Tips to Help Your Audition at Unifieds

Tips to Help Your Audition at Unifieds

Unifieds. For those who have endured through these audition sessions, I tip my hat to you. It’s a stressful and hectic process which proves to be more fruitless than successful. But there are those times when the stars align that a unified audition goes so well, an offer of admission is made.

These are rare but I’ve seen them happen. More often, a student will come in, give a strong audition and that will at the very least, put them on our radar as a strong candidate for admission later on. Then there’s the flip side, when we see a student give a lackluster audition that disqualifies them from consideration. It doesn’t happen in the majority, but it does happen.

While there isn’t a sure-fire blueprint for success to get into every school you audition for, there are definitely things you can do to help your chances in that room.

Read More

Sometimes Your Accompanist Sucks (and what to do if that happens)

Sometimes Your Accompanist Sucks (and what to do if that happens)

Recently, I attended a college audition session where there was constant issues with the accompanist. While they were certainly trying their best, they just weren’t skilled enough to be able to play an audition session at this level. And because of this, it had a negative impact on the students auditioning that day. Each person after the next had some issues; whether it was rhythms, key signature, every student seemed to be off when singing their selections.

Over the course of your performing career, this is going to happen to you. While the majority of accompanists are fantastic, talented and helpful, there will be some who can torpedo your audition with their lack of skill.

Read More

When a Show Starts to Really Work After Performances Begin

When a Show Starts to Really Work After Performances Begin

So we’re backstage at the conclusion of performance #10 in a 12-show run of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, produced by Big Dawg Productions at the Cape Fear Playhouse down here in Wilmington, NC. We’re in the single, narrow dressing room that accommodates all five of us and our two-person backstage crew, changing back into street clothes.

J. Robert Raines, who plays Doctor Watson, is in the midst of changing his shirt, with a broad smile on his face.

“That,” he says, “was just so much fun!!”

Amidst murmurs of agreement all around, acknowledging that it had taken us a while to reach a performance level that was “fun” for all of us, we stumble across one of the harsh realities of community theater; that by the time everybody literally gets their act together, the run is over.

Read More

My Broadway Baby Playlist

My Broadway Baby Playlist

At 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, and being the “love all the info person I am,” I’ve read several books (or parts of) on pregnancy. I know that the baby can hear voices right now. I know it’s good for my husband and me to speak out loud to her since she can recognize our voices specifically. But it feels weird. Now, we speak all the time to our cat, but then again our cat is vocal and answers back which makes it seem less strange. But talking in the general direction of my stomach…hmmm.

Anyway, I found a way around it - Music. Specifically, Broadway show tunes because that’s mostly my entire music library. Here are the songs and shows my Broadway Baby is being exposed to which if the books are right may result in helping calm her when she’s here, live and in-person!

Read More

Acting Talent: Nature, Nurture or a Little of Both?

Acting Talent: Nature, Nurture or a Little of Both?

All of us who have attended or participated in theatrical productions have probably witnessed that one actor who stood out above the rest. This particular person could be given any number of roles in various genres (comedy, drama, musical, etc.) and would still shine just as brightly on the stage. So, this begs the question, what components contribute to such talent? Is that person just born with it, or are other factors at play?

Read More

Poor Jud Fry : A Different Perspective on Oklahoma!

Poor Jud Fry : A Different Perspective on Oklahoma!

The theatre is all about perspective. Depending on how you look at a song or characters, the entire arc of the story can change. Take Grease for instance. On one side it's viewed at as a fun, teenage musical about falling in love and getting through high school. On the other hand, it's a cautionary tale, making the statement that it's okay to succumb to peer pressure to get the boy of your dreams.

By looking at some of these shows in a different light, it allows us to see through the eyes of a different character. One musical that comes to mind is Oklahoma! 

Read More

It's Time for Native American Stories to Make it to Broadway

It's Time for Native American Stories to Make it to Broadway

As a POC(Performer of Color), I celebrate anytime Broadway demonstrates inclusion whether it's with casting or show selection. However there is one group that is massively getting left out from this new wave of diversity awareness, Native Americans.

The timing has never been better to bring Native American stories and performers to Broadway. 

Read More

Improv: A Booming Art Form in Rochester NY

Improv: A Booming Art Form in Rochester NY

What started as monthly classes at the Rochester Brainery, the occasional weekend performance by small comedy groups, and casual stage time at Johnny’s Irish Pub has yes-anded into a flourished improv community of esteemed talent. Theater-drawn members of the Rochester, New York municipality have been flocking to the Focus Theater, a small local theater that now offers numerous classes for the arts, primarily a birthplace to the new improv comedians of tomorrow.

Read More

After you “Emerge” - The Challenges for a Post-Graduate Actor

After you “Emerge” - The Challenges for a Post-Graduate Actor

“For me the difficult thing is when you’re in school you are in the practice all the time. The hardest part is learning you need to work to pay the rent, so you may not be on stage for months or a year at a time, so when I get on the stage I realize my skills may not be as sharp. So keeping in practice is really hard.”

Read More

BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

Whenever someone asks me for audition advice, there are two things I mention first:

  1. Know the character and context of your audition material.

  2. Have multiple pieces ready to go.

The first is pretty obvious. It doesn’t matter what monologue or song you’re auditioning with. Know exactly who that character is and what is going on in that moment of the text.

But the second is something you might be surprised more auditionees, especially college bound students, don’t know about.

Read More