Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why Study? Why Practice?

Learning and practicing in the arts are factors which are undeniably necessary, but although there is always room for improvement, it is not as overwhelming as it may appear. Is there an infinite amount of knowledge one must have to be a professional singer? Is it a never-ending quest for perfection or greatness? If that were true, there would not be any professional recording artists. A real artist will not remain on a plateau for long. Most recording artists, who still aspire to continual improvement, will study or practice things to improve all aspects of performance and business. The singers who really stand out are consummate performers: Usher, Harry Connick, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga, just to name a few. Some are living, some are not, but they are/were multifaceted entertainers. They are not only singers, they have acted in motion pictures, Broadway, some have also been great, good, or adequate dancers. They have not stood on a stage wondering things like: what do I do with my hands, my arms, how do I move, how do I connect with the audience, can I connect with the audience, are they going to like me, are they going to not like me? The list could go on. Have Usher, Madonna, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson worked on dancing? We can be impressed with the results of instruction and practice, as evidenced by performances. The ones with the best teachers and the discipline of mastering the craft never worried about embarrassing themselves. They worked to raise the skill level to that of a professional. Some people may say that this or that performer is a “natural”. True, the performer may be awesomely talented, but no one is born singing, dancing, acting, or performing. Then there is the “charisma factor”. What makes a person likeable, interesting, or fascinating? How can that be learned? It can be practiced and it can be learned, but if it isn't genuine, it will be met with rejection or revulsion. I have some theories regarding this and they seem to be proven by the results which the superstars have experienced.