Magic Choral Trick #207 Eyeballing

Such a tiny physical movement and such huge presentation consequences.

Eyeballing is what Barbershoppers call the sideways movement of one chorus member’s eyes as they check out their neighbour’s choreography, or some distraction at the back or side of the performance hall.

When the rest of the chorus has eyes glued to the director, this one small movement can send an entire audience on a distracted thought journey that has nothing to do with the song being sung.

Our eyes are hardwired by Mother Nature to notice change, or small sudden differences in what it is we’re watching. Our brains need to interpret this, then have a little chat to themselves about what they’ve seen, and decide if it’ll somehow affect our safety. After threats to safety are eliminated as a possibility, we then need to have an inner discussion about what it might be that the choir member was looking at, and why whatever it was, was important to him right at that moment.

And it won’t be just one audience member that goes through this process. If the chorus on stage is small, it could easily be every audience member. If we were interested enough to be watching your performance – we noticed!


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on December 8, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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