As I write this, I’m sitting at a coffee shop in my sleepy hometown of Charlottetown, PEI the day before I head out on my first tour of the United Kingdom. So much planning has gone into this trip that I can’t believe it’s happening tomorrow! Thank you so much to everyone involved in getting this tour off of the ground; Music PEI, Neil Pearson and EFDSS, Dan Walsh (my touring partner) and all of the venues involved! It’s going to be an amazing experience and I can’t wait to get home and tell you all about it. Click on “SHOWS” along the top bar to see where I’ll be! Be sure to tell your friends and family if they’re in the area!
October was a lovely month where I jumped in my car and drove out for a tour of Ontario (Peterborough, Belleville, Huntsville, Sydney, Kemptville & Rednersville) and it was just great. There is something so therapeutic about loading my car up with snacks, a great travel mug (David’s Tea Tumbler….THE BEST road mug. Get it! Your drink will stay piping hot for days), and audio books. I downloaded two books for this trip that I would like to talk a little about.
The first was “The Vocal Recovery Warm Up” by Susan Anders. Without any formal training in my life, I have been finding the more traveling I do and the busier I get; my voice has been suffering BIG TIME. I always thought that I could jam in a quick vocal warm up 10 minutes before I hopped on stage and that everything would work like clockwork. . For years I did this, and thought that being winded (out of breath) off the top of my shows was normal. What is ridiculous is that I’ve had people ask me (mostly in showcase performances) “Did you warm up before?” and I would come up with some excuse about how I didn’t have time, or just flat out lied and said I did and that I think I was coming down with something. I play a lot of two hour shows, solo; which means that I do a lot of singing, but on top of that I do a TON of talking, on stage and off. I also play a lot of house concerts, which don’t usually provide a sound system. I think I had this thought in my head that “great singers don’t have to really warm up; they’re just great” and that if I HAD to warm up; it meant that I didn’t have the chops. Talk about skewed thinking. SO this year has been a great AHA moment for me. I don’t want to have to get surgery on my vocal chords when I turn 30 because I wasn’t good to them now. You wouldn’t run a marathon without stretching would you? I now try to take at least a half hour before a show, to go to my car, put on my warm up exercises and just get into the zone. Going out to my car and listening to my vocal warm ups helps me relax and keep my nerves down before a show; which makes for a nice relaxed show!
The second audiobook that I listened to while bopping along the highway was “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai. I had flipped through the hard copy of the book at at bookstore when it first came out, read a few pages and opted for a new journal instead. It might have been her interview with John Stewart a few months later that peaked my interest again. I hardly know where to start, and it is just simply not enough to say I “enjoyed” this book. I feel like I was completely enlightened into a world that is so different than my own. While Malala spoke about protesting in her school yard at 12 years old with her friends for the right to learn, I thought about myself as a kid having to be drug out of my bed by my mother as a child. I heard her voice in my head; “MEAGHAN, you HAVE to go to school, I don’t care if you don’t WANT to”. The pangs of guilt in my stomach lead to tears running down my face, which led to odd looks from passing cars. I was so moved by her story and I have not stopped thinking about the power of one voice. Of my own voice. I’ve been thinking about the times in my life where I didn’t speak up for things that have mattered to me. I am so blessed to live in a country where I have the right to live the way I want and to state my opinions without the fear of being persecuted. I highly recommend this read, but particularly the audio book, so to hear the sweet and strong voice of young Malala; one small voice that changed the world.
What are you reading?