I am old school theater.
I grew up during the days when you didn’t have body mics.
Hell, many productions I’ve done had no mics whatsoever.
(That’s how old I am.)
You were told to project so the people in the last row can hear you.
There are good things and bad things about this.
The good thing is, if my mic goes out, by God (that I don’t believe in), you will hear me.
The bad thing is I tend to over-sing.
I tend to sing LOUD.
I tend to sing louder than is strictly necessary.
Most of the time, this works fine for me.
But, lately, given the chance to perform some more dramatic roles (Frl. Schneider in Cabaret and Mother in A New Brain), the songs benefit from more nuance.
Another reason you don’t want to just be loud is because a song is supposed to build.
You have to have some place to go.
Often, in the past, my some place has been from loud to louder to holy crap that’s loud.
So, at my extreme old age, I am finally learning to take some of my own advice.
Let the mic do the work for you.
I tell this to people who are experiencing vocal problems during a show.
Back off a little. Let your throat heal and let the mic pick up the slack.
I am finally starting to understand that the mic has a job.
It is there to allow you to sing the song – not shout it.
It is there to allow more emotion to come through.
It is there to allow you more room for dynamics.
Mics also expose a multitude of sins.
They will expose a pitchy voice.
They will expose an unsupported voice.
And while they will make a weak voice audible, they don’t turn a weak voice into a strong voice.
So don’t be afraid to utilize your mic as appropriate.
And thank your sound designer and the person running the sound board because they are there for you too.
Mics are fucking cool.