Putting It Together: The Art of Making “Herringbone”

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” and Philadelphia actor Ben Dibble clearly has taken the former First Lady’s advice to heart. Known around town for his versatility and his chops as well as his sang froid, the plucky Dibble acknowledges he was plenty scared by the challenge of Herringbone, […]

The Magic of Songs

Reflections on the power and pervasiveness of song, on the occasion of a new class What is it about songs? If you’re a singing actor, you’ll spend your lifetime performing them, interpreting them, living inside them, so surely you must be curious: just what, exactly, is the deal? Songs are ubiquitous, that’s for sure. Everywhere […]

The single most important thing to do in your college audition

My interview with Joe Deer (published in three parts, here, here and here) generated a ton of traffic and response on the site, which leads me to believe there are a lot of serious singing actors with college auditions on their minds. As a followup, I want to tip you off to the single most […]

So You Want To Sing Music Theater?

There’s not much literature on voice training specifically calibrated to the needs of the singing actor, and that makes the arrival of “So You Want To Sing Music Theater,” a new book “developed in coordination with” the National Association of Teachers of Singing, something to sing about! NATS has taken considerable strides in its approach […]

Keys to Success in Your College Audition

Part III of my conversation with Joe Deer, co-author of Acting in Musical Theatre. Joe’s book has the well-deserved subtitle “A Comprehensive Course,” and he recently shared his comprehensive knowledge about the training of the singing actor at the Educational Theatre Association conference last weekend. Prior to that, though, he was kind enough to give […]

Choosing Your Target Schools

Part II of my conversation with Joe Deer, co-author of Acting in Musical Theatre. Previously… The estimable Joe Deer, co-author of Acting In Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course, author of Directing in Musical Theatre, and Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre at Wright State University, graciously gave me a preview of his upcoming presentation for the […]

Bit By Bit

I’ve got a new favorite catchphrase – “Just do your bits” – and it comes from a fascinating profile of the comedian and actress Maria Bamford that appeared in the current New York Times Magazine. Among its many insights, the article offers a behind-the-scenes view of the amount of labor – surprising, no doubt, to […]

SAVI Video Clinic – “The Sound of Music”

There’s a lot to be learned from watching someone else perform, and online video has made a trove of riches available for study. Your first viewing of a clip will yield valuable first impressions, but repeated viewings with a more analytical approach will yield exceptionally useful insights. Even inferior work can teach us useful lessons […]

5 Things We All Can Learn from Elaine Stritch

Stritchy has left us, and fans everywhere are hoisting a vodka stinger in tribute to this feisty, salty-tongued singing actress. I saw her in Company on the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre in London more than 40 years ago, and the Pennebaker documentary Original Cast Album memorably captures her in the studio struggling to nail […]