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Singers Concert Performance Hints

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When needing to stand in place use a modified ballet third position which is similar to the Scottish Dance first position. In Scottish dancing, when you "set", your feet should make a "T" figure. To begin with, your right foot should be pointing at about a 45-degree angle from your body. The heel of your left foot should be at the arch of your right foot with the left foot pointing 45 degrees from the right toe. This is the position if your first step is to the left. In the opposite stance your left foot makes the 45-degree angle from your body, and the heel of your right foot should be at your left arch with right foot making the 45-degree angle from the left toe. A singer can stand like this for long periods of time tirelessly without strain on the legs and without swaying. It turns the audience off when a singer appears drunk or high.


Gliding actually. Singers should move slowly, gently, not clomping across the floor. Choreograph your movement with each song in advance. Some of you might say you don't want planned movement but even in planned movement there is variation in how you do the moves. When you walk don't walk the full width of the stage before stopping. Plan to take three to five steps, then stop for a few bars and look at someone in the audience before moving again. Movement of more than five steps detracts from a singer. Your audience should be looking at you and listening to your voice, not wondering how far you are going to travel of if you are going to fall off the edge of the stage.


The worst thing you can do with your arms when holding them out is to keep your elbows touching or too close to your body. We call this, in the business, "the broken wing effect", mostly done by amateur performers. You don't want to look like an amateur, even if you are one. Similar to walking movements, keep your arm actions in tune with the song; ergo gentle movements for love songs and ballads and quicker for songs that are more exciting and upbeat.


You often hear someone say, "Never turn your head away from the audience." Unless you plan to keep your back turned to the audience for the duration of the song it's okay to move your head when you're singing. In fact, your head should move (not spin) but move with the meaning of whatever song you sing. Beside looking natural and making you look totally at ease, head movement relaxes your vocal folds, helps you to sing better and keeps you from tightening up.


Look at the audience eye to eye briefly, then move to someone else. Don't look at their nose or over their head. Agents and producers can recognize where your eyes are looking. In fact, when you first enter the stage and between songs, glance around the audience and pick out the guys whose wife or girlfriend has dragged, kicking and screaming to the concert. Then, every so often, sing to these guys eye to eye. In effect, bring them onto the stage with you.

Practice all these hints to your kid, your parents or dog or cat or ghost until you feel comfortable with them. You will become a better singer and you will not have to toss your cookies before a concert from nervousness. In fact, if you are nervous or scared remember this: If you have followed my suggestions, after you sing the first few notes your nervousness will disappear and you will be able to present the performance of your life! Really!! [Dr Dean-Agent:Cirque du Soleil]


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