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Advice for young Baker? 
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Fresh Face
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
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Post Advice for young Baker?
I've been casted as the Baker for a summer community production. Here's the hitch, I'm 17. Any advice as far as vocal performace and general characterization? I'm serious about this part, and want to make it good.


Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Advice for young Baker?
I had the chance to play the Baker last summer when I was 20 years old. I was originally playing Rapunzel's Prince, but the guy playing the Baker left 2 months before the show and I got cast.

I'm lucky enough to look a little older than I am. I also grew a beard (I don't know if it exist in english, but in french it's called a "donut beard"), so I guess I looked late-20s which is not that far from the Baker's real age (I always saw him as around 35).

Vocally, I tried to let go the rich baritone voice I used for the Prince and instead, went with a more fragile high-baritone voice (It's funny because Chip Zien, the original Baker, was originally cast as Cinderella's Prince in early workshops. I saw an interview where he said the exact same thing as I did about his Baker's voice).

Physically, the Baker's got to be a little tired. He works his butt off every day and he's not muscular, so the job of a baker is hard on his body. Even though he run and jump in the woods, you got to keep in mind that he's not 17 like you. He sometimes have to take his breath after a run in the woods (the red cape scene, etc).

All of this is personnal and some actor who played the Baker before could say the opposite thing, but that's how I see the character and how I played it! Hope I helped you!

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-Upcoming : SPRING AWAKENING (Georg)
-Past : LES MISÉRABLES (Foreman, Grantaire), A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (John), IN THE HEIGHTS (Usnavi), INTO THE WOODS (Baker), AIDA (Radames), CATS (Munkustrap)


Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Advice for young Baker?
Thanks! Vocally, I'm a baritone, so I'm working on getting the songs down so they at least have some quality in them. Can't sing any of the songs without vibrato, and don't want any of the songs to be just straight tone. Variety. The real issue for me is characterization specificly because I am young. It's kinda hard to fit the bill of a tired middle aged man when you're my age. Hah. By the way, when you sing No More, should I sing with a sad sense or a sense of despair? Can't really decide. That's the song I really want to nail.


Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:48 am
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Post Re: Advice for young Baker?
Well, "No More" is quite complicated. Of course there's some sadness in it, the Baker just lost his wife and he's thinking about leaving his child because he doubt he can take care of him by himself. There's some despair in the song too, because the mission he's invested in doesn't seem to go well. The Baker is confused too, at this moment. He thought his dad was dead "in a baking accident" a long time ago, then he appeared at the end of act one, before dying (again), to finally re-appear just before "No More". While feeling a little angry against his dad, he slowly understand that he's not THAT different from him.

Personnaly, I began the song in a sad/despair mood, but I put some hope in the last part of the song (after the Mysterious Man leave).
Remember that "No More" is not "Music of the Night" or "Being Alive". Even though the song is intense, I don't see the Baker singing some long powerful notes. I think that the original version of the song with Chip Zien and Tom Adredge is amazing. I can't wait to hear Denis O'hare and Chip Zien doing it in the Shakespeare in the Park production!

EDIT : I understand that you want to nail the song, but think of nailing it because of your acting, and not because of your singing.

_________________
-Upcoming : SPRING AWAKENING (Georg)
-Past : LES MISÉRABLES (Foreman, Grantaire), A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (John), IN THE HEIGHTS (Usnavi), INTO THE WOODS (Baker), AIDA (Radames), CATS (Munkustrap)


Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:44 am
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Post Re: Advice for young Baker?
Having done "No More" (albeit as MM) I think the key emotion for the Baker is "frustration." His father disappeared on him, his wife's gone, and her memory's been sullied now, and even as dad reappears, he's still not connecting, and you get the idea that he's going to toy with the Baker, then vanish again, leaving him with no answers. It's a tricky scene for both actors (particularly the MM -- you not only have to keep some semblance of your whimsicality, but in a way justify it), but very powerful when done well.

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Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:45 am
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