Today I attended a masterclass hosted by Susan Hanlon, a voice teacher in Dallas, and Izzie Baumann, a voice teacher and performance coach in Mainz, Germany. The clinician was Christian Borle, Broadway star and Tony award winner (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten). He worked with six singers from the US to Germany.
He was an engaged and engaging clinician, and offered some terrific insights. It was the fastest 90 minutes I’ve experienced in a while. Here are a few takeaways (in my own words, mostly, because that’s how I take notes):
- Focus on the “but” and “so” — transitional terms that give you some direction .
- Take your time! Space is good!
- Furrowing your eyebrows indicates a place of self-pity. That’s not to say you can’t furrow your eyebrows, but save it!
- Toxic people are a dealbreaker (not an audition/performance tip, just a life one).
- If the people behind the table don’t make you feel comfortable, know how to make yourself feel comfortable.
- Unless you’re given a specific time/measure limit, think about telling the story and let them cut you off when they’ve heard enough.
- It’s okay to use physical cues to indicate a change between sections.
- “Make some goofy, ebullient physical choice that you have to recover from because you just made a full of yourself.” – which leads me to –
- “Make a fool out of yourself! Make a big choice right out of the gate!”
I really want to focus on the making fools of ourselves part (with goofy, ebullient physical choices and physical cues) going forward, especially as we approach audition season (NATS, college, Hal Leonard, etc.).
While I was writing this, Izzie sent me the screenshot from the class. (Why do I look like I have an overbite?)