Rapid voice loss

I lose my voice more easily than just about anyone. Just a couple hours in a bar with loud music gives me what I affectionately refer to as “man-voice.” My voice drops an octave and breaks at least once per sentence. I start to sound like a 70-year-old chain smoker. Alcohol probably contributes to this effect sometimes, but this happens even when I’m not drinking.

Man-voice sounds kind of like Juno from Beetlejuice's voice.

I have only lost my voice completely once, as far as I can remember. It was freshman year of college. I carried a Magna Doodle around the dorm to communicate with others. I was taking a playwriting class at the time, and we used to read each others’ stuff out loud. No one ever chose me to read except for when I was teetering on the verge of complete voice-loss, and that was the week we were writing monologues. I had to struggle through an entire paragraph, my voice cracking and fading in and out of audibility. Not cool, classmate who picked me.

My voice issues only increased in frequency as college went on. I blame Chuck’s, the loudest bar on earth, for the worst of it. I thought perhaps I’d rally once I was no longer going to Chuck’s a few times a week, but no. Even quieter bars are loud enough to bring out the man-voice.

I don’t know what my problem is. I must speak incorrectly. I have considered consulting a vocal coach just to learn how to talk right. Singers manage to perform night after night without losing their voices, and I can’t even hold a single conversation over loud music without losing mine.

I worry about this. What if I develop nodules on my vocal cords? What if I already have them? What if my voice fails completely and I end up needing one of those voice boxes like the guy from the “You Don’t Always Die From Tobacco” PSA?

I should probably look into seeing one of those ear/nose/throat doctors about this. Until then, if you see a girl at a bar with a Magna Doodle, it’s probably me.


About Meghan Loftus

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3 Responses to Rapid voice loss

  1. Pingback: Me and Glee « Remember the H

  2. Anne says:

    This sounds crazy, but you might have acid reflux. My sister lost her voice really easily, and I tried over and over to teach her to use her voice properly (I’m a singer) but it didn’t help. Turns out acid reflux was messing up her throat. She hasn’t lost her voice since starting mess for that. If you get heartburn you should look into acid reflux as a cause of your voice loss. Otherwise, seek out a vocal coach who works with actors, or a voice student at a local college (much cheaper!). Good luck!

  3. Pingback: The hunchback of the Lehigh Valley « Remember the H

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