Introduction to Day 4 of Acting 101 for Singers
“Did I do it right?” is the question students of all disciplines everywhere are eager to know the answer to. The problem is that when it comes to art, value and right and wrong can be extremely subjective. The real question should be am I achieving what I set out to accomplish. For most performance-oriented art, engaging and moving our audience is at least one of the major goals. Another productive question performers might ask then is “Did I move and engage my audience?”.
Our goal in this segment is to explore two big principles that seem to be consistent influencing factors that determine whether or not an audience will engage with performances that employ both action and music.
How To Judge the Success of a Performance
An audience’s reaction to a performance can be wildly different night to night even when the artistic output is different. There are so many factors that go into our audience being moved and engaged by our work. Understanding the nuances of audience engagement and knowing what to do to use that to one’s advantage is something that is honed by professionals in the business over a lifetime. It is also a pursuit that if obsessed over can cripple performers and directors with anxiety and keep them from trusting their own artistic instincts. The real goal then is to understand fundamental principles of audience engagement that are consistent across disciplines and are productive for performers to think about during the creative process, not as judgment tools but ideas to promote further exploration.
What are performances you have seen or moments from performances that really stand out to you in your memory? What are the moments where you were completely absorbed and transported to a new location, thought, or emotion? What are the moments that stuck with you for days afterwards?
These are the performances and moments we want to learn from. Can you identify a common pattern that links these moments together? What is it that they had in common that was so engaging?
Now break down these experiences into more detail by thinking about each part of your sensory experience with that performance. The two most important being sight and sound. How do you judge the visual success of a performance? What makes for a successful performance music-wise?
Take the time to think through and write out your answers to these questions. Compare how what is suggested as criteria that make up a successful performance matches what you have experienced.
Links to Other Articles in This Segment
Topic 1 The Big 3 + MMC Introduction
Topic 2 The Big 3 + 1