It’s that time of year, folks. It’s freezing out, your nose won’t stop running and you’ve developed a nasty cold. For most people this can be tolerable and handled with the help of some medicine – but what about performers who have college auditions most weekends this winter? I get asked how to deal with a sore throat and stuffed up sinuses a lot, so I thought it would be helpful to offer some practical solutions to make sure your voice is ready on audition day!
A personal steamer allows you to directly hydrate your vocal folds by restoring moisture to your lungs and respiratory tract. If you have nasal, sinus or chest congestion – this is a great first place to start! Personal steamers are compact so you can take them with you to various hotels and auditions as well. Check out the Vicks Personal Steamer Inhaler or the Hammacher Schlemmer.
While they can be a bit uncomfortable and awkward to use at first, a Neti Pot naturally cleans, refreshes and protects nasal passages. These are best to use at home when you feel clogged or stuffed up. Be sure to use distilled water when using a Neti Pot for best results. Check out the Himalayan Institute Ceramic Neti Pot or the NeilMed NasaFlo.
Singer’s Throat Spray/Throat Pastilles/Lozenges
If on the day of your audition your voice is not feeling completely up to par, grab some throat spray specifically designed for singers. These sprays and fast dissolving lozenges help soothe dry throats and also help relieve any irritation you might be experiencing. These are easy to throw in your audition bag and have on hand for any and all auditions. Check out the Singer’s Saving Grace Throat Spray and VocalZone. Also, be sure to consider Slippery Elm Lozenges which were first created in 1847 specifically for Opera Singers.
If you are experiencing more than just a sore throat and are completely congested, check out Mucinex. It helps to break up excess mucus that causes chest congestion. Mucinex comes in liquid form, caplets and liquid gels and should be used an hour or two before you are planning to sing.
Water/Hot Water or Tea with Lemon
This may be obvious, but don’t forget to hydrate! Hydration is key to protecting your health. On top of gulping down some good old-fashioned H2O, try to invest in some tea that you love or simply make some hot water with lemon. These are natural ways to help soothe and hydrate your vocal folds. You should never head to an audition without a large water bottle inside your audition bag!
And of course, be sure to get enough rest. While you may be tempted to stay up late and finish your favorite Netflix show that is streaming, audition season requires lots of rest to be on you’re A game. Go to sleep early these next few weeks – you’ll thank me later.