Category Archives for "Music"

Apr 01

Why do I need lessons to be an actor or singer?

Music , Music Business , Singing

Why Do I Need Lessons to Be an Actor or Singer? 

Natural talent can take you a long way. TV shows like American Idol, The Voice, and X Factor prove it, but the odds of winning are a bit like winning the lottery. Even getting past the first round of auditions is a grueling race. Not prepared to spend days in line waiting for maybe a minute and a half of screen time? Can’t blame you, but there are alternatives.

A long-term career in singing or acting often starts with lessons. Much like top athletes, actors and singers spend many more hours in preparation for the big day then they spend on stage. Natural talent can take you far, but to become a professional, you need training. Fast runners get faster with consistent training, and actors and singers get better with the right feedback and exercises.

Professional Acting and Singing Is Work

The first thing to remember about the job of an actor or a singer is that it is work. That means getting to the top requires dedication and a lot of prep time. Regularly scheduled vocal lessons, acting classes and assorted time spent learning about entertainment in all its forms is the foundation for getting work as a professional. You wouldn’t walk into an interview without a resume, so why would you walk into an audition without preparation?

Do You Really Need a Teacher?

There are lots of online tutorials and activities out there that can enrich your learning, but for real progress, you need an instructor. It’s almost impossible to objectively judge your own performance. For instance, when you film your own scene, you finish the scene and then go back to look at things. In contrast, when you work in a formal lesson setting, you get corrections as you go, and the invaluable experience of working with a director in the form of an excellent teacher.

Critiquing your own singing is another big challenge. Until you develop hundreds of studio hours and hear your own raw sound, making improvements can be overwhelming. You just can’t hear yourself correctly. It’s a design and biology issue. The way your body works, you hear a very different sound from an objective listener. To figure out where and how to improve your sound, you need an expert listener. Also, voice lessons can help you avoid injuries that could cut your career short. The voice is a complex machine, and you want it well-maintained heading into a big audition.

A Coach Good Coach Is a Must

An experienced industry expert for a coach can do a lot more than just give you voice lessons or assign acting homework. They can help you prepare for auditions, smooth out any performance issues and tell you when something isn’t in your wheelhouse. The last thing you want from a coach is someone who just says “Yes.” Yes, men might be a nice confidence boost, but they don’t help you land roles. Of course, finding the right coach comes with its own set of hurdles.

How to Find a Coach

There are thousands of people and services out there offering acting and singing coaching. So how do you separate out the scams from the quality coaching you need? Start with a price comparison. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. That’s the rule of thumb when shopping for anything, including coaching services. Also, be wary of promises of success. No coach can guarantee you fame, only access to their knowledge and expertise. Always ask for references. With a coach, you’re signing on for a long-term relationship that could directly impact your employability for years to come. A few references are the minimum that you should ask for.

At Shaun Royer Talent Development and Soundcheck Artists, I routinely work with many professionals who come in for a catch-up lesson when they’re not on tour or filming. Why? Because it pays to keep up with your skills and stretch your development, even after you start working professionally

Apr 01

Singers: How to go from good to Great!

Music , Singing

Go from good to great. 4 tips on becoming the best singer you can be! 

What makes a great singer? It’s a question that beginners and anyone interested in becoming a singer will ask themselves at some point. In vocal coaching sessions, you’ll often find a heavy emphasis placed on the technique, theory and psychology of singing, and for a good reason. All these elements play some role in performing the act, but it’s actually a mix of traits that make someone capable of singing in front of a crowd.

The Characteristics Great Singers Share

First and foremost, singers have confidence in their abilities. This isn’t the same thing as being fearless, mind you. Even talented performers still get pre-show butterflies from time to time. The best of the bunch, however, know how to control it and trust in their skills. This, of course, is born partly from training your skills. Working with a great voice teacher helps. You can also help enhance your confidence by developing a few pre-performance tricks, things such as breathing deeply, meditation and visualizing your perfect show.

Secondly, great singers have great ears and control over their breathing. These are two skills that are paramount when it comes to developing proper technique. Training your ear is necessary so that you can match the proper pitches while performing. Breathing is important so that you can hit notes easily and sing longer. If you have these two down, you have the foundation to build the other tools you’ll need to move ahead.

Successful singers know how to play to their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Everyone has things they excel at and things they can improve on. For example, singers with strong Type A personalities have a drive for success and will sometimes effortlessly put in the many hours it takes to become better. On the flip side, they are also more likely to become tense and have a more difficult time relaxing, which can sometimes hamper their technique. Knowing where you’re strong and where you need to get better will take you far in the singing game.

Lastly, a great singer knows how to be coached. A singer who can’t take constructive criticism or advice from his instructor is one that has shut himself off from learning. If you don’t learn, you don’t grow, and your prospects of becoming a better singer diminish greatly.

Remember These Basics And Keep Striving For Success

It takes time to develop the rudiments, but once you have them, everything else becomes a little easier. Remember to keep seeking out information (through voice lessons and other means), keep your nose to the grindstone, and work hard to realize your goals.

Apr 01

Seven Ways to Make Sure Your Stage Show Kicks A$$


There’s nothing more important than being a great performer. You can have the pipes and the right vocal tone and technique, but still have a boring or lackluster stage presence. If you have good stage presence that outshines vocal ability, the way you look or even your music as a whole.

For many professionals, stage presence just comes to them. Thankfully for many, it can also be taught. Understanding what your audience is looking for is the key to a kick a$$ stage performance. After you learn that, you must teach yourself to fully engage with them from the beginning of your performance.

True performers make use of every moment while they are on stage and push themselves. These are the types of shows and performances who leave their fans wanting more.

While there are many factors that contribute to being a great performer, here are some things to keep in mind that will help you to enhance your stage presence now!

When you’re performing, it’s not about you.

Performance is about the audience, point blank. It is about how you make them feel and if you can awaken something inside them that will relate to your performance. As a performer, it is your responsibility to give your audience that gift.

Give your audience what they want.

After you realize what your audience wants, you give it to them. It is that simple.

Step out of your comfort zone.

Good stage presence comes with confidence. This confidence comes from putting in the work needed to improve your singing voice and stage presence. With the help of a vocal coach and one-on-one coaching, that confidence can blossom. Recognize your strengths and continuously work on your weaknesses. A coach can track your progress and help you to continuously improve your performance and stage presence as a whole.

Discover what makes you unique.

Every performer has a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain something that makes them unique. Discover what yours is and use that to your advantage. Allow yourself to shine!

Take yourself seriously.

This means taking the adequate time needed to rehearse before each gig. Relaxation is also key, for the best performance and the best tone overall. Every show should be felt like it is an opportunity to develop a new fan base. Take advantage of every moment. Play every set as if it is your last. Also, don’t miss your sound check as this is an important time to work out the kinks before you go live.

Perfect a pre-show ritual.

This is important as it allows you to get into your zone. By getting focused, you can get into a place that allows you to give the best stage performance you’re capable of.

Critique yourself.

Record every performance and take time to watch it back with family and friends (even a vocal coach if you have one) to learn what you need to work on. A good stage performer is open to hearing feedback and to practicing weaknesses so that they continuously get better and perfect their craft.

I hope that you find these tips helpful when you’re looking to take your stage show to the next level. Keep in mind that in anything in life, practice does make perfect. If you commit to your art, you will succeed. Good luck!

For more information on promoting your music or perfecting your vocal talent, visit

http://www.shaunroyer.com or http://www.soundcheckartists.com