Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To stage or not to stage.....

I have a fairly busy day lined up in front of me, but I wanted to get this topic offf the ground at least. "How much staging of my aria should I do in an audition?" is one of the most frequent questions I get when doing masterclasses. This, like so many audition questions, has no pure, objective answer to it. The short, obvious, frustrating answer is: "well, it depends". I will not hide behind that easy out, but will try to put forward my take on it, that I believe will hold you in good stead in most situations. Of course, an important caveat for any of the opinions I'm putting forward is that anything you do has to be grounded in who you are as a performer - regardless of any other opinions. I will be back with more on this a bit later, but in the meantime, feel free to weigh in!


  1. I'm amazed how often a performer has forgotten (if they ever were sure) the context of the aria. Therefore, I think a full staging outside of the audition is necessary, even though I wouldn't advise using that staging at the audition. It's just another way to form neural pathways that connect you immediately to your character. The staging then can be used "lightly" in the audition to inform the audition. Probably best to avoid being to literal. Ask two GDs if someone should bring in a book to sing Norina's first aria and one will say "absolutely" and the other will say "absolutely not."

  2. The audition is about getting the job, not presenting a blocked scene! I want to see you connected to the character development. I want to see you are comfortable in your body and can begin to find the character in your body. I want to see gesture and small movement be well motivated by the character NOT motivated by "I think I should move now". If the commitment to the character is there, then a director can see you can be accessible and pliable, instead of "I only do it this way". Just my 2 cents of course!