One of the most basic things a new singer needs to learn about live performance is to make sure they keep their eyes open. It’s natural, I suppose, to occasionally close your eyes when you sing a slow ballad. But, save your dramatic eye closing for the more emotional moments in a song, those times when you appear to be so overwhelmed with emotion that you have to close your eyes just to make it through the words. In this circumstance it sends a very strong message to your listeners that you are personally feeling the pain in the song’s lyrics.
However, when you close your eyes too often you are sending another kind of powerful message to your audience, and not a positive one. You’re telling them that you are in your own little world; a world they are not a part of. When you perform you should endeavor to draw the audience into your world so they can experience what you are feeling.
If you want to build a more emotional relationship with your audience, I suggest you choose one person in the audience and sing directly to that one person. You can switch the object of your attention every so often as long as you are really actually engaged in connecting with at least one person. If you are one of those singers who closes your eyes often, try to cut it down to just the important times. On the other hand, if you never close your eyes when you perform, try closing your eyes on occasion to add a little more emotion.
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