Thursday, March 25, 2010

Does it really make all that much difference?

To end this "series", we have the summation question - does it make a difference? The easy answer is yes. Of course, every person you sing for will have different priorities in their listening, but I think being physically and dramatically involved will never be a negative. And, as I've said in other posts, being involved in your character keeps you from being "too" involved with your voice. In other words, you can get out of your own way!!
I will explore this idea of getting out of your own way some more in upcoming posts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Should I stay fairly close to a "concert presentation"?

I know that there are some people who hear auditions who like a very neutral presentation so that they can concentrate on the voice, but I, and I think many of my colleagues, prefer to see how you inhabit your character, not just vocally, but also dramatically. Of course, some of my previous posts deal with what I think you should consider as far as limiting your histrionics. In addition, you will probably learn over time whether you are one of the lucky few who is so vocally gifted, that success is almost assured just by the vocal performance. The reality for most of us is that a "complete package" needs to be presented for the best chance at success - and how you physically present your audition is an important part of that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Should I sit, lie down, or stay standing the whole time?

You might think I'm kidding on this one, but I'm not. I've had people lie down in auditions - let's just say, I don't recommend it. I suppose using a chair and using a combination of standing and sitting is appropriate, and does not become distracting, but if you get to the point of lying down, I think the person hearing you may become distracted to the point of not actually listening to you! Any aria that is sometimes done lying down in performance (i.e. Vissi d'Arte) can be done very successfully standing up in an audition.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Should I use props?

I am a big non-fan of props in auditions. I want to see that you can create a character just by the use of your voice, face and body. If you can do that, I have no fear of how you will do in costume with props and a set. If you are doing an aria that calls for a book, or a sword, or a flower, either pantomime it, or create a staging that works around it. I know that some people don't mind the use of small hand props in auditions. but I don't think you can go wrong if you learn to be a very effective and convincing auditionee without them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Should I use a personal director?

I addressed this to some extent in the previous post. I think this is an excellent idea - one that many people don't put on the same plane as a voice teacher or musical coach. A dramatic coach or personal director can help you flesh out what you want to do presentationally. However, you should use the work you do with that person as a basis for trusting yourself moving forward for both auditions and performances. You need to become secure in your dramatic presentation to truly grow. As a side note, this will undoubtedly be useful down the road when you find yourself in a role, where either time or the director's inclination leave you in a situation of having to do blocking and staging on your own!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Should I stage it on my own?

So, to the first point of my previous post - should you?
Indeed you should, but that doesn't mean it has to be you alone. In other words, having a dramatic coach or stage director work with you on staging is a great idea. However, it's important to develop a trust in yourself that will allow you come up with action that suits the character. This will also help ensure that you can still deliver vocally and musically. As with other parts of the audition, good preparation translates into confident performance. The more experience you have, the more you will trust your own instincts (particularly with arias where you have had the chance to sing the entire role on stage).
So, yes - stage it on your own, but also have people you trust critique and fine tune, just as you do with a voice teacher and coach.