Singing

Karen Kohler’s training and musings in stagecraft, specifically as regards singing, song mastery and the art of song interpretation.

Improvisation: Language Beyond Words

By |2020-04-29T17:07:50-04:00October 25th, 2017|Acting, Blog Post, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

Words! Words! I'm so sick of words! I get words all day through; First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do? Don't talk of stars burning above; If you're in love, show me! ~ from My Fair Lady (lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner) Think about the last time you played with a baby. How [...]

Edge Play: Creating Art that Challenges

By |2020-04-29T17:09:27-04:00January 30th, 2017|Acting, Blog Post, Performance Art, Singing, Stagecraft|

Performers are revealers; we lay a thing bare. To cultivate as broad a landscape of potential revelation as possible, we venture from the center of familiarity and recognition to the edge of mystery and uncertainty. Just as there are edges to the stage space, there are edges to us performers too. I consider the edge that place where there's nothing to hide [...]

Channel Magic

By |2020-04-30T16:29:28-04:00May 9th, 2014|Blog Post, Singing, Stagecraft|

You've got to find some way of saying it, without saying it. - Duke Ellington In cabaret, I've experienced enormous freedom. I've lived moment-to-moment for an hour at a time, using anything that comes up in myself and offering that to my musicians and my audience. The result of my dipping into my own emotional palette is that others dip into [...]

Don’t show us, let us find it

By |2020-04-30T16:30:25-04:00November 24th, 2013|Acting, Blog Post, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

I attended a screening of the new film, Nebraska, with my Canadian actor and pal Jean Brassard. What a truthful bit of film-making it is and what amazing casting! In the live chat with Bruce Dern that followed, he shared some of his wisdom: 1. Don't push. Don't perform. Don't show us anything. Let us find it. 2. Always [...]

Still Body, Animated Mind

By |2020-04-30T16:28:50-04:00November 9th, 2013|Acting, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

What is it that's so powerful about the performers who can command the stage in stillness? I've felt their confidence and comfort in their bodies. I've felt the force of their imagination. In striving for this stage stillness and power in myself, I've watched them. And I've watched the video footage of my own concerts (yikes! - there is no more [...]

Drawing Blanks, Forgetting Lines

By |2020-04-30T17:31:27-04:00February 21st, 2013|Acting, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

The other night I was on stage with my singing partner, leaning back on a chair as her next song began. Only it didn't begin. The pianist played the intro, but when it was time for her to sing, no words came out. This is the nightmare! The singer's, actor's, speaker's nightmare: Forgetting. Drawing Blanks. It happens to all [...]

Understanding

By |2020-04-30T17:41:29-04:00January 9th, 2013|Acting, Blog Post, Performance Art, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft, Storytelling|

To become exemplary, an artist cannot imitate, cannot be a carbon copy of someone else. She must present that which is thoroughly unique - herself - and for this she needs to know herself and to continually grow herself. A good singer builds herself a mental reference book. She excels in the art of seeing into someone else's eye [...]

The Art of Silence

By |2020-04-30T17:46:11-04:00December 17th, 2012|Acting, Blog Post, Performance Art, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft, Storytelling|

Music begins inside human beings, and so must any instruction. Not at the instrument, not with the first finger, nor with the first position, not with this or that chord. The starting point is one’s own stillness, listening to oneself, the “being ready for music,” listening to one’s own heartbeat and breathing.  Carl Orff Watching other artists perform is [...]