Updated: Mar 17
I have been a professional singer for almost all of my life. I have never known anything else. I was 5 when I started performing. I can remember sitting on my Dad's knee singing, singing with my trained dog and standing up there on stage singing all by myself. How could I be anything else but a singer! When I was starting out gigs were plentiful. I was singing 6 nights a week, which is unheard of now. I did shows, bars, clubs, studio gigs, whatever I could and I learned to hone my craft. I got paid good money too. When I look back it was really a great time for a young artist.
Nowadays, young people don't have that kind of chance. That is one of the reasons I have always tried to create a Pro Style show for my students to learn to utilize their space and create their own magic! During the months prior to the show, we work on vocal care, stance breathing and technique tips. We pick songs that resonate with the student and work for their particular vocal instrument. I have always said, "Just because you love a song, doesn't mean it loves you back!"
The students learn mic technique, how to move easily and how to connect with the audience. The truth is; if you believe what you are singing, the audience will believe you, if you are just singing the words, no matter how good your voice it, it will be just a bunch of words strung together. You have to believe what you are saying to be believable.
I try to emphasize the importance of know what you are doing before you go out on stage. That is know where you will go, when you will raise your arm etc. It may seem canned at first but if you at least step out of that comfort zone, you are making head way, it does get easier. Some things work, somethings don't! I like to visualize the song and myself on stage so that I feel more comfortable, like I have been there before.
For our Student Performances, I rent a theatre and we sell tickets to pay for the venue. Friends and family are so important to have in audience. The energy that flows from the stage to the audience and back to the performers is an incredibly empowering experience for the students.
Another one of the things I like to share with my students is stage etiquette. I want them to understand that it is not just about the individual; we are only as good as the people who surround us. The stage crew, the sound people, the lighting people, the back up singers, the musicians or the ones who play your track; everyone involved is what makes the show a success! When you create a common goal for everyone you will receive the support you need to be the best you can be. So be kind, it is definitely worth your while!
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