Now that I have your attention lets be honest, all of these exercises, bubbles, trills, sirens, meows etc etc… what do they all mean?
One of the most common aspects surrounding performance these days is that just about every audience member carries a camera and thinks nothing of 'capturing' the moment and then putting it up on the internet for the world to enjoy.
I still get bemused by this as the video/audio quality is usually poor at best, however it is a practise that seems will stay with us.
When I started out this was also considered a breach of copyright, but I guess that it has become virtually impossible to police.
Now if it is a great performance then it is a wonderful opportunity to promote yourself, if not... yikes!
Remember that you have rights in these circumstances and can have these postings removed, better still always work towards being as prepared as possible.
There is nothing worse than being unprepared. Here are a few tips that should smooth out your preparation.
1) Have a sensible warm up.
2) Always present yourself in the best possible way with clothing and makeup/costumes that you feel comfortable in.
3) Always sing songs that you have some affinity and love for, the rest should take care of itself.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of 'playing the room'. That is when it is a low key gig and we think that no one is paying any attention (and believe me that is sometimes the case). Recently I commenced teaching a wonderful young woman who was 'spotted' in a Talent Quest on a Friday night and was recruited and rehearsing for an international touring show (which included a Broadway stint) the following Monday!
Simply put, always do the best that you can with what you have to work with as you never know who's watching!
Consistency is the key. Man I would like to have a dollar for every time I have heard this one.
When you think about it, what does this saying really mean? Does it mean getting good, then working hard at staying good? I think not because that would mean that you weren't growing at all.
I once read about the concept of compound interest. Einstein referred to it as the 8th wonder of the world. It goes something like this. Say you play golf with a friend and just to make things a little more interesting you decide to have a friendly bet, say $1.00 per hole.
Now golf is usually an 18 hole game so you figure that the worst that can happen is if you lose every hole the most you will pay your friend is $18.00...no big deal.
So you commence playing and your friend says, ' 'hey let's make it a little more interesting', let's double the bet every hole'.
Once again you get your wallet out and figure $18.00 x 2 =$ 36.00 and YOU might win a few as well. My friends you just agreed to something that might cost you your house...
Here is how it looks (you can get out your calculator if you wish)
1st hole you lose $2.00
2nd hole you lose $4.00
3rd hole you lose $8.00
4th hole you lose $16.00
5th hole you lose $32.00 (now you are almost at the the amount that you thought would be the maximum $36.00 and it's only the 5th hole)
So I could keep going but let me tell you that by hole number 10 you owe $1024.00 !!! By hole 15 it is $32,768.00 and by the last hole $262,144.00......yikes.
Now before you start scratching your head about the relationship between this and singing the issue here is about improvement and consistency.
Lets say that you improve just 1% per day. Now you might say that's not much, well after 1 year is it 365% ( 1 x 365 days)? No it actually works out to be more than 1000% ( do the math). Because you improve upon the improvement, that my friends is consistency with a capital C.
To quote Anthony Robbins (one of my greatest influences) we need to subscribe to the concept of CANI, Constant and Never Ending Improvement. In the last 2 years or so I have had the opportunity to witness this concept in action, I will name a few as examples.
Anthony Robbins. Saw him at a seminar giving 100% energy all day for several days, I mean for 14 hours at a time.
Celine Dion. Singing all those great songs with that voice as wonderful as ever.
Stevie Wonder. He performed for close to 3 hours, met with a number of fans and then went out to a nightspot in Sydney and played for a while again.
Anthony Warlow. Just saw him last weekend in the Sydney production of Annie, simply amazing.
Elton John. Saw him in Vegas last October, what can you say about this amazing singer songwriter?
My list could keep going (I just realised I get around a bit) but once again, what does it mean to be consistent?
My first thought is to have a systematic approach to doing something. Whether it be singing, tennis, golf or cooking for that matter.
Often folks learn this approach, either through self discovery which can be costly and time consuming, or via a great coach, teacher or mentor.
I happen to know a fair bit about each of the folks that I mentioned above. Their stories are easy to obtain, the approach to being consistent is relatively straight forward, so why doesn't everyone do it?
I have some observations and they are many and varied. To explore each and every one of these could take hours so I will dispense with that for now.
What I will discuss is the commonality that I observe in each of these amazing people and a great many that I have met...simply put the LOVE what they do...thats it!
Notice that I didn't say they love the 'idea' of doing it, no, they LOVE what they do and to remain consistent is nothing more than an extension of that love and the purpose that they derive from doing it.
Sounds simple enough, just LOVE what you do and the rest follows? Well not quite but it is a good start. I am absolutely convinced that without this LOVE that I keep raving on about, your task at hand will be made more difficult.
So ask yourself in all honesty, 'do I LOVE singing?' and the rest will follow. It's just a matter of a great strategy and constant improvement.