When that curtain opens our first job is to let the audience know that we’re ready. Ready to entertain, ready to sing and ready to have fun right along with them.
If every one of us has the weight on the balls of our feet, with knees very slightly bent, we’re halfway there. By this I don’t mean that we should be up on our toes. Our heels should still be on the floor, but our weight needs to be forward.
Of course, standing tall and proud with the chest floated upwards also helps. But the crowning touch is the face that goes along with the raised palate. One way the palate can be raised is to imagine that you are deeply breathing in the faint fragrance of a rose.
The face suddenly looks interested in a slightly excited way – as if you can hardly wait to start. (Very useful as an acting technique for people who are nervous.)
The signal I’ve been using for this recently at rehearsals is to point, as subtly as possible, to my toes, then my nose. This is to remind the chorus about Toes and Rose.
The audience ‘reads’ readiness in stance and facial expression. Their perception is then confirmed during the first note, because the vocal apparatus is positioned correctly.