DAY 1 AMTA on Broadway

Posted: February 23, 2015 in New York, Uncategorized

Day 1 of training here in NYC is over and it was a great day. James Kinney, Alex Nordin, Stephen Purdy (see their profiles on the faculty page at and Garrett Taylor whom I had not met until today. He is a young, trendy MD with an impressive CV and I want to talk about his repertoire audition technique class he did with Stephen (who accompanied and also gave feedback as one of NYs leading vocal coaches) and an AMTA legend!

We got off to an ok start but I had to intervene early on to tell the students not to revert back to old habits just because they were nervous. Garrett and Stephen were giving them tips that the students had already been given in London. I wanted them to get new tips and an American spin on what they were performing, instead we were just covering old territory. Once I laid down the ground rules things got better and here are some key tips that came from the day.

– let the piano stop before you show that you are finished by your body language. (I always say start before you start and finish after you finish)

– don’t apologise

– if the song is a little too high change the key. Better you can nail the top notes.

– don’t stare into one spot on the wall. People don’t communicate that way and that’s what you are doing in MT when you sing, communicating.

– it’s not a race for whoever can sing the highest or the loudest.

– if there is a ‘whoa’ in your song, as there is in MOVIN TOO FAST don’t just sing it for the sake of it. There is a reason it’s in there. Give it meaning too.

– if you don’t understand how the character really feels because they have been through
something you have never been through, invent an understanding or sing a different song.

– be realistic about the types of parts you can play. If you don’t know, ask people, they will tell you.

– Americans prefer your music to be in a binder in sleeves instead of taped together. In London both is acceptable.

– try to choose a song that fits your age, but then if you don’t and you knock it out on the park, it doesn’t really matter.

Generally a lot of it came down to the same old same old, connecting to the material. Who are you singing to – Yourself? Someone else? Are they there with you? Etc.

Tomorrow is Ricky Hinds, AD on Newsies, Broadway. Another new one for me.
And John Scatchetti doing tap. HE IS AMAZING!!!!
I will blog about James and Alex later in week. Two other AMTA legends!

Saw the closing performance of Edward Albee’s A DELICATE BALANCE on Broadway yesterday. Lucky me. Starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Lithgow. It was brilliant. Actors looking for monologues, this play is filled to the brim with them. A must read. Off tonight to 54 below to see an Irving Berlin show.

Looking forward to day 2.

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