. You’ll survive every season as YOU.
My gift to you…
5.5.5 Voice Finding Maxims
(For those of you who don’t know what a maxim is, it means fundamental principle. I actually had the word principle right there, but used my handy thesaurus to sound smarter than I am, so you get Maxims!)
1 Your Voice Isn’t Lost – You’re Ignoring It!
You can stop reading after this point if you want. This is really all there is to it.
You’ve used your voice every single day since that first “Mama.”
Every. Single. Day.
You’ve mastered your voice. You know what you think is funny. What you react to. What you love. What you hate. What you find interesting. What you find boring. What you loooooooove to talk about. What you wish would never be mentioned again.
You watch a movie you like and immediately text your friends or, gasp, post it on Facebook for the world. You’re not scared of sharing that. You only lose your voice when you think you’re sharing something important. Then you shift your voice. You try to sound “professional.”
Write. Sing. Speak. – just like you do with your friends. Just like you do every single day.
That’s your real voice. Period.
At least that’s you’re voice right now. If you don’t like it, then proceed…
(Oh, I’d like to take a quick time out and remind you that I said I’d help you find your voice and we already did. Promise delivered! If you would like free training on finding your voice click here.)
2 Forget the Judges
Those blasted judges. Our fate is in their hands! Curses!
If only we can impress them enough to turn their chairs around.
Oh, Wait. They’re really aren’t any judges.
No one waits by their computer to rate your next blog post or Instagram shot. (If they do, they are deranged and need to take some tablets, and you need to block them. I cannot express fully the joy of blocking someone who waits just to trash other folks.)
You THINK everyone stands with rejection stamp in hand.
“Boring post!” Slam! Rejection.
“Boring speaker!” Wham! Rejection.
Lean in here.
Here’s the secret…
There are no judges. Not until you become a NYT bestseller – then everyone who’s never written a book thinks they can boot you. 😉
Until then quit inventing imaginary magistrates.
3 Practice in the Shower
Why the shower? Because you’re alone and hopefully the water is drowning the bad notes, and the echo is glorifying the good ones. However, if you have kids there is no alone space. Ever. Not even the shower. How in the world do they learn how to pick locks at age 2? It’s downright spooky.
Anyway. The shower let’s you let go.
The shower can be literal if you’re singing or an analogy if you’re doing something else.
Here’s an example of a shower if you’re a blogger… get a disposable website. Buy a domain. Set up WordPress. Blog. No one has to see it. Ever.
“But Google will find me somehow and then the world will be reading my stupid.”
Nope. It doesn’t work like that.
That little undisclosed blog will give you the greatest creative gift you could ever wish upon a star to receive…
Permission to write what you want the way you want. Permission to say what you want the way you want. You know you’ve always wanted to. You’re whole life you’ve wanted to be a free bird. (That’s why it’s the most requested song ever, even at Miley Cyrus “concerts.”)
If you’re a little slow, the point is this: You need a place where you get to practice without critique.
4 PRACTICE in the Shower
Ready to be blown away? Ready? Those coaches on The Voice, they can really sing. They can carry it. They can bring it. If you’re from the 90’s, they’re the bomb. If you’re from the 80’s they are for real. If you’re from the 70’s it doesn’t really matter because the dope has erased that decade.
Those judges/coaches can sing.
The insane part? They practice. But not practice. They PRACTICE. They work on their craft. Breathing exercises. Riffs. Rolls. Lip beaters with trills. And not a single one of them can look cool while doing any of those drills. It’s impossible because all singing drills look and sound silly.
One of the exercises my one-day vocal coach has be do sounded like a mix of Ray Ramona and Yogi Bear. I fired him and went out in search of my manhood.
The pros don’t care. They hit it hard with the silly, so they can SING. It’s not just talent on the loose. It’s trained, honed, bleeding vocal chord talent.
Are you willing to put in the hard work to make your voice great?
Answer the question.
Did you answer, “Yes!”?
I’m not surprised. Everyone answers yes. Everyone says they will.
Not to hurt your feelings, but it’s a little fib we all like to tell ourselves. The truth is we’d already be working our tails off if it were a true “Yes.”
To get a great Voice is gonna take more than you’ve ever given in your life. Some days you will radiate glory and the next you will be crumpled on the curb with your head leaned in the street as you dare the oncoming traffic.
Too graphic? Not if you said, “Yes!” You’ve gotta be willing to face it all. Finding your voice is a cinch. Honing your voice requires blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes all three at once.
Stop studying the masters. Stop buying all the stuff that you hope will automatically transform you.
Write. Sing. Speak. Paint. Build. Ride. Climb.
Whatever your voice does, do it.
Do that thing you’re called to do the way you do it.
5.5 Listen Back
We live in advanced times. You can get microscopic wireless ear buds for your listening pleasure. But you go to the studio and the pros have on those earphones the size of the Empire State Building. King Kong could wear those suckers listening to Run DMC, while he’s scaling the building with that woman in his hand.
In today’s advanced age of technology why in the world are artists wearing phonographs?
They do not want to hear anything but the voice. The music. The song.
We loooooove distraction. Squirrel.
Twitter and Facebook stream. Youtube screams. There’s a constant invitation to distraction.
Result? We don’t hear too well. We don’t listen close to our own voice because there are soooo many other voices surrounding us. And they’re loud. Baby at 2 am loud.
Put on your 1956 headphones. Block out the crap. Listen to you. Evaluate. Make adjustments. Tweak. Edit.
You gotta go public.
You gotta let others hear your voice.
You gotta be ok with the results as you continue to grow.
Everything can’t be great. Oh, I’m sure there’s a book out there saying every moment of your life can change the world, but that’s poppycock.
Heck, the same dude who wrote and rode “Thriller” and “Billie Jean” to #1 also released “Butterflies.” Everything can’t be a hit.
Our voice is designed to be shared not stifled. You’ve probably already mastered stifling. Cut it out. Let it go!
Whew! Well, I think that’s just about enough. You’re probably tired of hearing my voice by now. I know I am.
Success is NOT an Accident!
Click Here to Launch Your Voice: Discover . Develop . Deploy