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How to Gut Your Audience (with music and stories)

Two of my immediate family members are pursuing a career in the music industry. One of my favorite things to do is hear them work on a new composition or practice a difficult vocal run.

So my last year in college, I was inspired to finally fulfill one of my dreams—get over my embarrassment and take a @#$% voice lesson.

Couldn’t keep a pitch to save my mother’s life, but I absolutely loved it.

In the last year, I decided to take voice lessons again when I’m not behind a keyboard or paintbrush. I also braved new piano lessons to improve my improv skills. And, surprise, surprise—just like painting, music has so many similarities to writing.

I’ll get into one of them today 🙂5712010773_593c1a7f7b_zPicture this—you’re sitting in traffic. Spotify/Radio/whatever hooked up. And then a song plays. And it guts you.

One minute you’re fine. The next you’re raining tears harder than a monsoon season. Images of your childhood and past regrets and dead former pets play on repeat through your thoughts.

The song gets you. The song is you.

How can the artist/musician/actor portray the song so perfectly?

It’s more than just emotion.

It’s characterization.

As you sing, you become that person in the song. Not the artist. But the character who is singing each specific song. You become them the same way you write a character in a book.

You slip on their clothes. You sink into their head. What makes them act the way that they do? What type of love devastates them most? What about this breakup kills them above everything else?

You are in their head. You think their thoughts. You feel their emotions. You are the person—whether you write out or sing their story.

And when you get the character right, then you can more effectively tell their story. (…..and cause traffic accidents because you’ve gutted your audience)

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. YES!!! I make soundtracks for all my stories and all of a sudden songs that were just alright make me cry because they become SO beautiful or heartbreaking when they are about XYZ character’s situation.

    1. I do that too!! I have a “go to” song for each story, and then additional ones. Helps me get in the mood and I can totally picture scenes. Do you have a apology account? I’ll follow you!

      1. I did a frantic google search for some service called “Apology” that I somehow never heard of and found nothing, so then I consulted my keyboard and discovered that “Spotify” has letters close to the swype pattern of Apology, so I think that’s what you mean!

        And the answer is… yes! I’ve just added the (current) soundtrack to my current project as a playlist. My username is dbrunetti. I’m new to Spotify, so I’m not sure if I can link anything directly to you. Let me know if you need other info. 🙂

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