For SAG-AFTRA members who use their voices to make a living, there are few professional issues more important than maintaining healthy vocal chords. On Jan. 27, SAG-AFTRA partnered with the Osborne Head & Neck Institute to offer a unique one-day workshop on how to protect — and get the most out of — these two tiny folds of tissue.
An understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the larynx and vocal chords is an important first step in maintaining and improving vocal performance. Dr. Reena Gupta, the director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at the Osborne Head & Neck Institute, led participants in an overview of the anatomy of the performing voice. Throughout the day, other topics included DIY laryngeal massage, facts and myths around vocal injury, maximizing the audition process, vocal fry, finding your perfect pitch and anesthesia for the voice-user. One panel of experts discussed how to deal with vocal injury and recovery and another answered questions on a variety of topics.
One of the highlights of the day was a demonstration of live stroboscopy. A strobe tower was brought into the James Cagney Board Room and volunteers were given a live strobe, which was projected on the screen to provide a real-time view of the functioning of the vocal chords.
Participants during the day included SAG-AFTRA singers and voice actors. The event was sponsored by the Interactive Committee, which has prioritized ongoing education around vocal health and safety for professional performers.
Photo: Dr. Reena Gupta, the director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at the Osborne Head & Neck Institute, performs a live demonstration of stroboscopy, a special method used to visualize vocal fold vibration.