What to do when you’re getting sick vocally

Sickness. No one wants it or needs it. It’s a singers worst nightmare. It’s like an injury. We all get it from time to time however some of us are more prone to sickness than others. You start to sound hoarse and before you know it you’ve lost your voice and you can no longer speak.

We fear nodules like the plague. But there are manageable steps to alleviate your situation.

Step 1 – steam

As a singer, you should be steaming regularly not just when you’re feeling ill. It helps to keep everything lubricated. It keeps the voice box moist and can be very soothing to irritated vocal folds. You literally only need a kettle, towel and a sink for this. It’s so easy to do.

Step 2 – rest

Vocal rest! I can’t  stress this enough. I’m the worst when it comes to this. I never nt vocally tired because i over use my vocals a lot even if it’s just speaking. It’s definitely not good for me. Don’t push anything and stop if it hurts. You need to know your limits. Your sleep is extremely important aswell. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Step 3 – hydration

Stay hydrated. Be thirsty. Make yourself thirsty even if you’re not. Make sure you’re drinking at least 2 litres of water a day. If you need more because of the nature of your physical activity up this to 3 litres a day. Why don’t you read my health benefits of drinking water here.

Step 4 – hygiene

lack of hygiene is a common cause for sickness. Hygiene in life is crucial. Try to avoid harmful bacteria by carrying hand sanitiser around with you and always washing your hands. Follow the usuals – catch it, bin it, kill it. It sounds tedious but there’s a reason we all do this. No one likes being sick.

Step 5 – herbal tea

I drink this on the reg. I love it, it soothes me completely. My personal favourite ingredients are Honey, Lemon, Chamomile and Ginger. Incorporate these into your diet. Why don’t you check out the health benefits of drinking herbal tea here. On that note make sure you’re eating right and healthily everyday. Sickness can stem from a poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Step 6 – wear a scarf

This is more of a comfort thing. It’s like a magical protection spell that you wear around your neck! It helps me believe that im on the mend and its warm to snuggle into on your darkest days. It’s a mental thing but it works.

Health benefits of Herbal Tea

Tea. We have been drinking it for centuries and then some. It is what warms us up when we’re feeling low and acts as a support system that comes in a mug when you need it. It is your best friend. Especially herbal tea.

Herbal Tea: Whilst it’s not something that I consume every day, it is, however, a huge part of my diet throughout the week. Herbal tea can with everything from easing a cold to help fight off infection. I tend to drink fennel, peppermint, chamomile & honey, nettle, lemon and ginger and detox teas for their medicinal qualities. I opt for raspberry & echinacea, blood orange rooibus and hibiscus for its delicious flavours.

The benefits of herbal tea


Known for its remedial qualities to the symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating so it makes for the perfect drink after your meals. It can also help with muscle spasms. Peppermint is a great choice for when you are ill aswell as it warms the body internally, causing you to sweat and thus combatting your common colds.


When added with lemon, this spice makes for a powerful tag team against your cold. It fights off the germs. It is also good for kicking nausea’s butt and can help settle an upset stomach.


This is my go to sleepy tea. It is widely known for its calming and sedative qualities. It not only helps with insomnia but it can also aid with indigestion after a meal. It’s anti-bacterial approach helps you feel refreshed from within.


I first discovered this tea whilst volunteering in South Africa; it is now a frequent occupier on my shelf. It is high in vitamin C and ahs antioxidant properties that can help with eczema. Rooibus tea is also caffeine free which makes it a perfect brew for those late hours  when you don’t want caffeine keeping you awake.


This tea is a refreshing drink. It soothes and warms you just in the right places. It lowers blood pressure and is high in vitamins. I often drink it when im feeling a bit on the low side.


What is your favourite herbal tea?  Comment below.

Water: Why you should be drinking more of it.

I started the year by setting myself some New Years resolutions. One of them was to drink more water. I’ve successfully increased my intake with each new day this month and I haven’t partaken in any alcohol drinking to cause any further dehydration. Dehydration is a common symptom for many of life’s issues.

It makes sense to drink more H20. Our own bodies are made up of between 70-80% of water. It is so overlooked. We need it to function properly. Most people recommend drinking at least 8 glasses a day however I recommend you using this as a guideline and listening to your own body. Some days you might need more.

Health benefits

1. Water flushes out toxins

It gets rid of waste through sweat and urination. It helps you feel replenished and can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s.

2. It increases energy and relieves fatigue

It helps you think, focus and concentrate more through out your day. This leads to you being more productive in getting thing set done. You won’t feel sluggish. It helps you stay alert and it also raises your energy levels.

3. Water promotes weight loss

It removes by-products of fat and can help to reduce your hunger. It raises your metabolism and contains zero calories.

4. It improves your complexion

H20 moisturises your skin from the outside it. It keeps it fresh and glowing and keeps you looking young forever. Say goodbye to your wrinkles and pick up a glass.

5. Water boosts your immune system

It helps fight against the flu, cancer and other illnesses eg. Heart attacks. If our body is made up of mostly water then to keep it working properly it makes total sense to keep supplying ourselves with it, right?

6. It maintains regularity

It helps aid in digestion after meals and prevents constipation. It keeps us functioning internally.

7. Water is a natural headache preventer

Nobody likes headaches. EVER. It helps prevent and relieve headaches which are more often than not caused by dehydration ie. lack of water intake. Stay hydrated this year.

8. It puts you in a good mood

When the body is working at its best then so are you. You feel happy and on top of the world. For me it makes me feel refreshed and brand spanking new. I feel healthy and so should you.

9. Water prevents joint pain

Our joints need lubrication and water helps this. It also helps the muscles to be more elastic meaning that we relieve ourselves of joint pain. You’re less likely to be injured when your joints are getting the required nutrients they need,

10. It saves you money

It is free. It comes from your tap. Even if you don’t like plain water there  are plenty of products in store that you can buy that are cheaper than your typical medium latte from Starbucks and it’s  way healthier for you.


Make one of your goals this year to drink more water.

Top 7 Myths about Musical Theatre

For as long as I can remember, I have always been training in the arts and musical theatre. My mother said I was always a pain in her stomach throughout the duration of her pregnancy however that could have been because she conceived twins. I’ve never been able to sit still.


After ditching football at the age of 8, I entered the realm of theatre; I was certain I had made the right move. Here I am 12 Years down the line and still pursuing that prospect I had always dreamed of: The Stage.

In my 12 years of ‘training’ I’ve been subjected to a lot of home truths, superstitions, stereotypes and myths about the arts. Below you will find my top 7 myths about the industry musical theatre through my own personal experience.

Myth no 1 – all we do is sing and dance; surely it can’t be that difficult, right?

Let me stop you there. I’ve had this phrase regurgitated to me a thousand times throughout my life; usually from my twin brother.

You’re wrong.

There is inevitably a tremendous amount of commitment, hard work, perseverance and preparation that we put into our practice. We’re not beautiful all of the time. We work on our line, our posture, our technique, our sound, our voice and our mind. We mentally have to prepare ourselves to get into a character and tell their truth.

Essentially we are in their mindset.

To top it all off, our days are long, really long. We’re not your average student with 2, sometimes 3 lectures a day, a long lunch and even a late start. We’re up at the crack of dawn. My day starts at 6:30-7 am depending on whether I’ve hit the snooze button or not. I get home at 6:30 pm, cook dinner, gym, shower, read and go to bed. There isn’t much room for anything else. My day is proactive.

3 hours of dance, 1 hour singing lesson, a lecture or ensemble singing, then 2 hours of acting and that’s only a Monday or a Tuesday. Wednesday is the day of the voice. I work on my voice technique in the morning, followed by my acting through song lesson and finally then developing my musical theatre voice for the rest of the day. On Thursdays I have a lecture, then a 2 hour acting lesson and then a 3 hour lecture meeting working professionals in the industry to find and carve my own path in the industry. On a friday I have a 1.5 hour jazz lesson, then 2 tap lessons and finally music theory to complete my working week.

In the middle of all of this I somehow have o maintain look after my health. We train like athletes, we’re committed to our craft, we may make it ok easy but i assure you, it’s not.

Myth no 2 – in musical theatre the most important role is the lead

In my experience I have only ever played 1 lead and that was in my high school production of ‘Oliver’. Don’t get me wrong playing a lead is great and comes with great responsibility but I honestly believe I have learnt more about myself and my craft through playing supporting roles and featuring in the ensemble. Team work is essential and you learn that mostly in the chorus through listening to each other in group singing, blending together and being in sync in routines together. You keep the story developing and progressing in musical theatre. Never for one second think that you’re unimportant in the chorus. You do matter; you are not irrelevant.

Myth no 3 – we are all divas

You hear a lot about ridiculous demands being asked for by actors on sets or backstage but this really doesn’t apply for everyone or anyone I know for that matter. We all have our ‘Diva’ moments and are ‘Drama Queens’ from time to time. My secret Santa bought me a Whitney Houston T-Shirt and a snickers bar because ‘I’m not me when I’m hungry’ so I think that says a lot about me. But in essence, the majority of performers have so much respect for one another. We realise the skill and perseverance that goes into what we do as we’ve all grown up doing just that. Speaking to industry professionals has reaffirmed this for me. No one is out to get you, they only want your best.

Myth no 4 – bad dress, good opening night

In my experience this superstition has always been correct. I can’t tell you how many dress rehearsals I have been involved in where everything has just gone tits up. Anything and everything goes wrong and you’re left at the end with a cross director and an abundance of notes you need to work on before opening night. So you spend your last remaining hours focusing on just this and stressing yourself out before the beginners call. Miraculously the show goes well and all your doubts and worries about the show float away. It is a truly amazing feeling.

Myth no 5 – actors don’t get NERVOUS

Anyone that tells you they don’t is a liar.

I get nervous all the time but it not neccesrily a bad thing. It’s a sense of adrenaline that can create great products, if you get it under control and not allow it to undermine you. Nerves show that you care and I  think without them I wouldn’t love the role I’m currently in. It gives ou something to overcome in a sense and the feeling after doing so is great. You’ve achieved something and you should be proud of that.

Myth no 6 – it is not a proper job

Then why are there so many of us doing it in our careers? Why is it that every year you take your family to see the pantomime production at your local theatre? Why is it you watch those tv series at home?

We’re all a part of that, we create that form of entertainment for you. It’s such a rewarding industry. I’m a firm believer in: if you dont love your job then don’t do it. It is a hard industry to make a name for yourself in, however, with enough perseverance and commitment to it, I believe anything is possible. The skill set I’ve acquired from doing it for all these years has prepared me for a lot more jobs than just ‘musical theatre’.


Myth no 7 – we have a song foR everything

In my case this is sadly true. Sometimes I do just break out into a song because somebody has said something and it has sparked a lyric in my mind. I cant help that, its just how I’m inclined. Just tell us to shut up and it usually does the trick.

Word of advice though: don’t interrupt me when I’m singing Whitney.


With Love

– G



Why you should be meditating in 2018

Meditation isn’t just for yoga mums and monks.

Seriously, meditation is for everyone. The act of meditation is essentially training to be more mindful and mindfulness helps you be fully present in the moment and not worrying about the past or the future. It is unique. It is unique to you. As a practitioner you get to choose how you meditate and its completely special to you. Your method might work for you but they wont for somebody else and thats ok. The practice comes in many forms: Mindful meditation which I do and Transcendental Meditation (TM) which I also do from time to time. TM is where you repeat mantras to yourself in life.

A perfect app for this would be Headspace. It combines both mindfulness exercises and meditation. It prompts you each day and can take as little as 10 minutes each day. All you have to do is sit back and relax. There is an abundance of resources out there for you to use as guidance when your just starting out.

But why should you add meditation into your life?

Oprah does it and so should you – since oprah encouraged meditating as a practice into her workplace she said “People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.”

It makes you happier – Think about it. What’s better than a clear mind free of any troubles or doubts? Meditating and mindfulness techniques are a pathway of self- healing and they help to ground you more, making you more connected to the world around you and to yourself. It improves all kinds of relationships.

It reduces stress and anxiety – Anxiety currently affects 1 in 14 people worldwide. The aim of meditation is ultimately to have a silent mind. Sounds like a dream right. Through meditation you learn to think of your thoughts as separate from yourself. That way you can throw away these thoughts when they jumble through your mind. We all face stress in our lives and a lot of it is unnecessary. When meditating you gain more control over your body, mind and your emotions.

It helps you focus –  A clear mind makes you more productive. It not only helps improve your focus but it helps improve your concentration and your memory too. Meditation is a discipline in itself and so when you are faced with a task this self discipline helps you focus more on the task at hand.

It improves your sleep – It has been proven that it does indeed help with insomnia. Meditation enters you into a state where you are fully relaxed and content, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

It’s free –  You can do this anywhere and everywhere at any time of the day. I like to do it of a morning or late at night before sleep.

Meditation helps you gain control of your life and that’s why you should be meditating in 2018.

Fabrizio Verrecchia


Weight Gain: My Story, My Struggle, My Size

Weight – No matter what age you are, this is something we ALL struggle with. Even saying the word weight has negative connotations with it. My struggle happens to be weight gain. It’s alien to me and always has been.

I’m one of those people who’s mantra when it comes to my weight is “I eat so much crap yet never seem to put any weight on” much to people’s envy this is sadly true.

For the most part of my life anyways.

Since the age of 14, I’ve always been under 9 stone or slightly above. My eating habits have never been right – I’m a big snacker. I could easily get through the day on cups of tea, biscuits, toast and tea (dinner for those who call it dinner). Through high school I almost never had breakfast and I was lucky if I ever bought myself lunch. I was just never hungry or so I was telling myself I wasn’t. Instead I’d opt for a flapjack or I’d ‘treat’ myself to ‘Chicken Burger Friday’ – that was a requirement.

Now though, I realise the error in my ways. I physically and mentally just cannot survive on that routine anymore. I’ve been depriving myself for years, even if I didn’t know it at the time. I think for a part of my life I had some form of eating disorder subconsciously. All of that has to STOP.

My weight last year

After travelling SE Asia, I came back home a stone lighter than what I originally was. This freaked me out. I started in September with the mindset to get fit, healthy and stronger and this included a much overdue weight gain. To achieve this, it meant that I had to put myself on a calorie surplus diet.

So what is a calorie surplus???

Often hitting 3000 calories as a target a day. Some days this just wasnt possible and I was naughty by not sticking to my plan. I joined the gym and started seeing improvements, however, by the end of October I had manage to get closer to the 10 stone mark and keep the weight on – a FIRST ever!!!

Throughout November I was involved in a touring project Seussical and sadly I wasn’t looking after myself as well as I should have. Meaning that I had lost a few pounds in the process. I felt deflated however I was still above 9 stone so that was the main thing.

My weight in 2018

I’m setting myself a challenge: By the end of 2018 I will be 11 stone. That is my ideal weight.

As part of my resolutions I’m going to be prioritising my meals a lot more and making sure I’m getting the right types of food. I will be gymming more and with the addition of my flat mate, Brendan, on the same journey as me I’m sure I’ll be a lot more motivated to actually make this happen.

I believe in myself.


Weight will be a series of progress pics and posts on my journey to a stronger and healthier George in 2018.

Jennifer Burk

What is a Calorie Surplus?

In essence a calorie surplus is a way of effectively consuming more calories than you naturally burn. Thus leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. A calorie surplus is required if you ant to gain weight. To gain muscle you must be training equally as rigorous.

What is a calorie surplus? – The maths

As stated above, a calorie surplus is a way of consuming more calories than you normally would burn. If you eat 3,000 calories each day and burn 2,500, you’ve created a surplus of 500 calories each day. This is then transferred into muscle or body fat depending on your exercise routine.

Gaining weight requires a consistent weight surplus. It’s through consistency that you see results.

What is body fat?

Everybody has it. Our body stores energy as body fat. Especially when you’re on an excessive calorie surplus. Muscle growth is limited to approximately 10-15 pounds a year so anything over this gets stored by the body as fat. If you’re gaining fat as opposed to muscle then you’re probably eating too much. Keeping your surplus at a moderate level (500 excess calories above how much you burn eg. 3000 calories for every 2500 burnt) will help resolve this issue.

Healthy ways to create a calorie surplus

While it remains true that a larger calorie surplus leads to faster weight gain, that doesn’t mean you should be eating anything and everything you can get your hands on. Be smart about it and make the right choices.

You should be eating foods that are high in complex carbs, lean proteins and unsaturated fats: 100% whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, low fat/fat free dairy products and vegetable oils (particularly extra virgin olive oil).

You should be avoiding foods high in simple carbs, sugars and saturated/trans fats: fruit juice, soda, doughnuts, muffins, candy, potato chips and white bread (refined flour).



My 2018 New Years Resolutions

Setting goals and resolutions in 2018 couldn’t be easier with my last post.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen countless posts about how 2017 was the worst year in people’s entire existence but fortunately that wasn’t the case for me. Call me lucky I guess. I had an abundance of happiness in 2017 and my life was one big adventure. I travelled far and wide from Amsterdam to Cambodia, Vietnam to Berlin. The world was my oyster. Like any year I had my ups and downs and so after reflecting on last year I’ve set these goals and resolutions to help me get that one step closer to my dream.

2018 Resolutions

Drink more water

Water is the best thing for your body and even with knowing this I still don’t  drink enough of it. My ideal aim is 3 litres a day – I’ll be pissing for Britain in no time.

Wake up earlier

I’m the worst when it comes to sleeping. Like water, I never get enough of the crucial z’s. Due to the nature of my course I need to be energised  day and an active participator at all time throughout my day and in the last year I’ve found that sometimes my sleep patterns have prohibited me from doing so.

But no more, this year I’m going to make it a personal aim to be in bed by 11pm each night hoping to get that to 10:30pm by June. This means that I can wake up earlier and get a more proficient morning routine from 6:30am onwards. I’ve figured out that my body responds best to 7/7.5 hours sleep each night.


After losing a lot of weight when travelling I went on a bit of a gain phase and it worked out really well up until my show when I lost the weight again. But on the plus side I still didn’t fall back to the weight I used to be. So this year I’m going to be prioritising my meals further. I’m going to make a conscious effort to not skip breakfast due to lack of time.

Live simpler

2017 was a year of impulsive buys and while I do believe in treating myself every now and then, I did take it to the extremes last year. It’s even the 3 costa coffees I’d have each week at lunch. They can be left in 2017. Instead, I will limit my costa spending and drink tea because let’s face it tea is better anyways. I will also be using Yolt to keep track of my finances this year.


I usually take 2 but this ones more for my health.


To be quite honest with you I’m aabsolutely sick of the headaches I get after a drunken night out. It’s lead me to be counter productive on my weekends and I just can’t be bothered feeling grim anymore. So I’ve decided to give my liver a detox and a well-earned break from alcohol for the foreseeable future.

Make time for reading

With my busy schedule I find it hard to read as much as I would like to. However I’m at my most contented ness when I’m reading and the joy of turning a page or getting to the end of a chapter is what I live for. So I’m setting myself a challenge: I want to read at least 1 book every 3 months. That way I have plenty of time to read and possibly even more dependent on my schedule.

relearn spanish

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now. I love the language and I’d love to be able to say ‘I know spanish’ or converse fluently. It’s just something I’m keen on.

Gym more

I’ve got my membership and I do use it, I’d just like to use it more often in order to reach my own body goals. In case you’re womdering that’s over 10 stone, fit, strong and healthy.

Finish writing my play

I started writing a play and I’m eager to finish it this year. Hopefully, I’ll submit it to a panel to get it workshopped in terms of the writing and then who knows maybe I’ll be Britain’s best new playwright 2018. A boy can dream.

write more

I think that’s every writer’s goal right? This year I’m going to continue blogging and taking you on my journey. A big part of me wants to dabble in journalism and magazine editing so I’m hoping that I’ll actually get started on that this year. I’ve also bought myself a journal ‘Q&Aa day for 5 years’ so it looks like this one will be on my goals every year for the next 5.

And finally, the same as every year:

Know my worth!

What are your resolutions for this year? Tell me in the comments below.

unsplash-logoNordWood Themes

2018 Goal Setting: How to set goals in 2018 and achieve them


Tired of setting endless amounts of goals and getting nowhere? You and me both pal.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for finally motivating yourself to turn your dreams into reality.

Did you know that only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the first week of the year. That means that 25% of people stopped working towards their goals after just the first week! Their desired destiny is falling before their eyes and they have no idea why?

It’s probably because they’re not exactly doing it right.

In order for your dreams to become a reality you have to make an action plan in order to achieve it. Or like last year, and the year before that, they will unfortunately remain as dreams. Choose where you want to be or go by knowing exactly what you want to achieve and what to prioritise and sometimes what to let go of.

Here’s how to do it:


First of all in order to achieve your goals in 2018 you must reflect on your goals from 2017. What did you wish for and what did you want to happen? Did it happen? If not, why? What could you have done more to achieve this dream? What went well? Where you proud of who you were? Are there any changes you want to make in the upcoming year? Why?

The dreaded question – why? It is so important that you ask yourself this no matter how hard the answer may be. Face up to it and accept it.


Ask yourself questions!!! Where do you see yourself in the next year? Are you happy? What’s different about you, your blog or your business? What is the same about these? Where are you living? Are you in the same social circles or are you in new ones? Do you have that new dream job?

Ultimately you have to picture your end game you have to see everything clearly there is no room for vagueness. Clarity is key – you need this in order to see things clearly. Through clarity you can begin to plan and achieve your dreams.


What do you want to accomplish? If you could accomplish one thing by the end of next year what would it be? Would it to become more bilingual or to become a better cook? Is it to finally move out f your parents place and get your own home? Or is it to travel as much as you can because it’s something you’ve always wanted to do?

You need to know and you need to be selfish in your pursuit. Your goals serve you; we spend a lot of our lives running round after everybody else that we forget to take care of ourselves and our needs.


You need milestones. Break them down into actionable steps. This will ensure that your goals are both realistic and achievable. That’s were SMART goals coming.

SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

This formular makes it possible for realistic and achievable targets. For each goal, you need different actionable steps in each biquarterly period in terms of how you are going to achieve them. For example if you were wantingto become a better dancer in each 3 month period you should be reflecting on your progress. This could be through peer assessment or video analysis.


Focus on the first quarter of the year for now.

Not only do you need bi-quarterly milestones but you also need monthly milestones – what needs to happen at the end of each month to make it success? What are you doing each month to get you that one step closer to your goal? Linking back to my previous example: have you attended the dance classes you said you were going to? Have you made it a priority or did life get in the way?


Take each week as a new week for opportunity, you can do anything when you set your mind to it. Here you need a list of tasks to ensure that you are that one step closer to making the first 3 months a success and ultimately the next 9 months after a success too.

Get yourself a planner and jot all your tasks down – that way you can schedule them all in and make it manageable for yourself.


If a planner doesn’t seem right to you there isn’t an array of different apps out there that can help you schedule your tasks and work calendar online. My personal favourites are Asana and ToDoist


Start your year off right and turn your dreams into reality.

What do you think?

Emile Séguin

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Small. I felt small in a world of skyscrapers. From the outside these tower blocks appear almost like gravestones for that is exactly what they are. It’s simplicity in design is effective as a memorial site; it wasn’t fancy or show off-ish and nor should it be. It was bold and brutal emulating the very act that caused this to happen. Walking through the maze, I was one, one of thousands there with me in spirit. The mass blocks commemorate all of the lives that were lost during the holocaust and I really felt that energy when walking side by side with the boulders.

Everything as grey: the day, the weather, the blocks. It felt somber and the rain fell down unapologetically. Everything about this place was symbolic and fitting.

Primo Levi paints it perfectly “It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.”

One must use history as a guide to ensure this never happens again. Learn from it, as it is everywhere. It is in the air; it mustn’t be forgotten.