‘What should my new years goal be?’ Goals can be vague, forgotten or unimportant, so when it comes to goals a lot of people don’t achieve them, or don’t even get close to achieving them. So how do you set a goal that you’re going to achieve?


Firstly, you want to decide what it is you want to achieve, and if it is something you really want? Is it realistic? How happy would you feel if you achieved it?

Goals can be big or small- maybe you want to learn a new song every month, or you want to practice singing 3 times a week for 1 hour. You now need to look at what you need to do to achieve those things- schedule practice times, make a list of songs you’d love to sing. Achievable right? And specific.


The key to setting yourself an achievable singing goal is being specific- general goals “I want to sing higher”, “I want to learn new songs” are too vague. “I want to sing a top C”, “I want to sing World Burn, from Mean Girls”, “I want to add 3 songs to my rep book” - these are specific. Be specific.


Now set yourself an end date- “ I want to sing a top C by 1st June.” - you have set a specific goal with an end date, and you can now map out the process to achieving it. You're already more likely to achieve your goal!


Now what do you need to do to achieve it? ‘I need to find a singing teacher that can help me find that area of my voice’, ‘I need to practice these vocal exercises everyday’ - you can act on these things, and by doing so you’re working towards achieving your goal!


Next step: WRITE IT DOWN! Did you know by writing down your goal you are more likely to achieve it? I would also recommend telling someone, not everyone, but one person you trust or admire that can hold you accountable and can check in on your progress and how you’re doing!


Finally, take action. You’ve decided on your goal, you know how you are going to achieve it and in what time frame, you’ve written it down and told someone to check in with you and support you, now start! Take the first step now towards achieving your goal! Good Luck!


But what if you set yourself a big goal.. I’m talking, BIG goal, something that scares you a bit? It’s exactly the same process, you just might have to reassure yourself throughout the process, to stop yourself feeling the fear and quitting! And definitely bring someone else on board to help you achieve it and hold you accountable! You got this!


Do you have a big vocal goal or career goal? Book in a consultation session with me now and let’s get started on making your dream a reality!


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Organising your Rep Book can be an overwhelming task, whether it’s your first time or your 15th! So below are some of my top tips on how to organise your book, what you need in it and, if it's your first, what it is.


Firstly, what is a Rep Book- for those that are doing this for the first time, a rep book is a folder that you will keep all your sheet music in for auditions, it’s the best tool you can have as an auditioning actor! Some people put monologues in their rep book too however, I would recommend using a separate folder for monologues and keep this folder strictly sheet music.


Now, what do you need in your Rep Book? No matter how many years you’ve been in the biz this part never gets any easier! You need to choose a selection of songs that show you at your very best, you also want these songs to fit your casting. Don’t restrict yourself, but you want to think about what roles you could play, your vocal ability and look at those sorts of songs. I really recommend choosing songs you love to sing, because if it’s a song you don’t really like: 1. You’ll never pick it. And 2. It shows if you don’t like it!

Below is a list of what you want your folder to contain, some styles may not suit you/ your voice, or may not be useful to you. I have *starred the absolute must-haves, you can also have more than one of certain genres, you’ll see over time and when auditioning regularly, what you use most often and what you don’t. Overall, you’re aiming for 10-15 songs in your book.


Classic Musical Theatre Uptempo*

Classic Musical Theatre Ballad*

Contemporary Musical Theatre Uptempo*

Contemporary Musical Theatre Ballad*

Pop*

Rock

Disney

Opera/Operetta

Golden Age

Top 40 Pop/ Current chart hit


Let’s move on to organising your Rep Book. Step 1: get a good, sturdy folder- nothing that’s going to fall off the stand at a piano or allow music to slip down. Step 2: avoid sheet protectors or the plastic folders that have the clear pockets inside- even if they say ‘non-glare’ they still reflect the light a bit at the wrong angle, which means your pianist may not be able to see all of your music properly. You want to make your pianists job as easy as possible- this will ensure you have a good audition!

Step 3: create a ‘Table of Contents’, this is a list of all your audition songs, in the order they come inside your folder. This is a great tool when an audition panel ask “do you have anything else?” - you can hand them this list. Or if you or your pianist are wanting to find a specific song in your folder, you’re not searching and flicking through everything; you can go to your ‘Table of Contents’ and see exactly where to find it. I recommend ordering your songs by genre, but you can also order alphabetically if you prefer.

Step 4: you need to have the following cuts of your songs: Full song (cut out repeat verses if it's repetitive & doesn’t show anything different), 32 bars, 16 bars and 8 bars. You want to make sure all your cuts tell a story, even the 8 bar! (With UK casting teams 8 bar cuts are rarely used, but for US casting teams you will need them.) Step 5: tape & annotate your music- tape your pages back to back, so when inside your folder the pages can be turned like in a book- tape along the slide or at the corners. Annotate any cuts clearly, and cut and paste bars- don’t leave half a page of crossed out bars if you can have the next section of music there. And finally, add song titles and page numbers if they’ve been removed or altered in your cutting process.


Your Rep Book and what’s inside it is so important - it’s going to help you get hired (or not), so make sure you know every song inside it- don’t put a song ‘you’re working on’ in there until it’s audition-ready, and keep it presentable and organised at all times - if your folder is a mess, you look a mess!

My final piece of advice; do whatever shows the best of you - you are better to have 6 songs you perform brilliantly, than 16 songs that are average.


Now go and nail those auditions!


Thank you for reading! If you found this blog useful or would like to share your tips then leave a comment below, and share with friends that may find this helpful.

If you have any questions about organising your rep book or would like advice on choosing the right songs for you, then get in touch via my email below!




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As the temperature drops, the leaves fall off the trees and the dark nights close in, we need to take extra care of our voices, but if you follow these simple tips, the cold weather doesn’t need to be a problem!


Wear a scarf & hat

You lose heat from any part of your body that is exposed, and in the colder months we want to keep ourselves warm so we don’t catch a chill. So grab your hat & scarf and wrap up when heading out into the cold.


Hydrate

Well, this is the same all year round- as singers, we always want to drink plenty of water so our voices can work optimally, but cold, winter air is often very dry so we need to hydrate more than normal. Indoor heating can also be very drying for the vocal tract so stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water each day, you may also want to consider using a humidifier.

(This may sound a bit gross, but check your urine; the yellower it is, the more dehydrated you are. The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are.)


Drink warm drinks

A warm drink will help warm the throat area, be sure to go for decaffeinated or low caffeine options as caffeine can be dehydrating- herbal tea or a warm honey & lemon can be a good choice! (If you are going for caffeine, make sure you drink a glass of water with it to re-hydrate.)


Breathe through your nose

Breathing in through the nostrils moistens, filters & warms the air taken into the lungs, so try to breathe in through the nose instead of the mouth as much as possible when outside in the cold air.


Acclimatise

If you’ve been outside in the cold, for a long period of time, give your voice time to adjust before you sing. Musicians allow their instruments to adjust to room temperature before playing. As a singer, with an extremely delicate instrument, it is wise to also allow around 20 minutes for your voice to acclimatise.


Warm Up

This is something you should be doing everyday and/or before you sing, regardless of the weather conditions! Your vocal warm up is even more important when it’s cold! Take extra time to warm up your body & voice gently before you go full out.

(Try the Vocal Warm Up on my YouTube Channel.)


“Should I sing if I’m ill?”

Singing with a cold isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you do a proper vocal warm up & focus on good technique, you can still sing when you’re less than 100%. Spend time working on flexibility, breath support & nasal resonance, and trust in your vocal technique.

However, if it hurts when you sing, you have laryngitis or you’ve lost your voice; rest!


What are your cold weather singing tips? Let me know in the comments.


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