Reasons to be cheerful!
With apologies to Ian Drury
perhaps next year
or maybe even never
in which case
Reasons to be cheerful part 3
You have shaved your legs, bought nice clothes, done your make-up, prepared your hair, learnt to walk, and sit and carry a handbag. Wow! What an image in the mirror! Then you open your mouth!
You have spent your life, getting the voice of a drill sergeant, playing rugby and flattening your tones so that you can be a man among men! Now you want to change all of this and be accepted by the world a female. How?
As you transition there are so many aspects that you must change: how to sit; how to walk; how to do make up; your mannerisms. But all of this is to no avail if the moment you open your mouth, you sound like a man in a dress.
So how did I reach this state of ‘nirvana’? Celia worked with me, hard but fair. At 6’2” I was never going to have a girly ‘Kylie’ voice but through working with Celia I now have a voice that sounds feminine. As Celia is always very keen to point out, it is not all about pitch. Think of Mariella Frostrup, Dame Judi Dench, Honour Blackman and of course who could forget Finella Fielding. They all have voices that are deeper than that of an average natal girl. However, they still sound feminine.
So what did we work on? Yes, pitch, but also resonance (a man’s voice resonates from his chest whilst a woman’s resonant from her head), communication styles, intonation, speed and diction.
Celia recorded my voice at our first meeting and then between us we decided what the goals were to be. I listen to that initial recording now and wonder who that boring person was! Trust me – I sound very different now than I did then! Celia set me weekly tasks – starting with making individual words sound feminine, then phrases and a poem eventually leading to whole conversations with me talking in my feminine voice. To begin with it is so very, very odd, because what you are hearing is all wrong, but it is not. It is you having trained your vocal cords, yawned, coughed and drunk so much water that you can do it, over and over again.
Celia has the empathy and training to help you have the voice you want. Her training, her persistence, the different exercises, talking into a recorder, and suddenly that voice, those soft feminine tones, the phraseology is coming out your own mouth.
There are many who might say “Can you pass?” For me the question is how comfortable, confident and capable are you that you are not in fear. Celia can give you so much help that makes all the other aspects of your life finally fit together around this life that you so want for yourself.
Go ahead, face the challenge and win, over and over again.