In this series, “Singing on Stage”, I go over 6 invaluable elements to showmanship and how they work to comprise a great show. I’ll also offer tips along with each ~
Being an Entertainer
… is so much more than it looks like. Whether in a band, a theater production or even just solo. You are combining the execution of your singing method (both body and mind) while activating memorization, stage awareness of your counterparts, audience awareness and any “movement” you have rehearsed. It’s hard. Whether your performance manor is to stand relatively still, like Neil Diamond or Frank Sinatra, or to dance and execute vocal brilliance like Beyonce or MJ ~ That’s why there are so few really, truly great performers. It’s hard to do it all! And do it well.
My advice is, if you can’t do it all and do it great… back off to an amount that you can do great and slowly increase your efforts as talent and muscle memory will allow:)
With that in mind ~ here are some tips for…
SINGING ON STAGE for ENTERTAINERS
OK, so if you are one of those hired-gun singers who sing too many songs with too many groups and in too many last minute situations for the advice in this article to really apply… don’t worry, this article isn’t for you. Please don’t feel like you have to defend your work. There’s plenty of artistic integrity in just singing well:) But… If you stare at an iPad or lyric sheet all night you can’t expect to be considered as being an entertainer. Entertainers are the whole package! And that includes, most importantly, a natural and authentic audience awareness and interaction 🙂
PREPARING & REHEARSING ~ “I don’t want to over prepare and look like a robot”. Fair enough statement. But over-preparing gets a bum wrap sometimes because it’s an easy way to get out of a lot of work. I say, don’t be afraid to over-prepare. The number one reason for; a bad show, a lack-luster show, an average show… is lack of preparation & rehearsal. Your show won’t be stale or robotic if you rehearse it into the ground unless you are practicing it that way! Those are lame excuses ~ If you want to be focused on EVERYTHING I discussed above, the best way to do it is to allocate your memory to different parts of your body. Give your mind a break and learn to rely on muscle memory!
Barbara Streisand – “I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.”
Barbara Streisand also said something once that changed my view of rehearsal. She said that before she sings a song in front of an audience, she has rehearsed it at least 100 times. I believe her greatness was a result of rehearsal. Practice. Her body memorized every vowel and dynamic.
So don’t worry about your performance seeming “stale” or looking too rehearsed, because every time you perform so many things change. The room changes, the people, the chemistry between everyone. Preparation simply gives you the confidence and presence of mind needed to make each show uniquely brilliant.
THINGS TO AVOID
Having said all of that, here’s a rehearsal snag to avoid… Don’t OVER work something you are concerned about. For instance, the night of a show, don’t drive to the show singing that high note that you worry about over and over. Obviously this over works your mechanism and can do more damage than good unless your technique is impeccable!
It’s a process ~ and though it takes time, just knowing you have a process is half of the battle:)
When the rubber hits the road and it’s time to put your process into action, relax and remember why you are doing all of this… because it’s fun and you were born to do it.
True entertainers, like you, are a rare and precious breed. It’s up to us to help people escape, and in a way that movies or videos can’t come close to. In a personal, intimate and often exhilarating way. You can touch people’s imaginations and inner child with a sincere and exciting performance.
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