Your Audience Connection
by Jeannie Deva
Point of View
It helps to assume the point of view of the audience. In doing so it is easier to recognize what works and what doesn't as performer conduct on stage.
When you have been an audience member, what has a performer done that has made you feel: uncomfortable, put off, bored, ridiculed or ignored? What has the performer done that has detracted from your image or impression of him?
Okay now let's look at the flip side. What have you seen a performer do that has made you feel: excited, appreciated, important, amused, happy or interested to hear the next song.
There are other reactions you may wish to add and explore.
The point here is to correlate your experiences as an audience member to the specific things done by the performers. What you have experienced as an audience member, you can use as a performer to develop good stage manners.
You may be the type of person who likes to break rules. Being a nonconformer has its pluses (and minuses). Even the following rules can be broken IF you are doing it on purpose to create a pre-determined effect to charm your audience. But normally the following three rules are simply a guide of behavior that assists you to gain the confidence and openness of your audience to you and your performance. Resultantly, they are worth developing and employing.
1. Accept applause.
This is the audience's acknowledgment of you and their way of giving back. You can bow, use hand gestures or other motions as long as you accept the applause without cutting them off, dodging or diminishing it.
2. Don't call attention to goofs.
If you or another performer goofs, don't call attention to it. Ride over it and carry on. Very smooth performers, especially comedians, often spontaneously incorporate the goof into the routine. You don't have to do that as long as you don't look helpless or foolish and just ride over the error.
3. Maintain self-control.
Even when you feel stage fright or anxiety, don't fidget or twist your hands, your clothes or the microphone cord. Physically assume a posture of confidence. You should always appear to be in control even if you aren't. Interestingly, if you assume the posture of control, it helps you BE in control.
4. Maintain the mood.
During breaks or instrumental solos, try different postures that show you are still in control while letting the attention go to the soloist. Even while someone else is soloing or singing, you are still part of the whole stage scene and what you do will either detract or compliment. You can gesture toward the soloist, you can clap or dance unobtrusively or simply stand quietly. If you don't know what to do with your hands, let them hang comfortably at your sides. Don't fidget or move about nervously.
When you can do the following things easily, comfortably and in a way that is natural for you, you will be well on your way to good stage manners.
- While playing the music of a song, Practice doing all of these in front of a mirror:
- walking onto stage,
- greeting the audience,
- Sing the song TO your audience.
- accept applause,
- riding over a goof,
- being on stage during an instrumental solo, continuing to add to the mood and not distracting from it.
- accept a standing ovation,
- doing some dance steps,
Do these over and over until you feel completely comfortable with each.
Command you space. This is an ability and a skill. It is the framework within which your performance will have power.
Jeannie Deva is the Celebrity Vocal Coach seen on E! Entertainment and TV Guide Channels as well as many other television and radio talk shows. Author of the internationally acclaimed "Contemporary Vocalist" book and CD series, as well as the Deva Method Vocal Warm-Up CD, she is flown to recording studios worldwide for album vocal production and is endorsed y producers and engineers of the Rolling Stones, The Cars, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac and others. She is the Originator of The Deva Method® - Complete Vocal Technique for Stage and Studio and founder of Jeannie Deva® Voice Studios celebrating over 33 years of helping singers be outstanding. Past and present clients include Grammy Award Winners, American Idol finalists, members of the J. Geils Band, Foghat, Felecia Howse of Bone Thugs Harmony, Broadway leads in Fame, Color Purple, Lion King and Wicked, singers for Sting, Stevie Wonder, Pink, Joss Stone, Christina Aguilera and others. There is a growing network of certified Deva Method teachers in the US and Australia. Jeannie's private studio is located in Los Angeles. She teaches www.JeannieDeva.comin house and internationally via Internet web cam.
c. 2010 All rights reserved. Jeannie Deva Enterprises, Inc.