The human being has been granted the incredible super power of free will, that is, he/she can always choose between a number of possibilities to act. As always, great power carries great responsibilities.
One of the daily decisions that people make all the time is whether to speak or remain silent. Clearly, when one decides to speak, then one must also decide what to say, when one decides to be silent, then one must also willingly accept all the implications.
This topic is so important that practically all the greatest thinkers have been attributed some aphorism about it. For example, Oscar Wilde was famous for his “Sometimes it’s better to be silent and look stupid than to open your mouth and remove any doubt“, Blaise Pascal for his “In love a silence is worth more than a speech“, but my favorite is Jean Paul Sartre’s “Every word has consequences. Every silence as well.“
In my thirty years of Vocal Coach experience I have helped people who were basically silent give voice to their emotions and people who were a little too chatty to listen to their emotions. In my book The Way of the Voice I frequently mention Silence: if you stop to listen to it properly, it’s anything but lacking in interest or musicality. So true is when Miles Davis used to say “The real music is silence. All the notes just frame it“.
So how do you understand when it’s best to be silent and when it’s necessary to talk, for unpleasant that these two situations can be?
Those who know me are well aware that there can be no “standard” answers, which are good for everyone, but I can reassure you: there is a simple marker that can help you to understand what choice should be made. Since in verbal communication, as in all other human relationships, there is rarely a second opportunity to speak, explain or express oneself. It is therefore essential to learn this subtle “art” a little at a time, also thanks to my support as a Vocal Coach.
This miraculous marker that can help you in this Hamlet decision is yourself and your Inborn Voice. Saying that seems so simple, but in reality only we can know, instinctively and unconsciously, why we choose whether to speak or not. The motivations provided by our logic may be the most disparate, but I am referring to motivations that respond to a different state of consciousness, namely they come from emotions. Sometimes we speak only to clarify a thought to ourselves, others to fill the silence. Sometimes you are silent because you fear the consequences of the spoken words, others to savor the intensity of a moment.
As I said before, whatever the choice, there will be consequences. And even if our logical side doesn’t care about the consequences, they will happen anyway and will influence the emotional side.
Most of the people I help have an impairment of their capacity to communicate their thoughts to others because they fear a negative emotion related to a specific type of consequence. Yet if we remain silent or fill the silence with circumstantial phrases or speeches for nothing, other consequences will fall into our lives. There is no way of knowing if the consequences of one choice will be worse than the other.
For example, if you choose to speak, perhaps to convince a loved one of your idea, you risk to crack your relationship forever. If you choose to be silent to avoid breaking the relationship, you risk keeping something inside that will gradually consume you from within. No choice is simple, you have to learn to listen to yourself and your inner silence to be able to make the best one. In fact, not all evils come to harm, sometimes the most feared consequences are precisely those that can make a change in your existence.
So, ultimately, the best advice I can give you is to be selfish and to choose thinking with your own mind and listening to your own Inborn Voice.
To speak truthfully is just as simple as it is complicated. Of course, small children are sincere, at least until they are taught how to lie. In The Way of the Voice, I have deeply discussed what I mean by “lying,” so I invite you to deepen the subject by reading my book.
In this scenario it is a good idea to investigate the meaning of “being truthful”, in fact it is often taken for granted what it actually means. It doesn’t mean other than “entirely pure”, or “entirely without any mixing”. We are expressing the idea of something that is all composed of the same essence. For example, a vanilla ice cream is “truthful”, a variegated one with black cherry is not, because in addition to the vanilla ice cream it also contains black cherry syrup.
So to speak the truth, in some way, does not imply at all to “tell the truth”. That means you can lie, you do not have to speak “from the heart”, it does not require any authenticity or any compassion. These are all fantasies, limited and incomplete visions of a much more complex reality.
To speak the truth it is only required to have a clear idea of what to say and to have the ability to communicate it without anything else interfering with the message.
In my over thirty years of experience as a Vocal Coach, I increasingly meet people and students who rely exclusively on manuals and books, without even considering the existence or the necessity of practical experience. This is exactly what I teach to actors in my masterclasses in Los Angeles, New York and Milan: to “act” an emotion you have to be truthful. Feeling an emotion, provided you are able to feel it, is not enough. You have to be able to convey only that emotion. If you add something else to that emotion, such as worries, anxiety, blackouts or whatever, you can never be truthful.
This is why we need the help of a vocal coach. Although other disciplines may teach us to control our emotions, only a skilled vocal coach, not just any coach, can teach us to recognize which and how many emotions we convey when we communicate.
Without specific training on your own voice it is really difficult to be objective and recognize when you are “lying” to yourself. If you learn to control your voice, if you are able to be truthful, even if you are just a normal person, a politician, a trader, a broker or anything else, you will be a leader.
My job is to help people find their own inborn voice, which is the only truly “truthful” voice within each of us.
From today you will find in all bookshops, even online, my new eBook titled “The Art of Keeping a Healthy Voice”.
It’s a 100-page eBook that includes much of the experience I’ve gained over the years while working and by receiving dozens and dozens of emails every day with desperate or disillusioned requests for help from people who somehow are no longer able to use their voices in everyday life.
My social commitment has been known for a long time. In addition to the various activities that go unnoticed, I always reply in person to all the emails I receive and I always offer everyone a voice assessment session directly with me. This may seem little, but on the practical side it keeps me very busy.
Based on the emails I receive, it seems that the DIY training and especially the tutorial videos on YouTube are at the basis of many jeopardized voices. Since it would be reckless for me to point out everything as “harmful” or “incompetent”, I preferred to give you a way to figure out by yourself when something is definitely to be avoided and not professional.
In the attempt to “save” at least some of these people in the first place, since the topic of “vocal health” is very important to me, I decided to make this ebook also available free of charge via my website.
I ask you to help me spread it as much as possible through your social networks, your blogs or any other website. The only recommendation is to share the link where to download the eBook and not the eBook itself. Sharing the link means sharing this page:
and not its content, because the book is protected by copyright and sharing the PDF would cause you unnecessary problems.
Here is where you can download the free eBook “The Art of Keeping a Healthy Voice” by Mylena Vocal Coach.
The eBook includes my 5 golden rules, 28 practical tips and 25 testimonials so that you can understand the magnitude of the problem.
For those who prefer paper or use a Kindle device, I asked the publisher to release it at a very low price, so you’ll find it really cheap.
I’m always happy when I received a Testimonial about actual result from my work as a Vocal Coach, this time applied to the acting world. That’s why I’m going to open a studio also in Los Angeles!
I’m pretty sure I will she here in some of the next productions. By Just watching this video you can already tell how skilled she’s now.
Here is the video:
Here is the transcript of the video:
I am so happy, so happy to be working with her!
I hate noted it took me so long to find, you know, a good acting coach.
I had to go through trial and error, you know, with other acting coaches that I came across they only hit the surface.
With Melina she really knows how to dig deep inside of who you are as a person to bring out that believability or whatever character you have to portray,
I don’t know, at first I was a little skeptical about it because I wasn’t used to these types of techniques
I was used to the to the book training that I had in college and, you know, studying the standard versions of acting with Stanislavsky also Uta Hagen method
so I was just not familiar with this style and I don’t know how she does it, I don’t know where she gives these homework assignments from, but it works.
It works and you know she has actually been able to help me get more internalized within myself as a person, as a woman, and breaking down what my own personal fears are,
my strengths, my weaknesses, my stressors, all of that, from every single layer that’s part of me and she comes to remove all these negative things that was holding me back
from bringing in that believability, because I did have a fear of showing certain emotions and I felt embarrassed about it.
I was concerned about what people would think if I would show a certain feeling and she helped me to really internalize that to get a better understanding
as to why is this embarrassing or why do I feel ashamed or what’s scares me and then there are other negative things that I had going on internally that has
to be fixed and we worked on it to the core because of that she helped me build back my confidence as an actress and now for her to say to me you know “okay you are now ready to audition”
For her to say that, that really meant a lot because I didn’t know how long this take.
For me, I like to get fast results and it is not proportionate.
I know you’re not supposed to feel this way, but there have been moments where I was like “God I just want to have overnight success”
I don’t want to go through this long process but she helped me to understand that it is going to be a process
It’s not going to be overnight.
You have to practice, practice every single day!
That’s how you get better
You have to do these homework, assignments, every single day
That is how you get better and I love how she would just constantly remind me of well-established actors now
who had to go through this process and who had to overcome a lot of the fears that I’ve had
and look where they are today
you know they are Oscar winners or Golden Globe winners, etcetera
but for me I just kind of lost that confidence in myself because you know I did graduate you know from college with a bachelor’s degree in theatre in South Carolina and I ended up moving to California
Once I got to California it was a struggle
A struggle of finding a stable place to live
I was in a roommate, also you know in and out of work
nothing was nothing was stable for me
So I couldn’t really focus acting you know
Time was moving, other people were auditioning, you know, booking commercials TV and films.
I was just trying to find a place to live!
I was just so emotionally and mentally drained and beaten down even though I still had the passion of wanting to be an actress
I just I just felt that time was just wasting on me
I didn’t want to be where I finally started getting into the industry at an old age
It was so frustrating, so frustrating and I did not realize by coming to California that I really didn’t know how to start my acting career because I’m having a living arrangement problems
and I have to constantly move because this person’s given me a problem and also trying to find work I need money to pay for lessons to be able to get all the materials I need for my acting career as well
At least I can finally say it took time but I finally got myself in order you know I have an apartment here, me and my boyfriend have an apartment together and you know he’s very supportive you know it’s great.
Like Milena said you’ve got to have that support system.
That thinking “I am in no position to have anything in my life” is negative!
That’s just going to cause another downward fall into my career and we have to move forward
so with his support and also my family, a stable job, all this helps me tremendously
the schedule is working out and I feel more confident than ever that I can actually achieve my goal through Milena and her skills
I mean I’ve never come across a woman like her before
she is so skilled, so skilled that I don’t know how she does
I mean I guess you have to just call it a gift in addition to her you know credentials
I mean she’s good and and we only train for 30 minutes you know
I was thinking you know at first when we got started that I would probably need training for two hours or so
but 30 minutes and each time, we train like every week, and it’s just improvement, improvement, improvement.
I was just so happy, so happy, when she finally told me “You are ready, you are ready to audition”
She’s tough, she is tough! Because she you let you know you’re not good, but she said it respectfully but she let you know when you’re not good
she’ll let you know when you are doing great
so her critiques mean a lot to me
I know she’s being honest and I know that she does not want me to look like an idiot going to these auditions
I just learned so much on a more intense detailed level it’s as if she’s making sure that I covered every single little and big portion of acting
because she makes it clear to me she said “I don’t want it to be where you fall, I don’t want it to be where you don’t make it”
She wants to me to fulfill my my joy which acting.
She wants that and I don’t know I just feel so much more at east, so much more at ease knowing that I finally have the right teacher
I mean with other acting coaches it may be working out for other people, whoever they have.
but this woman here, she know what she doing, she knows exactly what she’s doing
I still got to finish her book, the book she wrote but I just can’t believe that I found someone good because the last thing that you need is somebody playing with your career
making it seem like they can teach you and show you how to do things they can’t do! They can’t do anything.
But this woman here she’s passion.
I mean she is so passionate about what she does, even though her focus is on the voice,
but she’s able to help me more with my body movement, the emotions, everything that is layered around developing a believable character
Again to this day I don’t know how she does that
I have no clue because the home assignment she she has me doing
I’ve never heard of it
I’ve never heard of these techniques before
never heard of them
I have not ever been taught these techniques even when I was at school, in college, never!
but I’m just planning this work and I look forward to paying her as needed for the training because it works!
it really works
it works and she’s good, she is really good!
she helps me in ways that I just didn’t think it was possible
I really thought that was necessary a lot of work. I thought
but we were going trough the training she has given me an evaluation to let me know my progress
she say “you really are good, you don’t need a lot of work”
she can tell that there are certain things that need to be tightened up
there are thing that need to be strengthen but it’s not where I have to start from scratch and that’s what I thought
that is what I thought
and I had to start completely from the bottom but I just love, I really love her.
I really do, I really do and I actually feel really blessed to know that, I mean, it’s not being put to waste
but that’s the worst feeling in the world knowing that you’re investing money into somebody who’s making you think that they can help your career and they cannot do anything.
You’re not making progress, you’re not doing any improvement, it is going in circles
I am just so happy, so glad about her, to not give up on that research I to have found her on the Internet and trusting my instincts, my gut
and everything is just working out
just trusting my gut of knowing that I have a good feeling about her
like I said before I can’t explain it but I just felt there’s something about her
I just felt it in the beginning that I think she’s gonna work out
and I’ve seen her results. I think like she was on the cover of Elle magazine and meeting people across the world and countries. And there are schools wanting her.
All these other connection that she’s getting, there are right she’s good
so I will keep her as my Ace, I don’t want her go anywhere else but sticking with me
I tell her all the time “don’t forget about me! keep training me! I don’t want you to stop keep training me! please!”
because I am just seeing so much progress and I’m actually feeling the characters within me
I am feeling it
and she’s really helping me to to just go deeper and deeper into that believability
so thank you Milena
thank you so very much
thank you for being there for me
thank you for being truthful
thank you for being who you are and I can’t wait for our lessons of next week