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.”

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Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

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.

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Whatever Lola Wants: J. Harrison Ghee on Playing "Kinky Boots" Star

Whatever Lola Wants: J. Harrison Ghee on Playing "Kinky Boots" Star

From the moment Lola steps on stage in Kinky Boots, she sparkles – and not just because of the rhinestone-studded wardrobe. While the sequins help, much of that glow comes from long-time performer J. Harrison Ghee, who has played Lola both on tour and on Broadway.

While Ghee has “never counted” how many times he’s gone on as Lola, he has been playing the role for three years after starting as a swing in the national tour.

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Why?(AKA The Reason)

Why?(AKA The Reason)

Why do you do what you do? That's a question every person is asked at least once in their life. Money? Something to do? For professional (or struggling, working, barely-getting-by, etc.) actors it's a completely different story. We all know there isn't much money in acting (unless you're Meryl Streep... in which case, never mind), and while it's definitely something to do, you need a better reason to commit your life to the stage/screen than simple enjoyment. Enter: the reason. It's the question that's put to you by acting teachers, directors, and particularly interested CDs. WHY do you do what you do?

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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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