Sunday, August 14, 2011
Question: Does the body we sing with need to be "in shape" to make good sound?
The more I learn about the world of Broadway (having worked with a few performers in big shows), the more I understand the pure physical stamina that it takes to crate a compelling performance.. 8 shows a week. Thats not for the "out of shape" or less than healthy individual.
Now that dancing is an expected part of Pop performing the more "together" a singers physique the better. Rock n Roll is also a purely physical performance style based on intensity and abandon. Thats how the music is made vital and important to an audience.
But it doesn't matter what style you work in, Jazz or Country or Folk, stamina is what is really needed to make a life in music work. Music professionals spend long days filled with rehearsals and meetings and creative sessions. All the busyness that goes into an active career takes the kind of core stamina that we associate with athletes.
So, being in top physical shape is key to delivering the product. A few extra pounds on our frame shouldn't impact but the overall health of your body will make a huge difference to your longevity and your ability to give a kick ass performance.
Question: What about those plus size opera, gospel singers who seem to get such a large sound. Isn't there body fat a part of why they sound so big?
Nope. Has Jennifer Hudson or Jennifer Holiday's sound changed at all post weight loss? I had the deep pleasure of sharing a stage with Ms Holiday on more than one occasion and I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the slimmed down version still delivers the kind of vocal punch that leaves her audience wet and dripping from exhaustion.
Question: What should I do physically in order to have optimum performances?
I recommend dance or yoga class to remain limber and stretched and "present" in our bodies.
It's not just about being in shape, it's about inhabiting the body we have completely so boddy awareness is very important,
Running, for stamina and endurance, and swimming for overall body fitness and health are both excellent activities that help focus the mind and body for the task of performing.
Weight training at the gym has also been very important for me in maintaining general health and staying in fighting form as well, especially as a "mature" performer. As we grow older in our careers the impact of being out of shape takes more and more of a toll. Our audiences expect us to kick butt though, thats why they came!
Public Performers of all kinds who are in front of the public must continue to grow a disciplined approach to body fitness throughout their careers in order to maintain their abilities, singers are no different...if we are in better shape then we have longer careers, it's as simple as that.