Be a Great Actor While Singing

A couple months ago I wrote an article on how to hold a difficult emotion while performing -- without breaking down or losing it.

But because it's a complex subject, I wanted to follow up with a video explaining exactly how to do this.

Today's video tackles the "acting" side of performing a song. How do you embody real emotion while you sing -- without buckling under the weight of that emotion?

In the video below, you'll learn:

  • How meaningful memories from your life can anchor you to certain emotions
  • Why it's important onstage to have imagery that keeps you grounded & safe
  • How emotion "lives" in the body
  • How singing "from" that body part can make your performance truly soar!

If this sounds weird, don't worry -- I'll walk you through each step!

 

 

 

Was this video helpful? Will you use these techniques when you perform? Are you ready to take your performing to the next level?

Let me know what you think!

xo Fel

**Editors Note: As of August 2017 Felicia is no...

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Being An Old Man Helped My Singing (No, Seriously)

What do a park-dwelling Birdman, an old hunchback, and a golden-kneed soccer player have in common?

Watch my latest singing tips video to find out!

In this video, you'll learn how my performing onstage with my musical improv group gave me insight into a new strategy for relieving vocal tension. Specifically: that my playing *old, male characters with hip-loaded posture* helped me to bust singing tension!

Here's my conclusion: loading your hips, tucking your pelvis under, and bending slightly at the waist can help to un-tense your neck, shoulders, and throat. (This is similar to the "butt clench" technique I often advocate for belt singing -- thrusting your energy DOWN into your lower body can help to free up your upper body.)

Yup, I know it sounds crazy. And no, I'm not kidding about this!

 (NOTE: In the video, when I play my weird old man characters, I stick my neck out a bit, kind of like a "chicken-neck." Resist the urge to do this. The most important...

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Sing Better By Opening Your FACE

Today's topic: Your FACE affects your singing!

Don't believe me? In my latest video, you'll learn how a personal vocal struggle led me to investigate the inside of my mouth -- specifically, my soft palate and cheekbones.

What did I discover?

An open, expanded, relaxed face and soft palate are crucial to creating a full, open, and beautiful singing tone.

In my personal experience, having a locked right side of my face (caused by tension and stress) can seriously limit vocal range and vocal tone.

Your face is a key RESONATOR for creating beautiful singing tone -- so if you're droopy, tense, or not creating space as you should be, you are seriously cutting off what's possible for you as a singer!

In this video, I'll give you some cues for expanding not just the middle of your soft palate -- but also the left and right sides -- which will, in turn, make pitch and tone much easier for you.

I'll also show you a (hideous!) face stretch that you can do before and during warmups.

...
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How to Be a Great Singer Using Musical Phrasing

In today's video we'll explore the question:

What separates a good singer from a GREAT singer?

The answer, in my opinion, is musical phrasing. 

Good singers get the job done and not much more. They think about individual notes and whether or not they can hit them right, and then stop there.
 
Great singers think about how those notes relate to each other and how they can sculpt them into something memorable and moving.
 
This is musical phrasing. And it's tons of fun.
 
 
Phrasing can be altered by adjusting the following 4 components:
 
1. Dynamics (how loud or soft you get)
2. Rhythm (how fast or slow you sing the notes)
3. Onset (how you start the line)
4. Cut off (how you end the line)
 
(Admittedly, there are some more factors, but those are the broadest and most apparent.)
 
The easiest component for a singer to adjust and make their singing instantly better is the first one -- dynamics, or singing...
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How Singing Can Improve Your Entire Life

Last Thursday I hosted a Facebook Live Event with my Singing Transformation class and we discussed a key revelation I had recently:

Singing does not stop after you're done singing.

Instead, it is a state of BEING that CONTINUES well after you finish creating sound.

Crazy, no? Allow me to explain! Check out the video below -- excerpts from the event. We'll also sing through a couple key vocal warmups together!

 

  In the video above, you will:

  • Sing through an easy example of a Singer Ritual/vocal warmup session -- 2 simple vocal warmups, the lip trill (starting at 3:38) and an "NG" exercise (starting at 6:08)
  • Sing along to the warmups with "Visual Cueing," singing cues written on the screen to help reinforce technical concepts like singer breath, mouth shape, and resonance (Visual Cueing is a technique I developed to teach Singing Transformation)
  • Learn how singing is a state of physical, emotional, and mental alignment that extends long AFTER you...
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How to Hold a Difficult Emotion While Singing

If you've ever written to me and said:

Fel, when I sing a song I become very overcome with feeling and want to cry, and then I lose my technique.

or,

Fel, how do I show real emotion when I sing?

-- then the following process will serve you incredibly well.

But first, a quick story . . .

 

                                 

 

This past Friday I attended a business conference, and in one of our small group exercises, I started crying.

Yup.

My attempt at a "business suit"

If that sounds weird, it's because it kind of is. But this was no ordinary business conference. The goal of our group exercise was to relive a past memory and to hold the feeling of that memory in our bodies.

(Among other things, one greater goal of the conference was to expand our consciousness, to learn to hold feelings, and to use these skills in the service of creating...

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Why You Need A "Singer Survival Technique"

“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”  --Archilochos

Last month I began performing onstage with my musical improv group Thank You, Places: An Improvised Musical at the Philly Improv Theater. Every other Friday we make up a one-hour musical, on the spot!

If you're thinking: That sounds hard, Fel is so BRAVE! -- well, I have news for you:

It freaking ter-ri-fies me.

Seriously. I think I was more nervous on February 17, 2017, our opening night, than I was when I first went on for Elphaba in Wicked (and that's not a joke).

The face of a woman doing everything she can not to freak out

Why was performing made-up songs so psychologically stressful for me? You already know the answer, I'm sure:

No preparation means you have nothing to hold onto, no rules to follow, and no way to anticipate the challenging parts of a song. 

In contrast, if you want me to do "regular" musical stuff, I...

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What Puppies Taught Me About Singing

You read that right -- puppies! Allow me to explain...

One of my students, Claire S., is an assistance dog trainer. She's enrolled in Singing Transformation and noticed that a lot of my teaching revolved around the following principle:

Singer's should QUIT....while they're ahead.

It might sound weird. But it's a tried-and-true method -- not just for learning how to sing. As Claire told me, it's also great for training service dogs!

Before we talk more about puppies, let's first discuss:

What does it mean to "quit while you're ahead" when you practice singing?

In my opinion, the best warmups sessions should end on a "high note" (no pun intended). If you use my 3-step practice system, your typical warmup session might look like this:

  • PART 1: Breath Activation and Stretching (relieve tension, make sure your singer "engine" is working for you)
  • PART 2: "Open Up Shop" (get the juices flowing)
  • PART 3: Skills Work (a couple of challenging exercises, to develop whatever skill...
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It's here!

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2017

In case you didn't hear, my elite training course Singing Transformation: 360 Degrees of Vocal Training is now open for enrollment!

This only happens about once or twice per year.

This course is my absolute favorite thing I do as a voice teacher.

**Editors Note: As of August 2017 Felicia is no longer offering Singing Transformation.**

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Are you frustrated with your voice? Read this.

You know what bugs me most? When singers don't realize their full potential -- not because they're incapable, but because they don't have the right tools.

In our online singing community there are over 90,000 singers who tweet me, email me, leave awesome comments -- you name it! And I can sense the love-hate relationships they have with their voices.

They have spent years (decades, even!) spinning their wheels and not making lasting progress.

Maybe you can relate. You're a singer with boatloads of potential, trying to piece together the "clues" of how singing should feel. But you feel way more frustrated than triumphant.

You see progress, then setbacks. You learn tips and tricks (possibly from me, on YouTube :-) ), but nothing truly STICKS.

You don't know how to put it together in the right order.

Your voice comes and goes, never seeming predictable.

You start to worry: "Am I just not cut out for this?"

"Do I have to be blessed with that elusive 'it' factor that makes singing easy...

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