Happy Traum’s tips for American Idol contestants

I was looking over an old favorite book: “Tricks of the Trade for Kids.” (This and its companion “Tricks of the Trade” are highly desirable books, packed with how-to chapters by famous experts like Julia Child on cooking and egg, Jonathan Winters on being funny, Chevy Chase on pratfalls. Fascinating and useful.)

Tricks of the Trade for Kids

Anyway, Happy Traum has tips for kids who want to perform.

I’ve picked out a few that are frequently ignored by American Idol contestants:

1) Develop an air of confidence: I hate watching the contestants crumple or get defensive under even minor criticism. Are you a superstar or aren’t you?

2) Make eye contact with your audience: Andrew Lloyd Weber chastised Archuletta for not doing this. Constantine made a career out of it.

3) Don’t apologize for yourself. “Don’t say ‘I usually sound better but I have a cold today…'” Jason Castro, who I had picked to win, said that he had started coughing right before his song or some such. Then he got sent home.


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