Hybrid Arts Flutist



Posted on June 18, 2013 at 11:15 PM

This week, I have the privilege of teaching at Floot FIre - Metroplex in Dallas, Texas! I'm teaching masterclasses, chamber music groups, and two electives, one of which is entitled "Getting Comfy with the Stage". Each day in this class, we are attacking a different aspect of having good stage presence and begin each day with a little brainstorm. 

Because my students are supremely awesome (and because I promised them I would), I'll be posting our brainstorms on here each day! 

I didn't post yesterday, because I was running on 2 hours of sleep and felt I should go to bed instead of attempting to mess with technology. So, I'll post both Monday's brainstorm and today's brainstorm in one shot.

Let's do this!

Part 1 - Using a Stage Voice

Yesterday, I asked the question: "What're some things that make a performer seem comfortable on the stage?"

  • Posture
  • Confident breathing (a shaky breathing = nervous!)
  • Facial expression
  • Confident entrance
  • Stage Voice
  • Seeing them (i.e. stand height)

I then asked them, "What makes a rockstar's performance awesome?"

  • Audience connection (talking to the audience between pieces)
  • Being open
  • Entertaining

See what I mean? These students are fantastic. It's like they've been reading this blog the whole time!! 

Since Monday was to be dedicated to the stage voice, I came back to that topic and asked, "If someone is speaking during their performance, what makes it possible for you to understand them?"

  • Projecting to the back of the room
  • Enunciation
  • Speaking slowly
  • Using hand gestures, but not too much (i.e. body language that enhances what is being said)

After this little brainstorm, we played the alphabet game in which we passed the alphabet around the circle, concentrating on eye contact and using a stage voice. After that, I taught them a few enuncuation tongue twisters. Here's a fun one to get your mouth moving:

You know New York

You need New York

You know you need unique New York

Tough to say quickly and clearly, isn't it? Once of these days, I promise to write an entry dedicated solely to using a stage voice. But for now, we'll just go on to Part 2...

Part 2 - Staying in the Moment

Today, I began by asking the question, "Why is it important for musicians to 'stay in the moment'?"

  • Staying in the moment captivates your audience
  • Maintain focus if you're nervous
  • Keeps you from going on autopilot and missing what other people are doing
  • You don't want to lose track of where you are

I then asked, "Why is it important for actors to stay in the moment?"

  • You don't want to lose character
  • If someone messes up a line, you have to be able to react naturall, not just repeat your normal lines (i.e. be ready to improvise if necessary)

After this brainstorm, we did a game called Zoom Schwartz (far too wonderful and difficult to explain at this time of night... I tried googling it, but everything I saw was a far different version that didn't look as fun. I'll post it here one of these days. Anyway, after Zoom Schwartz, we did Prince of Paris which is also insanely fun. Both these games require the players to be full committed in the moment, otherwise the flow breaks down. Needless to say, they did a wonderful job.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and seeing what other brilliant things they say to me!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's entry from Texas - Getting Comfy with the Stage - Part 3!

Categories: Stage Presence, Aware, Genuine

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