I very rarely lose my voice. The last time I had laryngitis was in 2014 when I went to Reading festival with my then-boyfriend. We saw Paramore and I screamed my head off for their entire set! I have been unfortunate enough to have a pretty bad bout of laryngitis this week, and it’s my show week for One Man, Two Guvnors.
I was pretty ill in the week leading up to opening night, and I felt like I had every virus known to man. I had sore sinuses, felt like I was swallowing knives, there was snot everywhere and for some reason, I kept having nose bleeds too! I didn’t know what was wrong but I was definitely really run down. I was completely ruined by doing a 12 hour shift the day before dress run, which I think was the beginning of my downfall.
On opening night, we had 2 shows, a matinee and evening show. I felt a little bit croaky in the second show, and stupidly decided to go to the pub for hours after the show. I woke up with little to no voice, obviously freaking out at the thought of doing a matinee show! I managed to croak my way through it and then didn’t speak for over 24 hours (a massive feat for someone as chatty as me!) and it seemed to pay off. I again, croaked my way through the Monday evening show, but my throat was becoming very sore so I obviously started getting very worried.
To keep my voice in the best condition possible, I steamed my face for about 20 minutes, 3 times a day. I spoke as little as possible (rather hard when you live with your 2 very chatty parents!), and drank hot lemon and honey like it was going out of style.
I’d heard through the performing arts grapevine that antibiotics do nothing for laryngitis, but steroids do. I was initially a little scared at the thought of taking steroids, but learnt that laryngitis is a swelling of the larynx and steroids take swelling down, and at this point, I was desperate to try anything!
So on Tuesday morning, I traipsed my way to the doctors and told him what I’d learnt, and he, to his surprise and my own, agreed that steroids might be the only thing to get my voice back. I took my first dose this morning and it actually has seemed to help so far, I’m definitely less croaky and just simply husky now.
I’m going to continue drinking hot lemon and honey and talking as little as possible so that I can preserve my voice for as long as possible… But I can see the light – and hear my voice – at last!
Thanks for reading, hopefully this might help any other performers worried about their voice during show week! Obviously this might not work for everyone but it’s certainly working for me.
I’ve got loads of time to kill during the show between scenes so I’m planning on writing during the show so hopefully I’ll have loads of new blog posts up soon!