Licorice for My Laryngitis


I had my first individual practice last night for the play. I only have one solo, and it’s a silly number where I’m pretending to be an old woman. I’ve listened to the CDs, and the girls who have this part almost all speak-sing it rather than regular old sing it. Personally, I’d like to at least try to sing-sing most of it.

After my first go last night, it’s pretty clear that my diaphragm is a little out of shape. I’ve always known this. Projecting has never been my forte. I think it has something to do with having a primary goal of not embarrassing myself; the louder I sing, the more likely people are to hear me mess up. But okay, I’ll work on singing louder. At least I know how – in theory – to fix that. (Fff, Sss, Sssh!)

After my second go, one of our several music directors (we seem to have a little uncertainty about who is actually in charge of the music) suggested that I should try not to go “over the fence” on my concluding notes. I wasn’t sure what she meant at first, but then she pointed out that I shouldn’t follow her example of singing, because – since she has perfect pitch – she can’t actually sing it the right way herself.


So she means I’m sharp. She’s probably right, but… very strange.

And the advice just kept getting stranger. After practice, she suggested I could try licorice drops to cure my laryngitis.


Laryngitis? I don’t have laryngitis. Was I doing worse than I thought? Was she confusing me with someone else? Sharon has laryngitis.

No, no. She had me straight. Apparently I was singing like I have laryngitis. (Well crap.) I came home and did a little research. Sure enough, the Mayo Clinic’s website says I could perfectly well have a temporary case of laryngitis from over-extending my rather rusty vocal cords. (And I must say, I was doing an admirable job hitting high F#s last night. Or maybe F# and 1/2s? :p Anyway, notes higher than any normal person normally sings.) Of course, it also says I might have gotten laryngitis as a result of diphtheria.

But probably not.

A little more research shows that using licorice as a cure for ailing throats is a practice that started with traditional Chinese medicine, but that in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s rarely ever just one herb used on its own.

Well, that’s all right. I may just toddle myself down to a health foods store and see what they recommend. Maybe they can also give me something to encourage my diaphragm to help me out a little more. On the other hand, there probably isn’t an herb in the world that can fix my sharpness problem. Guess I’ll just have to practice more. Good thing Dustin has headphones.

5 thoughts on “Licorice for My Laryngitis

  1. Licorice can be good for sore throats because it coats the tissues, giving them a protective covering that prevents against abrasion. I think. It’s been a while since I had to research this stuff. Marshmallow (real marshmallow, not the sugar+gelatin concoctions in the grocery store) is supposed to have a similar effect.

    Regular practice will also help! And staying very well hydrated.

    Nobody should be singing F#s. Seriously, woman.

  2. Too bad fake marshmallows don’t also count. I have something of a peep addiction. It would be nice if I had an excuse and got something out of it other than becoming a little bit chubbier.

    Staying hydrated is something I need to do a better job of. I’ve never been good at drinking anything (especially water) just for the sake of drinking, even though I know how very good it is for you.

    This morning, on the other hand, we’ve busted out mimosas at work. THAT is something I could get used to.πŸ˜€

  3. My favorite quote form the past week: “Mimosas: drink of the damned.”

    I’ve heard professional stage actors claim that they never drink alcohol during a run of a show, because it dries the vocal chords out. To which I say: what fun is theater without booze?!

  4. *checks self over* Well, I don’t seem to be damned yet. But mimosas at the office in the morning probably isn’t a habit I should get too used to, or that might change.

    On the other hand, I’ve discovered that a small amount of raspberry brandy before bed gives me good dreams.πŸ™‚

    And I don’t believe for a minute that stage actors don’t drink! Most I’ve known have been the lushiest sort of people around. In fact… don’t I remember you giving a really drop-dead performance one particular evening after imbibing quite thoroughly? I’m sure Burke hasn’t forgotten….

    Okay okay, not exactly professional theater. Close enough. (And no, I’m not calling you a lush.)

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