Featured Expert: Laurece West
by Susan McGuire
September 8, 2017.
See the original post at http://www.leadershipgirl.com/featured-expert-laurece-west/.
Voice and Performance expert Laurece West trains business and creative professionals in speaking and communication skills, strategy and mindset to significantly increase their impact in media, interviews, client interactions, boardrooms, courtrooms, classrooms, sales, proposals, negotiations, presentations, inspirational talks and keynotes. Laurece works with individuals and teams, as well as students, at the Durham Arts Council, the Duke Institute for Brain Science, and the U.N.C. School of Media and Journalism. Additionally a singing coach, Laurece is the author of Creating a $20 Million Dollar Voice, the Professional Singer’s Road Map: How to Go from Good to Great to Legend.
Q & A
Leadership Girl (LG): What is the name of your business?
Laurece: Laurece West Studios
LG: Tell us about your business.
Laurece West: I train both singers and speakers to communicate with skill, ease, creativity and confidence to reach and inspire their listeners.
I work with individuals and deliver interactive training to business groups and academia. Interactive training includes voice, body language, improv, mindset, communication and presentation skills as well as secret sauces: The Art and Science of Presenting, Powerful Presentations, Ace Your Interviews, Speak with Ease and Confidence, Stronger Voice, The Bottom Line (sales), Career Invigorating Speaking, Clear Communication for Non-Native Speakers, Ease Workplace Conflict, Build Strong and Effective Teams, Police Officer Communication Training, Appreciating Diversity, and Communicate to Connect. (Titles are trademarked.)
As a teaching artist for the Durham Arts Council, I offer programs to students K-12 in four counties – the workshops Speak with Ease and Confidence and Ace Your Interviews; the residencies Improv Performance the InterPlay Way and Powerful Presentations; and the performances Jazz Singing – the Swing and the Style and R&B Singing – the People and the Power. (Titles are trademarked.)
Each training is interactive, allowing people to learn skills by actively doing
– participating in improv, speaking, moving, singing, expressing themselves, questioning,
telling their stories and laughing.
LG: Who do you serve?
Laurece: People who speak for business communication,
non-native speakers, and singers on a professional track.
LG: What is your website’s url?
LG: How did you get into your current business? What opportunities or needs did you see?
Laurece: I am from a talkative and musical family with four generations of professional musicians, fine artists and teachers. I play a number of instruments, studied singing for 12 years in New York, becoming a recording artist and performer. I have been coaching voice and performance for 24 years. For 16 years I only worked with singers, which required coaching on vocal health and the speaking voice to ensure optimal singing. When I moved to North Carolina 8 years ago, I started coaching speakers also. Each client is unique and a pleasure to train – entrepreneurs, voice-over artists, grad students, undergrads, internationals, and singers in all popular styles. I help each client create a beautiful voice, free their creativity and self-expression, give peak performances, connect deeply with their listeners and create new career opportunities.
LG: What have been your biggest challenges?
Laurece: Changing the mindset that dreaming alone is sufficient.
Gaining new voice and performance skills is similar to developing athletic skills both in time and sweat equity. Second nature habits and limiting beliefs, many years in the making, need to be replaced with new efficient neuromuscular singing and speaking skills, an elevated mindset, empowerment and strategy.
Designed from Olympic and professional athletic coaching, our Elite training is a high density of sessions to problem solve, ensure rapid skill acquisition, integration and career acceleration.
LG: What has been your greatest reward?
Laurece: The satisfaction of my clients, happy with their amazing transformation and up-leveling.
Read the results they experience in Google Reviews and the Praise Pages.
LG: If you could change something, what would it be?
Laurece: Everyone would awaken spiritually to love, respect and accept all peoples
and cherish the earth through constructive thought and actions.
LG: Who are your ideal clients?
Laurece: Highly motivated, fast paced, and extremely ambitious people ready to
take action consistently to excel professionally.
LG: Social Media, Yay or Nay?
LG: What is unique about your business?
Laurece: I can quickly diagnose voice challenges and provide solutions so people
gain vocal health, strength and flexibility. I support clients to make lifestyle changes
so they are empowered to perform at peak. In addition to solid skills
and an elevated mindset, my clients learn InterPlay improv to free their words,
stories or songs and develop the ability to respond under pressure with their unique brilliance, creativity and confidence.
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a Voice and Performance Expert, with a growing specialty in business?
It was a gift to study singing for 12 years with Hester Young in New York City. By day I was a scientist in medical research. By night I sang, wrote songs, and played electric bass and keyboard in bands.
Coaching vocalists for 26 years, it has been a pleasure to work with hundreds of people, several for many consecutive years.
For the first 17 years I worked exclusively with singers - also coaching them on their speaking voice as it is the same instrument. Speaking with an amazing tone and the greatest ease and efficiency saves the voice, providing more endurance and strength. I opened up my studio to speakers 9 years ago. I have a thorough understanding of the art and science of the voice, performance and presentations.
It is now with gratitude that I tell you that I am from a troubled family of geniuses. There are 4 generations of prolific professional musicians and fine artists in my family. However, there have also been many addictions, anger and money challenges. Because of the family violence and the extensive criticism I received, especially as a teen, I lost my ability to authentically communicate. I heard the dark side of the voice, I was in fear, and my confidence was both shattered and artificially boosted. For 35 years I have participated in a number of systems for recovery from these challenges, including Native American ceremonies and a variety of healing arts which I received, then learned and professionally practiced at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. My path to healing, connecting with God, self-love, empowerment, unique artistry, spiritually super-charging my voice and loving my audiences informs my coaching. I assist clients who tell me they wish to move beyond internal and external limitations to shine in their chosen arenas.
I love music, singing, speaking, business and art as satisfying vehicles for beauty and communication.
My husband Terry McCarthy and I are certified trainers for an improv system called InterPlay. I have been an InterPlayer for 12 years and Terry for 20 years. We directed a performance troupe for three years. “InterPlay is an active and creative way to express the wisdom of the body.” It is not from the comedy or acting improv lineage - there is focus on self-expression rather than being clever. InterPlay was developed 25 years ago in Oakland, CA by Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter, two professional dancers who also were lay ministers. Thus they talk about the Body-Spirit. For 5 minutes at the start of each session clients get to do one of the InterPlay story telling forms. This helps release stress, start communication, tell life stories, remember what really matters, find unique artistry, authenticity (as the ego gets by-passed) and builds the ability to respond with presence and intelligence on the spot.
My business mentor for 7 years is Fabienne Fredrickson. I completed three years of business school, and 4 years of additional courses at www.boldheart.com. I understand business development, branding, strategy, and the power of a focused mind with clear intentions. I have a growing specialty coaching entrepreneurs.
What is your coaching style and philosophy?
My training with Elite clients is Olympic style coaching - a high density of focused sessions with clear attainable goals. This allows time and consistency to problem solve, acquire and integrate skills, move through all personal and professional resistances to massive success, and settle into training routines necessary to build the strength, skills and unique artistry required to be impressive, create connections with listeners and create an impact on the international stage.
Each individual coaching session is specially tailored to the person's overall goals as well as their needs that day.
Clients choose training in a variety of areas according to their desires: singing and speaking skills, vocal and physical health, strategy, the mindset of success, brain optimization, finding unique genius, developing original style and artistry, song writing, content and organization for presentations, performance skills and the secrets of deeply connecting with listeners and audiences.
How are you unique?
My particular genius is in the following areas:
1. I possess a keen attention to detail. I am a published scientist and that training along with extensive voice training has allowed me to diagnose and remedy voice problems and help clients build the voice they desire. With an interest in peak performance, I have developed solutions that allow people to progress rapidly. As long as they do the work and apply the coaching, my clients have immediate and consistent improvement in the sound, strength, range and flexibility of their voice, artistry and originality, performance and presentation content, style, and effectiveness. This I guarantee.
2. I teach scientifically, intuitively and spiritually. There is a clear method, dozens of concepts, remedies and a deep resource of exercises I utilize from many years of study of voice and 6 other instruments, music theory and composition, acting and improv. I bring years of singing, performing, public speaking, recording, songwriting, and band leading experience.
That being said, I meet the needs and desires of each client that particular day. We are not linear. In addition to building skills each session, clients cycle through challenges and successes as they arise. Clients are asked to set their intention for that session and I meet it. Plus, in the most wonderful way other things will comes to light during some sessions - a realization or something that occurs to them which has great importance to their progress. Clients leave each session energized.
3. I have a loving and gentle approach to personal growth, yet an Olympic coach's clarity and directness towards training. Clients receive specific training for the skills they desire. This allows each person to feel comfortable to expand their artistry, moving into their personal and professional power to actually do the work needed to accomplish their goals.
Who are your clients exactly?
My ideal clients are highly motivated, ambitious people ready to take action consistently, open to support to move through challenges, so they excel professionally. Additionally, I am particularly happy to work with clients who have a vision to reach groups of people in a way that makes the world a better place.
I have worked with...
Artists performing regularly
Artists in Bands
The whole band
Musical Theatre Performers
People seeking to find or heal their voice
(One or more in each field)
International Business Owner
Business School MBA Student
Duke Institute for Brain Science
Durham Schools via the Durham Arts Council
High Performance Coach
Holistic Health Counselor
SKEMA School of Business
Stock Car Racer
UNC School of Media and Journalism
Voice Over Artist
With whom does your training not work?
Anyone who is not ready to do the work and put in the sweat equity. People who blame others for their frustrations and quit easily. People who are not able to make a commitment to themselves and their dreams, and stick with it when it gets hard (which is actually the time right before the next breakthrough.) Those unwilling to commit resources to their training - their time and money. People who are stuck in dreaming but not doing.
Never underestimate the power of a blocked artist to create drama and excuses. (No judgment.) The energy of not doing a dream for a long time and limiting beliefs (come by honestly) can derail someone. The only way out - is through - with an excellent trainer.
My clients are willing to stay committed when the going gets tough. Even if they are personally in a tough phase. Why - because they see the results again and again and feel the joy and confidence each next success brings.
Professional success is not easy or anyone could have it. Work toward specific goals and the overall dream has to be done every day, or almost every day. Many people need support to get in touch with their art, vision or dream and do the work every day. I start clients out with the amount they can handle. For some people it is literally 5 minutes three times a day for the brain and body to integrate a skill. Others can work with a larger block of time. Everything is individually tailored so clients feel satisfied and happy with their progress.
How does someone explore working with you?
I will address this to the individual: First, think about the challenges you are experiencing, what you’d like to change, and where you want to be. Is the desire strong enough for you put work into accomplishing your goals? If so, let’s talk. Commitment to training is necessary for true up-leveling since the brain and body require repetition to undo old habits and integrate new skills. Time is needed to release any internal or external barriers to success, while elevating personal health, energy and power.
If this is exciting, then schedule a Discovery Session on the contact page. Once the session is booked, you'll receive an email about how to prepare for the call.
An Interview with Laurece
Laurece West Studios
Training for Professional Singing & Career Invigorating Speaking™