Face front and the clutch

““Face front. Face the front. Cheat it out. We need to see your face. We got your back for most of that you have to face the audience. You don't need to look at him. I know it sounds weird but you don’t need to look at him when you speak to him.” Then theres “ I didn't hear any of that . Don't forget that there’s an audience if we don't hear that word the joke won’t make sense.. Say it into the microphone. Yes good but say it clearly into the microphone. Yes but face the front.  If this was on TV that would be perfect. Perfect.! But we are in a theatre so it’s got to be a lot bigger. Think of it as sharing the conversation with the person at the back of the room. GO! Face front, speak clearly, share it with the room, Into the microphone. Keep up the pace. It’s got to be quick or you’ll loose them.” 

I drive my car I every day. I get to a place and don't remember the journey. But remember learning to drive?. Speed limit. Lights. Parking. Indicate, no one in your blind spot. Starting on a hill. clutch. Oh my, the clutch!  I fired my first driving instructor for lack of patience. My foot shook on the accelerator for a year after I got my license. It takes time. They are doing their best. You have to be patient.

Becoming more observant

Becoming more observant.


When do we really teach people to be more observant of things in everyday life. There is a great corporate team building exercise where they ask everyone to close their eyes and describe parts of the office. what colour is the carpet? What kind of lights are there.? That kind of thing. A lot of great actors biographies suggest to aspiring actors to learn to be more observant. I remember Michael Caine in his autobiography talking about how his favourite passtime was to just sit somewhere and observe people.  Have you heard of those great experiments that would have a group of students in a room in the middle of a lecture or something and a cleaner would come in and potter about and then leave. A pretend cop would come in later and tell the room that there was a robbery and ask the room to describe the cleaner. People would argue vehemently. 

“No he was tall! He was old!. No He was Young!”


We observe things so differently and often so inaccurately and

Quite often the smallest observation can be very powerful


Kids and the science of singing

How could you pitch it. Have you ever seen that brilliant you can make with a couple of balloons and an old plastic drink bottle. If you get a chance check it out. its a brilliant way to show how it all works. I have been singing and teaching for 20 years and i learned something from that little experiment.  I’d have kids make that model. I don't know if you have ever seen a video the vocal folds working via laryngoscopy. Pretty fascinating and pretty weird. I can just hear a bunch of kids shouting “gross” They would enjoy it though. the last thing I would get them interested in is the possibility of breaking glass with the voice. Can it really be done. There is so much science right there and huge potential for comedy. I’ll give you a hint, you have to sing a note at the exact frequency the glass vibrates at when you flick it with something or if you wet your finger and rub it around the rim. I think it could be a pretty good incursion. an extraordinary incursion…..

Little kids fundamentals

By the time we are  adults we have  learned  by osmosis a sense of stage craft.  Most adults just have a sense that you need to include your audience. We just know that if you are delivering a small two handed dialogue to the audience that you turn out. You cheat it out so the audience catches what you are saying, they get your facial expressions etc. Its so funny working with kids especially the really little ones, they have absolutely no sense of what it means including and audience. I often find myself saying to kids “ that would have been perfect if we were making a film or an episode of a tv show bit this is different. My mantra seems to be “On stage you don’t always have to look at the person you are talking to.” The other thing little kids find really hard is delivering simple dialogue audibly. I forget that all of this stuff is so new to them. its just so new. Really hard to do. It takes an incredible amount of precision to make sure a sentence is clear to a room of people and to make sure you are facing in the right direction and to be able to have enthusiasm and energy and character on top of all that. its a really big ask! Its brings me back to the best way to teach is by letting them do. When i was at Uni I had a singing teacher who said the key is little and often. Once a term a 20 minute concert. I really think thats the best way to do it. Each kid will probably get ( I’m just talking about the little ones ) a couple of lines of dialogue. but that’s enough. Any more would be too much.