Tip of the Month
Audiences MIRROR You Physically!
Did you know that the way we communicate with others depends upon them, as well as you? By that, I mean that the receiver of the message will attempt to exactly recreate your brain patterns (neural nets) in their own minds. These nets include the sound and everything that they see in your face, lips, and body. By reproducing them inside, the brain can then translate them into the words and meanings you have created. Haven’t you met someone in your life whom you felt you had known forever, someone who understood you perfectly even though you had just met? That person creates very similar neural nets to your own, so he or she comprehends instantly what you mean without confusion. Likewise there are people who don’t seem to understand you at all. The truth is…they don’t!
How does this apply to a performer?
Whenever you are singing in front of someone, he or she is recreating what you are doing for comprehension. This means that, if you are tense in any way, they will also be tense in the same way. If your face doesn’t express the feelings of the song, they will not feel the song. If your lips aren’t mobile and clear in pronunciation, they will have trouble determining your words.
The best compliment I ever got about my singing was when I asked my husband how I sounded after the opening night of Cinderella. He said, “Fine…” and I said, “But?” “I didn’t say anything!” “No, but I heard the hesitation. Tell me. I can’t improve if I don’t know what the problem is.” “Well, I don’t know if you’ll like this or not…when you started to sing, the entire audience seemed to give a big sigh and they all relaxed back into their seats.”
I laughed with delight….that meant that I wasn’t putting them on edge! They were at ease listening to me, comfortable, rather than tense or stressed while trying to reproduce my sound. He had misinterpreted, thinking that I wasn’t “exciting them” enough. The harsh edge in many singers is actually an irritant, which is not the kind of excitement I want to create.