stagecraft

A Mistake Midstream

By |2020-04-30T17:23:29-04:00March 16th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Stagecraft|

I witnessed something beautiful the other night in an intimate room here in Manhattan...an error so seamlessly handled as to go almost unnoticed. The singer was turned slightly away from her audience, looking off stage left and sharing a duet with her bassist at the opening of a tune. Their dialogue was sparse and sensual and then, nearly a [...]

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 [...]

Gesture

By |2020-04-30T17:49:05-04:00December 4th, 2012|Acting, Blog Post, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

Every singer, actor and anyone who doesn't have their hands full on stage, struggles with what to do with them. Should they hang down straight? Should they point and lead? Should they give visual cues as to the words being sung or spoken? Should they be cut off? How easily they can be underused, overused, and simply misused. How [...]

A Singer’s Face

By |2020-04-30T17:53:37-04:00November 21st, 2012|Acting, Blog Post, Singing, Stagecraft|

A singer's face is a map. When the audience closes its eyes, her face should burn through their eyelids. I love faces. All my life I've studied them. Staring is a tool of the trade. The face relays the health of the body and the soul. A doctor always knows when we have a fever, and an audience always [...]

Carriage and Silhouette

By |2020-04-30T17:56:00-04:00November 8th, 2012|Acting, Blog Post, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

From her first appearance on stage, before an artist has done anything to prove her talent, her posture will inform the audience. Even the grandest of introductions from a master of ceremony will be compromised if she walks on slouching. The performance begins with the first part of her that enters - her big toe, her index finder, her [...]

The Breath

By |2020-04-30T17:59:14-04:00October 23rd, 2012|Blog Post, Singing, Stagecraft|

Singing is placing music on the breath. Breathing is a matter of never-ending visualization, exercise and practice. We practice by alternating between taking in air slowly and quickly, holding it as long as possible, and regulating its rapid or gradual release. Breathing should not draw attention to itself but be relaxed and effortless. Deep breathing is by nature relaxing [...]

Training

By |2020-05-02T19:28:50-04:00October 12th, 2012|Acting, Blog Post, Singing, Stagecraft|

A person wishing to become a chanteuse must study the voice. A chanteuse who both sings and speaks her songs is continually in danger of damaging or even losing her voice if it does not rest on a solid foundation of technical training. It is, however, possible to over-train the voice. The principle behind most vocal regimes is to identify [...]