Acting in Plays, Singing/Voice/ Acting exercises

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Question
Hey,

I was just wondering a couple of things. To start off, I'm not the greatest singer, however I would like to say I am not the worse. For a long time I've been wondering of ways that I can improve my vocal talent, without spending the money I don't have. I am a male,tenor if that helps any.

Second, many a times I've been put into situations where I am instructed to teach/ lead drama warm up games for kids and adults. However I am running out of ideas and I am looking for good drama exercises that can be used during rehearsals and before performances.


Thanks

P.S Didn;t realize it was private!

Answer
Hi, Jake –

Thank you for the question.

One of the best ways to be a better-informed Tenor – without spending any money – is to listen to other tenors. That's what Libraries and Reference Librarians are for.

Your job as someone who wants to be a better singer, for whatever reason – including being a teacher! – is to know what your audiences know and to present your material in the way that they know it. In other words, let's say you can sing as aggressively as pop/tenor Tom Jones. Then such mega-hits as "What's New Pussycat" and "Delilah" would provide you all kinds of ways to figure out how he uses his voice in relation to your own, what keys he sings in and if they have to be adjusted for your range, what the songs are about and why they need to be presented in a certain manner. Once you play around with those ideas for your own performance, the better equipped you will be to teach someone else how to explore their chosen material. Thus, you have created – if not a "theatre game" – a form of Acting 101.

Learn how to use your Main Library – the Internet does not have the answer to everything. Many libraries have recordings and videos in their catalog, some of them have their archive information available on-line. Find out. When materials you may want to study – such as the very excellent book, "Music Theory For Dummies" or the CD, "The Very Best of The Irish Tenors"– are not available at your local branch, the Reference Librarian can help you arrange for an inter-library loan.

If I were your professor in Beginning Tenors 101 and could flunk you if you didn't turn in your assignments – then here is your first assignment. Select two tenors in each of the following five categories: Opera, Musical Theatre, Blues, '70s Pop, and films from the 1930s. Name the songs (or arias) they are best known for and who composed the material. Provide links to the artist performing that material, i.e., from youtube.com. Discuss and contrast. Come prepared to sing 8 to 16 measures from one of your selections, a cappella, in the same key as the recording.

That kind of research and pressure will help answer a bunch of your questions. Specifically, how to learn a helluva lot about whatever you want to learn a helluva lot – without any of it costing you a cent.

The problem is – that kind of work can really cut into a guy's social life. I sang professionally for 20 years, I know. Research, practice, rehearsals, more practice, more research, some Agent wants to see your abs. It never stops.

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for HuffingtonPost.com – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield and Classical music reviewer for Examiner.com – http://www.examiner.com/user/4557381/articles. When you're ready to come to San Francisco for vocal coaching, contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

Check out my recent interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKeeTYTYMAI

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on San Francisco's entertainment and cultural scene:

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room
http://www.examiner.com/article/in-conversation-with-peter-gallagher-coming-sund

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tosca-san-francisco-opera_b_21965

Patricia Racette – A Definitive 'Tosca' at San Francisco Opera
http://www.examiner.com/review/patricia-racette-a-definitive-tosca-at-san-franci

Film director Luis Valdez on Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/day-of-the-dead_b_2061298.html

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/moby-dick-san-francisco-opera_b_1

Pianist András Schiff on the 'Bach Project in North America'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/andras-schiff_b_1969057.html?utm_

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6
http://www.examiner.com/node/53741556

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/marco-vratogna-is-sensati_b_19070

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-joshu_b_18824

San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi's 'Rigoletto'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/san-francisco-opera_b_1873183.htm

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/jazz-vocalist-nicole-henr_b_18536

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/norma-shearer-and-joan-cr_b_17750

San Francisco, starring Jeanette MacDonald, to be featured at the Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/san-francisco-starring-je_b_17396

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/wizard-of-oz-san-fran-symphony_b_

Diane Kruger Shines as Marie Antoinette in Benoit Jacquot's 'Farewell, My Queen'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/farewell-my-queen_b_1672890.html

The "It" Girl, Clara Bow, A Featured Star at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 12–15
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/the-it-girl-clara-bow-a-f_b_16613

'The Scottsboro Boys' – Placing the Minstrel Show on Trial
http://www.examiner.com/review/the-scottsboro-boys-placing-the-minstrel-show-on-

Jun Kaneko's 'Magic Flute' Is Stunningly Visual
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/magic-flute-jun-kaneko_b_1633445.

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/samuel-ramey-attila_b_1586131.htm

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD
http://www.examiner.com/review/victor-herbert-collected-songs-a-great-cd-for-mem

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tom-judson-cabaret_b_1498594.html

A Chat with Dominique Labelle, featured this week in PBO's 'Alexander's Feast'
http://www.examiner.com/article/a-chat-with-dominique-labelle-featured-this-week

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/gennadi-nedvigi-ballet_b_1427319.

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/christopher-houlihan_b_1398351.ht

Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet' – A Sumptuous Revival at San Francisco Ballet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/romeo-and-juliet-san-francisco-ba

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/richard-winsor-swan-lake_b_135148

An Interview with Grammy Award winning organist Paul Jacobs
http://www.examiner.com/classical-music-in-san-francisco/an-interview-with-gramm

'Unfaithfully Yours' – Classic Overtures at Noir City X
http://www.examiner.com/classical-music-in-san-francisco/unfaithfully-yours-clas

EDDIE MULLER – On the Slow Death of 35mm – An Interview with the "Czar of Noir"
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166840

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166623

THOMAS JANE – An interview with the star of HBO's "Hung" and 3D Thriller "Dark Country"
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166393

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166029

DIANE BAKER – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=32007

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=24462

AT LAST! – ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=27122

MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=109326

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=99268

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=86049

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-a6Oa-0j4

PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=59695

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=58241

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield
BroadwayBelters@Yahoo.com

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Sean Martinfield

Expertise

I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com I am also a music and cultural critic for HuffingtonPost.com and Examiner.com. I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.

Experience

As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

Publications
HuffingtonPost.com Examiner.com FabulousFilmSongs.com SanFranciscoSentinel.com

Education/Credentials
San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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