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Three Rules, Twice

From: Condon Thomas A
Subject: Three Rules, twice

First, let me make it clear that I didn't make these up. I steal all my best material from the best. Larry Ajer gave these to Northwest Sound a few years back and I felt they are worth passing on. Larry said that there are three rules for your face:

1) Bring it.
2) Put a pleasant expression conducive to the emotion of the song on it.
3) Move it.

I think the first one is to remind people that the face is there, so they may as well use it. The second is to remind them that it needs to display the emotion of the song, not their fear of being on stage. The third is because (and this should be explained when the group is told these rules -- the first two should *not* be explained) any expression that just sits there looks like it is painted on and therefore does not appear to be "from the heart" -- a key phrase in our C&J program.

As far as freeing the ensemble to sell the song without choreography, Larry said there were only three rules you had to follow:

1) Your hands should stay below elbow level.
2) You don't get to walk anywhere.
3) Your focus must be on the director.

These three rules are tossed out the window when we have a planned (choreographed) move or focal change. You can use your body, hands, even feet, all you want as long as you follow these rules. And, of course, your face should also be used. ;-}>

In a quartet, you must make sure that the lead is the center of focus visually, as well as musically. He must not be doing less selling than the other parts. With a chorus, of course, the front row may be allowed more latitude with motions than the rest of the chorus, but the remainder of the chorus have got to sell it, too.

OK, so I embellished a bit on his original instructions. Larry knew our Visual Presentation Team and expected that out of us.

I hope this helps some of you out there, or at least answers your questions.

In Harmony's Way, and In A Chord,
Tom :-})

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