Today marks the 18th blog post in the ‘singing from home’ series and having videoed myself talking nonsense for the vlog that many times, I was feeling reflective about the process.
What started off as a way to structure my days during lockdown, has become a massive learning curve. Not only am I learning more about my social media presence as a singer and how to edit videos on my phone and mac but I’m constantly analysing the way I present myself.
I’ve been filming myself in the practice room for years – most of my teachers and coaches have recommended it at one time or another – but it was relatively recently that I made it an essential part of learning any aria. The wise and very lovely team at Heber Opera encouraged me to do so when learning another of Delilah’s arias. I realised that in spite of it being a horrid thing to watch, it’s really the only way to beat yourself and any distracting habits into submission.
So that’s today’s tip – film a song or just some idiotic chat (like most of my vlog content) and notice how you feel about yourself.
I had two big habits that I’ve managed to eliminate (almost entirely) this way. The first was a propensity to look down, especially when I was unsure of the music, and the second was my ‘oops’ mouth – a kind of upside-down Elvis lip curl that accompanied a sharp intake of breath and which made me look slightly anxious. In all seriousness, it probably originated through anxiety to some degree but regardless, it had to go. It’s too irritating for an audience.
Amidst all this analysis and self-critique, I’m mindful of the careful balance between stripping away tics and habits in order to have control over my entire body and emotions and to employ them in conveying a character, and maintaining a strong identity and sense of self. We all like certain things about our favourite performers and actors that are present regardless of who they’re playing, and in what.
So, stay cheered, stay healthy and stay true to you. Lots of love xx