Q. What was your initial attraction to Vocal Awareness, and how did you first learn about Vocal Awareness?
A. I first heard of Arthur Joseph from a career coach that I met via the UC Irvine physician executive MBA program. At the time, I was exploring an MBA as a means to meet people who could help me enter the world of media. She suggested Arthur’s tapes as a means of developing my oratory presence. I bought those, but once I realized he lived in LA, I decided to contact him directly. After meeting him the first time, I realized this work was much more than developing vocal skills. It changed the way I viewed myself.
Q. Do you recall a moment when you felt a shift, or even a break-through because of your Work with Vocal Awareness?
A. In the beginning, I wasn’t ready to embrace the change. I saw myself in multiple roles, but I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I was a spine surgeon, a mother, a wife. I knew I was interested in writing and speaking on orthopaedic topics. But if you asked me who is Melanie Kinchen, at the essence, I didn’t know. When I spoke with Arthur about my ideas, he took them to a level that was not comprehensible to me at the time. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t believe I could speak about anything. I could only speak about spine. He didn’t push. We worked for awhile, but the multiple roles I played took priority. So I took a break for about a half of a year. I still knew there was something else I wanted to do. Spine surgery as a career wasn’t nourishing. I still practiced the rituals. I still asked myself the question; Who is Melanie Kinchen and what does she want? I believed he could help me sort that out. So I called him back, this time with a new focus and drive. I wasn’t sure of the answer to the question… I still don’t know…
But, I was ready to take the JOURNEY. Several months after Arthur and I reunited, I woke up in the early am (best writing/thinking time for me) and wrote “the Journey”. It has become my mission statement. That poem reflects the Melanie Kinchen I want to be as I pursue this vision. My whole life to that point was centered around tasks and accomplishments of which I have many. Vocal Awareness is not a task you conquer. It is an evolving process that allows you to understand your inner self and convey it to others through the power of voice.
Q. What has been the biggest benefit thus far from your practice of Vocal Awareness?
A. That shift in thinking has been the biggest accomplishment for me. That is not a typical surgeon mindset. Now I approach things based around the vision I want to create. It is that self I want to be at all times, convey at all times. My voice is my tool. Now that I recognize it, the possibilities are endless.