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Manhattan nightclub singer Fay Dewitt. James Gavin, in his informative Intimate Nights, relates that she performed at “the Bon Soir, Le Ruban Blue, and other clubs” (368). Several of the songs she sang during her nightclub days are available on You Tube. She has worked in film from the 1950s to the present, and more information about that aspect of her career is available on IMDB. On IMDB I also learned she is the cousin of actor Joyce DeWitt, who starred in the television series Three’s Company–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 preparing a cabaret show, so my tip for you today is this: Use aerobic exercise to increase stamina during your stage performances.
I want to begin by saying that I am not a medical doctor, and you should always seek the counsel of your own physician when it comes to any kind of health advice.
I have to say–I know this concept in my head, but some days it takes a lot to get my body motivated! However, I find that when I routinely take a fast walk on the treadmill that it helps me to increase my aerobic endurance, which is vital when you are challenged to perform non-stop on stage during your cabaret show for a full hour. It takes a great deal of energy to be “on” for an entire hour, and anything you can do to prepare for this will be time well spent. I really learned this lesson when I was doing more musical theatre–you are just dead in the water if you do not have enough aerobic conditioning to get through a two-hour long show, dancing and singing, several times a weekend.
The additional benefit of aerobic exercise, of course, is that it helps you to control your weight. (As I’ve hit middle-age, my weight wants to go its own jolly way out of control, and it takes a lot of work to try to keep it in check.)
You have to find what works for you. For me, if I workout in the morning, I am not as likely to blow off my workout when I get busy later in the day. Start with where you are at, and if you are new to this type of exercise, just do a little bit a day at first, and very slowly build up to longer times.
Also, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout, or don’t do as well as you wanted. If you are super busy, even doing a short twenty-minute walk will help a great deal.
I get on the treadmill, put on my favorite cabaret music, and do a good fast walk that gets me to sweat. The treadmill lets me workout day or night regardless of weather or my schedule, so it works for me. I also pop a fun magazine up in front of me to have something to look at while I walk. If I had a TV in the room, I would watch it while I worked out–it makes the time go by a lot faster.
I do my best to workout six days a week–sometimes I don’t get that many in, but I just pick up the next time and carry on. I vary the amount of time I spend each day on the treadmill and add in some Pilates, which helps my posture and strengthens the “core,” (good posture makes you look like you’ve lost five pounds automatically–so stretch your ribcage up and roll your shoulders back!), and free weight exercises for the arms. The variety helps my muscles have a chance to recover in between workouts, and it’s really helped me prevent injuries.
Just start where you are at, and do what you can with what you have. Tym Moss is doing dance walking–how fun is that?? And dance is fantastic and fun exercise–sometimes I’ll put on my tap shoes and tap away. Do what makes you happy and what works for you, and you’ll feel stronger during your next cabaret show!
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 workout? Do you find it helps you become a more effective cabaret entertainer? Leave us a note about it in the comments below—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:
Tuesdays: Cabaret Tip Tuesday
Wednesdays: Ask A Cabaret Question
Thursdays: Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer
Fridays: Cabaret Through Time