The Most Common Mistake Singing Actors Make (And How You Can Fix It)

I love ballads, and I’ll bet you do too. A beautiful melody, gorgeous harmonies, poignant lyrics, delivered at a slow and soulful tempo. Every musical I’ve ever written, and nearly every musical I can think of, has a “big ballad,” and many of those big ballads have become so familiar to listeners and performers that […]

Rattle Your Own Cage

Creative inspiration from Erik Wahl’s Unthink A successful creative life is one filled with disruption and provocation, and I’ve found this to be true on every level. That’s why an article about Erik Wahl and his book Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius seemed especially resonant for me. Ekaterina Walter offered this summary in a recent […]

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 […]