At my first audition for a children's play, I began a turbulent relationship with my voice.
Fancying myself as quite the singer, I stood on the stage and sang what can only be described as SPECTACULAR version of "Hi Neighbor". One problem; nobody could hear me. So, I became a townsperson in the chorus and my sister, who shouted her audition, got a lead.
Lesson learned: Be loud.
Then when I turned 13, puberty turned out to have more changes in store for me than getting hair in odd places and encouraging my chest (not effectively) to grow. I went from a normal, giggly tween to a young lady with Man Voice. I didn't realize it at first, it snuck up on me. But when I took a second shot at auditioning for the school play and sang a LOUD and SPECTACULAR version of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" in the original key, it was hard to miss. My voice was low...and kinda cool. I didn't get cast in that version of the Sound of Music (damn nuns), but I did start to embrace my voice for what it was.
I went on to sing professionally and was a shoo-in for the roles that needed a sultry, smoky sound. Still not as loud as my sister's original audition, but unique and nice to listen to. I spent many years feeling proud of it, and put quite a bit of value on how it sounded. As I aged I moved into voice-overs, radio, and reporting, enjoying the feel of a booth and the sound of a great mixer. I put quite a bit of thought into the quality of my voice, but not as much on what it was saying.The talk show for Smart, Funny Women Now and for the first time, I am finding my voice in a different way. Now I have opinions about things, big things, and my voice has something much more important to do than sound good. It has really good things to say.
As a woman, we have a hard time stating that LOUDLY. It's against our nature to acknowledge that we have things to say that mean something. In the current social and political climate, we now have no choice but to find our voices, because if we don't our way of life will be changed and we will find that nobody is listening anymore. And I, just me, have THINGS TO SAY that I don't need to apologize for, temper, or soften.
So like it or not, you are going to be hearing more from me. Because I will take this man voice to the streets and shout as loudly as I can that I AM A WOMAN, I HAVE A VOICE, AND MY OPINIONS ARE IMPORTANT.