May 24, 2024

Ep #20: 8 Tips for Getting Noticed as a Young Performer

I love coaching and mentoring all performers, but there's something special about working with young artists. The opportunity to work with young, skilled, talented performers and getting the chance to mold and shape their natural talents is a real honor. I give every young performer the same eight tips for standing out and getting noticed, and I'm giving them to you on this week's episode.

There are tons of talented performers out there and standing out among the crowd isn't easy. But by the end of today's episode, you'll see what you're overlooking in your performance currently, and you'll have multiple strategies you can use to start honing your craft and get noticed in the industry.

Tune in this week to discover the eight tips for getting noticed that I give to every young performer I work with. I'm sharing how to warm up, how to give an engaging performance, and showing you how to live into your potential as a young performer.

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What You will discover:

  • Why proper hydration is a non-negotiable for young performers.
  • How to warm up the entirety of your instrument (your voice).
  • What it means to focus on the story you're telling as a performer.
  • Why your breath matters and how your breath adds to the magic of your performance.
  • How dancing without proper choreography or direction might be harming your performance.
  • My tips for getting the kind of practice that allows you to perform at your best on stage.

Listen to the full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


Welcome to The Confident Performer, the only podcast that guides ambitious, driven performers and entrepreneurs to show up authentically and confidently both on and off stage. If you are ready to make an impact in your life and community and start living your most amazing, empowered life, you are in the right place. You already have what it takes to make it, you just need to see it. And I’m here to show you how. You ready? Let’s go.

Well, hello my confident performers and welcome back to the show. This is episode 20, eight tips I am sharing with my young, beautiful performers. I love coaching and mentoring all of my people. But my favorite is young artists who are incredibly talented, incredibly skilled at a very early age. And I love grabbing, molding and shaping the talent that they have that’s natural and given and then we create that highly practiced skill and it creates this exceptional talent for years and years to come.

And I want to share the eight tips I give all of them, that help each one of my performers stand out amongst the pack. Eight different tips that I love to focus on, eight. I love the number eight and it goes in this beautiful infinity of excellence and energy and solidity.

And starting off number one. Hydration is lubrication. Lubrication for the vocal folds and the cords and your entire system is so necessary, so necessary. You cannot fully effectively tap into your entire instrument if you are dehydrated. And in order to do that, hydration is key. I also steam before I do any type of full-time singing. So, if I’m singing for an hour and a half, if I’m singing for three hours, I will hydrate all day and then I will steam.

Number two. Warm up your entire instrument. Stretching, breathing, releasing tension from the body, releasing tension from the larynx, releasing tension from the jaw, from the tongue that’s underneath the neck. So, you can feel the sides of the tongue, the bottom of where the tongue begins, underneath basically on the neck so you can feel that energy. And I’m obviously doing it and emulating it now, but you can’t see me, so there’s that.

But move that all around and after you’ve vocally warmed up your instrument then you can move it around. You can manipulate it. You can stretch, again, like I said, you can take the tension from the jaw and move that out around with the fingers, move that tongue back and forth. Really kind of stretch and relax that area there.

Number three. Focus on the story that you are telling. When you are a sweet little singer and you don’t really know what you’re singing about, it is a dead giveaway. You have no idea what you’re singing if you don’t know or pay attention to the fact that it’s a story. Every song is a story. And I’ve said this before in previous episodes. I do not like little children singing songs about heartbreak, about having it all and rolling in the deep and when you see your lover at a party. And you thought, man, we could have had it all together and now we just can’t have it. And they’re five, six, seven years old singing about that.

No, I don’t want that. So, focus on the story that you’re telling. If you don’t know what your song is about, learn it or don’t sing it. It’s probably not for you. So, any of those younger kid songs, Disney songs, any of that. I always recommend starting off very young just getting the body used to telling the story and things that you understand easier to tell a story.

Number four. Breathe in time. One of my favorite lines from a Regina Spektor song is Breathing’s Just a Rhythm. Breathing’s just a rhythm. I love it so much and I will never forget it. So, breathing in time is so important because if I were just to breathe in the middle of my phrase and just automatically emergency breathe like that or emergency swallow like that. It takes away the energy and the connection from my story. And it takes the people out of the visual performance of me putting on a show or telling what the story is and reminds them of the very human components of error.

And when we are creating magic or we are performing, that is not what we want to do. We want to make our audience feel as though we are truly in control. That you have a microphone and you deserve that microphone, trust you, you are relaxed, you can’t wait to share your story. You will swallow in time. You will breathe in time. And I always tell my performers, find that upbeat. If you are breathing typically on a downbeat, you are practicing in the wrong format. So, find that upbeat rhythm, catch that breath in between those downbeats, and breathe in, in perfect time.

Coming into number five. Sing on pitch. I know that sounds like it should be, well, yeah, Amy, duh, always. But guess what? I have a secret for you. Sometimes coaches, vocal teachers, do not make their people sing on pitch. They let them be all willy nilly. They let them learn a song and they think it’s so cute and they go out and they’re just singing in a different key than the song is playing in and it’s not okay. It’s not okay.

So, if you are a vocal teacher, if you are a vocal coach, if you work with children and you are thinking, I just can’t seem to get them to sing on pitch, reach out to me. I will help you. I will give you tips. And definitely be firm on making sure your people sing on pitch. Speaking on pitch is the easiest way to get your people to sing on pitch. I love the SLS method, that speech level sound where you’re able to have that relaxed larynx and relaxed capacity.

If you kick that sound forward to the front of the face, if you choose your hard surface resonators. You’re resonating off of the front of the face as opposed to the vocal folds or as opposed to the neck. Any of that energy is not going to be good for helping you stay on pitch. And some of the young artists that go in this transition of, I call it the little kid scream singing to screaming on pitch and that transition you can hear is very apparent when they’re in their teens and it becomes not cute anymore.

So first it’s wow, that little kid can belt, they’re amazing. And anybody who can actually hear that something is not on pitch can hear, wow, okay, alright, we’re a little bit flat. Now is time to change our resonator focus and get into a different resonator so we’re not screaming into our throat. For one, it’s completely unhealthy. And for two, it’s completely unnecessary for the listener because we are all good people sitting here trying to enjoy the kid showcase or recital. There is no reason to accost us with little kids singing off pitch. Trust me, I know.

Coming into that easiest way to activate that singing on pitch when you change those resonators is enunciation. If you, and this goes for anyone, if you find yourself falling in your vocal fry and we’ve talked about that vocal fry space. It’s where your breath isn’t supported and your sound isn’t supported. It is not desirable to listen to. So, I will do this as an example. This is only an example.

Falling into my vocal fry will sound like this. So, if I am in this space here, it’s intermittent support of my breath and intermittent support of my sound and it’s too little breath and too much sound and too little support on all fronts. And it’s just hammering into my vocal folds and I’m putting the sound and energy directly into my larynx, my vocal cords, my vocal box.

But I’m going to come outside of that, put that basically in my hard palate, directed toward my hard palate or the roof of my mouth. And allow for that sound to spin beautifully inside my mouth and stay supported breath and supported sound, breath and sound are partners. They don’t go anywhere without each other unless you’re doing an affect, which is completely normal. If you are singing something like Billie Eilish or Olivia Rodrigo or anything like that. So, there are certain effects that are used there.

Alright, moving on to number six. Stay still. When you are performing, imagine that you are fully in control of your entire body and every bit of you feeling uncomfortable, and you physicalizing that discomfort on stage also makes the audience uncomfortable. I see a lot of young artists doing this practice arm movement, where they use the same arm over and over and over again. And they do it in a rolling motion and like they’ve seen something on TikTok and this is what all the kids are doing. And they’re just circling their hands over and over again and it just becomes a habit and it’s not for the purpose of the story.

And it’s definitely not contributing in a positive way. So, it’s only a dead giveaway that this is a practiced habit. It hasn’t really served me. I haven’t been coached through this or I wouldn’t be spinning my hand. And that’s actually what I’m doing right now just because I’m telling the story. So, when you are on stage and you do this shifty, shifty with your feet or you do this back and forth kind of seasick motion with just swaying.

If you do this kind of front forward, back forward, front forward kind of walk sway where you’re kind of almost doing a jazz square in place but not on purpose, it’s not good. And it makes you actually more nervous because it gives your body an indicator or cues that we are not comfortable. We feel out of control. What if you just stayed still, imagine that you are like a tree and your roots are into the ground. You can move your arms. You can move your body. You can breathe through. But there is zero reason to be moving all over.

If you don’t have choreography, or if your song hasn’t been staged, it is more powerful to draw attention to the work that you’re doing vocally if you stay still. And don’t fall into those bad habits that you see on TikTok. Those are sometimes not transferable in real life. And they’re things that a professional coach will coach right out of you, so stay tuned into that.

Number seven. Find a coach who holds you accountable. For all of these practices, if you know, hey, I have potential, I have good talent, hey, I can sing on pitch. I love to sing. Singing is a great joy of mine. I may want to do this as a career. Find a way to find a coach that holds you accountable. I love to explain the coach I am as I hold you very accountable for what you are, but that’s your current function and your current capacity. I also lead you to what is next, which is your potential and your potential, high potential functioning capacity.

So, we take that gap and we bridge that gap and close that gap with where you currently are and your great potential and where you have to go and where you can be. That is my most exciting work and I love it. And every single person that works and/or trains with me gets results. And you truly with your coaches, you get what you put in. Every coach I’ve ever trained with, if I was with them for five days, if I was with them for five years, I get something from them.

If you feel this coach didn’t teach me anything. I promise you, the coach taught you something, even if it was, I don’t want to train with that coach. Their style was very different from mine. It gave you an indicator of something new, a better angle or understanding going forward. So, take all of that information as information in your knapsack and decide what you are going to build with that information. Again, good and bad, take something away from every single coach that you train with and find a high achieving performance coach.

I love choosing people who have done the thing. It’s very hard for me to learn from people who don’t understand the game or haven’t done the thing. That’s really important to me.

Number eight. Practice how you perform. At least five times a week you should be practicing at full-time level. What you put into it, you get back. You heard me say songs, you need to practice songs 100 times, 200 times, 300 times where you are getting the mechanisms of how it works inside of your instrument. As a vocal athlete, your instrument is your entire body. Pay attention to what you put in it. Make sure you’re actively giving your body that lubrication that it needs, that hydration, lubrication for the vocal folds, super necessary. Also keep your body moving, exercise often.

One of my friends, he’s an athlete and acrobat. He’s actually going to be on the show soon. He always says, “Motion is lotion. Keep your body moving.” And I love thinking that. I love thinking motion is lotion. Keep your body moving. Let’s go. This is what helps all of my performers look poised and professional. One of my favorite compliments, Senator Grove here in California, said, “I saw one of your students sing the anthem today. They were incredible.” I said, “How do you know they’re my students?” And she said, “You can tell. They’re so poised. They’re so professional.”

And mind you, I know the events that all of my students do, and we do so many per year collectively. In my singing group, we do probably 250 plus events throughout the year. And it’s really, truly incredible because these young artists are held to the standard of being poised, of being professional. You have a prerequisite for being in a group with me. The group is The Rising Stars. The Rising Stars have to hold themselves accountable for what they’re doing right and for what they have the opportunity to work on and to get better at.

Please, in all of this, reach out to me if you have any questions, if you have any space or energy or time or something you want to share back, give that back to me. If you have feedback, if you have anything that you want focused on or broken down, anything that you think will help your young performers. I absolutely want to do that.

Before I let you go and sign off, I kind of want to add this in as a final, final. For all of my young performers, when you are singing and you are doing all of these steps, stay focused on your personal ability and the expectation of just being human. You are a human living this gorgeous life, just trying life. You don’t have to be perfect. You get to do this trial and error. I call this kind of youth, our time when we get to just try it all, we get to try it all. Then we get to decide what we want to practice and what we wish to actively, proactively build toward any type of arbitrary perfection.

Parents, if you are supporting this journey for your young artist, let the journey be theirs. If you find yourself coaching your young performer and you are not a coach, just stop, hire a coach. I promise you the relationship for yourself, for your child, for all involved will be so much better. You don’t want to drive a wedge between you and your child just because you don’t want them to be embarrassed or you don’t want to be embarrassed. Embarrassment is all part of the performer’s journey. And the more comfortable and confident the young performer becomes while being embarrassed, I promise you that will work for them in their favor in the future.

My wonderful, beautiful, amazing, confident performers, thank you so much for listening. Take care and be well.

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Thank you for listening to today’s episode of The Confident Performer. If you want to learn more about living your truth and showing up as your most authentic, beautiful self, visit See you next week!

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