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Performing Like a Singing Pro: Distractions

In a normal concert, people cough, enter late, or leave right in the middle of your song. People in the audience don’t think about how it distracts the performer. When you practice at home, you may want to intentionally stage some distractions. Ask a friend to drop a book or walk into the room as you’re singing, so you can practice concentrating even while they’re bopping around.

What may distract you at the performance?

  • Lights: You want the light to be on your face so the audience can see you. That may seem blinding, but it also prevents you from seeing the audience, which is good. If you’re nervous, pretend that no one is out there. Or visualize all the happy faces looking at you, delighted to see you.

    When you see the stage, mark the spot where the light is best on your face. After all, you got all dressed up for the show — you want the audience to see you. If you’re too far forward or back, the light may miss you entirely and the audience won’t see your face for the shadows.

    You also want to practice walking into the light so you can make it look natural that you’re suddenly brilliantly illuminated. Otherwise, you may be looking up to find the best light as the audience is waiting for you to sing. Ask a friend to come to the rehearsal to check the lighting for you.

  • Flashing photos: You can ask your friends and family not to distract you by taking photos, but you may not be able to control the entire audience. If someone does start taking photos in the middle of your song, try to focus on an object in front of you so you aren’t looking right into the flashing light.

    Blinking lights from camcorders can also be mesmerizing or maddening. Television cameras have a red light to indicate recording and the cameras may move around a lot to get different angles.

  • Other performers: In the wings, you may see many people milling around waiting for their entrance. Focus on your task and ignore them. In a smaller cast, you can ask them to not move around the sides while you sing, but you may just have to figure out how to ignore them if they forget or if you’re in a large production with a lot of stage crew.

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