The Sentient Vocal Chords Crushed his Ambition

Four days in, and Edinburgh Fringe becomes infuriating.
Initially, there was quite a scramble, getting my new solo show ready, two Monkey Cage recordings, the Angry show with Michael Legge, a few extra curricular shows, and a few non Edinburgh deadlines hanging sharply and precariously above my head.
The preview of my solo show overran hideously, but day two and day three were pretty fun, gesticulating wildly while trying to fit in as many mind ideas and brain facts as possible.
Then, Sunday came, and with it, my voice went. It seemed a little hoarse, but once on stage, it was a rattling sprat of a voice. I strained to enunciate and project, my concentration was so preoccupied with getting the words out, that it seemed the new ideas that flew now fell and landed crushed on the floor below. The battle with my voice seemed to derail my train of thought. This was a pale imitation of the show I had performed the afternoon before. It is at these times that you become agonisingly aware of how much you use cadence, projection, and imitation. The struggle for rhythm tangled up routines and tangents, I like to be in control of the mess I am in.
By the time I got to the Pointless Anger show, I had high hopes of some recovery, but on reaching the microphone, I found there was almost nothing left, a squeak or a rumble. This utterly fucked the angry show. My swollen chords crushed so many ideas. It reminded me of when I was forced to perform in a sling die to a broken arm, the audience don’t seem to laugh as much at the unwell. Is it fear of contagion or pity?
Each time I opened my mouth, I thought, “maybe this time”, unsurprisingly, each time was worse than the last. I was a potter in sheepskin mittens.
How come I never lost my voice when I used to smoke heavily during Edinburgh. Why is it only in August this new limitation creeps up?
At one point, I dropped the microphone and walked out. Though I put on a vague front of it being “for comic effect”, I really did just want to walk out. I like to put a lot of commitment into my showing off, and now I was hamstrung but the shoddy remnants of a voice. I kept on walking, but before reaching the gate of the art college, i walked back, having realised I could do “a bit of business”, though mainly to get my cardigan.
I walked home in a mopey frame of mind, painfully aware of my current limitations (not even taking into consideration the other perpetual limitations).
Now I don’t know what to do? Didn’t Ken Dodd ever lose his voice? What does he do when he has insomnia, do the tickling sticks instantly refresh him, is his ‘Doctor Theatre’ a pro while mine is just a quack?
Do I perform both shows tomorrow if this state of affairs continues, even though I am unable to perform the shows fully? Why the hell does my voice happily last my perpetual tours of 150 minute shows, but in Edinburgh, it turns to dust and rot?
Will the critics remember to ignore me, or will they find their way to my show now I am shrunken idiot?

The shows I am meant to be performing are THIS and THIS

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5 Responses to The Sentient Vocal Chords Crushed his Ambition

  1. Vocalzone from Boots? And rest up, eat well, stay hydrated.

  2. earthles77 says:

    You may have been a little hoarse .. .. .. But, for us, you will always remain the main attraction. Like a rare and precious isotope, you’re just a little unstable at times. In THEIR stable, that is …

  3. jedburgh says:

    Get yourself a pack of Vocalzone throat pastilles (Boots should have them). Tom Jones swears by them. As does my other half, who sings soprano.

  4. Hilary Henry says:

    As a retired teacher, I have been there…and I understand your frustration. I tried everything from visiting ENT consultants, going for speech therapy to a wearing a mini microphone to help with projection…but after 2 years of losing and recovering speech I eventually discovered that laughing was the best medicine to relax those swollen vocal chords….Go and watch some Fringe stuff and laugh!

  5. regularuk says:

    Sad to hear this. Take a break Robin!

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