this is just something that I've found incredibly helpful. I'm not sure how helpful it'd be to other people, but on the offchance I'll mention it here.

I've always been fairly interested in music, and have played various classical and folk instruments. wen I started university though, I thought I'd try something different, and get into singing seriously, as well as performing.

I had three or four lessons with a teacher to get the basic techniques, and from then on I practiced. It's really interesting that people recommend breathing exercises, sinse a lot of them are things I do in order to sing properly. then, singing involves the entire body, and I find a great sense of control over things, particularly singing in harmony, and being responsable for one part. then, there's the music itself of course.

when my voice gets into a working state I find it absolutely fantastic, and some of the best moments I've had have involved singing.
as to wat I sing, well it's been a variety of things, from gospel to strictly choral stuff, but the main thing I do is Gilbert and Sullivan light operas, which brings me onto my second point.

while singing, and being on stage, I've found myself able to do things I normally wouldn't be able to, and sinse I'm concentrating so hard on the performance, they don't matter to me quite as much as they would in real life. This is particularly true in musicals and such, where I'm actually singing, and getting all the benefits I mentioned above.

Last august for example, I had to play Edwin, the first tenor role in Trial by Jury. this was my first really major production (performed at te international G&S festival, in front of about 1000 people), and obviously I was concentrating incredibly hard.

Edwin is being put on trial for breaking his promise of mariage to one lady, because he wants to marry someone else. The director wanted the entire female chorus to fall madly in love with edwin. So I performed two songs entirely surrounded by girls, recieved many kisses as part of the staging, and spent most of the oppereta with my arms around two of them.

In normal circumstances, these are things that would really bother me. I do not do pysical contact, particularly with comparative strangers. but a combination of singing two rather nice tenor arias, the fact that Edwin and not myself was responsable for all of this, ------ not to mention of course the high level of excitement I felt about performing the lead tenor role in something so major all combined to get me around this problem, and sinse last august, I'm slightly less bothered about physical contact than I was before.

another challenge is coming up soon, sinse i'm playing Nanki poo in a production of the Mikado, and there is a song which involves kissing, ----- and while I'm slightly bothered about it, I don't feel as petrified as I would've been before I did Trial.

Oh heck! I've really rambled on here, sorry, just a couple of thoughts.