Last month, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Rush Dorsett as part of a brilliant 14-day virtual summit. The Awaken Your Voice Summit is an annual event targeted at professional and emerging performing artists and voice users seeking alternative pathways to awaken the power of their voice to communicate (singing/speaking/writing) more clearly and effectively.

The Awaken Your Voice Summit is offering a holistic approach to voice training. This event included live vocal practices, demonstrations, training, and intimate conversations with Grammy award-winning performers, as well as Master teachers. It was an opportunity to create an inspiring and transformational experience for participants to explore their voices in a much deeper and more authentic way.

During my candid interview with Rush, I was asked to share my personal story, my professional journey, and my career experiences, which included the highlights and pitfalls I encountered as an award-winning singer. I was given the opportunity to offer some pearls of wisdom to the listeners about how they, too, can discover their own voices in the most authentic manner.

At the end of the interview, I gave away my free eBook which you also can access via a link in the show notes. I’d like to thank Rush Dorsett for allowing me to share this interview with you.

In this Episode

4:52 – Introduction
10:10 – Overcoming being silenced
16:00 – Identity, resilience, and healing from trauma
28:07 – Resilience, inner strength, and creating safe spaces for growth
46:30 – Daily Regime
48:59 – In Gratitude – My Daily Self Journal
1:03:31 – The eBook and Performance Mastery Coaching Program

Find Rush Online:


And you could add this as a freebie to go with it:


Putting yourself first is important because it allows you to prioritize your own needs and well-being, which in turn can help you be more productive, creative, and fulfilled in all areas of your life. By taking care of yourself first, you are better equipped to care for others and contribute positively to the world around you.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hey, it’s Marisa Lee here and I have some really exciting news to share with you. Just recently, I launched my performance mastery coaching program, which has been designed to help a forming artists and other creatives just like you to take center stage in their lives. Whether you’re mid career and simply feeling stuck, or you’re someone who is just about to embark on your career journey, and need help getting started, my unique coaching program is for you. To celebrate the launch. I’m currently offering a free 30-minute discovery session, so you can learn more about the program and how I can help you go to the next level in your life. My first intake is already seeing incredible results. So don’t miss out, go visit, or just send me a direct message and let’s get chatty. Remember, there’s no time like now to take center stage in your life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:25

It’s Marisa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include healthcare practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized field to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  02:36

Last month, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Rush Dorsett as part of a brilliant 14-Day virtual summit. The Awaken Your voice Summit is an annual event targeted at professional and emerging performing artists and voice users who are seeking alternative pathways to awaken the power of their voice for communicating more clearly and effectively. Whether they’re singing, speaking or writing, offering a holistic approach to voice training. This event included live vocal practices, demonstrations, training and intimate conversations with Grammy Award winning performers as well as master teachers. It was an opportunity to create an inspiring and transformational experience for participants to explore their voices in a more deep and authentic way. During my candid interview with Rush, I was asked to share my own personal story, my professional journey and career experiences, which included the highlights, as well as the pitfalls I encountered as an award winning singer. I was given the opportunity to offer some pearls of wisdom to the listeners about how to they can discover their own voices in a very authentic manner. At the end of the interview, I gave away my free ebook, which you can also access in the show notes. So in this episode, I am going to share with you that interview with Rush Dorsett, and I’d like to thank rush for allowing me to share this interview with you. It was truly an honor. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode

Rush Dorsett  04:52

Welcome to The Awaken Your voice Summit. My name is Rush Dorsett and in this series we are bringing together experts In the field of voice, singing public speaking and performing, to talk about what it means to awaken the voice for our authentic self expression to shine through in the world. So I am very excited because today I get to introduce to you a very distinguished guest, Dr. Marisa Lee Naismith. She is amazing. She’s an award winning vocalist, singing teacher, voice researcher. She’s a mentor, a presenter, author, and podcast host with over 45 years of experience in this field, she has a wealth of knowledge, she was awarded a PhD, based on her investigation into the training of singers across popular music styles. She has also spoken on stages all around the world regarding her research and experience in the music industry. She has a book out she published it singing contemporary commercial music styles a pedagogical framework. She also has a podcast, which I recommend you check out it’s called A Voice and Beyond. And finally, she also has a performance mastery coaching business where she works with singers, professional performers, and creatives who are wanting to take their careers to the next level. So you can read a lot more about Marisa bio with this interview. But wow, you have an incredible career. And Dr. Marisa, thank you so much for being here.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:25

Thank you so much for having me. And listening to my bio actually makes me feeling exhausted did I just do that? How old am I for someone who’s 21 I’ve done a lot

Rush Dorsett  06:39

of very useful and I’m sure singing keeps you youthful. It’s cool. It’s just amazing what you have created truly. And I hope that you know, people are inspired. I’m certainly inspired by just even reading that bio. We haven’t even gotten into your interview yet. But I know that others are inspired to of what’s possible in this field. So definitely, I would love because you You You’re obviously very impressive, but also have such a warmth and such a big heart and so much passion. And I am wondering if you could start us off with sharing a little bit about your personal story as to who or what inspired you to enter this field?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:19

Well, I like to say that my career started when I was five years old, which sounds kind of crazy. But I came from a post migrant family. My parents were Italian, they came to Australia to start a better life for themselves. And when they came here, the culture was very different. And they were also victims of racial sledging and I came along a few years later, however, there was still very cautious in this new country. So I wasn’t allowed the joy of going out and playing with other children. I was kept indoors. I was very lonely as a child, I was silenced as a child. So I didn’t have the opportunity to use my voice. And to speak up, I felt very unheard. And I did have an older brother who was 11 years older than myself, and he belonged to a record club. And every month, a new record would arrive in the house. And I discovered rock and pop music. So we’re talking about some of the 60s music, which was the who the Beatles, The Rolling Stones. Now when I put on that music, I felt liberated. And soon I started learning all the words, and I would sing this music at the top of my voice. So I would close all the doors in the living room, all the windows, and just sing as loudly as I could. And that was my first experience of singing, and truly using my voice in the most authentic way in a way that no one could judge me. No one silenced me and it was so liberating. And so I continued to do that. And then when I was 15 I started my professional career. Now once again, I was at a high school where there were the Catholic school there were nuns there. And I was in that situation where I was being silenced in that environment. However, I would go to school during the day put on my school uniform, go home in the afternoons in the evenings, put on a long dress or whatever it was and go and perform four or five nights a week. And no one at the school knew I was actually doing this that I had this other life, so I call myself the real Hannah Montana. Because no one knew I had this double life. And so I always found that singing was a way for me to truly express myself. And that I actually never judged myself, I never judged my voice. It was always a way for me to release my emotions, and to feel that sense of freedom and to connect to who I truly was as a human. And it was what I was meant to do on this earth. And I never doubted that. And so I ended up having this amazing career where I worked on TV, I toured in a rock band, I did cabaret shows, I was also a support singer for international artists. And there was only one time that I lost my voice. And that was when I was touring in the rock band. And it was not because of misuse of my voice. But once again, I was being silenced by other people. I was in a band with other males who had no respect for me, as a woman. I was expected to carry heavy equipment. When we couldn’t afford roadies, we had very late nights, very early morning calls. They didn’t consider what kinds of food I should eat hydration, being air conditioning, it was really tough. I couldn’t hear myself on stage. And whenever I complained about anything, I would be silenced. And I would be told that I was a whinging female. And I was also the victim of sexual harassment on a grand scale in that environment. And when I wasn’t being heard, over and over again, over a number of months, I actually did lose my voice, my voice just cut out. So that was the only time in my career that I lost my voice. And it was because I lost my voice in life. It was my not only my singing voice, but my speaking voice I wasn’t being heard. I did overcome that. It took about six months for me to start to heal. And it was a full year for that healing journey, before my voice returned to how it should, should be to its original state. And then from then on, I was fine. And I never ever ended up in that situation again, because I knew I learned from that situation. And I knew how to take better care of myself as a woman in the industry. And as a voice user, in the industry. So then I went to academia, I studied voice, I went on to, like I did a PhD. I did the PhD because I wanted to write a book. The book was always the reason for me doing the PhD. At the time when I went to uni, I discovered that the universities did not acknowledge contemporary voice singing, that it was all classical. And I came from a contemporary background, I’d had a massive career as a commercial singer as a pop rock singer. And when I went to uni, it was I was treated like an impostor. Because no one believed that that was a legitimate form of singing at that time. So when I went to the library, there were no books on CCM singing on pop and rock styles, how to train though styles. So I decided that I would do a PhD which would then give me access to the university resources. It would give me funding for me to do the research for my book. And I did the PhD, gave me the creds. I wrote the book, the book was published. And then I went on to a, a podcast. It’s a whole it’s a very long story, but here I am.


Wow, just incredible. I mean, and also the challenges that you overcame in that journey. I mean, truly pioneering research in Ceaser contemporary music, and yes, and also, I must say At the beginning, where you talk about that little girl who just found that freedom in putting on that record and singing her heart out? I think there are so many of us that can relate to that. I certainly can, I used to do that as a kid as well, that was my was my safe place and my expressive place. But even if if listeners here, if you didn’t have that experience, there’s probably a part of us, you know, that craves that experience, to be free and just sing to the top of your lungs. So in that journey, Dr. Marisa, where you were able to overcome the silencing in the music industry, and then of course, not being taken as credible in the academia field? Was there that that inner spirit within you that kept you moving? What was that inspires for you to to continue this expression forward?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:01

You know, it’s a really, it’s, I actually don’t really know, other than, and I’ve asked myself the same question. Because my upbringing with within that Italian culture, I was raised to be someone’s wife, you know, to be married, to have children, not to have a career. And there was always something within me that knew that I was meant to be here for a greater purpose, that I could do better, I could be better, I could do something amazing with my life. And there’s a part of me to that. It’s in gratitude to my parents, because they work so hard to come here. My father arrived here two years before my mother, and he worked seven days a week to earn the fare to get my mother and my brother out to Australia. So they really would they, they really worked hard, and they faced all the challenges. So in one sense, I wanted to honor them. And it’s my way of giving back to them. But also to, there’s just this spirit in me, if someone says I can’t do something, I have to prove them wrong. I’m just a fighter. I am tenacious, I am resilient. I’ve learned that in my life’s journey. So there is a spirit in me that I don’t know where that has come from. Maybe it’s genetic, maybe it’s somewhere in our family history. But it’s certainly not what the rest of my family is like, the rest of my family. I’m the only one that has a university education. I’m the only one that has had a career and done all the things that I’ve done. But it’s also for me, just pushing the envelope, stepping out and finding the next challenge and wanting to rise and and to do better. And it’s not because I’m competitive, it’s not to compete against anybody else. I’m always the person who will celebrate everyone else’s victories, their their wins, whatever it is that they’re celebrating, I will do that. It’s just something that I set the bar higher for myself. And it has, it’s not me being in a race against anyone else. And it’s just being that woman, being a woman, being a migrant woman. And coming from the background that I’ve come from, it’s just wanted, I’ve just wanted to do better and better and better.

Rush Dorsett  19:08

That’s beautiful like that, that desire to move forward and be the best version of ourselves. Yes, amazing things you can create. Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:18

and the thing was, as I was growing up, I didn’t know where I belonged. Because I always felt that I was not Italian enough to be Italian. And I wasn’t Australian enough to be Australian. So I didn’t know where I quite belonged, and how I should conduct myself and how I should be and how I should fit in because I didn’t know where that was. And so yes, I think maybe to start with having that impostor syndrome very early in life. It’s made me challenged myself to discover what err is that in this world do I fit in? And what can I do better to show people and to prove myself that I am worthy, and that I have something amazing to share?

Rush Dorsett  20:14

Thank you so much for opening up to all of us, you know, and sharing your story and being authentic and being vulnerable about it. Because there’s so many people that need to hear that they need to hear that they’re not alone in this journey. And and I would love if you could share with us a little bit more about that time in your life where you actually lost your voice due to the silencing, and how did you heal from that what supported you in that process? Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:43

it happened over a period of time where it started out with an incident that happened when I was in the rock band. And then I was working with four other males. And one of them was a very close friend of mine. And one night, we’re having a rehearsal, and I was, it was at his home. And I went to the bathroom and I came out of the bathroom walking down this passage way back to the rehearsal space. And he came out of his bedroom with a towel wrapped around him with nothing underneath the towel, and was wanting me to go into the bedroom who’s trying to lure me into the bedroom. That that was kind of like the icing on the cake for me. Because that was where all trust was lost. That’s where I felt violated as a female. You because he knew I had someone in my life. I had a boyfriend at the time. But it was just the not being heard. It was those times when I was on stage. And I couldn’t hear myself. And I was quite short compared to the boys i I’m only five foot two. And the guys were really tall. So the sound would travel over and above my head. I couldn’t hear myself. They kept driving me even when I was saying, Look, I can’t my voice is fatiguing. No, no, you’ve got to keep singing. I was doing 90% of the lead singing and the other 10% of the time. When I wasn’t I was doing BVs. So I was actually using my voice 100% of the time. And then when it came to breaks, they would have alcohol. There was never any water. So there was nothing for me to drink other than they had some coke as a mixer. There were times when on the band bus, I would fall asleep and they would wake me up. So I didn’t I would never sleep I wasn’t I was sleep deprived. I was treated really poorly. And then there was one night we had done a gig the evening before. And we arrived home say maybe three in the morning. At five in the morning. The band bus came to pick us up so two hours later to take us to the airport to travel to our New Year’s Eve gig that we had on. So it was a flight away. We get there and production was already supplied. I got up totally mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted. I stood on stage to do soundcheck. I got halfway through a song. And my voice totally cut out. Nothing. So everyone panicked, including me. And I was sent to the hotel and I was told to go to sleep, which I did. The band manager came and woke me up. Just it giving me enough time to get ready for the gig. The band members were already at the gig. I got to the gig. And literally, I sang one song and that was it. The voice went and I knew I was in trouble. I had a feeling I was in trouble and I was trying to speak up and I was asking for help. But no one was listening. And then when the voice eventually did cut out, I knew it was time for me to leave that toxic environment. So I didn’t say by the way, when I told the other band members what happened with that sexual harassment incident? Their response was I Yeah, well, we always knew he liked you anyway. So there was no empathy, there was no understanding. So therefore, when it came to the voiceless issue, of course, there was going to be no further empathy or understanding. They just said, Oh, well, it’s because you go out every night. Hello. I was a single parent, I was hardly going out every night. And then I said, You know what, I’m going to leave the band, I can’t do this. I spoke to the band manager. He didn’t say anything. Few days later, he called me and said, I want to come and see you came over and saw me. And he said, if you leave the band, I will make sure you will never work again. He said, You are to fulfill every commitment that we have. Or I promise you, you will never work again. Now I was a single mum, as I said. So I took that to heart at that time, I was maybe late 20s, early 30s. So I was scared. And I didn’t know how I was going to sing. I didn’t know how I was going to continue. The voice was just not functioning. And I did it, I had to do it. And I did do it. And it took me as I said, six months to recover emotionally. And it was not just an emotional recovery. It was also a physical one, where I had to start nurturing myself, I started, I was on this healing journey, physical, mental and emotional healing journey. I see I sought professional help. I did some talk therapy at the time. I started going to the gym every morning to try and get back my physical fitness. Because I was so depleted, I would have an afternoon nap every day because I couldn’t get through a day without sleeping. I was a hot mess in every aspect. I felt my life was in turmoil. I’ve lost my sense of worth. And I was actually at that level where I had to rebuild in every aspect of myself. But one thing I promised myself was it would never happen to me again. And I started to rebuild my career. And I made the decision that I would never rely on other people from that point on, especially musicians. So what I did, I started to purchase charts, that was a thing in the day that you would buy charts. So I could work in any kind of situation, from a four piece band to a 15 piece band. I started buying backing tracks, I bought a keyboard so I could do solo work. And then I got in contact with all the agents that I used to work for and said, Hey, I’m available. And I can do solo work, I can do duo work, I can do anything you want me to do I have the setup for it. And then I that’s when my career really took off. So they would call me and say we need a duo. And I would find who I wanted to work with. I never worked with the same people. So it didn’t rely on people. But I called the shots from that point on in my career. And that’s when I went on and received an award. It was a local award for the Best Female Vocalist and I was awarded that by my peers. So it wasn’t a public vote. It was voted by other vocalists and musicians in the area

Rush Dorsett  29:47

that’s so inspiring. Wow. You really built from the ground up.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  29:53

Look, I even feel like I was below the ground. If that’s possible, it was it was a very dark time, I suffer from anxiety, depression. Oh, it was a very, very tough time. And but you know in life, you’ve just got to tell yourself, it’s a moment in time. And you’ve, and I’m very good at picking myself up, dusting myself off and starting again, it might take me a moment, to think and to process. But I will always do that I had that resilience, I had that inner strength where I can do that. And so, yeah, I’ve been through a lot of things in my life I have, I’ve have had some very tough situations and things that a lot of people don’t go through in their lifetimes, that that’s what makes you stronger. I think every obstacle is an opportunity to learn something, every challenge is an opportunity to learn and to grow and to rebuild and to recalibrate. And when life throws you a bunch of obstacles and challenges all at the one time. And as overwhelming as that is, it’s life fast tracking your growth.

Rush Dorsett  31:24

Yeah, and I really think there’s a distinction here, because you, you really use that as an opportunity to grow, you leaned in to challenge, yes, and shows to transform it into something even better, which takes a lot of courage, a lot of strength. And now, you’ve been able to give back in such an amazing way, because I know that you’ve mentored many students, you’ve worked with people and you create safe spaces for people to explore their voice. Can you say more about what that’s become now your work in in helping others with this? Yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  32:02

well, believe it or not, I’m actually very grateful for the career I’ve had. Because through all those experiences, I have a lot of empathy for the people that I work with. When my students come to me, because I’ve probably been through everything they have been through, I understand what it’s like. But when it comes to creating a safe space, and here I’m talking about my students. And I teach in a university setting, I teach in the Bachelor of Music Program at Queensland Conservatorium. And I teach across all three years, and They’re singer songwriters. And a lot of them come in with, they had their vocal identity kind of figured out or not, they’re all very, very different. But to create a safe space, you have to work on yourself. First, you can’t create a safe space, if you haven’t figured yourself out. If that makes sense, you have to be kind to yourself, to be kind to others, you have to be present and connected to yourself. So you can be present and connect with the person that walks into your space. When a student walks in the room, because I am present, I can intuitively figure out that there’s something going on with that student, either by the way they walk in, by the way that they speak, the sound of their voice, the language they use, the way they hold themselves. But that’s because it’s not about me. It’s about them. And it’s me creating a space where it is about them. And so sometimes the student comes in, and when they’re like that you’ve got a cut, you’ve got to figure out what it is that’s going on with them because then that will determine the way that you work with that student. So if I will just start with a simple question. You know, sir, how are you? How’s your week been? Are you keeping up with your studies? So just asking the basic questions. And if, if you get the answer that they’re stressed or anxious, you know, you’re not gonna get anything from that student. No matter how much technical work you do with them. You’ve got to get that Get them beyond that. So I get them to lie down, close their eyes, and do some singing work with them. But breath work and using a lot of breath work, that’s meditative. And that may be five minutes on the ground with their eyes shut. And it’s always saying, let’s you know, don’t be judgmental, don’t be judgmental of your sound, just focus on your breathing, let’s calm down. So that would be the first thing I would say to when you create a safe space, you have to do the work on yourself, you have to be present with that student, you have to, you can only be intuitive if you’re present. If it’s not about you, it is not your lesson, it is about the student. It’s the language that you use with the student to I don’t like using words like good or bad, wrong, or right. Or for sound, good sound, you get rid of all those judgmental sounds, and allow a student to sing. And to use their voice first up, let them get through a whole song. And then ask them what is the what did you like most about what you just did? What do you think you did well in that allowed them to give feedback. So it’s really taking a student centered approach, making the experience about them. And it’s interesting, because a lot of the time students when when you ask them that they’re kind of surprised if they’re not used to your teaching style. And they’ll say, Well, what did you think? Or they’ll say, Oh, that was really bad. And I’ll say no. What did you do? Well, there must be something that you liked about that. There must be something you’d like about your voice. And then I like students to to. I like using analogies when students are very judgmental of their voices. And they think they’ve failed. And I say there’s no failure here. You know, there are failed science experiments every day, in laboratories, where they’re trying to develop a cure for cancer or whatever disease it is. Now, no one borates themselves for failing at trying to save a life. And you’re berating yourself over a voice over a little misstep. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s also teaching people that when there’s a little idiosyncrasy that goes on with the voice, that it’s okay. They’re often the things that make us unique as singers, audiences don’t pay for perfection. Audiences pay for vulnerability. audiences want to hear honesty. audiences want to hear a singer baring their soul, they will forgive imperfections. As long as the singer is being authentic. Audiences spake they will spot a fake. They don’t care about beauty of tone. They want to hear the real person, they want to hear their story. They want to they want to be a part of that story, a part of that journey. And so it’s creating that space for your students to to express themselves in the most vulnerable of ways. And it’s even where I stand in the room. I get out of their eyeline and I tell them to imagine that the person they’re singing to is right in front of them. So I will step away and get out of where they can’t see me out of their peripheral vision. So it creates their own space for them to to sing to whoever it is they need to sing to. Yeah, so that’s probably pretty much is wrapping that all up. It’s taking a student centered approach to voice use.

Rush Dorsett  40:03

I really love what you’re highlighting around creating safe spaces for the singer to then even have the ability and capacity to dive deep within themselves and to sing vulnerably. And honestly, because that is what the singer wants, and that’s what the audience wants, ultimately, is that is that transmission. So what you’re saying about a couple of ways we can create those safe spaces, one is asking those questions of what did you like about that and releasing judgment from the space

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:35

100%. So

Rush Dorsett  40:37

huge, and how we can also apply this in all areas of life. And, and then what you’re saying is well about asking, you know, very specific questions or giving them cues, like imagine this person is in the room with you? What are some other types of practices that you’d love to bring in for creating these, these safe spaces for people to play and feel free?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:03

Well, you know, setting up scenarios, for example, imagine that you’re having coffee with a friend, just imagine that you’re just sitting in a little coffee shop. So there’s a lot of imagery that that person is right there in front of you. And you’re telling them that you’re sharing with them your story. So how would you if you had to sing that? What would that sound like to try and create that intimate space with that person. So you, it’s about creating those practices where they learn to draw an audience in rather than them going out to an audience, drawing the men in that scenario, if you are having a glass of wine with a friend, or if you had to call out to someone because you’re in danger, because a lot of students are afraid of being a belting, which is a type of sound that we use in contemporary styles. And if someone’s seeing rock or pop styles, and they have been told by a classical teacher, that it’s dangerous to build. Well, I have to undo that work. And one of the things that I love doing is using primal sound. And I say, Well, look, you know, back in the caveman days, people used to yell out, if they’re in danger, they would yell, how like, they would make sounds, but we now have words. But they didn’t worry about how much breath they took in. They didn’t worry about this. They’re where the larynx was sitting, they weren’t worried about the shape of their vocal tract, they would just make the sound because they needed to communicate. So let’s just start with, and I would just get a student to yell fire. I find the pitch note of whatever the note is, and we start calling up fire help. No way. And I’ll just say, Well, you know, you just built it. You just belted. So now let’s put that into the singing. And they go, Oh, is that it? And go? Yep, pretty much. It can. Go, yeah, so all of that comes back to. And so primal sound and using primal sounds, is a great approach to allow students to communicate in a safe way. without them realizing that they’re creating sounds that have some sounds, and they can do it safely and sustainably. But get them to start from that need to communicate that sound for what it is that emotion needs.

Rush Dorsett  44:10

Yes, yeah. I would love your perspective on this question on. So you know, we’re talking about singers, specifically who are preparing music, and connecting with the emotions around that. But it seems to me that, in that work of finding the emotions and connecting with yourself, there’s so much self healing, there’s so much personal development, just in the practice and art of singing, and that we can apply this in other areas. So do you do you think that some of these practices, like using primal sounds and connecting with emotions and creating safe spaces, do you think that non singers, people who consider themselves you know, they’re not trying to sing professionally but they’re just interested in opening up This instrument, they’re just interested in exploring it. Do you think there’s value in some of this for them?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:06

I think the work starts with self. Yeah. But for speakers, yes, I think, think about what it is that you’re trying to communicate. And imagine that scenario, who were you wanting to communicate to? And what is it that you’re truly wanting to say. But I feel that a lot of the work for me has, and allowing my singers to, to communicate the way they do, and for me not having biases. And all comes back to the work I’ve done on myself. And I would suggest, for any speaker, or any voice user, that as a voice user, your whole body is your instrument. It’s not just from here to here, it’s not just your larynx, it is your whole body, you are the some of that physical, emotional, mental. For some people, if you want to use the word spiritual being, and you need all those to be working in a positive way for you. And I have a regime I have a daily regime that I endorse for everybody to help you in your day to day to help you have the energy, the vibrancy, to liberate yourself to get rid of those shackles, if not, in day one of using this practice, but over a period of time. So I like to wake up in the morning, because I need to back back just a moment, I did run into a bit of strife. Maybe that was 2019. After completing my PhD, where I was physically mentally emotionally worn out, I did my PhD on a full time basis, and I was working full time. So I was exhausted after five years of that. So I started to introduce some practices that have really helped me and have also shaped me as a speaker with the podcast, but also as a teacher, as a leader have really helped me. And that is this morning routine that I just mentioned. And I like to wake up in the morning, so wake up maybe half an hour earlier than I used to. And I like to do a 10 minute meditation. Basically, I just go on YouTube, and find a meditation that resonates with me on that day. So it could be today I need to heal my chakras, or it could be mindfulness or it could be release anxiety. It could be awaken your senses, whatever it is find one that resonates with you that morning. And just I’m no good at it. I can tell you, I my mind still wanders, but I still do it every day. Then I move my body. I used to do planking, but then I started to get lower back problems. So I used to do six minutes of planking, which is a bit intense. But now I do push ups and air squats for about 510 minutes. And then I have a gratitude journal. This is one I’ve self published. And what I love about working or writing in a gratitude journal, and there’s now research to back this up science based research from Georgetown University. That tells us that writing in a gratitude journal is a mindfulness practice that gives us the same results as taking an antidepressant. So if you’re someone who suffers with anxiety, or stress, this is going to help you. This will definitely help you. And the other thing usually when we have anxiety, it’s because we’re worried about something that’s hasn’t happened yet. So we’re in the future. And writing in a gratitude journal takes you to the present. So it helps to alleviate that anxiety and stress. So they’re the things that I do every morning. And, you know, make sure that you sleep properly. Sleep is really important. And I love listening to podcasts that inspire me. And surrounding myself with people who are positive, they bring a positive energy into my life. It’s a lot of work. And when I turn up at work, people say to me, oh, my gosh, you have this energy about you? Or you’re really well put together, or whatever it is. And I go, Yeah, well, you know what, I actually work at it every day. This is a work in progress. Because I tell you, I do suffer from from anxiety, I do get stressed. And I don’t enjoy feeling that way. And when I’m in that frame of mind, how can I serve others I can’t even serve myself. So I do put that work in. And last year, when my mum passed away, I went through an awful grieving journey. And I went back to work after two weeks of her passing away. And I had to before setting foot in the teaching studio, really check in and do a deep dive of my emotions. And I really, it was a lot. And it was centering myself. And thinking, you know, this is not about me, this is about the person who’s coming into the room. I’m going to fill this room with love, and compassion. I set an intention. And that’s something I do every day is intention setting which is part of the journal. And I had the most successful teaching year I’d ever had. There was so much work that went into preparing me to be the best person I could possibly be for others. And I think that would help speakers, do the work on yourself, ground yourself, connect with your innermost, whoever you are, find your most authentic voice. People want authentic. And, and it’s okay to be vulnerable. People want you to be vulnerable. audiences don’t want a fake, they don’t want someone who’s well rehearsed. They want to be able to connect with you. They want a real human being that has emotions, who has feelings, whatever those feelings are, whether they’re joy or sadness, or they want to be inspired by you. And if you’re not being real, you can’t share that. You don’t have that to give. So do the work on yourself. Set your habit have a daily routine that sets you up for that. And it’s amazing how much you learn about yourself through that practice. And as you learn more about yourself, there is more you can share with others about who you are.

Rush Dorsett  53:50

Wow, that is just gold right there. Everything you just said. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So powerful. Oh, my goodness, I don’t have any. I don’t want to add anything to what you just said. It was just eautiful

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  54:04

Thank you. Thank you. Well, you know what? That was unrehearsed. Yeah, totally unrehearsed. And it was just what flowed. Now my intention. I like to set intentions before I do anything like this. Or even before I go in the teaching studio, my intention for this interview was to allow the words to come through me. Yes, just allow the words. And, and quite often when I go back and I listen to what was said, I don’t even remember that. That’s what I said, because I was being my most authentic and my most vulnerable in that moment. And if you interviewed me this afternoon, it could have gone a completely different way. Base stone how I was feeling in that moment. Yes,

Rush Dorsett  55:03

and that would have been perfect that way as well. But this says I’m grateful. And speaking of gratitude, very grateful for this moment, this moment in time being with you, for the listeners listening to this amazing wisdom coming through and, and, and also for your I mean it’s clear the the testament to the work that you’re doing on yourself and to your career. And I love that you’re so open about that with people of just, you know, I work on it. And isn’t that the truth? I mean, that’s what it takes to show up as a leader in the world to show up in the best energy, the highest vibration, whatever you want to call it. It takes something from us. And yeah, so to expect that. Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:50

if you listen to Oprah, you know, she’s someone who’s highly respected, who’s an amazing thought leader, if you listen to any of the thought leaders, people that you look up to Michelle Obama, Brendon Burchard, Lewis, Howes Jay Shetty that you know, you can, and political leaders who have been amazing over the years who were who are highly respected, they all do the work on themselves. Everything starts with self, you can run, but you can’t hide, you have to start on self first. Because if you don’t love yourself and care for yourself, how can you love and care for others? If you don’t believe in yourself and your worth? How can you value others? If you’re not kind to yourself? You can’t be kind to others. If you’re not vulnerable in sharing with others, how are they going to reciprocate that you’re allowing a space for other people to speak up and to be open and to share? My husband will say to me, you know, how come you get everybody’s life story? Or will go somewhere and he’ll say, do you know that person I’ll say never met them before. Because this is how I turn up. I am the same everywhere I turn up. And I’m not scared to turn up as who I am. I’ve released that fear. Courage was the was like the final straw for me the final lesson, I had to learn to step up my courage. I still had fear of being judged. But I released that maybe over the last three years. And the podcast has helped me do that. Because with the podcast, I have to show up every week. And I have to speak up every week. And gradually, but surely, using my voice has helped me to really show who I am. Like I’ve just peeled off the layers. It’s like that onion, just slowly peeling off all the layers. And now going, This is who I am. So I think that when it comes to courage, it’s like a muscle. And in order to flex that muscle, you have to build that muscle. And how do you build muscle through repetition. So it’s just slowly but surely, repetitively, doing something where you step out of your comfort zone. And I know for a lot of people speaking in public, and I know for a lot of people speaking up in any scenario for a lot of voice users, that is where they feel most vulnerable. But just think every time you do it, you are starting to build your courage muscle, and it will come to a point where you will have no fear in flexing that muscle.

Rush Dorsett  59:22

Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely. And it’s just a reminder of the power of the performing arts to help us train that muscle we are training our muscle of courage every time we’d get up and sing every time we get up and speak and, and a distinction to I love that you’re making around. You know performing is meant to be authentic. Performing is not easy. It’s actually diving into yourself and connecting on a deeper level and we can do it everywhere. Yes, and

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  59:52

you can have a singer or a speaker we can say speaker to any voice user who gets up in front of an audience who is perfect, everything is perfect. They have a really lovely sounding voice. Everything, every word is perfect if the execution is perfect, but how boring is that? That’s so boring. People want authentic, and we are not cre… created perfectly. We are all imperfectly perfect. So to share our voices, we have to allow those imperfections to come through in some way. And if you’re being truly emotional and connected to your voice, those imperfections, those emotions are what creates those imperfections.

Rush Dorsett  1:00:57

Mm hmm. Yes, we’re, I love thinking about it. Like we’re striving for doing our best and being an excellence and embracing the imperfections. And yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:01:09

yes. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no There’s no, those imperfections, stop thinking of them as your authentic traits. You know, those imperfections are who you are. Those imperfections are exclusively yours. They don’t belong to anyone else. So it’s okay. It’s okay. Obviously, people don’t want to hear a singer who’s out of tune all the time. Or someone who gets up on stage and says arm every five seconds. But you know if there’s a misstep, or if the voice starts to become a little weaker, because you’re emotional. People hang on to that. audiences love that. Yeah. Speaks speaks to the soul. So it’s okay. It’s okay.

Rush Dorsett  1:02:13

Well, Dr. Marisa, this has been amazing. Such a wealth of wisdom coming through. I love that you’re connected to the flow moving through you and then sharing all this with us. I mean, yes, it makes me just want to do a dance move right now.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:29

We’re all a work in progress. You know what? I haven’t arrived yet? I’m still on the bus. Yes. And it’s the people who think they’ve arrived. They’re the ones that need the most help.

Rush Dorsett  1:02:44

Yes, absolutely. Stay humble, powerful and humble.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:47

Humble and gracious.

Rush Dorsett  1:02:50

Yes, yes. Me. Oh, my goodness. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story, sharing your wisdom, reminding all of us that about the power that’s within ourselves? And what are some ways that people can get in touch with you if they’d like to learn more about your work, I mean, we have links to your books and everything. And before, before we go into your contact info, I know that you’ve also shared very generously a free gift. And it’s called Stop waiting in the wings take center stage in your life, now you’re eBook? Yes, share with us a few words about that. And then how people can get in touch with you if they want to learn more. Well,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:03:31

the eBook is centered all around self, you know how, basically some of the things that we’ve spoken about to do with self and, and how we can connect to our most inner self, to create greater impact, to create that confidence that we want to develop to that muscle of courage that we need to develop. It’s all in the e book. So and that is free. For the listeners. There is a link, I think in the show notes for everybody. And if you want to learn more, just go to my website, it is and Marissa is one Okay, great. I think that will be Yeah, and you will learn about my performance mastery coaching program, if anyone is interested in that program. I’m offering a 30 minute free discovery call for anyone who wants to chat about that. And that’s for anybody who is either about to embark on their careers, or who is mid career and wants to take their careers to the next level and it’s pretty much focused around mindset. Hmm,

Rush Dorsett  1:04:54

powerful. Yes. So go to Marisa is website free consultation call That’s very generous. And I mean, given your experience in your career in the industry, I’m excited to know that you’re supporting many others with their career and their mindset as well. So thank you so much again. And thank you listeners for tuning in. This has been an amazing interview, and I would love to hear some of your takeaways. So please send us a message and let us know some of the things that made a difference for you today. And yes,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:05:28

then please pass those on to me. I would love to hear that too. Thank you. Absolutely.

Rush Dorsett  1:05:34

Yes. And any final things that you’d like to share today?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:05:39

Yes, as cliche as this might sound and this is from my website, it is time to stop spending your life in the wings. And it’s time for you all to take center stage. So go out and be amazing.

Rush Dorsett  1:05:57

Yes. Perfect. Send off. Not cliche at all. Just perfect. I love it. Very powerful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you all for tuning in to the Awaken Your Voice Summit. Go out and live this work now. We’ll see you next time. Thank

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:15

you so much for having me Rush. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.