At present, not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, but we are also in the midst of a mental health crisis that is affecting people of all ages, including children from all around the world. The RUOK organisation, is a non for profit harm prevention organisation that encourages people to stay connected and have meaningful conversations with others who are going through the most difficult times in their lives before they reach crisis point.

September 9th is RUOK Day which is a day this organisation seeks to raise awareness on the importance of creating a culture around support, connection and caring in the workplace environment. As we launch into RUOK week, we revisit some of the interview rounds, where the guests speak candidly about their own self-care regimes. In this episode, Dr Elizabeth Blades, Dr Wendy LeBorgne, Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher, Lisa Popeil, Jenevora Williams and Ashlie Amber share their personal stories, experiences, and philosophies on the importance of self-care from a physical, mental and emotional health perspective and how their regimes of self-care have made a positive impact to their lives.

It is our hope, that these stories will help to inspire change and encourage others to embark on their own journey of self-care as well as to raise awareness for the RUOK organisation.

In this episode

01:08 – Introduction

03:17 – Self Care with Dr Elizabeth Blades

18:34 – Self Care with Dr Wendy LeBorgne

31:27 – Self Care with Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher

40:37 – Self Care with Lisa Popeil

52:34 – Self Care with Dr Jenevora Williams

1:04:19 – Self Care with Ashlie Amber

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Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:10

Hey, it’s Dr. Marisa Lee Naismith here and I’m so honoured to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. Listen and you will be inspired by amazing healthcare practitioners, voice teachers and music industry professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to help you live your best life every day. As singers our whole body is our instrument and our instrument echoes how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. So don’t wait any longer take charge and optimise your instrument now. Remember, that to sing is more than just learning about how to use the voice it’s about A Voice and Beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:08

At present, not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, but we are also in the midst of a mental health crisis that is affecting people of all ages including children from all around the world. The RUOK organisation is a non for profit, self harm prevention organisation that encourages people to stay connected and have meaningful conversations with others who are going through the most difficult times in their lives before they reach crisis point. September 9 is RUOK day, which is a day this organisation seeks to raise awareness on the importance of creating a culture around support connection and caring in the workplace environment and beyond. As we launch into, RUOK week we revisit some of the interview rounds where the guests speak candidly about their own self care regimes. In this episode, we’re going to listen to Dr. Elizabeth blades, Dr. Wendy Lamborn, Dr. Julianne Kay’s and Jeremy Fisher, Lisa popeil, Dr. ginevra, Williams, and Ashley amber as they share their personal stories, experiences and philosophies on the significance of self care from a physical, mental and an emotional health perspective and how their regimes of self care have made a positive impact to their lives. It is our hope that these stories will help to inspire change and encourage others to embark on their own journey of self care as well as to raise awareness for the RUOK organisation. Without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:17

Dr. Elizabeth blade’s takes us on an incredible journey as she opens up and gives us an honest account of some highly personal challenges she has been confronted with. Elizabeth shares her regime of self care and how this programme of self care was crucial to her healing journey. In the midst of her inner turmoil. Elizabeth so generously offers us her life philosophies and how this has kept us steadfast throughout all the chaos and the anxiety she has experienced. I interviewed Elizabeth in Episode Two. And in my interview, I was very eager to learn about the moment in her life when she began her journey of self care. And this is what Elizabeth had to say. 

Dr Elizabeth Blades  04:10

I’ve always been an athlete and I’ve always been a help not help not but I’ve always eaten well, kind nutrition came from a very active family, athletics, music, and education were the three parts that were very much emphasised in my life. And I just, you know, barreled into everything I did. 34 years of just being high energy and getting things done and making my to do list and just be very active, active, active, and I started, I said, I guess I’m gonna have to say, I don’t think Marissa knows this. But tragically, my dad drown. No age have at it. He was at his beautiful hunting camp camp, which he adored up in the mountains, the hills of Western New York State and it was the first day of deer Farming day after Thanksgiving. And he never came home. And my mom didn’t think much about it because he often would stay over. Those were the days before cell towers before cell phones. When he went to camp, he was off the grid, but he often would stay. Friday night, Saturday night, come home Sunday. He never came home Sunday. So she sent my brother to find him and he was floating in the pond. We still don’t know how he got there. It was very cold. He used to go out and check the temperature of the pond. He was an engineer, and he kept meticulous records. And he probably was going to close the camp down that day, he may have slipped, hit his head fell in the water. And that was the end of it. And it was, of course, the whole family was just devastated. And at that point, I started, I started having dreams, like a month after he died, where he would not I wouldn’t see him in the dream. But I very vividly, I’d be talking to my mother in their bedroom here in the house that I now live back in. That’s another story. And the phone would ring and I would pick it up and it was dad, and he would talk to me. And it was amazing, because you could hear his voice. And he said that’s, that’s I just want to let you know, the This is amazing. Over here. 

Dr Elizabeth Blades  06:15

The only two things you take with you are knowledge and love. Wow. And then. Yes, and those dreams continued. How long was this? November of 1990. And the rest of the family? I shared it with them, but I don’t think they quite okay, there she is. She’s kind of the weirdo one of the family. Well, interestingly enough, I felt compelled to start really taking a spiritual journey of health healing, I took a workshop for it was a week long workshop in healing modalities. And that I was told that I had a lot of energy for healing. And so that really set me on a whole different course, in my life in my profession with my family, my children. And so that just has been the underpinning of my life ever since that tragedy.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:10

Okay, and for a lot of people, they would think that was a little left of centre. And a lot of people would not be open to that kind of thinking. Did you write did you find that with your family to start with?

Dr Elizabeth Blades  07:26

Well, at first, yes. But they have since come to really respect me because I have moved ahead and train myself in Reiki, which is healing energy. I’ve taken courses in meditation, which I now teach Body, Mind spirit kinds of modalities, really, you know, immersed myself into it. And I’m the youngest in the family. And it’s really interesting. My sister’s five years older, my brother, my brother’s three and a half years older. They’re starting to listen to me now. It was always Oh, Betsy, you know, the little kid, little kid. And now I’m the one that’s telling them. This too shall pass. Or I’ll be saying you can’t force things. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. And I’m always right.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:17

Yet, and some people can’t hear that, because everyone feels that they need to be control of everything that’s going on around Yes. And to adjust allow things to happen. It’s not what we’re basically programmed to do. We want to take charge. And we told we need to take charge.

Dr Elizabeth Blades  08:39

Yes, yeah. Yeah, well, it’s the it’s the egoic mind, as opposed to the soup the subconscious mind, which is much smarter, much more intuitive, of course, a couple of statistics. And this has been researched the egoic mind, which Marybeth Dame who is the core singing guru, she would say, and it’s been proven the that peanut brain because it’s about the size of the peanut is a control freak. And that’s what always wants to take charge. And that part of your brain is actually much much less, it’s slow compared comparatively speaking. So, it takes about 40 bits of information, one second for that brain to work whereas the superconscious the subconscious, the what we would call the intuitive brain 11,000 bits per second. But the egoic mind will get in the way it will step in and just straight out of the way you are not going to be making this decision because you’re just you know, that Frou Frou thing. So I have learned to really understand when my left brain. And I know that brains research there’s no saying there’s no such thing as left brain, right brain. But I still use that terminology because it makes sense to me. Yep. The part that is the analytical brain, the the part that wants to assess and judge is the part that really needs to be pushed out of the way and allow that intuitive, subconscious brain to run the programme. And it’s very hard for that to be done. And that’s in singing. People are constantly judging, judging, judging, judging as they’re singing, yes. And they get in their own way. Yeah, you know, they’re constantly like, How many? How many sounding? How many sounding? You know, how am I sounding and just like, stop thinking about how you sound and pay attention to where’s my breath, how is my alignment, you know, the things that your left brain can be in charge of, rather than getting in the way of the computer that actually should be.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:56

So along your journey of life, there was a story that you shared with me, and I’m not sure whether you’re comfortable sharing it with our audience or not, where your life went into turmoil, it was turned upside down. You had to rebuild your life again. And that was a time that you had to really step up self care, and put all those practices into place, and they became even more important than ever to you, yes, you’d like to talk about that experience.

Dr Elizabeth Blades  11:33

Without going into a lot of details. I’m actually writing three, three books on the subject. So just to put it briefly my entire existence, my life, my daily being. Everything that I was assuming, would be going on and on and on forever and very comfortable, got blown up completely devastatingly. I was evicted from my home, my marriage and everything that I had been doing for 10 years, as far as my musical work, my teaching work, directing musicals, you know, all of that. And I had to escape. I was targeted for assassination.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  12:17

How did you find that out? If you don’t mind me asking?

Dr Elizabeth Blades  12:21

Well, where I live is at 9000 feet in the Rocky Mountains. And people who don’t know enough about the mountains, drive down roads and go off into the river and get killed. And when my break started failing, as I was driving on that mountain road, and I knew that it wasn’t something that I had done, and then I would be taking a nap. And I could tell somebody was in the house with me. They had no business to be in the house. Oh, it was it was like the universe were saying or God, hey, whatever you want, like alert, alert, alert, right? Get out, get out? Well, so I did with the help of my son.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:01

But you know, good on you for doing that. You read those times, and you did something about it. Because a lot of people don’t and things don’t end well.

Dr Elizabeth Blades  13:10

It was terribly painful. And I was I was willing to stick it out and say I’m staying you can’t get rid of me that easily. But my son, who is a army major retired on ready reserve or whatever, very smart guy. I told him a little bit What’s going on? He said, Mom, get out of there. Don’t you understand? You’re going to be the next statistic if you don’t get out of there. And so he found me an apartment in Winchester. And the week before Christmas, I packed my cat and myself and a folding couch or folding cot and folding tape, not even a cot a folding table and a folding chair and drove three three days across the country. from Colorado to Virginia. I was in the state of shock. I mean, I was just I felt like I was in survival mode. Yep, yep. You would my home my home but that drive? No, no, no, it was it was you know, it was not an easy drive. It’s no it across the United States basically. But once I got to my apartment in Virginia, oh my god, it was it was I won’t even go into the details. So it was really really hard and really sad. I was in an empty apartment with my cat and the chair and the, the the table. I didn’t even have a bed I slept on the floor until I finally went out bought an air mattress. So little by little I just kind of went into a show. I did have a therapist back in Colorado. And so we started doing Skype or zoom kinds of therapies and she also said that the statistics of how many women are murdered in abusive marriage relationships. So I got out and at first it was it was I can’t even remember how bad that time was. I just I had no purpose I had no you know, I had no understanding of what just happens. He filed for divorce that day I dealt with a right after I drove out of the driveway, I wasn’t even out of our town. He he went down filed for divorce. Anyhow. So eventually, again, the right people come into your life. And there I started, my son sent me a friend who knew somebody who was my age that lived Winchester. She came in and just sort of swooped me up and said, we’re going to go out girl, we’re going to you know, you can meet my friends. I met Karen Keating at Winchester at Shenandoah university because she was the choir director at the church I started going to, and I started singing with the choir. And she’s the one that said to me, Betsy, we need somebody to come and teach these these courses at Shenandoah. Are you interested? And all of a sudden, within the space of a year, I had a feeling of like, okay, I’m gonna be okay. And then I was able to write, I had plenty of time, I did the second edition of those two books, which I probably would never have done. I didn’t have I wouldn’t have had the opportunity and the time. But because 19 seven, sorry, 2017 was I was teaching but not that much. I had a lot of time to revise both singing with your old self and a spectrum of voices and update them.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:23

So that’s not that long ago. So no talking about that happened to you. It’s not that long ago. Did you find that having that regime of self care? Mm hmm. That that helped you through that process? If you didn’t have that, how do you think you would have fared

Dr Elizabeth Blades  16:44

um, I probably be a very bitter or say, who would not be very pleasant to be around. So what I did Marissa is I just sat down every single morning. And I said, I need to just have a routine. When I get up in the morning. I don’t want it to be nap. You know, I’m sitting in this small apartment in town. No, I don’t know anyone. And I just got this whole horrible divorce which went on for 13 months. It was a Kardashian divorce. They got themselves a shark lawyer who just really raked me over the coals. All I wanted to do is just get it over with and move on. Yeah, so I would get up in the morning. And kitty and I would go and I would sit in is a very pretty living room or in the nicer weather out on the little. I was on the third floor. So I had a little balcony porch. And I would sit there have my coffee. And then I would actually do some meditation, get myself really focused and centred. And I just developed a morning. I call it my angel time. Because I feel as you can see in my background up there. There’s a whole lot of angels.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:56

Yes, yes.

Dr Elizabeth Blades  17:58

Yes, sir. Actually, that’s that’s left from Christmas. But anyway, so I would really tune into higher consciousness universe. I had some books that I was reading through one was Wayne Dyer’s The Tao de Ching. Yep. That was tremendously I made myself I didn’t make myself but I said, I am going to read a chapter a week. And there’s like 82 chapters. So I said a chapter a week. Well, that’ll take me through the first horrible year and maybe by the time I get finished with the book, I will be much more centred and grounded and have a happier life. And you know what I did!

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:45

Dr. Wendy Lamborn shares with us what self care means to her and how her own regime of self care has helped her find balance in her life as a woman with a highly successful career as a wife and mother. She speaks openly about her morning ritual of meditation, prayer and exercise that helps her set up her day and to help this regime of self care has helped her survive the effects of the pandemic. This is bought Wendy had to say in Episode 17, when I asked her about her daily self care regime.

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  19:26

Oh my gosh. So this has been a year I mean, for all of us, but a year of change. Certainly for me. I’ve pivoted a little bit in my career from strictly doing clinical to now combining some clinic with really working with high level vocal athletes back out on tour. So for me, that means also, I take I really take time for myself every day. I am an early riser, not a night owl. So I get up usually most days between five and 530 in the morning Wow. And I meditate and I am a faithful person. So prayer is part of what I do. It’s separate visitation. Yes. Um, and then I am a person who likes to start my day with also exercise. Now I do these separately because even though I’m the, I love to multitask, I don’t find that that is best for myself care. So, like, I’m actually sitting, I’m sitting in my meditation chair here, like, this is what I said in the morning cuz in my private space, but um, but yeah, I do I do that. And I do it every day. And then exercise for me. Walking is something that I do. And strength training. I meal plan for my family for the week. So usually my Saturdays and Sundays, I try to meal plan for healthy foods, as well as budgeting it works better if I’m able to.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:02

Yes, absolutely.

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  21:05

But really, even over the course of a week looking at, you know, fish one night or you know, an all a meatless deal, a meatless meal one night, and then chicken or pork, you know, so that we have the variety and what we do. And we work on that as a family too, because I think it’s important, my boys are still young. And so incorporating that into what hopefully they’ll take out. I have really minimised my social media. I actually block time, I block time in my day where I will allow myself to look at social media. I’m hearing. But I’ve I’ve cut back on my social media consumption and posting, too. Yeah, yeah, it got it gets a little overwhelming, honestly. Does. I do?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:01

Yeah. I mean, not only do does it affect your mood, but also too, you can be stuck there for such a long period of time, you can get suckered in to being on social media for for hours, if you if you let it. I mean, it’s just one big funnel. It’s like a cave. And you see you get to a point of no return. But you’re in the position of service what you do you serve others, basically a singing teachers, we are in an area of service. You’re a mom, you have two boys 11 and 16, your wife, a professional, a voice teacher and author, you have so much on the go. How do you juggle all these roles?

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  22:53

Sometimes better than others? And, you know, I’m, I am really lucky that I have a supportive husband. Right? We did married for when we married for 25 years. Oh, beautiful. So I know 25 Yeah. Yeah. Um, so a that’s helpful for me. Um, I, I am I, you know, I think that juggling it all, as a mom and as a woman and as a wife, the older I’ve gotten, I think my priorities have shifted a little bit. And what was important that 20 is not as important in my 40s or it’s just shifted, and I don’t think you can have it all at the same time. I think that there is a huge cost to yourself. Yeah, if you try to do that, and I learned that the hard way for sure. So, as I take on some of these new roles and new responsibilities in my own business, I’m, you know, working on that balance, because if there’s anything I’ve learned, I don’t want to go back to that crazy crazy rat race. Mmm hmm. So I blocked time for right. I blocked time for writing, trying not to over commit, you know, saying Okay, yeah, I need to get this project done before I commit to six other Yeah, right. And so I think that’s how you work on the balance. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know that that I don’t it is. It is an ongoing learning process.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  24:45

Yeah. And and it’s learning to say no, as well, isn’t it sometimes, and that’s so hard for us, especially as voice teachers because we want to please everybody we want. We want make everyone happy, and we’re off Fighting for jobs and, and so we don’t like to say no. And as you transition, just say you’ve you been to the office and you clinic for the day, and then you come home? How do you transition then back into being a mom and a wife? Like, there’s a thing segment intending. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, where you set the intention for what you’re going to do next, like to go through something where you go, Okay, now I’m home and now this is the person I’m going to be? Or do you naturally just go through that transition from one role to another?

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  25:43

Um, I think I probably should transition better. And I’m not gonna lie, there have been times where I, you know, my commute before COVID was, you know, it was up to an hour and a half some days. And so a lot of that time I listen to audiobooks or there are times when I would come home and I’d sit in my driveway. And I would truly do like a two minute meditation reset before I walked into the house. Okay. It is, you know, you know, sometimes that happens sometimes you sometimes I have to put a sign on my my in house office door that says, you know, beat Leave me alone, right? Just I need 10 minutes, because I will come in here and my dog, you know, reset

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  26:30

on you because that my next question was, how do you take a breath during the day? Like there’s times where you just said that you say Just leave me alone for 10 minutes and we all need that. And it’s hard isn’t it with family? I know that my husband will follow me around the house or if my kids are here or my grandkids like you need to be able to say that don’t you or put that sign I need a sign but I needed to be big because he would not

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  27:03

well, and it’s so funny like this even just happened this morning in my world is you know, I get up during my routine. The kids are home for summer now and my husband’s a teacher so he was also home also I was I’m today is my first day back from vacation. So I truly I came in my office I said it’s like seven o’clock in the morning like everybody should not be bothering me know trying to answer the emails from the last week and my husband’s literally trying to have a conversation with he’s like sorting things in here. I’m like, okay, I like it is now time for me to be at work in my little office here. So you know, sometimes it’s just creating some boundaries. Oh, it is hard isn’t

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  27:47

my husband like I get home from work from teaching and then I like to have some creative time where I just sit and work on on a passion project you know generally be some creative writing working on this podcast. And you know, I might only been here 15 minutes and I get that you’re gonna make the salad or do you want me to make it Leave me alone. I mean literally I would like to tell him where to place the salad but I don’t they don’t like to leave us alone. It’s like what do they do without us blessed

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  28:30

That’s right. That’s right and you know and I enjoy my time you know and wine downtime like i when i i literally blocks time on my schedule like tonight yes it’s morning your time it’s night. But I truly I block Yeah, I’ve blocked time in my schedule and I go Okay, at 845 I’m doing 15 minutes of core work because I’m trying to get a little core work in the morning core work tonight. And then I have reading time for myself and I’m reading for me Can’t be so much on my phone or my iPad I yeah actually like an actual book to read write really you know I’m on an audio. I do like when I walk I listen to audiobooks or if I read on my phone these are like blue light glasses because I just find that it keeps me awake over this last year. I I’ve always been a person that sleeps from 9pm to 5am like I’m just a good sleeper like and this year has rocked that and I find myself waking up at two and three o’clock in the morning and I just go Okay, we need to reset what this is. So I’ve made some changes coming into later my evening. To be able to to do that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  29:52

Yes. Do you find now that you need that time to prepare to go to sleep almost Like some some way of like, you know, getting off social media or getting off your devices, time that you start to wind down and you don’t look at emails and things like that. Is that the kind of thing that you’re doing?

Dr Wendy LeBorgne  30:18

Yeah, I’ve made a very conscious decision that, you know, when I’m done at, you know, six o’clock that I am not looking at any more emails, I don’t check social media. I make a very conscious decision first thing in the morning that I don’t you know, most of my phone is my alarm clock, right? Yes, everybody, all of us that I that I do, I make a really conscious effort in that first hour of getting up that I am not looking, I’m not looking at the news. I’m not looking at my email. I’m not looking at social media yet. But every day, it’s a struggle. I’m not getting it, right. But it is I have to make this decision to do it. And that the first emails that I send in the morning, are emails that I have intention to send, like, I wanted to reach out to somebody versus being at everyone else’s beck and call and start my day with answering everybody else’s yells because I know that I never get to the ones that I need to do.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:26

Together, Dr. Julianne Kay’s and Jeremy Fisher are known as vocal process the power couple who have come to truly understand how to manage their personal and professional lives. They explain how personal self care and finding balance is crucial for sustainability in all areas of their lives. They offer a unique insight into how they recharge and recalibrate on a daily basis in order for their minds to flourish on a deeper, more creative level. I interviewed Julianne and Jeremy in episodes six and seven regarding their work and their relationship boundaries and how they managed to navigate their roles as business partners. And as a married couple. And this is what they had to say.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  32:22

Let’s be honest, it’s not a picnic, having a 24/7 relationship that includes the business. Yeah, yes. It’s not a picnic. I mean, every couple who runs a business together has to navigate that.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  32:35

And there’s something that we’ve learned over the years, and it has taken years, which is what does the other person need to switch off? I fought the fact that you did meditation for a long time.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  32:51

Yeah, I do Transcendental Meditation. And I do it every morning. And it was really annoying to me. Because it’s like, no, I need your attention. Right now we’re sitting.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:00

Yes, I was gonna say you’re such a male.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  33:06

But it’s really interesting, because there are certain things that I need. I am I’ve got the sort of energetic level that will peak fairly high and stay there. And then we’ll drop really quickly. And so the thing that I do in to switch off in this circumstance is I will go away from the computer and read a book. Right, and it will be a good book. And it will be a gentle fiction book that I’ve read 10 times before. It’s just to get me in back into what oddly it’s to get me back into Fantasyland, which is really weird. When you do things to ground yourself. I

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  33:42

mean, it’s daydreaming. Yes, allowing your brain to process and you know, that’s so important. I’ve got to say that the way I come down has changed. Because I’m someone who’s been I mean, we’re both quite driven. I think it’s fair to

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:59

gnome since how many books and how many podcasts and how many pop up workshops? No, you’re very dare you? 

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  34:11

Yes, absolutely. No doubt we are we are I will tend to I used to tend to you know, I’ve got my list of things and I work through it and I keep working through the day I’ll take my lunch break, etc, etc. What’s happened now because I’ve had a health challenges you know, is that that’s changed. And I found out that what works for me best is to have a 30 to 40 minute walk in the morning to have my yoga sessions. I’ve been doing yoga for 30 years as well, you know, to have my phone in Christ session to take two hours off in the middle of the day. And so I’m actually having to learn how to manage my work life in a different way. Because I I think what happened for me, you probably went through this, you’re writing up your PhD, you’re working. So I mean, we’re working full time we’re running a business and no other money comes into the household. We’re both freelancers. So that makes a big difference. From what we do that way. I’m spending two years writing up a PhD. And you go into override, and you stay constantly into override. And you don’t know, it took me a couple of years to realise that I didn’t have to be an override anymore. I mean, you know, these things, take it take their toll. It’s alright, when you’re 2016, your PhD is not so much fun, you know, when you’re coming up to 60. Yet, already got it by the time I was 60.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  35:42

But yes, but I’m hearing you I went through exactly the same thing. And that’s where this whole podcast has come from, is because my own self care journey, and things that I’ve had to learn to do in order to ground myself as well. So I’m totally hearing you and empathising wholeheartedly. So therefore, for both of you, you must then need time away from each other, like space and time to breathe. And to dream. You’re talking about dreaming as a way of yourself care brain space, that’s the word that you use. 

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  36:24

Yeah, it’s about 18 months ago, I read the organised mind by Daniel Levitin. And at that point, I was really starting to think I was getting very overwhelmed. Do I do all the social media or I was doing all the social media apart from Twitter? At that point, you know, I was in these Facebook groups. I was doing Facebook posts, and I was getting very overwhelmed with all of this, you know, it’s a lot, you see a Facebook post, and you go, Oh, right. So just doing that, right, I better post something or somebody tags you I got constantly tagged in things, you know, for you to make a response, then you make a response. And then what happens is you’ve made a response. This is what’s so bad about Facebook and social media, don’t get me wrong starters, you want to see who’s responded to your response. And what have they said, I actually think that Facebook had a major contribution to my developing a heart condition,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  37:21

I think they’ve had a major contribution to a lot of the stress and the anxiety that our human race is experiencing as a whole, globally, totally, right now a

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  37:34

There is a moment where as a human being, you go, I don’t need Facebook, to validate myself. And that’s a very, very powerful moment where you go Facebook, I use it, but I don’t need it to validate myself. And suddenly, it gets put a bit more into perspective, and you stop being on it all the time.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  37:55

I think in our case, it was that sense. You know, there was a time when entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small businesses like us, were really starting to use Facebook, in our profession. And I would say that happened about four years ago, 2017. And I think there was a huge race. That’s what I felt that there was some kind of a push and a race, on the top person I know the most, you know, this is this is my business, you must all come and work with me that that was all the underlying stuff, you know,

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  38:30

oh, you must all come and work with me to the exclusion of anyone else, because now your mind,

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  38:35

your mind. And so your mind and etc, etc. and you become very triggered by this. And that was one of the reasons why I read this book, because I had heard about it from colleagues, the organised mind. And he talks about the need for the brain to daydream. And it’s by daydreaming that you allow your creative self to flow. And it’s one of the ways that when you’re not sleeping, that you can allow yourself to process. And I have really enjoyed the experience of allowing myself to daydream because the only time I used to daydream was in my meditation, when I would suddenly download a whole idea of like a whole workshop, and that was wonderful. And I was thinking about this the other day, I used to get my best ideas on the loo. Now this is really tragic. This is way too much information. But I’m serious. And suddenly I get tonight a burden now because I have the brain space. I think my ideas are better. They’re more creative.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:47

I was going to say that creative space,

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  39:50

yes at a deeper level as well. Rather than Oh, I just had an idea. I feel like you said this to us when we were in Austria. And it was so sweet of you. You said, I think you’re just about to start your prime.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:05

Yes. And I don’t I remember that.

Dr Gillyanne Kayes & Jeremy Fisher  40:07

Yeah, I feel like mentally and creatively, I’m in my prime now, and it’s a really great feeling. I agree. It’s having that enforced time off that I’ve, you know, I had to face that developing a chronic health condition. And although it’s not a pleasant thing to have it changed my life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:37

Lisa popeil has successfully transitioned across a variety of roles within the music industry. And this is a rare insight into Lisa’s personal and professional journey as a backing vocalist, working with Weird Al Yankovic, which Lisa shares the demands of being on the road, touring across every state of the US for a gruelling three months, and how she managed to survive this difficult lifestyle and the performance demands as a touring singer. I had the great honour of interviewing Lisa in Episode 11. And this is what she shared with us about her experiences on tour.

Lisa Popeil  41:20

I knew it was going to be once in a lifetime experience, and I wanted to really soak it up. So I was in my 60s, and here’s my, my, my first experience. on a tour bus, it was the summer of 2019. And it was three months around the US and Canada. It was a total of 67 shows,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:46

oh my goodness, 65 cities.

Lisa Popeil  41:49

So there were a couple of places where he has a big fan base. But he like Seattle, where we would do two shows and say that that’s in China, I can’t remember where we also did two shows a day, but mostly was one one show and we the band that he works with. I have been with him for decades. And I started working without in the very beginning of his career at the second album. He wrote a song called Mr. popeil again, long story about why he got Mr. So cute, great photos available out there. If you if you look hard enough of me performing with him in a start recording recording with him. In fact, it was funny because the his record label turned out to be the record label I had my deal with with no connection. Yeah, so that that was something but so I have been on a lot of his albums over the years. And in 2018, he, he’s I want to do something different for my next tour. Because he usually does going out with the band. He said for 2019. I want to have a full orchestra and a conductor and backup singers because he never had backup singers would you would you like to to come on the tour and I had to think about it for a few seconds. Because that would be a whole summer without teaching. And and no, I didn’t know how well I be because I was planning to tour with Frank Zappa. And I was given this big talk about how, how warlike it is to go on tour, you know, especially in the wintertime, because Frank would say it’s going to be 90 degrees on stage, it’s going to be 40 degrees off stage. You know, if you’ve got a fever and diarrhoea you don’t leave the stage, you know, so he was giving me this talk about touring is like commando warfare those frames after his words. Yeah. So I had this idea of how hard it was going to be. Well, it wasn’t partly because it’s like, it was like family, I brought in the two other girls, the two other backup singers. So I had a history with them. They were talented, we liked each other. We were committed to being there for each other. I knew the guys in the band was my first time on a tour bus and I really took to it I had no problem sleeping in that little thing. I called it a coffin because it was so small. And we were treated really nicely. We have we unlike other tours I’ve heard about in other tours, things things I’ve heard are things like don’t talk to the artist. Or or there was something else you just don’t complain. Don’t say anything as a woman.

Lisa Popeil  44:33

Yeah, yes, this was more like family and there was squabbling, you know that this because we’re all a bunch of kooky people, but it was like family, and there was a lot of love and and Al was very, is a very warm person. People. A lot of people don’t realise what a what a warm, caring person he is. So he helped create an environment where we were all in it together. And the work was not that difficult. The challenges that we wasn’t hard on her voice was a one and a half hour show. We were centre stage, which was so amazing. We were off in the corner in the dark. I was right behind out. Every night, there was a 40 to 60 piece orchestra behind me. Wow. And a conductor. And so there was no variation. I mean, there were problems with the inner monitors. That was very challenging because it sounded completely different every night and I have no idea why it shouldn’t. So vocally, there was not a single problem. The only problem vocally because I’ve been coaching out through the last 35 years or whatever with his voice. And he started to lose his voice the first week. Oh, really? He was really freaking about Yes. And it was because he had tat a lesson with someone else. Someone said you got to go see this person in LA, and come out of the lesson with what exercises 40 you know, like a CD of these really violent sounding I mean, in my really rough on the voice? Wow, I think NIF particularly among a lot of La teachers that if you just do your exercises, you’ll be great. You know, I don’t, I am a not exercise person I am if you know how to how to sing, then rest your voice, do a little warm up, check your voice, see how it is and then save it for the stage. Except so I just said here’s what I recommend. I said I would not do those exercises. We you don’t hear us warming up if we were singing it’s because we want to sing it’s we’re checking our voices out. But we don’t have like a routine warmup. So just try it. Don’t imagine you’re already warmed up. Because after the show he’d have maybe a two hour a meet and greet. So he was using his voice here. Yes. And as soon as he stopped using that, that exercise CD, his his voice was perfect for the rest of the tour. He never had a single problem. So to me that just we affirms this idea that there’s this myth that warming up is is everything and to me it is not it is knowing how to sing and and saving it for the stage and then and then protecting your voice and using less voice not more voice to keep your voice when you have an intense voice to use. And he was 1661 at the time and he would be screaming a some of the songs and and then he’s just got an amazing underrated voice because he’ll be screaming and growling one second and the next. He’s singing this sweet ballad with this floating falsetto. Yeah, he’s and he’s running around the audience doing handstands and running around and costume changes. One of the most difficult things was was performing outdoors when it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity. Yes, thank goodness, I only the other ladies could wear little. But the guys had costume changes including full neoprene or for the Star Wars part. They were wearing wool. So they’re, you know, really it was so the heat and the humidity of a summer tour was tough. Yeah, I would have been very concerned about getting sick.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:24

Yes, I on the sky.

Lisa Popeil  48:26

I did. I did get sick. I missed one night only, which for me was really good. I only missed one night Milwaukee. I had a fever. And and I was fluey I guess and I had a slight fever for another six weeks. When I say slide I mean really slight fever for the next six weeks. And and it’s because we’d be on the bus with it. We’d be on the bus at about midnight 1230 the bus would leave and it would drive to our hotels. And again, we were so lucky. We got our own individual hotel room at very nice places. I just love hotels and I but we might get there at 3am or 4am or five or six or seven. Usually it was around four or five we would get but sometimes it was 3am and then we’d have to quickly wake up. If we were sleeping. Yes, dress Get out, get your suitcase, get into your hotel room and go back to sleep. So I was getting we were getting a tonne of sleep. Us squirrels might get together in the beginning of the tour we’d get together for lunch or one o’clock we’d go and see the sights together and then the van would pick us up around four or five, four o’clock to take us to the venue with the band. But as the tour went on, we just stayed in our rooms and you could just sleep until then picked you up base if you wanted to. So sleep sleeping a lot was not an issue, having privacy and quiet and a lovely, in fact, not an issue. We had to eat, we didn’t have lunch provided. So you had to figure out what you were going to do about eating during the day. But then when we get to the venue was all catered. And they had a whole vegan section and they had a whole non regular carnivores section. The food for the most part was fantastic. That’s usually eight o’clock, eight 830 we’d start singing, because the orchestra played for half an hour, then we’d sing from 830 to 10. And then there was the meet and greet if we wanted to go or we could just go back to the bus. So sleep was not an issue yet. And I’m really grateful. But even so I did, I was fighting something. And it was fatigued. I’m was so blessed, though, because many of the days that I have this fever, it would dissipate at night. And so by the time I’d get on it, I wasn’t 100%. But I didn’t feel like I had a few Yes, yes. And I I felt like I was I was living this this it was an unnatural thing. I stand off stage and look at 1000s of happy faces, whether it was in some indoor, fabulous movie palace from the 1930s or whether we’re outside. Every day was just I can’t believe this. I just but also, the fans just love him and they’re good people. You know, these aren’t violent people. They’re all bunch of nerds. And an owl for them is is somebody who tell us basically the message is it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to not be beautiful. It’s okay to be smart. It’s okay to be a nerd. Yeah, then, and they’re so appreciative. I’d meet I take good people backstage and fans, I’d meet super fans and they, you know, I get them backstage and and get to meet him and then one, you know, some memorable moments like one one couple said, Lisa, you know, this is just another show for you. But for us, this is one of the greatest experiences of our lives and one that we will cherish forever.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:34

Dr. Jenevora Williams shares her personal philosophy on self care with an emphasis on the benefits of running from a physical, mental and emotional standpoint, she explains that running is a time where she gains perspective on life. ginevra tells us that after her mother died, running was a way for her to escape the grief and the ordeal of her tragic loss. She describes her deep appreciation of nature and these things that we all take for granted. ginevra was my guest in Episode Five. And I started out by asking her about her dancing throughout her childhood. So ginevra we’re going to talk about self care briefly. Because ultimately, other than talking about the voice from a holistic perspective, I feel that self care comes under that banner. And you didn’t play sport, as you said earlier, as you were growing up and you weren’t into exercising, but you weren’t to dancing, that’s still a form of sport, and you ask any dancer that and

Dr Jenevora Williams  53:43

Oh, and I cycled everywhere. Oh, I mean, that was my way of getting anywhere. And if I my friend lived 10 miles away, I would cycle to their house. So I did get out and about I was quite fit. Good. I just wasn’t skilled. There was the difference.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  53:58

Yes, I can relate to that. And but you run now you shared with me that you participated in a half marathon or a marathon or you’re training for one misstep? No.

Dr Jenevora Williams  54:10

I’ve done several half marathons. And in fact, I quite often run a half marathon at the weekend. I always do a slightly longer run the weekend, and sometimes it’s a half marathon. So that’s to me, that’s not a big deal, particularly but I’ve never done a full marathon.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  54:24

And What benefits do you find from running that? How does that make you feel? And how does it impact on you physically and mentally? Well, it’s

Dr Jenevora Williams  54:35

I mean, mentally it’s running away. A lot of the time. It’s leaving things behind. It’s getting out I run in the hills, and I always got a view which puts life in perspective. things move when you’re out in the countryside. The the landscape around you is changing, but it’s changing slowly so there’s not a huge amount of distraction and your mind can go off and wander process things. I don’t listen to music when I’m running, I just run, I listen to the birds, and I listen to the water and I listen to whatever’s around me. It’s very, very therapeutic from that sense. But even then, alright, I’ll tell you a story. I was training for the London Marathon back in 2013, for the 2014 marathon, and I was training and I was running and running, and I was getting really good pace. I was, you know, doing a, an hour of hilly run and getting seven miles under my feet in that time, and you know, really, I was going to be in the elite, you know, outcome for the marathon, I was absolutely going for it go. And then I got an injury. And it was a catastrophic onset of plantar fasciitis, which can be anything from a little niggle to, in my case, I couldn’t actually put weight on my foot for three months, I couldn’t walk for three months. And that came about when I looked back and thought, why did that injury build because injuries build over time, they don’t just happen to build over time. And it was because six months previously, my mother had died of cancer. And I’ve been nursing her through that. And my way of coping was to run so I was running, but I was running with the additional baggage of that anxiety and that grief, and that anger and all that, you know, all of those feelings you feel when you’re bereaved, and I was putting all of that into my running. And my poor body after a while just said, Oh, hang on, I can’t do this. And it broke. And that’s what’s your bio psychosocial model? I was using running as a way of dealing with grief, but then I took it too far.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:42

And how do you go in terms of sleep? and nutrition? And do you meditate?

Dr Jenevora Williams  56:49

meditation i think is probably my running. That’s when I go into my headspace. Yeah, I am. And I do. As I said, Don’t listen to music I do. I just watch the world around me. Nutrition. I’m, I love food. I love food. And I love cooking. So that’s easy, because I cook everything from scratch, and I’ve get an organic veggie box delivery every week. I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 40 years. reiju wanting you to do that. Oh, a combination of factors. Mostly. At the time. All meat was factory farmed. I didn’t like the idea of factory farming, and the environmental concerns of producing more meat than we needed. Yeah, even then, we were very aware of the fact that it used too much land and too much resources. So that was what sort of flipped me over and then you get into the habit of it. And now I really can’t stand the taste and smell of meat. I just couldn’t do it. Even if I knew it was the happiest animal in the world before. Yeah, yeah. I’ve always cooked meat for my children if that’s what they want.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  57:52

yourself. No, that was a very scrunchy face then that was very convincing.

Dr Jenevora Williams  57:59

vegetarians often say that the thing that turns them is the smell of bacon cooking. Now for me the smell of bacon cooking is one of the most disgusting smells I can think of.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:08

Yes, I can’t say I eat a lot. But I don’t mind a steak to be perfectly honest.

Dr Jenevora Williams  58:13

But I think it’s habit. I think after a while you just get into the habit. That is fine. It’s not a bad habit.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:20

Being Italian. I could probably live off pastor. I probably do. Okay, and tomatoes. We have to have tomatoes. The Italians love tomatoes. Yeah. Now. We’ll start dribbling. Yeah. So I do know you shared with me also that you had COVID experience yourself. You had the virus. So how was that for you? How did you find out and where do you think you contracted the virus from?

Dr Jenevora Williams  58:53

I know exactly where I got it from my son brought it home from school. what that was, I know, I know. So he came home and on the Monday he suddenly said, I can’t taste or smell anything. And and so immediately we booked him in for a test and took him along and sure enough, came out positive and he had he was a bit grotty for a couple of days, but he wasn’t that ill, you know, he’s 16 is you know, he’s fine. And then, you know, four days later, I started coughing and my daughter said, Mom, go and get a test. So I did and I felt fine for a couple of days felt Okay, and then it’s sometimes hits you a bit later. So I think I was quite under the weather for four or five days. I didn’t really get out of bed. I worked in bed with my laptop. I didn’t give any singing lessons. I thought it wasn’t really fair to give some lessons in bed. So I was absolutely fine really but it takes that kind of viral infection can take it out of you and I noticed it when I went back to running two weeks after getting my positive test. You’re allowed out thought right I go for a little walk and I walked A quarter of a mile down the road and I had to stop and sit down and breathe for a while and then walk back slowly J. And this is someone who runs a half marathon every weekend. So that’s how much it can knock the stuffing out of you. And then you just do a slow build. And, you know, that’s when I got my rehabilitation hat on said, Don’t be silly, take it slowly. Be kind to yourself, you’ve done nothing wrong. You don’t have to punish yourself. Just be gentle and be kind. So this is the self care.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:29

Yes. And what about the voice? What happened to your voice? Did it change? Did you find that as I was talking with Elizabeth blades a week ago, who also had COVID? And she said that she lost all her resonance? Did you find that anything happened to your voice through that time?

Dr Jenevora Williams  1:00:47

No, they didn’t. But I wasn’t really do much singing. Okay. So I think we notice changes in the things that we do the most, and the most specific level. So, you know, a simple thing like running up two flights of stairs, which you might do every day of your life. That’s where you’ll notice the difference, because suddenly, it’ll be a struggle. And so this is where I sort of this again, good questions to ask, you know, what is where have you noticed a difference? What have you noticed that’s different about your voice?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:01:20

Yes. And from then to now, have you noticed that your energy levels are still not quite back to what they used to be? Or have you fully recovered?

Dr Jenevora Williams  1:01:33

I think I have probably fully recovered. I am still getting tired. But that’s other things. That’s just overworking.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:01:41

Do you think that you being fit physically fit? Certainly. Did that help your recovery process? Do you think that you recovered quicker because you weren’t physically fit? Or you are physically fit?

Dr Jenevora Williams  1:01:55

Well, yes, you? Yes, I assume so. But then that’s a difficult equation, because there are people who are physically very fit, who’ve had a dreadful journey with COVID. Yet who are still suffering a year later,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:10

I think this quote that I’ve taken from somewhere on social media that was written by you, to some a lot, no, no, it was something that I’ve found, and it’s about your morning run, and it kind of ties all of this together. And it was my morning run a thrilling chorus of birdsong competing woodpeckers, the rush of water over the we’re Why would anyone want to replace this with manmade music? Has COVID forced you to change your outlook on life? Or did you always have an appreciation for those things surrounding you? I was going to ask you that earlier. But you answered that, and I think you’ve gone beyond answering that question. I mean, that’s such a beautiful quote.

Dr Jenevora Williams  1:03:00

Isn’t it was just in the moment, I remember writing it or thinking it I thought it on the run and then wrote it. As you know, I read it on the run, did post on the run. Yeah. And because I was I was running along the river, and I could hear and tiffin or woodpeckers, there was one over there. In the words, there was one in other words over there, and they were obviously competing for a mate showing off their thing with a woodpecker noise. And it’s such fun, you get that in the spring, and you just think, wow, I wouldn’t have had that if I’d been blasting my ears with something that could have been listening to. That doesn’t mean to say that man made music is inferior. It’s just that there’s a place for everything.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:03:43

Yes. But I think underpinning all of that is a love for the environment, and for nature, and for serenity, and the beauty of what we have with that all those manmade things. Yeah,

Dr Jenevora Williams  1:03:57

absolutely. And I’m very aware of how lucky I am to live in the countryside, where I’ve got that so that you know, I’m lucky on so many fronts.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:18

Ashlie Amber began performing on cruise ships as a production cast vocalist. Eventually, she created her headliner show, I will always love you a breathtaking tribute to vocal legend Whitney Houston. Ashley shares her story on the demands of ship life as both production cast vocalist and a headliner entertainer with a gruelling travel schedule. Ashley describes how she learned to manage these demands through a strict daily regime of self care. This is part of my fascinating interview with Ashley from episode nine I know you were really self disciplined, because I’ve actually, we’ve crossed paths on two different ships. And I know how you take care of yourself so well. But it can be hard because the you especially and I’ve been with you, when you’ve just casually wanted to go and grab a coffee, that as soon as you leave your cabin, and you’re in a guest area, people want to talk to you. And, and so your voice is not cutting a break. And then not only that, but what listeners may not know is that after a show, you have meet and greet with guests as well. So you’ve just done all this work. You may be this could be after your first show, you have a nine o’clock show to come, it’s eight o’clock, and you’re out there talking to guests after your first show. And then you have another show to follow. And then you’ve got to come out again, then you have to go to bed and kind of do the whole thing again. 

Ashlie Amber  1:06:04

Yeah, it’s um, it’s a lot of work. And you really learn what your limits are and what you can do, I think, probably 95% of the time, I would go out after every show. But every now and then if I was if I’m sick, because, you know, we don’t get sick days on ships, like if like you’re a headliner, or you’re in cast member, we don’t have understudies. So no, you know, I never, you know, called out of a mainstage show, and I’ve only I think, miss one or two, you know, theme nights off of three contracts and however many shows. So, you know, calling out calling out just really isn’t an option. And for my own show by Whitney Houston show, and I’m headlining, I don’t get to call out. So sometimes I’m travelling for 36 hours, doing an eight hour, you know, time change, different climate change, and I land and I have to perform that night. And you’re like, I haven’t slept, I’m dehydrated. And I have to sing Whitney? Why, yes, food did this. Yes. And every now and then those moments, you just have to take a step back. And I would be like, okay, so I can’t do deep roots after the first show I’ll do after the second show, because I don’t have to sing for three days after this. And you just you just kind of assess you assess the situation. And again, you learn your voice, and you say, Okay, I’m not gonna be able to do my a show tonight, I’m gonna have to do my B show. And I’ll be show doesn’t mean I’m getting less energy, I’m still getting the same amount of energy. I’m emoting the same. But maybe instead of hitting that really high C, on that, I might just give a different and I’ll have an alternate backup that I can pull out of my pocket to save my voice, because it’s not quite there that day.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:48

Yes. And I think when you and I first met, that was what you were wanting to learn from me was, what can I do to save my voice and to protect my voice and to give me longevity? And, and that’s the kind of things we talked a lot about strategies and went through your whole day. What did your day look like and, and checked in with a number of things that most singers Don’t think about that when they’re busy performing? They don’t think about lifestyle and, and the hydration and warming up and cooling down was another thing. Yeah. And yeah, and so you made the transition then to guest entertainer. So you were then going from ship to ship doing your your Whitney show, which was not a tribute show. It was a show inspired by Whitney Houston’s music, it covered her music and you did that so beautifully. And so amazingly. Was there ever a time where you felt that you were running into problems? Oh my gosh.

Ashlie Amber  1:08:52

Like every day? No, I’m kidding. Not every day. Um, you know, I, it’s very interesting because I kind of went through a vocal change because when I started doing Whitney, I was in my late 20s. And then all of a sudden, here comes my 30s. And I noticed my body’s changing. Like, I’ve always been a curvy girl, but all of a sudden, I was like, hey, my hips are even bigger than what they used to be like, What’s going on here? And I wish I’m all about like, you go. firms are in Okay, then I’m wrong. Because if you’re curvy out there, you instruct them curse. And, yeah, I basically

Ashlie Amber  1:09:37

I had to reteach myself how to sing. Now again, I don’t have a lot of training. I don’t have a lot of things to fall back on. And so when you when you’re that type of artists, you’re that type of form performer you become really street smart. And and I’m naturally street smart because of how I grew up. And so most singers, I wouldn’t call them street smart. Know how have to learn to adapt, you have to learn how to absorb information when you can. So if I met somebody, or if I came across somebody that could give me any, any sort of pointers or tips, even if I took one thing from them, that’s it. If I spent a couple hours with them and took one thing that helped me be be better or feel more comfortable, that was worth my time. And that’s exactly what I did. And, you know, I’ve got to meet you, I’ve got to absorb information from you. I’ve got to see other performers perform. And I got to be like, Oh, that’s interesting that they’re doing that and not that, Oh, that’s interesting how they’re doing, you know, the arrangements. And that’s interesting how they’re doing this and you just learn all these things that you’re like, oh, if I can have the horns be my backing bulbils then that’s a little less work I got to do so when I’m singing yet, and so what if I asked the sound guy you know the sound operator for a little bit of a brighter gain a little bit more reverb, and to make sure I’m boosted nicely in the house. That’s less work I have to do I can then rely more on my mix. Instead of having to rely on a belt. And because belt is where you get into trouble belt is where you get tired. belt is takes a lot out of you and I’m a belter, I grew up a belter when you’re young, those muscles just want to work, work, work, work, work, but the older you get, it’s harder and harder to produce that same sound. And so that’s what I learned. I learned how to be smart and I learned how to be street smart and I learned how to absorb absorb any information I could from anybody who I respected, and anybody who was willing to give me information.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:11:55

Hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode have a voice and beyond. Now is an important time for all of us to spread positivity and empowerment in our singing voice community. It’s 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 for your students feeling energised, empowered, and ready to deliver your best. Be the best role model and mentor you can possibly be and watch your students thrive as you do. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it with a friend or a colleague who you think will be inspired by this, copy and paste the link and share it with the people you think will enjoy listening to this show. Please share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. If you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcasts right now. I would love to know what it is you enjoyed the most about this episode. And what was the biggest takeaway for you? I promise you there are many episodes to follow as I’m committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one. I’d like to finish up with my final thoughts. Remember that to sing is more than just learning how to use the voice as singers. Our whole body is the instrument and our bodies echo what we feel physically mentally and emotionally. So singing is not just about the voice. It’s about a voice and beyond. Please take care of yourself and I look forward to your company next time.

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