Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don't Be Caught Ass Backwards!

Happy Wednesday!

My musings this week...

The "American Idol" mentality of "I can audition cause I want to" has bled into our business more than we may want to admit and acknowledge.  I see so many wannabe singers doing it ass backwards.

What do I mean?

TRUE singing actors have craft.  They have technique.  They are able to tell a story, create an authenticity on an instrument that can DO what is necessary to embrace style and move beyond technique.

Why oh why are you doing it ass backwards?!

Know the difference between wanting and DOING it.  Know the difference between a voice TEACHER and a voice COACH and a PERFORMANCE coach.

Know what order these levels of acumen happen and do it correctly.  A voice coach and a performance coach cannot teach you to use your instrument effectively if it is not built on a solid foundation of athletic physicality of technical behavior.

Every level of performance has a technical aspect - including the coaching of musical style, language, musicianship, acting and dramatic intention.  These technical aspects can be embodied only when the actual VOCAL INSTRUMENT has enough vocabulary -  physically, intellectually, psychically - to fully engage what your coaches are asking OF you.

Just because you think you want to perform, doesn't mean you start with performing.

We don't want to see your technique - so develop it to the point that you can rely on it in order to create the performance!

Dare yourself to know what you actually NEED.  Dare yourself to recognize what you need NOW.  How can you take a performance class if you can't breathe yet?  If you can't sing in tune?  If your voice - your actual INSTRUMENT doesn't know how to work at optimum,  if you don't have the knowledge and vocabulary to develop that technical physicality,  how can you then take a song or an audition cut to the next level of artistic integrity? And how are you going to manage to maintain an 8 show work week?  How will you get through?

Technical understanding, development and depth is ONGOING.  Every artist who truly creates on all levels - STUDIES.  Every artist develops more craft on every level throughout their careers.  It doesn't stop.  You are never "finished" - otherwise what are you working for?

Just cause you want it, doesn't make it so.  Just because you go to a performance coach doesn't mean you are ready to be there.  Just because you take your music to a coach doesn't mean you are able to realize what they are asking of you.  Who do you study voice with?  THAT is the first question.  If you don't have an answer, you better get one.  That technical behavior of instrument is the basis of all the musical and dramatic and artistic development you will want to pursue.

Technique is the path to artistic freedom.  When you have that technical behavior - you can become conscious of none. 

Don't be caught going ass backwards! It doesn't serve you.  It doesn't serve the craft you say you respect.  All it will do is leave you standing there suddenly looking around wondering why you are there by yourself making excuses and wondering why you haven't moved.

SMARTEN UP!  Get that vocal technique IN GEAR! Do you need your coaches? Yes!  But you cannot develop what they can offer you if you don't have a technical balance FIRST and ONGOING.

Liken it to deciding to run a marathon:  If someone said "I think I will run a marathon",  how would you answer?  "So how are you training for it?"  If they answered "oh I think if I just stretch for a few days, I think I can do it" - you would look at them like they had lost their minds and move away quietly and thoroughly!!

Get it?


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Will you be the one and only?

Sunday evening musings...

We often complain that the business wants to put us in a box, in a type, in a fach, in a category and we are constantly fighting against that.

However, what are we actually DOING about it?

One of my singers wrote in her blog this week about the difference between being "the best" and being the first and only "you".

That resonated with me.  We are all not "the best";  those artists that have created their own "type" that others compare to are their first and only.  No matter what you do, you will never be them.  You will always be a "type" and never quite be enough.

So, does one DARE quit complaining and actually defy box/type/category and work to be the one and only SELF? The one and only YOU?

Daunting a little isn't it? 

You can't enter a room with "I am a Bernadette Peters type"  or "I am a baby spinto soubrette heldendramatic lyric coloratura"(!!!).   You have to look in the mirror and ask "Who am I?"

Instead of trying to fit a mold that you simply cannot and will not fit,  what happens if you try to create your own?  Why not be the first?

When you read that, how do you react?  The reaction will speak volumes.  Does it liberate you? Does it allow you to breathe?  Does it give you pause and then make you smile?  Does it give you energy and motivation?

Or does it make your breath catch?  Are there excuses or "yeah, but..." immediately ready? 

Ah my dear snowflakes (thank you Lewis Black),  time to sit still and look in the mirror.

We all can't be the best.  Whatever that actually means.  There is always going to be someone who does it better.  If we continue to compare,  we will always fall short.  Always.  Not to mention,  we will always be looking over to see how we measure up and lose the focus, stumble, fall, get confused et al.

Let others measure or compare.  That is what they do or how they calculate. 

You simply cannot.  Your job is to become your one and only.  Your first. The first and the best YOU.  You cannot do that with excuses, with compensations, with delusions, with excuses.  You will never be the best,  and never find out what is the first/best you.

So,  are you ready to create more obstacles and blame it elsewhere, or are you ready to sit down or stand in front of that mirror and see what makes YOU your one and only?  What makes you the FIRST?

Will the business pay attention to a "first"?  Why not dare to work at it and see?

Time to discover,  time to develop,  time to be open to explore,  and time to CLAIM THE FIRST!  THE ONLY!  THE YOU!  You don't need to be a cookie cutter replica.  That is a decision you need to make.