ask jenny > Trouser roles

Hi Jenny!
I'm a little over 5'10" and a mezzo, so I'm thinking that in my career (assuming all goes well, of course) I'll be playing my fair share of trouser roles. I did an opera last year where I appeared as a man in the chorus, and upon seeing the DVD, I realized that I totally looked like a girl with a mustache. Do you have any advice on adopting a little more "manly" body language?

Thanks!

February 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Hi Jaime - sorry I've been so slow to respond! Trouser role body language is actually one of my favorite topics, and one I've thought about a lot. It's a little hard to explain in words (I wish I could just demonstrate) but I'll do my best. What I've discovered about young man movement is that the center of gravity is lower for boys, they have to keep their legs further apart when moving around and sitting than women, and they tend to lead with their pelvises (pelvi? - what's the plural of that??). I also find that there is a quickness of movements and that taking larger steps than you are used to is a must. I actually now am realizing that I wrote a post on this, so I think if you search for the words trouser role or pants role you will find it somewhere in the blog. The main mistake people make (including me sometimes) is to try to over-do it. You definitely don't want to walk like a girl, but trying to hard to walk like a boy can look even worse. The first time I sang Cherubino I spent a lot of time just walking behind the guys in the chorus and trying to imitate them - that's when I noticed that the main difference was that they never really close their legs (because they don't want to squish the - you know - family jewels). Good luck - I wish you the best!!!

February 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterJenny

I found that post - it's called boys will be boys (and girls will too) and if you type trouser roles into search (click search at the top of page) you will find it - I hope I didn't contradict myself in this answer and that post!

February 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterJenny

Thanks, this is great advice! I hope you know how amazing and informative this blog is to your singing readers. Thank you for taking the time to answer!

March 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie