An Ode to Closing Night

An Ode to Closing Night

Closing night. It is the epitome of bittersweet emotions.

You’ve been with the show since the beginning. Or even before then, if you’re a tech or design person.

You’ve sat through rehearsals, production meetings, tech week and more. You’ve memorized the lines, you’ve sung the songs, you’ve made the props, set, and costumes your own. All the cues, all the scenes, all the good times and chemistry are now about to become nothing more than a memory.

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Studying Understudying

Studying Understudying

This business is not easy no matter what way you look at it. Performing onstage night after night is no easy feat- it’s physically and emotionally exhausting and requires a dedication that most people simply cannot muster. The dedication to one’s craft will be tested time and time again through an acting career- it overflows with rejection and heartache, as I covered in my previous article and sometimes it feels like you’ve been beaten down to the point where you have nothing left to give. Everyone knows what it feels like to not be cast in something, but something that not every actor experiences in his or her career is understudying.

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When Your Comfort Zone is Your Danger Zone

When Your Comfort Zone is Your Danger Zone

If there’s anything more challenging and nerve-wracking it’s putting yourself physically as well as emotionally bare on the stage. Acting is one of the most vulnerable and risky professions in the world. The idea of breaking down in front of hundreds of people eight times a week is extremely daunting. In a small acting class of about fifteen people it’s even more daunting and the idea of “playing it safe” is absolutely enticing.

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5 Ways You Can Be a Better Director

5 Ways You Can Be a Better Director

Over the years, I have written many articles that offer advice to performers. Whether it's audition pieces, college choices or just ways to be more sought-after. And while it's certainly great to have a much advice out there for performers, I realize there are a lot of areas where directors, designers, and even theatre groups could improve as well. 

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If the Arts Were Treated Like Sports

If the Arts Were Treated Like Sports

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am very passionate about the arts, particularly when it comes to my love of theatre, film and creative writing. I enjoy these more than anything else, I am grateful to have had the chance to study them in school, and I feel as if my life would be completely miserable without them. Anyone who knows me especially well also probably knows that I’m not exactly the biggest sports fan in the world, and whenever a big game comes on – such as the Super Bowl, just to give one example – I couldn’t possibly care any less for how it goes.

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5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

I have been involved with theater fairly consistently since I was 10. In those resulting 16.5 years, I have appeared in musicals and plays as an actor, played drums in the pit, worked front of house, ran the sound board and done vocal coaching. But in January of 2016 I got the chance to assistant direct a production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which I also liberally co-adapted from the original G&S libretto. It was a wonderful experience, a chance to pull back the curtain and see the process of putting on a show from a totally different angle.

From giving notes to running some rehearsals, I was able to be involved in nearly every moment in our show. Being an assistant director (or working on the creative team of a musical) will make me a better performer the next time I step on stage and having been a performer absolutely made me a better assistant director. But the place my insights will be the most helpful happened while watching and judging auditions for the first time.

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Advice for Incoming Musical Theatre and Theatre Majors

Advice for Incoming Musical Theatre and Theatre Majors

Going to college for the performing arts can seem all-consuming, but it is not nor should it be treated as such. It is crucial that your training in music, dance, acting, design, etc. be accompanied by a true college experience, so you don’t end up like the characters in the musical Avenue Q, who wish they could go back.

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Acting is a Job. You're Allowed to Complain About It

Acting is a Job. You're Allowed to Complain About It

Let me asking you something: Have you ever had a bad day at work? Has your boss ever treated you unfairly? Have you ever become so frustrated with your job that you begin to question why you put yourself through the stress day in/day out?

I'd say most, if not all of us, have had days like this. It's normal to want to vent your frustrations about your workday. 

However, I find it interesting that when actors complain about their work, instead of the "I hear that" type of replies, they're thrown the cliché "Well this is the business" or "If you can't handle it, get out"  or "You don't know what stress is yet" or any other proverb that tries to disqualify an actor's frustration because it's the industry.

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“My Mom is in the Audience Tonight”

“My Mom is in the Audience Tonight”

My mother recently came to see me in a production of Bye Bye Birdie.  I had the opportunity to play the role of Harry MacAfee, the perplexed father of Kim and a role originated by Paul Lynde.  I got to sing “Kids!” and “Hymn for a Sunday Evening” (“Ed Sullivan”) and be bombastic and utterly ridiculous.

I’ve been doing community theatre for about 7 years, but this was the first time my mother made the trek from out of state to see me.  I knew that there was a strong chance she would make the trip, given that Bye Bye Birdie is one of her favorite musicals.  My mother is in her 70’s and travel is sometimes difficult for her.

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Meisner and Me: The Start Of A Journey

Meisner and Me: The Start Of A Journey

For the past few months, I have had the honor and privilege to attend a true, rigorous acting School. Being an out of state student (Chicago Pride all the way!) New York has given me a breath of fresh air and this school has given me a new outlook on acting. I'll never forget my first day of acting class, there I am clad In all black ready to take on whatever challenge I'm faced and ready to perform! Ideas running through my mind, scenes playing in my head! This was it! 

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