Good evening. It’s Tuesday evening, and it’s Tuesday PJ post time. Yes, I’m in my PJ’s. It’s the first thing that I do when I get home from my work. Today, I have my beautiful bright and shining emerald PJ’s on, which was given to me from a friend in Florida years ago. Today I’d like to talk about frog breath.
Do you have frog breath? You may not know what I mean about frog breath, and no, I didn’t say dog breath. I actually said frog breath. Now, this is a little technique that I teach my students, especially when they have nerves and anxiety and they get nervous when they’re public speaking. So here’s the theme of the day today. It was frog breath, and it’s all about controlling your nerves during a presentation or an audition.
I want to tell you a little story about what happened to my student tonight. This was the very last student of the day, and it was … It’s always great learning from students, because there’s always an “ah-ha” moment somewhere in the day, right? Today’s “ah-ha” moment was all about, “It’s all about that breath.” It’s always about the breath. Let’s face it.
So tonight’s problem was that she went to an audition and she completely choked up and felt the throat muscles really choking up, her stomach muscles were tight, and then suddenly, she couldn’t sing the high notes and nothing came out. She was doing this really important audition, which she felt that she sabotaged because she was so nervous, she was shaking. Now, the thing is, is that if you don’t know about the magic of the frog breath, then you may not be able to switch all that off quick enough for you to get through your audition or your job interview or your presentation.
It’s a really, really simple technique that I’m going to teach you at the end of this video.
All it is, is imagining that you’re swallowing a frog. There are a few things that you do need to know, if you’re going to swallow a frog. That is, how big is the frog? And so therefore, how big do I need to make my pipe in order to get the frog down into my belly? So, if you’re thinking honestly about swallowing a frog, we’re going to open up those pipe ways and get the frog down into our belly.
So, here’s what you should be doing before an audition to make sure that you can actually do the magic swallowing frog trick. This is what I told her this afternoon, and this is what everybody needs to do before an audition, including me. I was in Sydney this last weekend doing an audition for something, and of course, I’m human and I feel the same tendencies towards nervousness and anxiety as anybody else. Now, the thing is, of course, the more importance that we place on the thing that we’re auditioning for or presenting or whatever; the more we’re going to feel that nervousness and that anxiety. That’s the problem. But the good thing is: Let’s rephrase that and say, “Well, I care about this. I really care about this, but I’m going to do the best that I can and then I’m going to let that result go.” That’s all we can do.
So, this is how I arrange my preparation time before an audition, and this is what she didn’t do. That’s why everything didn’t feel right for her. So number one: Did you eat before your audition or your presentation? Yes or No? You need to make sure that you have at least some protein and some complex carbohydrates an hour before you sing or speak or present, whatever it is.
Number two: Are you hydrated? By hydrated, I mean drinking water hours before you present. You really need to be fully hydrated at least two hours before you present or audition or interview, or whatever it is. Three: Did you warm up? If you didn’t warm up, then of course you’re not going to be vocally ready for whatever it is that you’re doing. First of all, you’ve got to do those three things. Now, if you’re really, really armed and ready to go, then when you get to the audition and you’re feeling those nerves, then you know that you’ve prepared all of that. You know you’ve prepared your voice in your mind, and all you have to do is then utilize the magic frog breath.
So here’s what you do.
You’re going to imagine that you have a really big chunky frog, and you’re going to drop it straight into your mouth, down your windpipe, and into your stomach.
Not that that’s the way the body works, I know that, but we’re just imagining something, okay? We’re imagining that we’re swallowing a frog down into our stomach. Now the second that you imagine that you’re doing that, you’re going to do this. You’re going to really widen the pipe here, and the pipe is wide, wide, wide, wide, wide. And then you’ll literally feel like a rock drop into your stomach, and you’ll feel your stomach move out away from your spine. That one second open, drop. Instant frog to the stomach, will really remember. You’ll remember to open your throat muscles and drop your belly breath so you can breathe and you can project your voice properly.
If you don’t do that when you’re singing or speaking, then everything’s going to get really tight, because the second that you hold your stomach tight, like if I’m holding my stomach tight right now, I literally cannot speak and I cannot breathe. You think I can sing a high note? I can’t even speak a high note, let along sing it, because my stomach is so tight. You have to literally swallow the frog.
And then suddenly, everything is free again. You literally have to think about open, drop to your stomach, swallow the frog and then everything will just fly. So, if you’re going to have something really important to prepare for this weekend, please at least do those three things, because that will really get you through. One, make sure you eat an hour before, at least. Complex carbohydrates and protein to balance your blood sugar so you’re not shaking or quivering or fainting before your audition, or your preparation. Two, make sure you’re well hydrated. Three, make sure that you’re warming up your voice.
Then when you get there and you have nerves to deal with, that’s the only thing you deal with. You just instigate the frog breath. That’s all you have to do. Once you’ve got the frog, drop to the stomach, you can think.
You can sing! You can breathe! You can project!
You can do anything you want. Honestly, with your voice, if you prepare properly.
So I hope that was really, really helpful for you today. If you like the PJ Tuesday post, then please let me know what you would like me to post about. I would love to answer any of your questions, and I’m always going to post on Tuesdays when I get home from the studio, about some insights that I’ve had that day in the studio. Today, it was all about the frog breath.