Cabaret Tip Tuesday At McElrath Cabaret: Keep Your Eyes Open When You Sing–Join Us!

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A fun cabaret song performance from the Yale Cabaret Conference by Robyn Spangler of Los Angeles–”The Menopause Rag”– Enjoy!


Welcome to Cabaret Tip Tuesday at McElrath Cabaret, where we offer cabaret performance tips to help you put together a great performance at your next show!


Today I’m thinking about performance tips for cabaret singers, so my tip for you today is this: keep your eyes open when you sing.


When going through the acting program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, one of the first ideas that was impressed upon we new, learning actors was to keep the eyes open when singing a song onstage.  As a young and impressionable new performer, we often fell back on emulating others who have come before us.  It is all-too common anymore to see well-known pop singers going for the money note and having their eyes closed, in a mannerism of feeling some type of emotion.


When I see a singer close their eyes on stage, it tells me that they are not comfortable with sharing the lyric they are singing with the audience.  It is may be too personal for them, and they have to block out the audience, because ultimately they do not trust that they are enough to sell the lyric.


As a cabaret entertainer, you communicate volumes through your face, and most especially through the eyes.  So the last thing you want to do is close off that means of communication, just when you need it most to deliver the message in your song lyric.  You may find that you need to work on getting comfortable with the idea that people will be looking at you when you are on stage–get up in front of an audience every chance you get, until it becomes second nature!  Make sure that you have dressed nicely so you won’t be worried about your appearance, and make sure that you’ve rehearsed your song and patter well enough that you don’t have to think about the nuts-and-bolts of it anymore.  Then just hone in on the subtext of the song, and feel it.  It will come through in your physicality, including your eyes, when you sing.


So keep your eyes open when you sing–trust yourself that you are enough to communicate what the song lyrics mean to the audience, and there is no need to try to hide from them.

From the Yale Cabaret Conference, teachers Erv Raible and Julie Wilson offer a similar tip to cabaret students who come to study with them.

Hope these Tuesday cabaret tips help–let us know what other topics you’d like to see us cover here, and we’ll do our best to work through them!


Do you keep your eyes open when you sing?  Do you have any other cabaret show tips you’d like to share?  Do tell down in the comments! We always love to hear from our readers!


Till next time, 

ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time


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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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