“The Same is Lame!”

"The Same is Lame!"
“The Same is Lame!”
I recently spotted a bus ad for the Uniqlo retail chain, sporting the image of Pharrell Williams wearing a hat with the slogan “The Same Is Lame.”

Right away, that got me thinking about the V in SAVI – Variety – and my efforts to get my students see each and every phrase as an opportunity to communicate what is unique and different about that phrase when compared to its predecessors.

I describe the difference between work that is thoughtfully differentiated phrase by phrase and work that is delivered with a general wash of attitude as being like the difference between shishkebab and applesauce.

Applesauce – good for toddlers, bad for singing actors!
In a dish of applesauce, every bite tastes the same as every other bite, and Same is Lame.

Contrast, change, difference – these are things that attract attention, that make us curious, that light up the circuits in our brains. The nervous system is aroused by change, and conversely, it is lulled and deadened by repetition.

That’s why I advise my students to Always Be Choosing, and Always Be Changing. These, for me, are the ABC’s of singing acting. By “always,” I don’t mean every single instant, since that would produce nothing but chaos. However, every single ding affords an optimal opportunity for choosing and changing.

Making a choice is good. Making the same choice over and over is a problem, though, and Pharrell will tell you why: Same is Lame.