Updating your audition book: The 5 C’s for Choosing an Audition Song

I think I do a pretty good job at choosing audition songs. In fact, it might be one of my superpowers. I like finding pieces that bring things out in people, not only things I knew were there but things I merely suspected were there, and maybe even things I had NO IDEA where there. ButContinue reading “Updating your audition book: The 5 C’s for Choosing an Audition Song”

Sing me a story: Creating your backstory

Tonight I will be holding a studio class for my private students about creating a backstory.   When I played Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, my back story was that my character’s name was born Johanna Schmidt and was from a relatively prosperous and devout Catholic family in Austria. She was trained in piano andContinue reading “Sing me a story: Creating your backstory”

In the Beginning was the Word (maybe)

Or was it the music? It depends on the composer. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart agreed that Rodgers would write the music first,  and Hart would fit the words to the music. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II began with Hammerstein’s lyrics, with Rodgers fitting the music to the lyrics. In that case, yes, theContinue reading “In the Beginning was the Word (maybe)”

A Stroke of … Scenius?

I just came across the term “scenius” a few  months ago in a blogpost – I’m not sure where. I thought it might be Seth Godin, but I didn’t find it. Scenius is defined as “communal genius” that occurs in scenes rather than genes. It was created by musician Brian Eno and is intended toContinue reading “A Stroke of … Scenius?”

Another Way to look at BRAAP™

If you have studied with me or read anything I’ve written over the past 10+ years, you probably know that I have created an acronym for my approach to basic vocal technique. This acronym is B – Breath R – Resonance A – Alignment A – Articulation P – Phonation Or – BRAAP™, which myContinue reading “Another Way to look at BRAAP™”

Breaking Down the “I Am” Song

A few weeks ago, I talked about the role of the “I Want” song in a musical. From that blogpost, I created a series of questions that the actor needs to ask themselves when preparing that song and gave it to my students for our studio class on the topic. Tonight, we will be exploringContinue reading “Breaking Down the “I Am” Song”

Make a Fool of Yourself!

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 wasContinue reading “Make a Fool of Yourself!”

Breaking Down The I Want Song

The late Bob Fosse said that there were three kinds of songs that mattered to the director of a musical: The “I am” song – defining who the singer is The “I want” song – defining what the singer wants The “New” song – doesn’t fit the other two categories; could take things into aContinue reading “Breaking Down The I Want Song”

In the Service of Clarity

You may know that my favorite composer is Stephen Sondheim. My husband even gave me an autographed picture of him for my birthday (thanks to the family of Gary Lorenz, who apparently didn’t appreciate what their family member had and sold it on eBay). Sondheim has written two books on his lyrics (he meant toContinue reading “In the Service of Clarity”

Say Yes to Music

A few months ago, I watched a series of videos by Elly Ameling on art song, and jotted down my notes on them. Here they are (and I’ve added a few notes today, in italics): LEARN YOUR MUSIC “BY HEART” – so much more than just memorizing it. By heart. By heart – not onlyContinue reading “Say Yes to Music”