Presence on Stage
Presence on Stage
When you see and hear a musician, actor, or dancer who lights up the stage with their presence - you are uplifted, sustained, and transported in that moment. Is it an innate quality? Is the magical gift of communication something you can learn?
As conductors, each time we walk onto a stage, we decide how to communicate and perform with the orchestra and our audience. Are we in the moment, - confident, energized, aware, and prepared to be expressive, or alternatively - unaware of how to authentically connect to the orchestra and our audience, with little knowledge of the way others interpret and perceive us? As musicians and artists, we can move an audience deeply if we learn to be present. To consistently open this source of magnetic communication, we must identify the specifics of what it means to be ‘in the moment’ and present.
This class will provide participants with the tools and skills to implement PRESENCE ON STAGE.
1. Course Objectives
- Access tools which build necessary skills promoting stage presence in performance and daily life.
- Identify, develop, and implement elements of mental, physical, visual, aural, and musical presence, which lead to an expressive, confident, communicative, creative, and authentic performance.
- Practice a variety of practical exercises teaching the ability to be present.
- Provide the opportunity to put newly found skills into practice and performance.
2. Course Structure
The following progressive units are designed for discussion, exploration, and practice.
- How powerful communication leads to being ‘in the moment’
- Defining the elements of presence
- Observing the qualities of world-renowned musicians who exhibit and maintain presence in their performances
Mental Presence: Power Performance
- Building confidence and focus
- Developing psychological awareness and strength
- Effective methods for preparation: practicing, learning, and memorizing repertoire
- Practicing and performing with intention
Connecting Mind and Body
- Understanding the nervous system
- Dealing with the physiological and psychological cycle of fear that creates anxiety
- Incorporating Neuroplasticity into performance and everyday life
- Understanding the Polyvagal Theory
- Practicing mindfulness and relaxation
- Awareness and body language
- Exploring ‘Second Circle’ concepts of physical presence
- Movement, posture, eye contact, and facial expression for effective and present communication
- Creating strength and energy on stage
- Dressing for performance
Breathing with Intention and Ease
- Basic anatomy and physiology of breathing
- Understanding primal and accent breathing
- Breathing exercises to reduce anxiety and support ease, and clarity of vocal projection
- Breathing to direct energy versus effort
Visualization and Imagination
- How visualization influences musicality, expression, and physicality
- How activating imagination creates an internal subtext and narrative for performance
- Creating an imaginative narrative that informs musical decisions
Speaking with Confidence
- Vocal communication and presence
- Exploring ‘The Second Circle’ concepts of vocal presence
- Developing clarity of diction and vocal projection
- Phrasing speech to effectively communicate a powerful message
- Delivery of an introduction to an audience
- Preparation for auditions, and interviews: speaking with confidence
3. Expected Outcomes
- Mental awareness and strength – understanding the complexity of left/right brain thinking, building confidence, and being in the moment.
- Preparation of repertoire – ability to access mental, musical, visual, and physical preparation.
- Stage deportment – effective entrance on stage, bow, appropriate dress.
- Confident communication on stage – ability to access vital and present communication in the moment.
- Body Awareness – being aware of the body in time and space
- Understanding and managing anxiety –mindfulness practices to control stress in performance and everyday life.
- Mindfulness – learning how to access and implement self-regulation of the nervous system with meditation, neuroplasticity, and polyvagal theory
- Breathing with ease and intention- alleviating anxiety and access breath support to project a present speaking voice.
- Creating inner and spoken narratives – building layers of interpretation and expression for performance.
- Delivery of stage narrative – employ vocal preparation and delivery with confident articulation of speech.
- Evaluating elements of performance – develop constructive tools of self-reflection and evaluation.