New York Vocal Coaching Podcast Ep. 29: Marc Geller
Seen across the country on stage and screen, Marc Geller has had experience in all mediums of performance. Of his many credits, he features in the CW’s Katy Keene as the director, has been cast as Kier Egan in Ben Stiller’s Severance, and played Herr Schultz in Serra Rep’s production of Cabaret this past summer. He comes on the air to share his insights and advice as an actor, as well as his journey to his first ever singing performance in Cabaret!
New York Vocal Coaching Podcast Ep. 26: Grant MacDermott
Grant MacDermott joins us to share his expertise as an actor and teacher! He speaks about his experience on the stage, his process as he works with acting students who audition for universities and performances across the globe, and how to be true to yourself as a performer.
New York Vocal Coaching Podcast Ep. 25: Brendan Houdek
Speech Language Pathologist, voice impressionist, and voice teacher Brendan Houdek joins us on the air! He talks through what allows him to imitate well over 30 voices, a deeper look into the world of speech pathology, and what drew him to such a strong passion for the voice.
Why Pitch Matching Is Hard
There is a difference between simple and easy. Something simple can be explained in a few words; something easy can be executed with minimal effort. There are plenty of simple things that are not at all easy. Take running a marathon: you can explain the task in three words - run 26.2 miles - but the execution requires months or years of training.
Efficiency in Singing
As singers we often set goals pertaining to our vocal technique. During the first lesson with a new student, I ask them what their technical goals are and receive certain answers regularly: “I want to increase my range”, “I want to be able to riff”, “I want to sing the high notes with more ease”, and “I want to learn how to belt”. All of these goals are noble and important to articulate as you set out on your vocal journey.
Forgetting Muscle Memory
Whether you’re working to improve your voice, learning how to play a new instrument, or striving to make the world’s greatest grilled-cheese sandwich, it’s going to take practice…and practice means repetition. The natural human instinct, however, is to move on once something’s been accomplished, and an artist can’t stand being stagnant or still. Yet, the fact remains: improvement requires the diligent and repetitive motions of practicing.
Challenge: What can you do in 8 bars?
This past week a number of my students went to a chorus call for a show currently running on Broadway. One student is a member of the actors union, or Actors Equity. This means she was allowed to sign up weeks in advance, prepare the perfect 16, 18, or 32 bars of music, and focus on wowing the
Transform Your Struggle into Your Strength!
I teach a Musical Theater Audition class at New York Vocal Coaching for a group of very eager, talented performers in which I give useful information, helpful hints, factual discoveries and motivational anecdotes that have helped me during my career. At the end of each class I like to check in with my students and discuss their auditions from the previous week. My personal goal is to help prepare my students so well that they feel confident about every audition.
Preparing For Your Best Audition: An Actor’s Checklist
Auditioning. The word strikes fear in every actor, seasoned and amateur alike. However, this doesn't have to be the case. While some nerves are to be expected (it’s an audition after all), with the right amount of preparation, fear of auditioning can be a thing of the past…or at least more manageable.
Signs that you might be vocally fatigued
The voice is the only instrument that is apart the human body (unless you count clapping your hands as percussion!!). So it makes sense that the instrument is the entire body, not just the larynx alone. Everything from body alignment, respiratory system, the larynx, vocal tract, not to mention the brain are involved in this high level athletic coordination!
Setting SMART Goals
We all want something in this business. But what you want is different from what your best friend might want, even if it is the very same goal. That is because we all arrive at our goals differently. How we measure and how we pursue goals are unique to us. But no matter how unique your goal, or your approach, there are always five steps you can follow to ensure your goal is tailored to what you want and made more attainable.
In the moment that I’m writing this article, I’m late. I should have had this piece finished weeks ago. The miniature Davids in the back of my mind have been tapping their toes and watches, but I have managed to ignore them. “Let me procrastinate in peace,” I’ve begged. Until now.
Take My Breath Away
Riddle me this: When is using more breath detrimental to your vocal health? Answer: When it isn't. Every breath you take... Not surprisingly, there's a lot of hot air floating around the voice teaching community concerning the use of breath during singing. Do you try to flutter the tissue dangling a daunting ten feet away from your mouth while trying to execute your Beyoncé inspired riffs? Or do you try your best to keep your steamy exhale from fogging up the mirror you're holding claustrophobically close to your mouth? Both of these I have been asked to perform in voice lessons, and in both of these I have succeeded in achieving new heights of light headedness.
Before I became a professional music director, I had every intention of becoming a musical theatre performer. I studied four years at the prestigious Musical Theatre program at the University of Michigan, then, as was expected, pursued the life of an actor here in New York. But somewhere along the way, I made a turn and didn't quite end up where I'd planned...