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 THE SINGING ACTOR MASTER CLASS

As a Tony award-winning veteran of ten Broadway plays and musicals, spanning a thirty-year period, I have developed "The Singing Actor Workshop" to share the tools and techniques that I have honed over the years. The goal of the class is to help students maximize their performance potential. The Yale School of Drama, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Syracuse University, Ohio University, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the Alaska State Legislature, and private students have benefited from this workshop.

It is a performance based class. Each student prepares memorized material from musical theatre repertoire, and must arrive at the workshop ready to explore. The focus is on how to act a song, in addition to singing it. Storytelling, musical phrasing, characterization, basic vocal technique, repertoire selection, performance and audition principles, are addressed as well.

The format for the workshop is flexible. It can be anything from a 2-3 hour session, a week-long workshop, a weekend intensive or anything in between. Private coaching sessions for individual students is also an option. An accompanist must be provided for each session, and students are required to bring in legible sheet music. Fees are based on the length of the workshop, and the number of students.

CURRICULUM VITAE

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1996 Tony Award, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, for The Life
  • 1997 Fany Award, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
  • 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award, Ohio University, College Of Fine Arts
  • 2003 Outstanding Broadway Musical Performance Recognition, Hofstra University
  • 2004 Audelco Award Outstanding Performance by an actor in a musical for Caroline or Change
  • 2005 Beinecke Fellowship (teaching) Yale School Of Drama
  • 2006 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination, Best Supporting Male, Caroline or Change
  • 2007 San Diego Theater Critics Craig Noel Award, Outstanding Lead Performance for Two Trains Running (Old Globe)
  • 2008 New York Musical Theatre Festival, Outstanding Individual Performance

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Master Class, Yale University School of Drama, MFA program. This class was an intensive exploration of musical theater audition and performance techniques. The class focused on the basic principles of acting while singing, with an emphasis on maximizing story telling through characterization and musical phrasing. Each student received one-on-one coaching on repertoire selection, vocal technique and acting.
  • Master Class, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, MFA Program. The graduate students who participated in these three 3-hour sessions prepared two Broadway show tunes for presentation. The focus of each session was on risk taking, repertoire selection, story telling, vocal technique and deeper exploration of the material.
  • Master Class, Ohio University, School of Drama, BFA program. This class explored musical theater audition and performance techniques and examined the professional issues facing the young actor today, such as: how to get an agent; union vs. non union work; and networking.
  • Master Class, Syracuse University, School of Drama, BFA Program. I delivered a short lecture focusing on my 30 years as a professional actor in the American Theater and did a musical demonstration by singing The Bus Aria from Caroline or Change, one of the roles I originated on Broadway. This was followed by a presentation of songs by students and a coaching/critique session.
  • Master Class, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, BFA Program. This class entailed a performance presentation by me featuring material from some of my Broadway roles. It was followed by a presentation of songs by students, and a coaching/critique session.
  • Master Class, Alaska State Legislature, House Democratic Caucus. This intensive 5-hour public speaking class focused on the basic elements of speech making from preparation to practice to delivery. Some of the preparation skills included the use of dramatic structure in writing a speech, focusing a message, as well as relaxation and vocal warm ups. Delivery skills included posture, eye contact, diction, volume, how to focus a message, and making sure the speech is delivered to everyone in the room. The workshop also addressed "cold reading" techniques, as a well as techniques for working with microphones and on camera. Each participant delivered a speech and participated in exercises designed to teach certain skills.

Private vocal coaching.

Each session is tailored to the individual student's singing experience. I've coached professional and amateur singers as well as those who have been told "you can't sing!" I begin with the basic tenant that if you can talk you can sing. I take each student on a journey to discover their own unique voice. Relaxation, breathing and ear training are the core techniques employed at the beginning level. For advanced students, both amateur and professional, I help to hone their tools to maximize their instruments. My sessions include work on repertoire selection, vocal technique, acting and musical phrasing. I have coached singers working in diverse musical genres including opera, folk, pop, musical theatre, blues and jazz.

Downloadable CV available here (Word format).

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