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The Art of Singing: A Conversation with Venika Morrissette on the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast #31

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[00:00:00] Venika Morrissette: That’s how it started is just like, I wanna create a fanciful world outside of my immediate circumstances. Um, the fun thing and, um, The lucky thing I, I suppose, is that I did have a natural talent with my voice that was acknowledged by people around me. And I just wanna take a moment just to slip in here that everyone I think, has potential around voice and it often comes down to.

[00:00:28] What the other people around them say about them expressing it. So I just got lucky that someone said, oh, you sound good. Whereas there’s other people I know who have, I hear their voices and they have, their voices are excellent, but just because someone was like, Hey, shut up that noise, or sit down, or you’re not, you don’t sing as well as your sister, or whatever the story is, and they just stop.

[00:00:50] And maybe someone said, you are, you’re great at art or you’re a great mathematician, and they continue in whatever that direction is and. I even have things like that. I probably could be [00:01:00] amazing at math, but I just always had the story. We don’t, we are not good at math. Anyway,

[00:01:05] Matthew Keuhlhorn: welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast.

[00:01:07] I’m your host, Matt Keuhlhorn, and I’m excited to have you join me as I interview community members and business leaders from the communities in which I live, work, and serve through my business Kooler Garage Doors. We’re gonna bring you highlights on characters in our communities. Why? Because community, And I want to know more about who is behind our business and leadership in order to understand and support the community fabric that our relationships make up and collectively, we can build stronger communities that support our lifestyles, our youth and our health.

[00:01:44] Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host, Matt Keuhlhorn. Today I have a very special guest. I’m very excited to drop in a conversation with you, Venika. This is Venika Morrisette. She’s a musician, actress, and [00:02:00] teacher specifically around voice and and voice coaching. Venika. Thank you so much for joining.

[00:02:06] Venika Morrissette: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.

[00:02:08] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Yeah, I’m really excited. I. Lots of questions and I am anticipating that we’re gonna go to a, a level of depth in our conversation, um, because I get the sense that voice is more than just voice. I mean, let’s just start there and then I wanna do a little background cuz I’m gonna ask you where you grew up and I wanna understand that a little bit.

[00:02:37] But just start us out. How would you define voice?

[00:02:42] Venika Morrissette: Ah, so I love talking about voice, so prepare for me to geek out. Yes. But voice first of all, for those of us who have voices, is, uh, your voice is one of your most high rep activities that you use and probably don’t ever [00:03:00] think about. So it’s just like your breathing.

[00:03:02] You are doing that successfully all day, and there’s something powerful when you turn your attention to your breath. If you’ve ever meditated or done yoga or something, you suddenly realize, oh man, I’m alive. I I have this breath. And your voice is the same in part because your voice is a function of your breath.

[00:03:21] but also because pretty much once we learn to speak, we just kind of set it and forget it. We, we don’t think about it very much. Um, and the, the other thing I’m often quoted saying is that, uh, singing. Is just crying on pitch. And it’s part of why it feels so powerful to like go to a concert and sing in a group or go to church and sing at church or wherever people gather and sing.

[00:03:46] It feels so powerful cause you’re doing this really essential thing that we stopped doing that you know, as a baby you stopped crying for your needs as soon as you acquired language, which is great. Great language is [00:04:00] beautiful. It’s amazing. But it also is a filter for the raw information of you as a person, that you as a baby were just like, ah, I’m, I’m sitting in a dirty diaper.

[00:04:11] Ah, I’m hungry. Whatever those things are. Or joy. Yeah. All of those emotions and needs. And so, um, doing voice work is about getting in touch with something that’s even more essential in a way, pre-language. Pre-conditioning around how to use your voice, and I can go deep into that. So many of us have so many, uh, levels of conditioning around how we use our voices, how we are heard and understood.

[00:04:42] Yeah. Uh, our thoughts about how we listen to other voices. Um, and so, yeah, I

[00:04:50] Matthew Keuhlhorn: can go on and on. Yes. Yeah. We’re, we’re gonna touch back on that in just a moment, but tell me where did you grow up? .

[00:04:58] Venika Morrissette: So I had a [00:05:00] very crazy little upbringing and I grew up in a lot of places. So I was actually entered the planet on or in Texas rather.

[00:05:10] Um, I was born in Texas and then, um, I was a military brat and a foster care. So I’ve lived in, and not in that order, I was a foster care kid, then a military brat. Um, and so I’ve lived in many, many places in many different conditions. Um, sometimes for simplicity, when people ask me, um, I just say that I’m from New York City, probably, um, because it.

[00:05:41] It’s easy and it’s actually where I, I moved there as an adult, but it’s where I really feel like I became a person and when I was a kid and I would struggle to explain, I don’t know where I’m from. I don’t know who my father is. I don’t, when I would try to explain all of these things, sometimes I realized it’s just easier just to be like, to say [00:06:00] one thing.

[00:06:00] And so I started saying, oh, I’m, I’m from New York. I did not know what it meant. I was totally lying. But um, that was a thing I did as a kid for a while. Um, yeah. But yeah, and I honestly that question of where did I grow up? I’m like still growing up . So, uh, I could also answer Los Angeles, uh, yeah, yeah.

[00:06:21] Right here in my room. Um, yeah, , I

[00:06:25] Matthew Keuhlhorn: love that. I, I appreciate that. And you’ve been in Los Angeles now for how long?

[00:06:30] Venika Morrissette: I came to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, New York in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, um, which is an insane choice, but was the one that I made. Um, and I didn’t know that I had moved here maybe until about a year and a half into that.

[00:06:47] So even though it’s been technically three years, it feels. A year and a half now.

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[00:07:34] Matthew Keuhlhorn: When did the artist in you started expressing, when did you find voice? When did you get into putting music together?

[00:07:47] Venika Morrissette: So, W with my upbringing, which I didn’t go into much detail about, but in a lot of circumstances where there’s a lot of trauma abuse, um, darkness, pain, [00:08:00] expression is a natural outlet if, if it is allowed to be.

[00:08:05] And so really young with me and my siblings, , we started to put our emotions, the things we were processing into song and into creative play. Mm-hmm. . Um, and so that sparked an interest in me really young, in um, just all things storytelling. And so, and it was a, you know, your imagination is a way. One, to create new things, but also to express what you’re experiencing.

[00:08:33] So that’s how it started, is just like, I wanna create a fanciful world outside of my immediate circumstances. Um, the fun thing and, um, the lucky thing I, I suppose, is that I did have a natural talent with my voice that was acknowledged by people around me. And I just wanna take a moment just to slip in here.

[00:08:57] Everyone I think has potential around [00:09:00] voice and it often comes down to what the other people around them say about them expressing it. So I just got lucky that someone said, oh, you sound good. Whereas there’s other people I know who have, I hear their voices and they have, their voices are excellent, but just because someone was like, Hey, shut up that noise, or Sit down, or You’re not, you don’t sing as well as your sister, or whatever the story is, and they just stop.

[00:09:24] And maybe someone said, You’re great at art or you’re a great mathematician, and they continue in whatever that direction is. And, um, I even have things like that. I probably could be amazing at math, but I just always had the story that we don’t, we are not good at math anyways. Yes, yes. Um, so I, I started there and always knew that I wanted to be an actor and ultimately I’m, I’m gonna skip a lot of the details.

[00:09:50] Ultimately, I went to college, um, for theater and. . Um, when I entered that training program, it was the first time I had [00:10:00] ever had voice lessons and, um, I got my spirit crushed in that context. Suddenly. Oh yes, I had been singing my whole life, but I was stepped into this like classical voice setting.

[00:10:13] Classical vocal pedagogy, and it’s, um, I didn’t, I couldn’t live up to a lot of the things I grew up singing, uh, you know, r and bs, soul Gospel music, you know, these different styles. And now suddenly I had to learn this new technique and, um, which was super valuable. And I, I did learn so much. After my first semester, my, uh, professor suggested to me that, Hey, maybe you shouldn’t be a musical theater major, or maybe you should just be an acting major because your, your voice isn’t so great.

[00:10:47] And um, and so I switched my major and started focusing on acting and then just like life conspired that I also started doing a lot of singing. People just started [00:11:00] asking me, Hey, sing for this. I became the vocalist of my jazz band in college. I started, and so two things were happening. I was getting all of these opportunities whilst my voice was.

[00:11:12] Completely shut down. And I was doubting, oh, I’m not, I’m not meant for this. I can’t do this. And so over the years when I began to be the front woman of bands and have bigger opportunities as a vocalist, and people started asking me, Hey, will you help me sing or will you help me work on this audition? Or, um, I started to recognize, oh, I think people are coming to me, um, because there’s something I understand about the vulnerability of using your voice.

[00:11:41] And so, um, that’s how I, I. That’s how I started into the, the vocal coaching world. But it actually, there’s actually one more story that’s important to how I started and it has to do with my aunt who is, um, she’s at this point [00:12:00] survived four strokes and after her second stroke. Um, you know, she was non-verbal and everyone was just like, well, that’s just how it’s going to be.

[00:12:12] And I remember seeing her finally after this time period and just having a very naive sense that I could help her. To express, um, or, or to start to reclaim some of her voice back because I had had all this traditional vocal pedagogical training. I am, I’ve been a yoga teacher now for years. I’ve worked in wellness my whole adult life.

[00:12:35] And so I was like, I think I know how to get her nervous system into a place of calm and then teacher about the motor function around the voice. And, um, I’m gonna try. And so I started working with her just a little bit as much as she could bear, and I, I taught her to say, Vowels and to say her name and to say a few other things, and it got me thinking like, oh my gosh, this whole communicating [00:13:00] thing is so hard.

[00:13:02] I, I, it, it helps me to understand how we take so for granted that we can have this conversation right now. and that we can understand it and that we can communicate our thoughts about something. It, we take it so for granted. And so, um, I started that, that’s what started me on this path of, okay, I wanna help people’s nervous systems feel more comfortable around this idea of expression.

[00:13:24] Am I bla too much ?

[00:13:26] Matthew Keuhlhorn: No, this is amazing. I, I love this story and you know, every time I talk to somebody I kind of geek out on the context like I want to know. The etymology of words. I wanna know where they came from. I want to know where people come from. Right? So you just painted this beautiful photo of context that brings us, you know, I’m hearing a lot of self-expression and we can certainly do this through our voice.

[00:13:53] And there’s so often the opportunity just to take our voice and our. For granted. [00:14:00] And we may not have that mirror of reflection and be able to look at ourselves and be like, okay, am I fully expressing who I am? And when you’re working with folks Uhhuh in this, in this voice coaching, there’s a couple of questions I’m really curious about.

[00:14:20] But one is like, when is the, when is the individual’s eyes lighting up? Like when do you get juiced? Because you’re seeing some progression along the way, and, and now that that person’s showing up more, like how is that process

[00:14:38] Venika Morrissette: Okay? There’s so many moments with, with this, um, But one of my favorites, I have to say, pretty consistently is when people start to understand the equipment that they’re running around with

[00:14:54] Um, and so it’s, you know, there, there’s so many ways to approach the voice. There’s the [00:15:00] emotion of it. There’s the, for some it, there might be a spiritual aspect. There is, um, there, there’s so many levels. The, the one that I find really lights people up is them just understanding the anatomy they have and how it’s functioning on an everyday, uh, basis.

[00:15:20] And then as they start to understand it, I, I see a light bulb go on to people where they feel more empowered in the ways that they have to use their voices. And so you kind of think, you know, there’s a lot of things in life that are just. This is what I was given. Like I’m an Aries, so this is how I am.

[00:15:37] Or I’m a whatever. Whatever. Yeah. You just think that you’re, yeah. It’s just the way it is and it’s powerful to show people, oh, actually you just never explored this. I’m sitting in front of my keyboard and there’s, there’s notes that they, people hear and they’re like, oh, I can’t do that. And I get to show them, oh, no, no.

[00:15:56] You have a set of muscles devoted to expressing these [00:16:00] sounds and we can build up to them. Watching people do something that they never thought that they could do is a powerful thing. And usually it’s like a, I did it. And then the, the other fun thing and the, the other power of the work is we get to see together how that person shows up to challenge and then how they show up to success.

[00:16:24] And usually those things are really telling. Either it’s, there’s a, an instant beating the self up and being like, oh, I can’t, and, and how they work with that frustration. And so a lot of the work is, how can we bring more grace to this? What is it like to be you Yeah. In this moment where something’s not working the way that you, you want it to work?

[00:16:45] And then, , when it does work, are you immediately doubting it? So many people are like, oh, that was a fluke. I couldn’t produce it again. Sure. And sure I get to show them, oh, no, no, no. You’re build, you’re building the neural pathways to repeat it. You are building the [00:17:00] musculature to repeat it. And then the other thing that comes up for people often is that when they have a success, In, in the context of the voice work, and I’m guilty of this as a person myself, but I, I watch people not relish it and not celebrate it.

[00:17:19] And what that does is set them up to kind of be looking for the failure, looking for how things aren’t working out. And so my joy is to stop people and be like, Hey, did you hear what you just did? Did you feel that? Like I wanted to land on you, what you did there. And, um, . That’s powerful. And can I say one more thing?

[00:17:38] That is Absolutely. Um, yeah. The other thing happens early on in, in my work with people and it’s that I try to create a container. Where there is just full permission to be and so many spaces around performance, [00:18:00] um, around music, around, um, just pretty much everything in life. is about showing up and putting your best foot forward and like, you know, that’s how I felt going to my first voice lessons.

[00:18:12] I was nervous, shaking, nervous every time because I felt like if I mess up, , that’s a ding on me. And, and I couldn’t in the moment process the mess up. It’s just like, you just gotta do better next time. Or it was, it was, there was some energy like that. And so I love when people recognize like, oh, this is a space where, first of all, you’re my reflection.

[00:18:35] And I don’t, I don’t use this word love lightly, but it’s just the best word. Encapsulate this thing, but like I’m just like reflecting love back to you. Like I just love that you’re here, being a person expressing yourself and that’s enough. That’s enough. That’s enough. We might refine some things, but you’re enough.

[00:18:54] And then also you can make mistakes. You can laugh at yourself, you can cry at yourself, whatever it is. And I’m just gonna like hold [00:19:00] the space with you. Yeah. When people recognize that level of permission, there, there is a, like a, a softening on what should, and then the fun begins. And I, I, I really mean the word fun people can understand like, oh, it’s fun to learn about this and to just try different ways for your voice to express Ah, yeah, , there’s, there’s, there’s more moments.

[00:19:23] Matthew Keuhlhorn: I see and feel your passion and what I keep hearing, I’m gonna, I’m gonna test this with you because in my sum summary, I would say that potentially you are using voice as like the door to help people rewrite the meaning so that they make around themselves some self value. Meaning around failure, meaning around success.

[00:19:50] And thus transformation can occur when we tweak those foundational fundamental thoughts. Whoa.

[00:19:59] Venika Morrissette: Can [00:20:00] you repeat that and can I steal that ? That’s perfect. That was like perfect. Yes, that is. That is the thing.

[00:20:09] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Yeah. I mean, You, you really are helping people rewrite thoughts and that is real transformational work.

[00:20:16] Venika Morrissette: Yeah. And there’s an expression, you know, um, that I think has its limits Absolutely. But also has empowered, it’s, it’s the expression of the way you do anything is the way you do everything. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and the, I really feel that in the voice work in the sessions. Like, oh, I’m seeing, I’m seeing how, oh, this is probably how they deal with.

[00:20:36] their partner , or this is probably how they deal with, uh, you know, the thing that’s frustrating them at work or whatever it is. And, um, we don’t ever have to say that or talk about it, but often my students do. They’ll be like, oh, this is making me think about how I talked to my kid earlier today, or Yeah.

[00:20:52] You know, whatever that is. And so, um, yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a container to do that work [00:21:00] that’s fun and you also get to build a skill along the. That a lot of people wanted . So many people are like, didn’t it? I always wanted to sing’s true. I always loved it’s music. True, that’s true. I, and I never did. And I just sing in my car and it’s just like the secret desire that so many people carry around.

[00:21:18] It’s, it makes me sad sometimes too.

[00:21:22] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Well, that goes into this, you know, deep question of. , you know, we’re talking about extra expression work about voice and mm-hmm. , I could almost argue, and, and I, I’m guessing you would probably agree, but if we did not, Have our voice. If somebody’s listening and doesn’t have the actual vocal mechanics, there is still expression opportunities.

[00:21:45] Yes. It may not be in the same way, it’s just a different ability, but how might, like expression, word change how humans treat each other and or communicate, like if we have this deeper presence, understanding of the, the system that we’re giving, but [00:22:00] also like the connection of that system to our being and we learn how to express this.

[00:22:07] What could happen? What are the ripples that could play out? Yeah, so

[00:22:14] Venika Morrissette: one thing is that when you can get an understanding for how you operate and how you are a vessel for so much for breath one, it’s literally moving in you, through you, out of you. In this eternal like it’s been going on for as long as people have been here, this whole breath exchange.

[00:22:40] Once you can recognize. , there is a chance to feel sound in that same way. And, and the ideas that we express, the feelings that are expressed, they are not so individual. They’re not just mine. They, they, there’s, there’s an, um, an exercise we do called the pull of [00:23:00] sound. They’re coming from this. Richer place, this richer experience we’re all tapped into as people.

[00:23:07] And so what, when you can even just kind of believe that or kind of ascent to that, like, okay. Yeah, I, I could see how that would be possible. It gives you, uh, the ability to respect people a little bit more. Foundationally, , you get to recognize the dignity of a person and. Then the other thing is you can, as it relates to just bare level expression, when you start to do that work, you can really see in a different way the challenge of expression and how the person that you’re interacting with who are like, why won’t you just say it?

[00:23:46] Or like, can you spit it out? Or whatev whatever our own frustrations are with other people in. Communication and expression. When we understand what it takes, it instantly gives you [00:24:00] much more compassion about how it is used. And, um, the other thing is you’re listening. A big part of voice work is listening.

[00:24:11] Um, I mean, it’s everything . Um, it’s how we learn language. It’s how we learn sound. It’s how we. , someone’s there to calm us. When we were babies, they said, oh, okay, I’m here. You know? Mm-hmm. touch is important, but sound is too. And so that, that listening. We also forget too, we forget to listen with our whole selves and not just our minds and you know, all of us, I’m sure have had the experience.

[00:24:44] We’re in conversation with someone or an argument or whatever the, the context is, and we are hearing what is being said, but we’re already formulating the rebuttal or the response or the whatever that is. [00:25:00] And there is a way of listening that is deeper and bigger and, um, Really honors just the dignity of like, oh my gosh, we are people like, ugh.

[00:25:14] Right. And, um, one, the one more thing that I just wanna say is that the, um, the other big part of my work that I think is important and, and goes points to this, like how might the ripples, uh, affect all of us is. is, is this a remembrance that we are just like creatures, that we are just like animals in a sense and mm-hmm.

[00:25:44] um, we or animals completely and the. Expression that we make, that there’s something powerful about making it just because we’re creatures and that we, we make sounds just [00:26:00] like other animals do this. And making sound beyond language is really powerful. And we know this from, to talk just a little bit about popular.

[00:26:11] The biggest anthems, the biggest songs that have had global influence, they have choruses that are like, oh, they’re, they’re os there’s os There’s um, there’s big epic things that you don’t need to know what the meaning of the song is necessarily, but you’re feeling that we’re all in this stadium, in this Serena, we’re tapping into that o and it’s connecting us.

[00:26:39] It’s bigger. It’s bigger than all of us, and it, it brings us together. And that’s just, that just comes from all of us tapping into the same thing and breathing at the same time. It’s powerful.

[00:26:50] Matthew Keuhlhorn: That is powerful. And I’m just hearing connection. Connection,

[00:26:54] Venika Morrissette: yes.

[00:26:55] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Connection. And, um, I’m gonna pick on one of the words that you’ve mentioned.

[00:26:59] [00:27:00] You’ve mentioned the word remembrance, huh. And I’m curious from your perspective, because I would agree with it on a level, but I’m also curious like was there a time in humanness where we did not have to have that remembrance? Is there a time in hell a person’s life, or is that part of just our journey?

[00:27:19] Tolay the onion as we experience life and remember who we really are and remember that ultimate connection.

[00:27:28] Venika Morrissette: Yeah, I mean, I, one thing I’ll say first off is I don’t really know the answer. . I don’t know. Yes, great answer, . Um, but I think that I, I think two things. One, you know, it’s really easy to an our, like Western society, um, And, and modern times to look at current indigenous populations or more remote or, you [00:28:00] know, uh, just other populations not living in our western world and think, oh, they’ve really got it figured out.

[00:28:06] Or they really know how to, how to, how to do that. And, um, I think there is a lot of truth to that, that there’s a lot to learn and there’s, there are things that we can. F from our modern experience that could make us be more connected. But I’m, I’m also hesitant sometimes to just say like, oh, they definitely have that because I really see humans as just like humans.

[00:28:30] And so I imagine that if we cut to 200,000 years ago when we are, you know, whenever, you know early parts of our species that because they are humans, They’re still coming up against some of the same challenges of how do I make myself heard? How do I communicate this thought and, uh, have it be felt? I think that is [00:29:00] uniquely human in a way too, because we have this benefit of language.

[00:29:05] Maybe, perhaps before languages were so refined there was something more essential and elemental, but I think. My point is I think it’s always challenging and it’s always something to be worked with and yeah. Um, I think there are ways though that we can, and I think this would be true of people at any time, there are ways that we can breathe and slow down and here and feel and make that remembering.

[00:29:41] and I’m not, this is not just me, this is this. There’s all kinds of research about Yeah. You just need to get still, you just need to get quiet. Yeah. You just need to, yeah. Take a break or, um, and, um, yeah, so I guess my answer is I don’t think that it, it’s been easier. I just think maybe what has been easier is removing all [00:30:00] of the other distractions and layers, like for me to, in this moment, remove the, but actually, I’m sorry, I’m changing my answer again cuz I’m thinking out loud.

[00:30:11] Uh, okay. I was gonna say, yeah, it, it might be harder. I was gonna say it might be harder because I’ve gotta unplug in these ways and there’s the, the, I’m li in la like there’s just energy all around. Yeah. And that is true. And there’s something powerful about going where there is not all of this stuff happening, but the, my rebuttal to that is that really foundational to my belief of how I interact with the world and how I work with people is that, As close as your next breath right now with if no other circumstances or conditions around you, change is the remembrance and the possibility for peace.

[00:30:52] Right here, right now. Nothing else needs to change. It’s in it, it’s, you can access that within you. So, sorry, I said a million [00:31:00] answers. , .

[00:31:03] Matthew Keuhlhorn: So it’s almost an unanswerable question, , and so all your answers are, I think absolutely correct. And, and, um, are, are there one or two, like of your go. Habits that brings you to that now that you’ve kind of relied on over the past few years or through your, through your journey?

[00:31:27] Like what’s something tangible that, uh, that one of our listeners can be like, oh. Maybe I could use that like now or today. Oh

[00:31:35] Venika Morrissette: yeah. One of them is very simple and people might already be doing it, but the thing that makes it powerful is the intention behind it. That’s the thing that makes anything powerful is like, what is your thought behind it?

[00:31:47] Yes. And um, Since my youngest days, I have memories of doing this in foster care, feeling lonely and scared. And, um, it, it’s so natural. So [00:32:00] this is not, uh, my idea, this is, this came, uh, hardwired or what is the, like this is just installed, but it’s humming to yourself and, um, and as a kid I would do it all the time and I would fall asleep humming to myself and I th at for a while, I always thought, oh, I’m making up songs, or I’m remembering a song that I heard or there was a real like purpose like that behind it.

[00:32:28] But as I grew older and started to really deal with a lot of my childhood trauma and really process things as an. I and, and look at the research. I recognize that, oh, humming is this thing that is just a tool for calming your nervous system. You’re sending frequency right into your body, right into the thick of the action, and it’s powerful with the right intention.

[00:32:48] So right now, that’s something you can do. You can go and sit in your car where nobody else is and actively hum to yourself. Maybe no song at all. Or maybe if you [00:33:00] need a little. Put on your favorite song and hum along, but really think about sending the frequency into your whole body. And then also it, it’s, it’s both.

[00:33:11] It’s you’re sending it down, but it’s also coming from you. And so you are gonna feel that exchange and it’s so powerful, it’s so soothing. Do it as you’re falling asleep. Hum to your pets, to your kids. And we, we know this, but it, like I said, it’s the intention behind it. I know that’s so simple. Yes. And maybe boring, but it’s really powerful.

[00:33:32] Yes.

[00:33:33] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Beautiful. I love that. Venika, who do you work with and how do people find you?

[00:33:41] Venika Morrissette: Yeah, so I work with all kinds of people, um, and I would say I have two categories of students, or they’re coming to me from two different places. One are the people who already identify as singers, and they [00:34:00] are, they want to sing better.

[00:34:02] They are, you know, they have an audition or they have a, they, they’re preparing for something and they. use their voices better. I’d say that’s maybe, maybe 10% of my students. And then the rest are all people who have a vague sense of, I wanna open up my voice, or I’ve always wanted to sing, or I’m scared to sing.

[00:34:22] Um, and it’s people of all ages, all, um, Walks of life really, um, that want to explore their voice, their voices in a safer space. Um, I do all of my voice work via Zoom, virtually, with the exception of some people that are here in Los Angeles. Um, good for it. And, um, you can find me by visiting my website, which is nicki

[00:34:55] Um, and you can find all the information about expression and [00:35:00] voice. Um, there. Um, I’m gonna create a little Kooler, uh, code so that people can Awesome. If they’re interested. Can get a little price break on it. Um, and uh, yeah, people can find me there. You can hit me up through Instagram. Also, if you wanna hear some of my creations, you can find that on Spotify.

[00:35:21] Apple Music, Amazon, anywhere music is streamed under my name, Venika. Um, yeah. And um, the, the other thing I wanted to say about that is that you don’t have to be fully have a full conviction of like, I’m a singer. My whole thing is that we’re all singers cuz we all that, that’s all a part of our, like design or if you wanna use that word design, um, and we will explore your voice together.

[00:35:51] Matthew Keuhlhorn: I love that and I think it’s important for folks listening to know our [00:36:00] connection. My wife engaged you as a, as a voice coach, and I believe you’re also working with my daughter, Penelope.

[00:36:06] Venika Morrissette: Yes. We just started

[00:36:08] Matthew Keuhlhorn: and oh my gosh, you know, and Annie told me that she was gonna engage Pinel with you. I. . Um, man, I mean, as parents we want to, I want to see my children express themselves, and there is also communication coming from me as a parent, and I know from schooling and from society in general of repress yourself,

[00:36:36] It’s a paradox and, and it’s, it’s an interesting one for me to, to see and explore. My, my real shout out is, is to you, thank you for doing the work that you’re doing because, you know, I can just imagine my daughter who I want to see, express herself, right? And do it in a healthy, like, fully [00:37:00] embodied, present way.

[00:37:02] And that is a skill, and there is some remembering and some delaying. In order to really find that essence. Um, so I really think it’s just beautiful and, and what you’re bringing into the world and, and the coaching services that you’re offering. And I’m just, I’m really grateful that you’re working with Annie and Penelope and Yeah.

[00:37:24] Um, yeah. It’s, it’s so cool. It’s . It’s, I could go out. It’s such pleasure. I know. We could continue talking because, you know, this is, um, One of my topics to geek out in is, is around transformation, and there’s so many doors we do go through physically semantics, the voice, which is very connected with somatic, like, oh yeah.

[00:37:48] There’s just a lot of ways to go into this place of presence of being, to rewrite. Ways of thought

[00:37:56] Venika Morrissette: and it’s pretty beautiful. This is not the sentence I would expect from a [00:38:00] garage door guy.

[00:38:01] Matthew Keuhlhorn: I know. , I . I

[00:38:03] Venika Morrissette: love it. I love that transformation is so, I mean it’s actually, I’m getting the image of of that too.

[00:38:10] It’s just, I don’t know. There’s a lot there. Um, yeah. Yeah. But yeah, it’s powerful and it is working with young people especially. Uh, teenagers or pre-teens, it’s the most, uh, For me, it, it puts me back into a space that, so it’s a privilege for me cuz I just am like, oh, I’m healing this part of me as I’m working with this person who is one, maybe in some ways closer to the remembrance and just the raw awkwardness, the, all of those things.

[00:38:47] Um, and then also they don’t know how much that they don’t know is the other thing that’s fun and. That’s actually true about me still today. I don’t know how much I don’t know. And um, [00:39:00] and so it’s, it’s a powerful gift working with young people.

[00:39:04] Matthew Keuhlhorn: Beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. Vinita, I appreciate you so much. I really thank you for your time.

[00:39:09] We’ll include links in our show notes. I encourage listeners, go check out vin’s songs, her coaching. Um, Your voice is beautiful. Your presence is beautiful. Thank you so much, and I really appreciate you dropping in to spend a little time with a small Garage Door podcast. Ah, .

[00:39:28] Venika Morrissette: Thank you. So fun. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:32] Matthew Keuhlhorn: We’ll talk to you soon, bika.

[00:39:34] Venika Morrissette: Talk to you soon.