The Authentic YOU

The Authentic YOU
Saturday musings...

Earlier this week I was honored to be part of a panel (with two fabulous men in our business - Jamie Harris of Clear Talent Group and Nick Demos - Producer/Director)

for NYSTA 16 Bar Workshop.  We listened and critiqued 13 singers who presented 2 16 bar cuts - like a mock audition.  First and foremost, the 3 of us were on the same page.  What a treat!  I believe it created a stronger impact for the singers to see a united front from the "business" side of the table to support them.

What I came away with the most strongly is this:  are you finding and bringing into the room the AUTHENTIC YOU?

Guess what?  That's what we want to see.  We want to see YOU.  We don't want perky (one of my pet peeves, I admit it), we don't want desperate (we can smell that outside in the hallway),  we don't want Pavlov's dog,  we don't want "but what do YOU want me to be?",  we don't want attitude,  we don't want meek.  We want strong, assured, positive, dedicated and secure authentic YOU.

That's the secret.  It's you.  Really.

Now it's your turn.  We don't know who "you" is.  We know when it's NOT you,  and we know if it IS you,  but how to find it?  That's up to you.

Authenticity isn't phony or pretend.   Authenticity is truly a self-honesty and respect of your work, and your ability RIGHT NOW.  It allows whoever is at the table to witness a truth IMMEDIATELY.  Is this person real and what are their strengths?  What reads and fills the room?  What LEADS?

This, dear singer, is now your job.  Who is this authentic you?  It is up to you to find her/him.  Do not ask what that panel/person wants.  They want YOU.  The only person who has the ability to define that, is simply YOU.  YOU are enough.

That doesn't mean you don't develop you!  Part of finding that authenticity of you, is exploring who this is:  an an artist, as a performer, as a singer,  as a communicator,  as a human being.  What do you do well?  How do you develop that into the highest relief to show in a 16 bar cut?  What acumen of vocal ability/technique,  narrative prowess,  dramatic intelligence, emotional intelligence,  physical awareness,  breath definition,  energy, taking up your space in a room and MORE has to take place in order for that 16 bar cut to make the impression you WANT.

YOU WANT.  Not "they" want. 

As performers, we have to be aware enough,  tough enough, vulnerable enough and willing enough to find and be willing to show the authentic self.  Nothing else will do.  This authenticity is a strength.  It gives truth to a performance.  It resonates after you are done.  You WILL be remembered.  Authenticity is always remembered.  It doesn't need to be "the best". Some of the most memorable and authentic performers were flawed technically,  not always beautiful,  not always "correct",  but they were always PRESENT and they were always REAL.

Where did "types" come from?  There is a definition given by a performer who was his/herself AUTHENTICALLY.  All those performers walked into a room and began to CREATE the definition.  It started with THEM.

Have you got the guts to discover your authenticity?  To spend the time to find it and then to define it?  To bring it into the room and share it no matter the outcome? 

I dare you...

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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