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by Darren Held

I have misplaced my voice. I hate to use the word “lost” because I sincerely hope I find it again. Kinda hard to do improv if I can’t say words. Naturally, this comes a couple days before a HUGE, sold-out show that requires me not only to use my vocal chords, but use them in a variety of ways as different characters.

I used to get laryngitis a lot when I was a kid. I’m sure it made my parents happy on some level, because I was quite the talker, and a bout of laryngitis for Sonnjea meant the other kids got a chance to speak. But I’ve never lost my voice before as an adult.

Dear god, why is she telling us this? I know; I blame the cold medication. Hell, you should see the Draw Something picture I just sent to Nate. They should put “do not operate gaming apps” warnings on cold remedies. I’m pretty sure no one with a terrible cold is eager to operate heavy machinery anyway, so that warning is pretty much pointless. But the cold remedy companies could do the whole world a big service if they would discourage cold-medication-induced ramblings and doodlings.

So. The thing is, I’m worried because I have class tomorrow that I really don’t want to miss. I’m sad enough that I’m missing class tonight, but I consider a car heavy machinery. I can’t strain my voice in class because I need it to be as strong as possible for the show on Sunday. At first, I thought I would sit out of exercises and learn by watching. But I think I will instead challenge myself to add as much information as I can non-verbally by doing really specific spacework, having huge emotional reactions and staying really connected with my scene partner. And, you know, grunting. So hopefully I’ll get a lot of caveman suggestions. Or NASCAR.

I’ll speak when I have to, but I bet I’m going to discover that dialogue is overused and I can get by pretty well on minimal talkiness. I’ll let you know how it goes.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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