Television CAN be a great medium for singers and entertainers, however, with the exception of specifically designed amateur shows or appearances, they should be avoided by beginners to the biz and the faint-hearted! The competition is TOUGH, criticism BLUNT and as with any audition process or talent show – there are no guarantees that you will get through to the next round.
Be PREPARED! Make NO mistake – it is VERY rare for the finalists and eventual winner to be a complete amateur!!! Most finalists have had some form of training and/or experience in performing in front of a live audience (not just their friends and family!!) – in some cases the contestant/s have spent a lot of money and years training with professional teachers or have a family connection to the music business! The best advantage you can have at a talent show or competition is to be WELL REHEARSED and CONFIDENT that you can do your best on the day.
Although the majority of contestants fade swiftly back into obscurity, a small percentage have been successful like Victoria Wood, Lenny Henry, ShowWaddyWaddy, Lena Zaveroni, Freddie Star, Leona Lewis…….. some of whom had been doing the club, cabaret and/or talent show circuit for a while before appearing on a TV Talent Show. If you are a talented unsigned artist who is thick skinned, knows the score and are prepared to give it your best shot then this is a good opportunity to be seen and discovered.
TV Talent shows
What we see on the television as the audition process is not the reality! No one sees the famous judges first….. the process is time consuming and involves hours of queuing and waiting time!! You have to remember that the role of the TV show is to create a programme that is interesting to watch and will attract millions of viewers. Appearances can be deceptive so if your child or indeed someone you know is looking to audition be prepared……..
As promised here are a few of ‘cons’ as discussed by The Vocalist regarding TV Talent shows!
Queues – Television auditions are popular and you can expect to wait several hours or even all day before getting through the doors, let alone being seen!
Contestants – May be eliminated on looks whilst waiting in line – all that time waiting and no opportunity to audition!
Audition – Contestants are usually screened by the shows producer, a representative from the management company or other personnel and may NOT be called back for an audition with the celebrity judges (who you may not see at all until the night of the show).
Cameras – The advent of ‘Reality TV’ means that the contestant must be prepared to be filmed during the whole process.
Performance – Be prepared for criticism! Celebrity judges like New Faces Tony Hatch, Pop Idol’s Simon Cowell and Pete Waterman held no punches when it came to their opinion of the artists performance.
Contracts – Contestants must sign a contract with the show which may tie them into a label or management company that has little or no interest in promoting them and may include terms which are detrimental to the performer i.e., minimum royalties, low or non existent performance fees and deductions from earnings even when no longer with the company.
It is better to be prepared than not……..
We hope that you have a great week!
On the topic of TV TALENT SHOWS!
On the topic of TV TALENT SHOWS!
It is good to be pragmatic – being sensible, realistic and practical will ensure that you embrace the opportunity and learn from the experience rather than being sorely disappointed and deflated in my opion it is very often the most talented individuals that do not make the finals ! The last thing that we would want at Little Voices would be for your confidence to be affected.
Expectations of TV Talent Shows advice from The Vocalist:
Each program audition varies depending on the shows requirements and programming schedule. Auditions are often held in a small room where you may be required to sing one song only – without accompaniment in front of one or more people. You may be interviewed and/or filmed separately and required to complete a contract providing permission for any and all clips to be used without payment or re-use royalties, plus agree not to discuss any aspect of the program without permission in the event your audition is successful.
Once you’re in the doors, the program staff are usually friendly and helpful. Unless stated in the application form, refreshments and overnight accommodation are only provided to successful finalists. Those who are selected to appear on the show are treated pretty well and extras can range from transportation to the show, refreshments on the night or overnight accommodation to a complete package of specialised training and full accommodation for the length of the program (or until your voted out!)
Winners may expect to win the advertised prize, however, these may not be as great as they seem! An offer of a recording contract does NOT indicate that the label or management company will pay for or promote you as an artist. Any advance is just that … an advance against future earnings. These funds may have to pay for studio and recording time, training or equipment and may be claimed back by the company if the artist fails to generate enough sales to cover the advance (YES REALLY!!!!!)
No-one can anticipate what the programmers, judges or viewing public really want – if you don’t get through – be philosophical about it – after all, it’s only a competition – there will probably be another show in yet another format next year!
Little Voices LAMDA Exam Success!
Little Voices South West London performing arts school has helped students in Putney, Richmond, Wandsworth and Fulham to achieve outstanding results in over three year’s of their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations. This May, 80 Little Voices children took part in exams graded 1 – 4, the students range from aged 4 to 13 years.
Little Voices already hold an outstanding result reputation with over 99% achieving a distinctions and merits, maintaining an outstanding 100% pass record. And yet again pupils, parents and the team at Little Voices are hoping for another set of outstanding results.
Principal, Ashlea commented: “We are thrilled that our students’ talents have been recognised through these amazing exams and results so far, we are so proud of how hard every child has worked for the last several weeks. Some pupils who have been with us since launching 3 years ago and have worked their way up the grades are now taking part in significantly higher graded and more challenging exams. We cannot wait to hear the results!” she said.
Little Voices have four centres across south west London, Principal Ashlea Pearson and her team of tutors have trained over 250 students in drama and singing, helping them to achieve consistent impressive LAMDA results each year.
Due to a huge growth in demand for our lessons further classes have been scheduled on every evening of the week across the area to offer even more children the opportunity to train with the best and to develop their talents and confidence with Little Voices. Places are filling fast and anyone interested should apply as soon as possible for a Free trial lesson or to reserve a place on our summer performing arts weeks and workshops.
For more information about Little Voices, please contact Ashlea on phone: 07823384992/ Email: SWL@littlevoices.org.uk or visit the website http://www.littlevoices.org.uk
Little Voices’ pupils are set to shine in CBeebies ‘Where in the World?’
Three Little Voices pupils, Luca Walker, Sienna Rosenbaum and Anwar Berry have beaten a large number of auditionees to land voice over parts in a new CBeebies programme called ‘Where in the World? Aimed to help British children develop more cultural awareness of children in different parts of the world, the Little Voices pupils are extremely excited to be part of this new programme set to hit our screens for the next five years.
The programme is set to be aired in May and Ashlea Pearson Little Voices South West London Principal says “I could not be prouder of these three pupils. They deliver outstanding performances in their lessons each week and I know this is only the start of great things to come for them all.” Rhonda Evans (Programme Director) states “The children from Little Voices were delightful to work with and truly professional in that they took direction and delivered the narrative with flair and humour. They certainly rose to the challenge!”
Luca Walker, who took part in the voice over says “I loved working with the CBeebies production company. It was a great experience and I wish I could do it again and again!”
Ashlea Pearson said, “Due to a huge growth in demand for our lessons further classes have been scheduled on every evening of the week across the area to offer even more children the opportunity to train with the best and to develop their talents and confidence with Little Voices. Places are filling fast and anyone interested should apply as soon as possible for a Free trial lesson or to reserve a place on our summer performing arts weeks and workshops.”
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Dear Ashlea, we would like to thank you and your Little Voices Putney team for all of your tremendous hard work and for putting so much time and dedication into each child. They did not only present a wonderful performance but they learned so much more than that. My daughter LOVED it and was very keen to come back each day. She met new friends and definitely wants to come back to the next. A great summer experience for my daughter and us. Plus bonus points for the inclusive DVD too!! Thank you so much.
Mrs Domingo - AradaParent
What Makes Us Special?
“At Little Voices we teach in small groups, up to eight pupils, so we can truly get to know each child, discover what makes them tick and tailor our teaching accordingly. Each child benefits from one to one attention and individual teaching – no getting lost at the back of a class of 30 pupils!”
Every child aged 4-18 years can apply for two free trial lessons with Little Voices so they can join in the fun and find out exactly what goes on. Students work towards accredited musical theatre, acting and communication exams with The London Academy Of Music and Dramatic Art.
“For me its not just about putting talented children on the stage. I am driven by the desire to help all children, no matter what their aims—be it a life on stage, becoming an accomplished public speaker or to simply have more confidence. Little Voices teaches you skills for life,” says Ashlea.
To find out more about our centres across south west london contact us on: SWL@littlevoices.org.uk or call: 07823384992
Focus Is The Key!
Focus is so hard to sustain, especially for children and young people because naturally they have very curious minds and concentration is so difficult for prolonged periods of time.
Last night I was watching some exam classes at one of our centres. The performances overall were very good however ensuring that the pupils had focus and total immersion into their characters from the moment the music starts until the minute that the music ends is always a challenge.
It is really hard to play the role of a character in mind, body and emotional intensity for a prolonged period of time…..3 minutes. Of course at the same time they are moving around the staging area and singing…..
One’s mind naturally wonders and distractions occur.
The life skill that is being built through Little Voices lessons and the exam process is huge! We all need to be able to focus and concentrate in our job roles in later life.
When you are listening and watching your son/daughter practise ensure that they are absolutely focussed and ‘in character’ from the very beginning to the very end of the piece. This may include periods of music where they are not required to sing or times of silence within an acting piece or whilst another character is singing or acting!
Have a great week!
“I can’t get my child to practise at home”
Well this is a common phrase that we hear from parents and grandparents every week, especially on the run up to an exam.
It’s a worrying phrase for us to hear a teachers and facilitators each week because we know that the lessons alone will not achieve the success that a child deserves. As a parent you know how important it is for your child to practise too! So how can we overcome this? There must be a solution!
I find that because every child learns differently that we need to find a method of practise that is enjoyable and easy for them. Practise needs to be effortless to a large extent
For some children writing the words down helps, repeatedly.
For others drawing pictures that reflect each word/phrase or line
Some prefer to put actions to the words
Older children can use their imaginations to sense, feel and place themselves subconsciously truly IN the setting of the piece.
And of course performing in front of as many different family members or in front of a mirror REALLY helps.
I hope that these little tips help!
Lemons or Lions…..
Vocal Tip # 5: Flex Those Facial Muscles
For the young ones we call this lion faces and lemon faces! It’s a game and it’s fun but the Mini Voices don’t realise that!!
As with other vital muscles that support great singing. The neck and facial muscles play an obvious role. Really the goal is to minimize the effort required to sing so that you may effectively control your tone and your pitch. Warming up cannot be avoided. There are mainly 10 groups of muscles in the neck, head, and face. Each consisting of numerous tinier muscles all working in harmony to create the beautiful sound making up your voice. Here is a list in order of the types of movements you can perform on various parts to prepare yourself to sing:
2) Jaw Stretch
3) The Pucker
4) Silly Smile
5) Eye Brow Lift
6) Eye Roll
Ask your son or daughter to do their favourite warm up game to show you!!