Cabaret Performance at Lake Oswego–A Recap

We had a great time performing our new sets at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market this past weekend.  Fantastic to see friends out in the audience as well.  The market had a lovely sound system that they allowed us to use, which was great.  The weather cooperated, and was neither too cold nor too warm, making it pleasant to perform outside, and comfortable for the audience to sit and listen.

The songs went quite well.  I did a vocal warm-up prior to leaving the house for the set, and it was a while before we sang, so if I had it to do over again I would try to find a quiet spot to do an additional short warmup prior to going on, but we were busy setting up and no quiet spots were nearby, so it didn’t happen this time.  There was really no backstage area, so that made it a bit challenging, but we did the best with what we had to work with.

Songs that we had rehearsed but I had not expected to go over with the audience really surprised me by being some of the highlights of the show.  One song in particular, which has great music and lyrics but has been challenging for us to get the right performance feel for in rehearsal, had the audience clapping away at the end–a pleasant surprise.  Our friend William has a keen eye for picking a song that will play well to an audience, and I have learned to simply trust his instincts in this regard, as was proven out at this performance, and for which we are extremely grateful.  I am sure we will continue to work on these numbers and tighten them up even more as rehearsals continue on this show.

Some of the bits that we had planned out also seemed to have the effect we wanted on the audience, which was extremely encouraging.  If you give an honest presentation of a song, with honest emotions, the audience will stay with you and wait to see what you will do next.  That is a fabulous place to be in a set, and why I love entertaining crowds who are willing to come along for the ride that we provide in our songs.

We video taped and audio taped the performance, and a family member took still pictures for us as well.  The stills may be useful for publicity shots, and the video and audio tapes, while not of a high-enough quality to post publicly, are extremely helpful in analyzing how the performance went, exactly what the audience reaction was to songs, and it gives us a place to start to revise and tighten the show to make it even better.  I have to say that as I was performing I had a couple of spots where, after I sang, I thought, “Ah, that didn’t go so well,” but the video tape does not lie, and it was actually just fine.  Could I have sung a couple of notes better in terms of vocal placement and clarity?  Of course, but it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it was in the actual moment of execution.  This is another reason why video is helpful–you get the truth of the performance situation, and not how you imagined it to be, which may be an inaccurate representation based on your emotions and anxieties of the moment.

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance, and we will continue to work on the show and perform it again hopefully in the near future.

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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