03-18-2013 11:01 PM
I'm a decent singer and am working to improve. But that's not why I'm posting here. My problem, which I could use some help with, is that I'm kind of an awkward performer. I'm mostly okay once I start singing, but if I have to say anything between songs, I'm very stiff. And I can see on video I've taken of myself that even singing I have sort of a stoic demeanor much of the time that doesn't necessarily go with what I'm usually singing.
It does help when I have an instrument to hide behind, and it helps when I'm with a band, but I'm not where I'd like to be.
One thing I've noticed about singers and other performers I admire is that they look like they are fully engaged and that they are performing without shame/embarassment. I feel like if I were to carry myself the way they do, people would spot me as someone who is just pretending. They look cool, I would look stupid, I think to myself. This is the wrong attitude, I know, but…
Part of it, I'm sure, is just lack of experience and comfort level with what I'm doing. I go out to open mics from time to time just to gain experience performing. Does anyone have any suggestions of other things I can do to improve?
03-19-2013 09:11 AM
An old trick that I can guarantee will help your stage presence is to rehearse in front of a full length mirror.
Go to your local home improvement store and buy the cheapest full length mirror they have - these are the mirrors that many people have attached to their bedroom closet doors. They don't cost that much. Mount it to the wall in front of your mic stand in your rehearsal room, and you'll get immediate feedback about how you come across to your audience. It sounds like you have some artists that you compare yourself to... just emulate what they're doing when performing. Study their poses when holding still too - don't be afraid to combine stillness and movement in your stage show.
03-19-2013 11:14 AM
03-20-2013 10:53 AM
Kid: Thanks for the suggestions. I have a mirror that I use to check things like body alignment when I sing, but that's a good idea to practice the way I look when I sing. Sort of obvious, I suppose, but I didn't think of it. :-)
03-20-2013 11:01 AM - edited 03-20-2013 11:10 AM
Every once in a while, when appropriate, close your eyes while you sing. It let's you subtract the crowd for just a second. Also, If you spend the whole time with your eyes open, the crowd feels awkward. It's almost as if you're kissing someone whilI watching them. :/
That's an interesting suggestion. Are you saying that closing my eyes might make me less self-concious? A woman I have seen perform at open mics (really nice voice) keeps her eyes closed the entire time she's singing. She says she's does it because otherwise she's too nervous. Looks a little odd, but it isn't that noticable unless you are really watching her. (Not that I think you are suggesting that I do something like that!)
Most of the songs I sing are about "my lover is a bad person/done me wrong," "my job sucks," or "where's the booze, I like drinking"-- not really closed-eyes material. I'll have to think about whether it would be appropriate somewhere, see what happens.
I don't know about people feeling awkward because my eyes are open all the time, though I agree it is good to look somewhere other than the audience from time to time. I've seen a kind of flirty looking up and away thing used to very good effect.
03-20-2013 03:01 PM
Hahahaaa. Yeah, it sounds like the subject matter of your songs might be a little too light for that. I definitely wouldn't close my eyes the whole time. It really works to communicate deeply felt lyrics. Maybe if your lover really REALLY did you wrong.
03-24-2013 05:10 AM
I see this behavior ALL the time. Usually it comes from a lack of confidence overall. Keeping your eyes closed the entire time is bad because it disconnects you from the audience, you need to make eye contact with them. The key to stage presence is to connect with the song, connect with the audience, and most importantly HAVE FUN. You are the one with the balls to get up on stage and sing infront of a bunch of strangers!!! Be proud of that fact and let it show. During certain points of songs pick out a person in the audience and sing it to them. Just some thoughts!
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