The Challenges of Broadway Singing Lessons and Beyond
A Broadway performer should not be complacent. Natural talent is not the ‘be all and end all’ to make it. What does it take to be a Broadway star?
As the song goes…”they say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…” The show’s casts razzle and dazzle onstage with their song, dance, and acting routines. With the myriad of talent and versatility, a Broadway performer is an epitome of a star. Yet these ‘stars’ were not born brilliant. It takes years of rigorous training and practice. One of the important steps they go through is taking-up Broadway singing lessons.
A Broadway performer should not be complacent. Natural talent is not the ‘be all and end all’ to make it. What does it take to be a Broadway star? How does a star earn its brilliance? Prepare yourself for these challenges ahead:
Stand-out versatility. A Broadway performer should be armed with a triple threat and more. Singing. Dancing. Acting. Yes, there are a multitude of aspiring Broadway stars who can do that. There are specific roles to fill in a Broadway show. There are certain nuances of a character that you are required to execute. For instance, in the Broadway production of “Spiderman: Turn-Off The Dark”, the dance routine includes a lot of acrobatics. In “Once”, the lead characters have to know how to play a musical instrument. What’s your edge? How would you fit in and fill-in?
Regular vocal coaching. A number of Broadway stars have pursued college degrees in performing arts. However, being cast in Broadway show requires you to go back to basics -- Broadway singing lessons. The casts are still closely monitored and supervised by a vocal coach. From the lead star to the chorus line, everyone is under the watchful eye of a coach.
Watch what you eat and drink. Subjecting performers to a healthy diet is necessary. Your body should be fit inside and out. Your body’s energy level should be at its peak majority of the time. Dance routines require strength, grace, flexibility and endurance. Singing requires healthy vocal cords. You should have a checklist of food and drink musts and must-not’s that could affect your overall performance
Yoga training. The body should have a proper balance between work and rest. Performers pump-out energy during a performance. Yet there should be a time for rest, relaxation, and re-charge. With the burst of energy that it releases, muscles become tense and constricted. The body should open-up to absorb in-flow of renewed energy. With this, Broadway coaches recommend the discipline of yoga. Annie Piper (anniepiper.com), faculty member for NYU and the Yale School of Drama, says, “I believe yoga augments vocal training, it opens up the body and the musculature and the breath.”
Working 6 to 8 hours before show time. In a Broadway show, an actor’s work does not start at show time and end at curtain call. Six to eight hours are dedicated for training, classes, individual practices, and show rehearsals. Performers go on voice lessons, dancing classes, yoga training, and other specific skills training that could supplement their performances.
When the sound of applause fades and the lights on the Broadway marquee is switched off, how do Broadway stars shine and keep their brilliance? Training. Learning. Be it Broadway singing lessons, ballet, tap dancing, or acting workshops -- the polishing should never stop.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jazz Tan is a music instructor in Singapore who loves to share her extensive knowledge of music and the art of performing to her students and blog readers. Visit her site at www.singinglessonssingapore.com or call (065) 8168 8251.