Mannerisms Show Character

Mannerisms give knowledge to the observing person of our character and

intellectuality, and, on that account, are to be studied and used to our

advantage. Such as would prepossess our hearers in our favor should be

retained and such as would be unpleasant to the majority of people

should be trained out of our unconscious use. But few think long enough

about a singer to be able to tell their reason for liking or disliking

> him. The voice and art may be good and yet the audience may not like

him. On the other hand, the voice may be meagre and the music faulty,

yet there will be personal charm which is captivating. The manners

which express the better side of our individuality will be those

retained. Certain it is, that manners are the expression of

individuality and there are no two persons whose action is just the

same, any more than that there are two faces or two voices alike.

It is doubtful whether one can judge the good and bad in mannerisms in

himself. We are so liable to accept our intention for actual performance

that we deceive ourselves. Then, too, mannerisms which would be

permitted in one place are not admissible in another. The ways of a

German dialect comedian would not serve the Shakesperian comedian nor

would the physical accompaniment of the songs of the London Music Hall

be proper for the lieder of Schubert. The teacher enters at this place

and by judicious physical drill, based upon the knowledge of what is

wanted in true art, shows the singer what to cure and eradicate and what

to make more prominent, wisely retaining those mannerisms which show the

higher, nobler and more pleasing part of the singer's individuality.