Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Act Up in Auditions - Move but have it make sense!

When auditioning, you are always aspiring to do the right thing and the best thing to land that role or solo. There is an ongoing dispute if someone should act out the piece they sing or stand still. The answer?  Neither, be natural and go with what makes sense.  Make any motion or movement that you make MEAN something, not just be oh, I am going to move my arms now.  Motions should have a purpose and help show you understand what you are saying in the song.  The level to which each auditor thinks a person should move varies, but most agree you should act when singing an audition.

In an article from Classical Singer Magazine, many directors spoke candidly about what they like to see in an audition.  It is helpful to think about these things when preparing that next audition or a student to do an audition.  Here are some of the quotes we should take to heart:

Singers should always demonstrate acting in their audition. Acting doesn't imply taking over the entire room.  It simply means being committed to story telling.  James Marvel, Stage Director

Acting involves knowing what you are saying and why you are saying it at that particular moment.  The singer should know what her or she wants to say in the aria and share it in a way that the audience will know it. Ellen Rievman, NYC Acting coach

Thoughts should appear on the face externally (seeing someone or some object in the room) or internally (seeing something in your mind or reflecting on something).  These change from phrase to phrase and thought to thought.  Thoughts must precede gestures, and gestures must precede the words coming out of the singer's mouth.  They are not naturally simultaneous. 
Dan Montez, Director of Taconic Opera

Include the audience somehow.  Communicate naturally and unselfconsciously.  This may mean you look someone in the eye or not. Brian Dickie, Chicago Opera Theater

95% of singers use meaningless gestures during an audition.  Dan Montez  Don't be one of them.

Take the time to interpret your music and figure out where and when you might move based on the text. Make movement mean something, not just flailing your arms.  It is important to have an outside perspective when working out motions.  Work with an acting or drama coach or ask you sister or roommate to listen and watch you sing and get their input.  Less is often more.  Use your dynamics to express and make your movements truly because you are expressing the text.  Simple and clean while using a little bit of space are good mottoes.  Ultimately, the people at the audition are going to listen to your voice, but it is helpful for them to know you are comfortable on stage.

Find out more about acting and singing by asking your voice teacher or acting teacher to work on connecting the two!

1 comment: