001 - Kate Davies Speak | The Performer Podcast

001 - Kate Davies Speak | The Performer Podcast

Welcome to Episode 001 - THE PERFORMER PODCAST

I've interviewed Kate Davies-Speak for the podcast today. 

Kate is a British actress, born and raised in Bristol, England. She is often drawn to roles that offer interesting character arcs, gritty and emotional roles and parts that encourage her to keep her physically active, she is inspired by iconic action heroines such as Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley and enjoys working out and practicing combat to use on screen. Kate a is a huge supporter of her industry peers and often sets up ways that she can utilize social media to find ways for actors, agents, filmmakers and casting professionals to work together.

Performance Critic - The Evolution of Mariah Carey

The Rise And Fall Of Mimi

Mariah Careyimage.png

What can I say about Mariah?  I've been watching her in all her glory since I was about nine years old. I've bought her albums and even watched all her 'Top of the Pop's' performances, recording them and driving my father mad by singing along to all her songs.

The truth is, I love her - I always have.

Her voice, her persona AND her amazing song writing ability. In my eyes, she could do no wrong, however, since her disastrous performance at the New Year's Eve Party in New York in 2016, I've wondered whether the effervescent butterfly had clipped her wings? And, what happened during that performance that she couldn't recover from? Where was her mind-set at and how could she have handle that performance fail better?

Follow me, as I will take an in-depth analysis of Ms. Mariah Carey's best and worst performances. Keep reading for the blog version or watch the video below for my Facebook Live video about my critic of Mariah Carey through the ages.

'A Star Is Born', Mariah Carey

I'll be there - MTV Unplugged 1992

I chose the Jackson 5 cover 'I'll be there' during MTV Unplugged in 1992, as one of her best performances. To start with the full concert is a tour de force of her vocal capability, this song in particular, had an effortless ease that you rarely see on stage these days. I love how Mariah Carey interacts with her fellow musicians on stage, and allow them to shine. Especially, Trey Lorenz which, let's be honest, has a range that even the most famous of male singers would be jealous of. Oh, let's not forget his silky smooth tone and agility too. Mariah allows him the spotlight to shine.

Her Performance

Mariah is confident in her ability on stage. Her arms are spread wide and there isn't any mental blocks - no emotional/fear based thinking that could impede her performance. She is there to sing her song, shine bright and do what she was born to do.

I really believe that this performance was the shining beacon of her career.

From her camaraderie within the singers and musicians on stage, to the nuances of her outstanding vocal performance and her emotive interpretation of the song to the audience. Not only am I in awe of her talent, it makes me feel inspired to get in front of the microphone and sing my heart out - and it still does, every time I listen to it. 

Her Look

Mariah Carey's look is stripped back. She wears an all black clothing ensemble. Black trousers, blouse and jacket. It isn't about her looks here - it's about her performance and her raw talent. Mariah Carey has publicly spoken out in the past about her tumultuous relationship with Sony Records. How she felt confined by her record label, and her ex-husband, Tommy Mattola (the chairman of Sony Records at the time) into being 'The Voice'. She wasn't allowed to be herself. She couldn't write the songs that she wanted to write, wear the clothes that she wanted to wear or act the way she wanted to. Mariah finally broke free leaving Columbia/Sony Records for EMI's Virgin Records in 2000 and she changed her fashion, her sound and her direction - her way .

It's tough for me to admit (because I know that Mariah was unhappy), but I liked the natural, confident, happy to sing anywhere Mariah. I liked her non-fussy clothing, her natural hair and make-up.

And in a way....I kinda miss her....

 

The 'What Just Happened?', Mariah Carey

Song Medley - New Year's Eve - Time Square Live Performance 2016

After all the experience, after all the rehearsals, stage prep, stage marking and sound checks in the lifetime of her career the poor people of New York City were privy to one of the worst performance that Mariah Carey has ever given. I've watched this performance back numerous times. Not to laugh at her or to mock her reaction but because I genuinely felt for her. A lesser performers career would have been buried by this (*cough* Ashlee Simpson), however, Mariah Carey -even with this catastrophe of a performance, can still bring out a Las Vegas residency and Christmas album in 2017 and all is forgiven. 

Lets talk about it....(do I have to? ..... YES! ....)

Firstly, I was really excited to watch her New Years Eve performance in 2016. I was sat, popcorn in one hand and a can of Dr Pepper in the other. I watched it the next day, as well, you know, it was New Year's Eve. I was excited to see her performance. 

The Performance

It's hard for me to say it was terribly, but it really was. Let's face it, Lambily, our Mariah's vocals just aren't what they used to be. Can she still belt out a pop song better than most? Yes! So, when this 'sound malfunction' (I'm still contemplating a PR cover up) happened, it was her opportunity to grab the microphone and sing it acapella. Regardless of what the circumstances were, she should have been able to command the stage after all her years and years of incredible shows and appearances. 

The Mariah Carey that I have grown to love would have just gone for it- sang her heart out for the crowd that has patiently waited to see her.  Although, let's put this into perspective - the 2016 Mariah Carey is one that has been thwart with personal issues and relationships woes that overtime ebb away at one's self-worth and confidence. I sadly don't know Mariah personally however this isn't the behaviour of someone who is confident with her vocal ability and performance skills. 

Mariah was constantly looking around to her dancers for reassurance and guidance. What is wrong with just saying, 'Let's start again, the sound isn't right and I want you all to have a great New Year'? What's wrong with that? That takes balls and a spoonful of courage. That courage award I would like to award to Adele.  She did this exact thing at an awards ceremony in tribute to George Michael. It showed leadership, authenticity and a passion for giving the best performance. 

Mariah stuttered through this performance like a lamb to the slaughterhouse. I absolutely don't want to say it I have to - I felt for her. Where has the 'butterfly' gone? Who is she surrounding herself with? Who in her management wouldn't tell her the truth about her vocal ability and lack of performance skills? Is Mariah Carey now just a cash cow for others to milk?

Her Look

Perfectly presented like a Veela member of Beaubatons, gliding onto the stage with microphone in hand. I thought she looked beautiful and was rocking the outfit. Now, as I've previously mentioned, I'm more of a stripped back fan of Mariah style, however I did like her ensemble. It was a great party atmosphere and she did bring the flair and excuburence of the occasion. Great Job - MC. 

 

The future of Mariah Carey 

Shania Twain is a great example of how your personal life circumstances directly effects your vocal ability, self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence when delivering a faultless, fearless performance. Those foundations blocks have to be rock solid before hitting the stage. Mariah has a long way to go to get back to her best and I really hope she gets the coaching and therapy that is needed to rebuild her foundation of self-love. 

Mariah Carey is still loved and adored by millions - me included. However, this contrast in performances have highlighted the chinks in her amour. Mariah has been all about the vocals first, performance and look second. Now, that order seems to have reversed as time has gone on.  Let's face it, she is a middle-aged woman trying to keep up with the like of Rhianna, Ariana Grande and Rita Ora.

I hope Mimi reigns for a long time and that this performance has given her the wake up call she needs. When she's playing in the big leagues, you got to do your practise. 

 

Thanks for reading,

 

 

 

How to be Vulnerable And Successful As A Performer

How to be Vulnerable And Successful As A Performer

It takes courage to write a play, watch it being performed for the very first time on stage, and then wait for the critics' write-up the next day - that’s vulnerability. It takes courage to invite your family and friends to a stage show that you will be acting in - oh, and you'll be stark naked. Yep, vulnerability. It takes courage to return to a dance class that you excelled at, however after dealing with the death of a loved one, you don’t quite know how you’re going to ‘spring back’ into action, but you're heading there right now- that’s vulnerability.

3 Strategies To Kickstart Your Acting Career

The promise of industry professionals, casting agents and representation at your third-year performance at drama school has been fulfilled. And, although you gave it your best shot, it's been a few months now, and nada. Your flatmate, Sally has been signed to a top London agent (You couldn't be happier for her, honestly! - And, I really do believe you.) However, you're now sat in Wetherspoons for celebratory drinks with the aforementioned Sally and left wondering, 'Why? Why didn't they pick me?'

Well, I'm here to shout from the rooftops that you can turn that frown upside down. There are three strategies you can put in place right now that will get you back in the game and sort your acting life out. You'll be back, '#actorlife' - ing the shiznit out of Instagram in no time at all. So, here we go, hold on to your hats, sombreros and Mickey Mouse Headbands Ears, as I take you down the rabbit hole of possibilities.....


1) Get Fucking Curious

I want you to ask five really close people who you trust, will tell you the truth AND KNOW THE INDUSTRY, these three questions. 

- What type of roles would you like to see me playing?
- What actor do I remind you of? 
- Which direction do you think I should take my career? 

These three questions are vital for your longevity. Why I hear you ask? Well for starters, it's an opinion that isn't your own. It's market research for your business brand (yes, that's right, I said it- business!). If you establish yourself as a service based business from day one, you will be able to go into the belly of the beast with a different mindset than thinking the only way to succeed is with an agent. 

Also, we can be so close to our own creativity, we can't see all the possibilities that could be open to us. therefore, using this exercise will bring a fresh perspective to you and your brand of acting. It can also help choose more targeted roles that you hadn't considered before. If you get the same answers from all five, then you are more than likely going to have the same result with others too. It's a great tool for getting into the head of a casting director (your friends) before you even set foot in the door. 

And finally, if they all say you remind them of, for instance,  'Helen Bonham Carter', then it wouldn't hurt to look on her IMDB page. See if there are any roles that would suit you and your style. For instance, research the role that got her started and what avenue she took from that point on. Your chosen actor is successful for a reason and success leaves clues. Could it be a path that you could emulate in some way? Get curious about what method of acting, they used and find interviews of them talking about the process of 'making it'. You see reinventing the wheel is way harder than using the one that has already been created. 

2) Get A Job 

I mean this is the loveliest way possible. If you're skint and 'trying to make it' in the acting world without the support of your Mum & Dad to pay your rent, it time to get a job. Now, this doesn't mean you have failed, you've sold-out or you are rubbish at your craft, it means quite the opposite. How about thinking that you're taking your creative career so seriously, you're willing to wait tables, do promo work or dress up as a clown for kids parties, to pay the bills?  

Your career will take some time to build up. As the old adage goes, It's not what you know, it's who you know' And that is a vital piece of information to take forward when building your business. Pick a flexible job that will not only allow you the time off to go to auditions but will fit in with market research (going to plays/musicals), your networking opportunities (going to Q&A evenings with casting directors) and collaborations (creating your own work - theatre/one-man/fringe/musical and putting it on show). 

Lastly, if you are relying on your career to subsidise your life from the get go, that can put a lot of strain on your mindset going into an audition. There's nothing worse than the smell of desperation, rather than ambition, as you walk through the doors. And there's a big difference between the two. With your basic needs met through your part-time job, you can focus on getting the right part for you and not just ANY part to pay the bills. 


3) Creative Your Own Shit

Who cares whether you have to wait for auditions or for the next showcase event to come up to get noticed, this is all about creating. After all, actors got to act, right? So, social media is an amazing platform to do this without spending any money.  From creating characters on Facebook Live and Twitter, creating your own youtube show of regional accents, to getting creative by singing a song or performing a monologue via Instagram stories. Or how about having your own channel on Anchor or musical.ly? Did I mention that you can also connect with casting agents, directors, producers, agencies, writers, coaches, via social media too? 

Social media isn't for friends and family anymore. You can get exposure and create your acting brand here. Get acquainted with each platform and what could potentially get you noticed. Find which one you enjoy and what medium - vlogging, instant lives, pictures, blogging, tweetable's - are getting you noticed more. Engage with your acting community online and be apart of the world that you will play a bigger part in very soon.  

I'll leave you with those three strategies for now. I'd love to know how you get on with them, so leave a comment below.

I want you to know that I wholeheartedly believe that now is the best time, in human existence, to be a performer and make it happen.

It's never easy but it's never impossible. 

You are always stronger than fear, so get out there, be seen and get paid! 

Lots of love, 
Michelle