A quarterly-ish communiqué with announcements, interviews, and resources for creative thinkers & curious creatures.
Guest post by Rebecca Richardson on interpreting dynamic markings, action and honesty in performance.
Strategies that can be adapted to performers and humans of any kind…
Kate Conklin lists actors, singers, chefs, athletes and tech startups as a few of the professions that would benefit from the Alexander Technique – clearly, this technique is not easy to categorize.
“Do small things really well. And fix them immediately.”
“… this grammar of animacy means that we have the linguistic structure to speak of the living world as if it were alive, as if it was a person, as if it were our family- because in our way of thinking, it is.”
An insightful and extremely helpful guest post from Matt Racine, attorney and creator of the Bar Exam Mind website. Here, he helps us think about contracts and agreements, and gives us specific tools to put into action!
For centuries, performers – and now, the most recent scientific research- know perfectly well performers aren’t afraid of stages or performing.
A soprano and a high-diver get into a debate…
What could you achieve if you were willing to begin a discovery process?
The Alexander Technique is a powerful tool to do what Yo-Yo Ma describes beautifully here, often termed “deliberate practice.” That is it’s value.
“My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day. I told them this story…”
I continue to consult, study and coach with my mentors. I do this because everything I do- singing, teaching, living my life- is a life-long learning endeavor.
The old feeling can’t happen in a new process.
Technique, skill, consistency, quality and creativity.
There are days you think “I feel much like a pronking Springbok!”
Listening exercises to get your ears in ship-shape shape.
“I’ve been trying this technique out and find it incredibly useful, a real shift of view: I view myself with more measured, impartial and compassionate eyes…”
By appropriately coordinating the vocal mechanism, one can quite easily call up different colors and emphasize specific spectral resonance without diminishing the others.
Mental contrasting is a process that helps you overcome inner obstacles and fears, and gives you clear steps to get what you want.
The metaphor I keep using for high, sustained passages that dip down into the lower range.
There is a moment I sometimes see in a lesson or coaching that has a crisis of perception lurking behind it…
“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” Madeleine L’Engle
When the easy way out is a back flip. On one foot…
A fact is something that is empirically known to be true, a technique is a way of doing or achieving something. One of the most powerful tools you can have as a performer is to know which one you’re dealing with…
What does “just right” actually mean?
Yesterday I gave a two-hour masterclass for pianists. I said something that elicited gasps of surprise.
” … we flow into each other, stream through each other, boundlessly and magnificently.”
We are all natural born movers. We are all organized by the dynamic relationship between head and spine. And we have all jumped, bounded, skipped and sprung …This post then, is a big wheeeeee for your mirror neurons.
…learning the Alexander Technique is not like buying a muffin. You are not given an end result, you are learning how to do for yourself, that’s why they are called lessons.
A detailed process to get ready for an exam or performance of any kind. Re-posted with permission from Bar Exam Mind.
“My commitment is to truth not consistency.”
Talent is insufficient. Desire is insufficient. We have to choose to respond to our desire, and do the work that we need to do to support that response.
Reinventing the wheel is unnecessary. Unless you happen to be quite interested in wheels…
“I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”
“I gave you a recipe Madame, I did not teach you how to cook.”
Georges Auguste Escoffier
An extremely useful and practical guide.
“Move fast with stable infrastructure.” Mark Zuckerberg
“The point is: What are you satisfied with?” Bill Evans
Resiliency means the ability to reliably sing or move with any quality you wish, no matter how robust or delicate.
“The way it is is always in relation to the way you are.”
– Alan Watts
“Are you alive? Can you move and do you?”
– Ann Herbert
Michelle Jenneke dances to get ready to run hurtles. It’s a superb example of a studied rehearsed routine, using humor and the life of the mind to focus and feed yourself for performance.
As I sang each show, I had the view of a lifetime; seeing these astounding humans performing extraordinarily, twice a night, 10 shows per week. I wondered. How are they doing what they’re doing?
Stay tuned for upcoming events, workshops, or blog posts.