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Acting Out or Acting Up?

by Amanda White


Along our developmental paths, we singers receive a lot of advice about audition presentation, especially about acting. The problem is that so much of the advice we are given is often contradictory. A teacher at the conservatory might tell you to block your arias for auditions, but a competition panel member might recommend you stay still, while a coach might ask you why you’re not making any gestures. Protesting with an outburst like “But the last guy told me not to!” is not likely to get you very far in the audition process.

So what’s a confused singer to do? Let’s take a look at some strongly felt yet often differing opinions to see if we can better understand not only what to do on stage during an audition but also when and why we should do it (or not).

“Singers should always demonstrate acting in their audition. Acting doesn’t necessarily imply taking over the entire room. It simply means being committed to fantastic story telling,” explains James Marvel, Classical Singer...

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