Yet More Auditions, Thinking About Mabel And Working In The Theatre

More auditions coming up, so we’ve been singing up a storm to get ready.  In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago we had a fun gig playing and singing with a traditional jazz band with whom KJ plays regularly and with whom I will resume performing, the Puddin’ River Jazz Band from Portland.  It is always great to have the opportunity to get up and perform a song in front of an audience, and with a seven-piece jazz band to back me up, I am quite happy to oblige.

I received an online invitation to attend the Cabaret Convention in NYC earlier this month, but I wrote back and let the sender of the invite know I could not attend.  He wrote me back, and turns out it was Donald Smith, Mabel Mercer’s manager of twenty-some years!  He also was kind enough to send me another biography of the great Mabel, entitled Midnight At Mabel’s by Margaret Cheney, which he says is a more accurate representation of Mabel than Haskins’ biography.  I have started reading this, and hope to make a post about some of the topics covered soon.

I have also been enjoying the free online video programs put on by the American Theatre Wing, which offers the Tony Awards.  The show is called Working In The Theatre, and it offers interviews with some of the top performers, writers, directors, producers and designers on Broadway today.  It is quite encouraging to hear the performers talk about what they do to get ready to perform a part.  I was particularly struck by the musical theatre performers–someone said that getting ready to do a show is a lot like being in training for an athletic event, and I would have to say that I agree.  I exercise constantly, watch what I eat so healthy choices are being made, drink Throat Coat teas and if I am singing I pretty much eliminate alcohol from my diet, because it dries out my vocal chords and makes my throat sore.  That is not my favorite, because I love a glass of wine with dinner, but it makes a big difference in my vocal performance if I forgo that during the rehearsal and performance periods, so I do it.

Feel free to leave a comment–are there special steps that you take to get ready to perform?  Have you had some great gigs lately?  We’d love to hear from you.

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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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