I have been obsessed with the new Disney+ show ENCORE! Last week on the show, the cast put together Beauty and the Beast. Susan Egan, the original Belle from Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, came for a visit. She helped coach the other woman playing belle on some great techniques that we can use while we are singing as well.
Egan’s advice for singing “Home”:
"In Episode 2 of Encore! Season 1, Egan tells Desiree to sing it like it’s a question. “It’s naturally how I approach everything. I never thought I was a very good singer. I always thought I’d better act the hell out of this because I’m not a good enough singer to get by on my voice. I have always looked at the lyric more than the note. With a song like ‘Home,’ I actually pull a lot of what I learned from Sam Mendes in Cabaret. I learned a lot in the song ‘Maybe This Time.’ A lot of people sing it like a dirge, like ‘Oh poor me.’ I always laugh because I never say ‘Maybe This Time’ that way. It’s just like ‘Home.’ She is feeling sorry for herself, but at the end she’s not. She’s like, ‘My body is here, and I will live here, but my heart will always be home, and you cannot imprison it.’”"
Egan’s advice for playing the truth in the story:
“When I talk about Beauty and the Beast, I think the rookie mistake is to play it like a cartoon. There is a broadness to the style of the piece that is inherently there, but you don’t have to play that on top of it. It’s redundant. Lumiere doesn’t know that he’s a cartoon. Lumiere knows that if he doesn’t get that Beast to fall in love with the girl and that last petal falls, he’s going to become an inanimate object. He’s got a terminal illness. The stakes are very high. Now, how is he going to go about doing that? With a lot of comedic relief, sure. But what makes comedy great, as Shakespeare has proven, is the tragedy that is underneath it that is constantly informing it."
2 great things to remember. Sing it like its a question. We are rarely one emotion. We are a mixed bag of complex thoughts and feelings that should influence our acting as well. And the thing I always push with my actors, play the truth. Be honest. Things can be big and fun but if we play it as fake, the audience wont connect with the character. If we play the truth, our audience will fall in love with the characters and find the performance endearing.
More information and the full article can be found here:
Anderson Vocal Studio will post advice and helpful articles that will increase your understanding of your voice and improve your vocal technique.