But even a good song couldn't hide her vocal problems. All the
performing she'd been doing the last few weeks had taken its toll on her normally robust voice, which was sounding hoarse and husky. "I was getting vocally tired very easily," says Umoh.
She consulted a doctor specializing in voice rehabilitation at
Massachusetts General Hospital. She was urged to rest her voice and do exercises to reduce the stress on her inflamed vocal cords.
Next worry: Money. Though she's received scholarships and held a
patchwork of jobs the last four years, she still owes $130,000, before interest, for her student loans. And getting ready for Showcase wasn't cheap. There was the trip to New York for $700 promotional head shots. The rubberized soles. The haircut.
You can read the full series here.