We're back with our exciting new series today called Feature Fridays where we'll be interviewing Industry Peeps and sharing insider info, tips, and tricks! If you have anyone that you'd like us to interview, please let us know!
Our next interview is with Elizabeth Sauter, who's a Vocal Director for Celebrity Cruises Productions.
What draws you to an auditioner?
I'm drawn to confidence both in how you present yourself and your material as well as a positive attitude. Coming in and owning your space and time in the room in a positive, confident way is refreshing and always grabs my attention.
What's something you wish actors knew not to do in an audition?
Stop apologizing!! Be confident in your preparation and presentation of the material. We're all human - life happens and so do mistakes but how you handle those situations tells us a lot about you and what you would be like to work with in the rehearsal room.
Also, just as you rehearse and prepare the songs in your book, make sure you rehearse and prepare how you are going to communicate with the accompanist - and PLEASE have your music clearly marked! :)
What would you rather watch: vocal acrobatics or compelling storytelling?
COMPELLING STORYTELLING!! Trust in the work that you are doing to connect with your material from an acting perspective. I want to see YOU reflected in your pieces. If I need to know more about a specific vocal quality or style, I'll ask!
What's "belting" mean to you?
My approach to belting is all about the placement and mix of the sound. I tend to approach the "belt" as a mix of the head and chest voice to avoid vocal injury or strain. Sometimes this is also referred to as a "heavy mix."
Tell us one fun fact!
I've traveled to 69 countries! Number 70 will be Iceland!
What would you say to a singer experiencing fatigue during vocal rehearsals?
The rehearsal process for putting up any show is intense and can be vocally, physically and emotionally exhausting! Prioritizing your hydration, sleep and overall physical health is essential. Be aware of how you are fueling your body/instrument and take care of yourself! I encourage a full vocal warm-up prior to the start of rehearsals and encourage singers how to develop an awareness of a "smart mark" and how to execute a mark properly and healthily to avoid strain and vocal fatigue. I also encourage singers to pay attention to their speaking voice and be mindful of how they use it! An awareness of the geographical climate in which you are working is also essential, especially if you are experiencing dramatic shifts in weather/temperature/climate. Your humidifier is your best friend!
What's a lasting piece of advice you've heard from a voice teacher or music director?
" 'Do-overs' are allowed and encouraged in music and in life." One of the most influential mentors in my life, Karen Bruno, shared these wise words with me years ago and I pass this on to the students and performers I work with. It's a good reminder and keeps things in perspective!