Coaching for excellence - The Footprints Method
"The Footprints Method has evolved from 20 years of teaching students to act while singing. It provides a methodical way of getting a performance from the page to the stage, touching on a wide range of subjects the musical theater student comes across while studying Song Interpretation. The Footprints Method teaches students to not just trust their acting instincts and do what they feel is best, but to systematically examine performances and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The result is a well-balanced and authentic performer, in dialogue with the audience, equipped with all the necessary tools of the trade."
Where to begin? The page!
So you got handed this great song to sing and soon you will be asked to perform it somewhere. But where do you begin to decide how to sing and act it? The page, of course! The sheet music and script provides a world of information to build your performance on. Within The Footprints Method we analyze the world behind the words and notes to extract dramatical and musical thoughts and ideas, movement and character clues, logical storytelling and where we can find room for authentic supplementation. We also look at the intentions and style of the original writers and examine if and how these are still valid in our time.
Whole Body Singing
In real life, people usually live through their emotions with their whole body, physically and audibly. Singing with your whole body however can be a great challenge, especially to younger performers. They tend to sing with their head and upper torso only, and therewith intellectualizing their performances. Physical exercises targeting the unincorporated areas of the body help students regain stage body awareness and create a whole body sound, making their performances authentic and true to life.
Incorporating the Hands
Generally hand usage while singing falls into two categories: emphasizing and portraying. But oh, those hands seem to have a mind of their own, don't they? Those things get all over the place and can make you so self-conscious! So how do you incorporate your hands so that they contribute in a meaningful way to your performance instead of distracting from it? We will examine the fine art of emphasis and portrayal by looking into the function and psychology of gesturing in modern interhuman communication.
Audience Attention Focus
So where do you want the audience to look? At your eyes, your face, your arms, your body as a whole? How do you make them pay attention to those little physical things that say so much about your character and its psychology? By providing techniques and tricks to steer the eyes of onlookers to where you want them to be, The Footprints Method takes performing songs to a new level of effectiveness.
Vocal and Emotional Projection
Performers tend to go through lots of emotions while performing songs. But do the people that came to watch feel the same? How do they get included in the world of your character? You want your audience to not just hear but also experience what your character has to say. Studying the psychology behind audience behavior and practicing the techniques to involve them in your performance paves the way for communicating freely with your audience and to get them tuned in to the emotional path your character takes.
Using the Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio just for the visual arts? No way! In songs it is equally a tool to manipulate the audience's emotional journey. Identifying the Golden Ratio in songs as a whole, in choruses, in refrains or in other musical stanzas is a great way to dramatically structure a performance. The Footprints Method teaches students what to look for in text and music to start seeing how writers use the Golden Ratio to make their point.
Other subject examples
- Building blocks of the Emotional Universe
- The basic elements of dramatic story line in song
- Doing Less to gain More
- How to Sing with your Heart of Hearts
- Emoting yourself
- Developing a Role Sound
- The battle between Emotion and Intellect
- The technique of using Color words
- Incorporating the eyes
- Physical Performance Unity
- Stage movement
- Blocking your song
- The Value of Left and Right
- Keeping the Sentences Together
- The use of Scooping
- Making music vs. reproducing music
- Maintaining a Character Scrapbook
- Play the Details
- ...and many more.
Textbook in preparation.