What Is the Most Overlooked Step in Audition Preparation?

I participated in the Hershey's Track and Field Games as a little kid (yes, that Hershey's). It started out as a fun thing to do because my other friends were doing it. But then I qualified for the state level, and I started to get excited about the possibility of qualifying for nationals. My parents got me some running shoes, I trained for my events in preparation for the state meet, and when the big day arrived, I arrived at the track only to be struck by the realization that I had no idea…


Does Counting Our Blessings Really Change Anything?

Mmm…Thanksgiving. The one day a year devoted to being thankful and counting our blessings. To getting away from frenzied work and school schedules for a few days...only to encounter traffic jams, airport security, and inevitable delays. To enjoying a festive meal of turkey, tofurkey, or turducken...and complaining about our expanding waistlines. To spending time with close family...until they start telling the same old stories, giving us unsolicited advice, and getting on our nerves. Good old…


Have Your Ears Become Lazy?

When I first moved to NYC for grad school I was keenly aware of the constant din of honking cars, sirens, and people. It seemed to go on 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. I missed the peace and quiet that I had grown accustomed to after spending most of my life in rural midwestern towns. Of course, it wasn't long before I got used to my new home and didn't notice the noise anymore. It happened so gradually that I wasn't aware I'd changed until I went home for the holidays and was struck by how…


How much anxiety is best for performance?

How Much Anxiety Is Best for Performance?

"What a great performance - were you nervous?" "You seem so calm on stage - how do you not get nervous?" "There's nothing to be nervous about - you'll be great!" Well-meaning parents, teachers, and fellow students often commend us on our poise and ability to keep our cool in performances from a young age. Yet these best of intentions often backfire, as innocent remarks like the ones above send the implicit message that there is something bad or wrong with being nervous. That we shouldn't feel…