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Acting Your Song: Accounting for Interludes

Your biggest job as a singer is to say something when you sing. Standing up and singing memorized words is just the beginning. Apply your acting skills to a song for a powerful performance. Give your audience a reason to look and listen to your performance

If the song has an interlude, a passage in the music when you're not singing, you need to figure out how to handle that period of time. Interludes can be perplexing. What in the world do you do to kill that time? You think specific thoughts that support and continue the plot during musical interludes of a song.

Subtext can take you from the musical introduction (prelude) right to the song’s first line. An example of subtext in a song could be what the girl is thinking during the prelude (introduction music) of Love Story, recorded by Taylor Swift. In the prelude, she’s thinking about the boy and what she’ll say to him.

Maybe she’s finally gotten up enough nerve to tell him that she likes him and she’s thinking about the best way to tell him. Or he may be packing his things because he’s really mad at her and she’s thinking (subtext) during the prelude about what she can say to get him to forgive her and stay.

The interlude may be really simple, but you still want to hear the music and let it be part of your story. Think of the piano as your scene partner. Even if you’re onstage alone singing a song, the piano is offering you some feedback within the structure of the music.

You don’t even have to read music to figure it out. You just need to listen to the music and decide how it’s helping to tell the story.

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