“Castle House Rag – One Step”, performed by Europe’s Society Orchestra
Happy Birthday, James Reece Europe! He was the man who wrote the music for the famous ballroom dance and cabaret team of Vernon and Irene Castle, depicted in film by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (RKO 1939).
Wednesday is the day of the week when we at McElrath Cabaret will post a cabaret blog question for the consideration of our readers.
The questions will have something to do with cabaret, in all its many aspects. The question may take the form of a poll, to which we encourage you to respond, or it may be a question posed to the cabaret community, to which you can leave your response in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
We encourage you to send us any cabaret questions that you have that you would like us to pose to the group! You can leave a question in the comments section below, or you can email it to us at kjandathenacabaret [at]gmail.com. Just fill in the [at] with the @ symbol—we need to foil the spam bots, don’cha know.
Today’s question is this: Who do you take advice from when it comes to your cabaret performances?
For me, I use a variety of advisors, depending upon the type of feedback I need.
- I begin by listening to my own common sense (it’s a good place to start!)
- I always next go talk with KJ McElrath, who is the music director/pianist for our act. He knows a lot about the history of the various standards that we perform, and comes up with great ideas for our particular arrangements of songs.
- I go to the songbooks for the various composers and look at the original sheet music. You have to know what it is you are working with before you can style it well.
- I have a couple of mentors who have a great deal of experience in performance, and so I go to them when I want to develop particular performance ideas about a song.
- I go to some favorite reference books when I want advice on cabaret clothing and style. I look at many pictures of cabaret performers past and present as well when thinking about the way a show could look, the style of it.
- I glean advice also by listening and watching the way others before me have performed songs that I will sing, to see what worked for them and how it could shape my performance, or at least my sensibility concerning the song.
- And I find a great deal of advice in biographies of great cabaret performers, musicians and composers whose works are performed by cabaret artists. To know what inspired them to create a song, what they were going through and thinking, can be very helpful in coming up with an original performance idea for a song.
So who do you take advice from when it comes to your cabaret performances? We truly look forward to your comments! We value each of our readers very much, and hope to entertain you and give you a place to come and learn more about cabaret.
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Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:
Tuesdays: Cabaret Tip Tuesday
Wednesdays: Ask A Cabaret Question
Thursdays: Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer
Fridays: Cabaret Through Time