Simple ways to create magnetic stage presence

Simple ways to create magnetic stage presence

You’ve learned your song, memorized it, planned your breath marks, and refined your vocal tone quality. When you sing it, your song sounds just amazing. Does that mean you are you ready to perform it? NO! Live vocal performances aren’t complete until you’ve added the visual element - how you look while you’re singing. Most audiences get just as much out of watching a singer as they do listening, which is why live concerts continue to be popular even though we’ve had the technology to record music for a very long time. The visual elements of a performance, known as stage presence, are a critical part of what takes a singer from good to great.

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Singer's stance: the basics of performance posture

Singer's stance: the basics of performance posture

As an actor or singer, your instrument lives within you, inside the container of your body; therefore how you align your body while performing will substantially affect how well your vocal instrument is able to function. For maximum power, stamina and support, adopt a posture called Singer’s Stance (or Actor’s Stance), which is based largely off of yoga and effective ready-position posture for most sports. If you are familiar with mountain pose in yoga, you’ll recognize a lot of the elements of this stance.

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Audience member etiquette for musical theatre

Audience member etiquette for musical theatre

The elements of musical theatre include the actors, the set/props/physical elements, the music, lyrics and text, and the audience. Yes, the audience is 1 of 4 key elements that makes a production complete, and without it, your show isn't really alive. However, actors, musicians and set designers are all trained on how to contribute to a production, whereas audiences generally show up and are given no guidance as to how they should contribute as that key 4th member. Here are a few tips to observe while seeing your next show: 

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Memorization tips for musical theatre actors

Memorization tips for musical theatre actors

One of the least glamorous but most important skills for the musical theatre artist to have in their professional toolbox is simple memorization. Memorization will be an element of every acting job you encounter, and your lines are only the beginning; you also must memorize entrances and exits, blocking positions, props, and costume changes.

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A beginner's guide to stage makeup

A beginner's guide to stage makeup

While larger theatre organizations will provide actors with a stage makeup artist, if you're performing with a smaller or community venue you'll be on your own. As a well-rounded musical theatre performer it's important to know the basics of makeup application, and be able to recreate looks consistently for every show. A lot of the principles of stage makeup are not that different from applying regular women's makeup, you'll just apply more, give it more staying power, and make bolder color choices. Tools: If you are planning to perform in musical theatre consistently, it is worth it to invest in high quality makeup products, as they will last longer and perform better. Popular brands include Mac, Ben Nye, Mehron and Kryolan. Don't forget a full set of high quality brushes - your brushes will make or break your application.

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Ways to keep your show fresh, mid-run

Ways to keep your show fresh, mid-run

Congratulations! You’ve survived the first few chaotic weeks of your show. Small issues with timing, costume changes, setting props and traffic patterns have been worked out. It feels good! It also feels…..like a monotonous routine. This is the point at which a show is in danger of falling flat and losing spontaneity, if actors don’t proactively take steps to keep their performances fresh. Here are a few strategies to keep your edge: Go back to the text. Don’t let your familiarity with your speaking and singing parts get in the way of the reason why you’re saying them. Go back to the message your character is trying to get across. Nothing is ever casual in musical theatre, and the playwright is highlighting this part for a reason. What do you want? How are you going to get it? Focus on that desire.

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Physical and vocal warm up exercises for musical theatre

Physical and vocal warm up exercises for musical theatre

Every performer needs a solid warm up routine that they can use before rehearsals, shows, class, or practice sessions. As musical theatre performers, our unique field requires dance, acting and singing, engaging our entire body and voice at once. The following sequence will touch on every part of your body from head to toe, keeping in mind that your voice and mind are also body parts that need warming up. 

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Quick fixes for beginning acting mistakes

Quick fixes for beginning acting mistakes

Beginning actors are bound to make mistakes, it's perfectly natural. Here are a few of the most common beginning acting mistakes, things to keep an eye out for, and how to fix them if you find yourself falling prey to these errors. Don't forget the audience. The lights are bright, there is a vast black space in front of you, and you can't see anyone. But they can see you! Just because you're not saying lines doesn't mean the audience can't see you. Remember to speak not only to your scene partner but to the audience, cheat out (hold your body posture at angles where both scene partners and audience members can see your face clearly), and stay in character the entire time you're onstage.

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