Any experienced, professional performer will tell you the only way you can appear in front of people looking unrehearsed is to practice-practice-PRACTICE.
Otherwise the uh’s and awkward pauses as one tries to remember their next line or action come across as amateurish, whilst the audience becomes increasingly embarrassed, uncomfortable, and possibly even angry. (After all, it is an imposition on their time and intelligence!)
A friend and experienced theatre audience member called recently to ask about just this subject. They’d suffered through an hour of an excellent example of how lack of rehearsal affected a public presentation.
Assuming it had been a failed attempt to appear ‘natural, informal and friendly,’ they called and asked: Doesn’t it take practice to appear informal or unrehearsed?
This question from someone who’s attended workshops of top Broadway and international performers, directors, producers, playwrights, choreographers, etc. In other words, they already knew the answer.
This doesn’t mean that a professional, with years of experience behind them, cannot give an excellent ad hoc performance; however, one must remember they’ve often decades of performance experience to rely on. Amateurs have no such thing.
No matter what your level of experience, nothing substitutes for PRACTICE.
And yes, your audience DOES know the difference.
Northern hemisphere people are slipping into heating mode, so get out those humidifiers and clean them up. Time to get out winter boots and coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, too.
Southern hemisphere folks are heading into summer. Remember the Aussie line: Slip, Slap & Slop. Slip into a shirt, Slap on a hat, and Slop on the sun creme.
Both hemispheres: Keep yourself well hydrated, remembering that alcohol and caffeine drain water out of the body, so avoid them.
Seasonal time changes for many countries are also coming up. Don’t miss rehearsals or performances because you forgot the date. In the U.S., turn clocks back 1 hour on Saturday, November 3, before you go to bed. (Official start is 2 A.M. Sunday morning.)
Other countries vary their change dates, so if you’re headed out of your normal home, check with someone in that country to confirm when their time shifts.
Here’s a Wiki article on the subject.
We were very serious about taking time off each summer.
Some countries have difficulty adjusting to this concept.
Fortunately, we do not.
Given the early and extreme allergy season now occurring in many parts of the world, singers – with or without allergies! — will need to be more aware of local weather conditions when home or traveling. Below are specifics from two articles, one each from below and above the equator. Continue reading Seasonal changes all over the world
For viewing, at your leisure: A lengthy interview with Dame Maggie Smith and colleagues, discussing her acting, and acting in general. Continue reading Acting + thinking = Dame Maggie Smith
“Benefiting from her own research into the history and technique of singing and a shrewd management of vocal resources, she continued to give audiences immense pleasure with her fresh, intelligent, often thrilling performances.” The Guardian
South African soprano Elizabeth Connell, 65. died last Sunday from cancer. Ms. Connell was an outstanding operatic soprano, and a marvelous concert artist. Many opera-goers might not have known that recitals were where her own wit and charm shone, as well as her prodigious vocal talents. Continue reading Soprano Elizabeth Connell
Twayla Tharp, Julia Cameron, and others advise creative people to prepare for, and expect success in their field. Does success mean loosing peace and quiet to you? And does that horrify you? It does some people. Continue reading Performer vs. introvert: handling both