#NMTVotW: Singing a Ballad
A ballad is a unique opportunity within musical theatre to really, truly connect to your audience, in a way that comedic songs are a unique opportunity to make your audience laugh and feel good. Both are important. And you usually need both in order to audition for any musical theatre program.
This week, however, we’re going to focus on the ballad. Things you need in order to sing a ballad (with old advice and new):
- Delicate acting
- A great understanding of tempo. Ballads don’t have to be slow. In fact, too slow could put the audience to sleep. Really connect to the tempo of the song, using enunciation and be a little ahead of the beat or on it, rather than behind it.
- Someone to connect to. A ballad is usually written with a person the song is sung to, or at the very least, sung for. You need to find out who that person is for you, and sing to them (or for them). It’s this deep connection you make your character connect to that will make your audience connect to you.
One of the hardest ballads to do is one of self-reflection or self-doubt. You’re singing to yourself, and you’re connecting to that most inner part of your being to find out something about yourself you didn’t know before. But you have to make that connection meaningful for the audience, too.