In Person in Summerville, SC and Online via Skype

Acting a Song- tips from a professional Musical Theatre coach/pianist/director

Performing/Acting a Song: Wisdom from Jeff Caldwell,

Musical Theatre coach, pianist, and director extraordinaire


  • Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. -Sanford Meisner
  • Find the truth for you
  • What makes it interesting to you, makes it interesting for your audience.
    • If you are connected to something (the thought, emotion), the audience will be too.
  • A thought leads to a gesture
  • Replicable: clear thought process, plan of action. Accurate but with freedom (not locked in)
  • What is your objective for singing the song?
  • What is your “moment before”? What makes you start singing?
  • Subtext
  • Find the kernel of reality in the song that speaks to you
  • Name the sections of your song
  • Be specific!
  • Particularization/transference= make it personal/useful to you
  • Stay in the truth of the song
  • That’s what rehearsing is for, to experiment without knowing (or fearing) the outcome
  • Stake your claim! Plant your flag!
  • Play your tactic/intention/dramatic action
  • What does the character want? Need?
  • Give yourself over to the emotion
  • State the facts!