I have missed writing for Poise and Presence! And so….here’s a post written on returning from a recent workshop.
It was a winter Saturday afternoon at Ohio University’s Alexander Technique Audition Workshop. Singers were delighted with the resonant, full, and free sounds emerging from their mouths. The primary question was, ‘How do I keep this?’
The answer? ‘You don’t.’ Attempts to keep, codify, cement, solidify; all fail. Why? Because they require stasis, and fine singing with good use requires movement and change.
Then. If it isn’t possible to keep a glorious sound forever, what are the options? For starters, come back to the present moment in which you find yourself. The magnificent singing is over, but this moment is yours. Claim it. Get out of your head, out of the loop which is replaying the past, that past when you sang your best ever. It’s gone. The sound waves have moved on.
Utilize the magnificent power of your cognition to think well in present time. Alright. Back here. Back to now. Returning to feet in my pink velvet heels. (Yes, a student was wearing a pair. Loved them!) Inviting length and width, merely by thinking of them.
And about those habits of use: right arm pulling in toward ribs, torso torquing to the left, thorax over-arched and off-balance with the pelvis. Note them, and be inquisitive. What might happen if you simply stop with the arm pull, the torquing torso, the over-arching spine? What if there is no attempt to fix, but rather a decision to ‘NOT DO’?
Then sing. Watch. Observe. Feel. Fully engage yourself in the experimentation that is required to hone your singing craft. You’ll produce yet another glorious sound, particular to this moment.
Thank you, Ohio University vocalists. It was a lovely afternoon. Always give yourself one more chance. Once more, with feeling! Once more with presence, and yes, poise.