Saturday, September 14, 2013

Personal Style: The Singer’s Guide to Standing Out in Rehearsal

-->First things first, define who you are! Ask yourself: who are you? Who do you want to be? What roles do you want to play? How do you want others to see you? Using these questions to help guide you, choose three or four words to describe your personality. Then pick three or four words to describe the types of characters you play. Once you’ve picked your words, use them to inspire your style! For example, my words might be “bold, strong, fierce, and courageous.” This translates into an edgier look while still remaining feminine— a mixture of hard and soft, like leather and lace. However, your words may be “bright, young, flirtatious, and innocent.” Pick clothes to match those words; flowing materials, floral patterns, lighter materials, and softer colors. I may wear a lot of black, gold, and red, you may wear pinks, blues, and whites. While shopping for clothes to match your personality keep in mind this simple rule of fashion: look for great fitting pieces with texture and shine that you can mix and match.

Once you’ve defined your style, put it into practical use for rehearsal wear. Everyone knows the saying “Dress for the job you want;” this is dressing for the roles you play. Thankfully, opera is taking a leap away from parking and barking. Instead, it is more likely that you will be running around the stage, jumping on furniture, crawling on the floor, and locking lips with the barihunk playing opposite you. Keep this in mind while maintaining your new personality-describing style, because it will inform the types of clothes you will wear.

Let’s start with what is and what is not appropriate. First of all, no to low cut jeans! Even if you’re not playing an active role, you will more than likely have to kneel or bend at the waist, and there’s nothing as uncomfortable for yourself and everyone else in the room as showing off what’s hidden under those low cut jeans. Ain’t nobody got time for that. How about low cut tops? Such a hassle. In order to make out with that barihunk, you may have to crawl on top of him. Or as you play Mimi searching for the lost key, you show Rodolfo and everyone else in the rehearsal room the ladies. Maybe that’s how you perceive Mimi gets Rodolfo, but let’s face it: it’s much sexier to let there be some mystery. Why would he still sing to you if you’ve already shown him everything?

Dresses are great, but if they’re too short, or too tight, rethink them! How awkward is it when you’re wearing a mini and the director asks you to step over the couch and you can’t do the blocking without showing your chastity belt. Try pairing a flowing dress with a great pair of leggings or tights! Longer tops and leggings are always a great option that leaves you free to move in any way the director may want. This is always a great way to look nice and remain flexible in rehearsal. Save your form fitting dress and high heels for the opening night party or donor event that you’re sure to attend.

The next thing you need is a great accessory. These are a great way to give your clothes and style a bit more pop is to add accessories. A fabulous wide belt can add the shape you want to an outfit. A necklace and earrings are always nice, but go the extra mile and add a statement bracelet, or an interesting ring, and you’ll be sure to stand out in rehearsal because your jewelry won’t be the only thing that’s sparkling. But of course there are shoes... Which shoes are the most comfortable and versatile? Build from there. What goes great with my flat boots? A mid rise skinny jean, a legging, a great knee length skirt with tights, there are plenty of options. Add the top, with a tank underneath and a great figure-flattering cardigan. If you have any trouble putting an outfit together, follow this mom-approved adage: ‘Buy the shoes first and then find the perfect outfit to match.’