Several years ago, I watched a multi part documentary on the History of Motown Records. One of the parts concerned the various people that Berry Gordy hired to teach his young bands how to deal with the entertainment world. There was an etiquette coach, to teach the artists which fork to use at the dinner table when they were being interviewed during a meal, and a choreographer to teach them how to move on stage. One of the lessons that they were taught was not to stand directly behind the microphone, but to turn it at a 45 degree angle during the performance. And to keep on turning it one way or another during a song so that the audience could see their faces. Also, when they took the microphone of the stand, they were told to move the stand off to the side so that it wouldn’t get in the way during their dance moves.
Too many artists today just stand behind the microphone, which makes for disastrous results especially on television show, which tend to keep a camera directly in front of the singer, and go in for extreme close ups. Earlier this week, I saw Bette Midler on the Today show, promoting her new album. During her performance, Bette (a total show biz professional) grabbed the microphone off the stand, and calmly moved the stand off to the side, so that she could do her dance moves with her backup singers. She must have watched the same show I saw!!!