In “How a Girl Sounds, Part 1” I mentioned Matt Bittner and his amazing ability to sound perfectly female at will. At the time, I thought Matt is just a random guy with a cool trick. Not so.
Someone wonderful is helping me in my journey. She read up about him, and learned that he works in the performing arts in NYC, and has the sort of degree that helps someone be more successful in such a career. This is no random guy; it’s an experienced and savvy professional.
Matt posted some guidelines as to how he can change his voice like that but I didn’t follow it well enough, so the same helpful person sent me a link to a voice training website that had a wealth of information focused on body mechanics and fundamental technique.
Thanks to this website, I now know that wrong technique can actually damage the vocal folds (a.k.a. vocal chords). So “try harder and practice more” isn’t good advice, in isolation.
I also realized that me unilaterally reading and applying what I learned will NOT be enough. I needed to be disillusioned as to that, so I could plan more realistically. Essentially, I need to work with someone who can observe what I do, and give me feedback.
Ideally, I’d love to be able to sing well in a voice that matches who I am but frankly that’s like winning an Olympic gold medal. I’d be happy if I can just speak in everyday life as such. I live openly 24/7 as the girl I am but I still don’t like how I sound. Some say I sound female. To myself, I sound more male than not. I hate it. Yet some trans girls manage to have a lovely female voice. So did I, until puberty. I wanna get back there.
I’m horribly self-conscious about this whole thing so I’m always wary about opening up.
After swapping a few nice emails back and forth with the person who made that amazing website, I decided I wanted to become her student. I told her I’m a trans girl, explained it, said I have no clue where she stands on that issue or if she’d have me as a student, and I sent her a link to my best article. I ended my email with “After reading all this, if you’d rather not have me as a student, I respect that.”
The ensuing silence suggested she didn’t.
I waited long enough to be fairly certain, and then I continued my search. I found a more-local voice technique instructor and sent her a similar email. She called me back and today, we had the nicest conversation. She’s wonderfully understanding, open-minded and nice, and my first session is this coming week. Yay!
Bonus moral of the story: it’s a big planet. If person A doesn’t like you, move on and focus on person B. By the time you’ve interacted with every viable adult on the planet, maybe person A has come around by that time. It sure beats sitting on one’s butt and feeling sorry for oneself.