Stagetime looks at the benefits of studying all three "triple threat" disciplines, no matter what your final goal is.
“I just want to be an Actor” is a common statement from aspiring young actors, as it is from young dancers and singers for their respective disciplines. Reasons given vary from “I don’t like… dancing/singing/acting” to “I’m not a triple-threat”.
For the professional it’s undeniable, for even the most classical of actors, to have singing and dancing in their locker. It is a definite advantage in bagging a role (or even getting an agent), plus evidence of having studied other disciplines can offer an agent or director an insight into your potential use of technique and level of ability. But most importantly for our pupils at Stagetime who study all three disciplines they are truly complementary. Each discipline teaches skills and supports those skills taught in the others.
Great actors use their entire body to inhabit a role. The study of dance can have a fantastic effect on presenting the physicality of an “acting” role – the way you present the character’s body language, the way they move, the way they physically interact with other actors. Physical core strengthening through dance training also has a positive effect on an actor’s poise and movement.
An actor’s voice can see huge benefits from singing techniques, learning projection, diction, breath control, posture, tone and vocal stamina. Many actor’s vocal warm-ups are identical or influenced by singing exercises.
Dancers are often playing a character, so acting training can offer a better insight into that character and change their interpretation, even in the subtlest of ways. A dancer must also take into account the mood of a piece of music, so here again they can use acting techniques to decide how to move based on character research.
Vocal training offers dancers improvement in breath control and stamina – especially useful for times when they are required to sing and dance at the same time!
“…just as control of breathing is important to give quality to voice, so is it used to give colour to dance” Dr Kenneth Backhouse OBE
Singers will benefit from a dancer’s core training:
“For many of us, the voice works well even though our core isn’t as well coordinated as it could be. However, when the voice and/or breath aren’t working well or you go through a physical change that results in a negative shift in the functioning of your voice or body, core training is a key element of making a change for the better. A well-functioning core is crucial not just for pain-free movement, but also for the voice to perform optimally.” Sarah Whitten, voice teacher in the Holden Voice Program at Harvard
Singers have to interpret the themes of a song to bring nuance and personality to their performance, so acting techniques, character research and breaking down lyrics as an actor would break down a script all add colour to a singer’s performance.