The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shakespeare and Oppurtunities

As some of you may know, Ol' Yeargain is performing the roles of Marullus and Metellus Cimber with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the park throughout the month of September.

At first I was immensely intimidated by this project, but now I'm settling into it and finding my place in the bunch.

I don't want to sound arrogant, but it's very interesting coming from a place where people are usually enamored with my singing. I open my mouth and people's eyes grow wide. I've often felt that I've been allowed to skate here and there dramatically because of what I bring musically to a project. This is partly due to my extensive training as a musician. Years in orchestra, a performing degree, lot's of study in the technique and history of vocal production. All the pretentious stuff that goes behind making epic noises with your throat. Not to say that I'm perfect or that people never call me on my faults, if you knew me at all you'd understand that I'm immensely self conscious.

Singing adds a new element. I like to think of it as a scale, and it's very difficult to find a person that can equalize the balance between singing exceptionally well while keeping the acting on point. The harder the music, the more focused you have to be on the production of the words (singing.) With opera there are numerous obstacles - language, lack of amplification to name two. Sometimes surviving the phrase gets in the way of character nuance, leading to shark eyes mid line.

That being said, I've worked very very hard on making these two elements equal. But even then, when I turn shark eyed, I'm often forgiven because I replace that void with what is usually an epic musical phrase.

But this time, Ol' Yeargain's voice can't save him... 

With Shakespeare I'm on equal playing ground if not several a wrung below. It's an immensely humbling experience. It's forcing me to be hyper present within the moment of speech, to find the rhythm of the lines and dance within the confines of that scene without the aid of my vocal instrument that I've been cultivating for nearly a decade. I'm also working with some top notch actors, people who are really dedicated to their presentation.

Basically, I'm learning a lot. I'm enjoying being a "white belt" again. I'm hoping to afford learning opportunities like this continually in the future.

Until next time,

Lift Big, ACT BIG, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

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