My Five Tips for Community Theatre Auditions

My Five Tips for Community Theatre Auditions

A number of years ago, I decided to try my hand at directing.  I had been involved in community theater for several years as an actor and felt I wanted to experience the dramatic arts from another angle.  I expected there to be learning curve (which there was).  What I didn’t expect was how directing changed my perspective as an actor, especially when it came to auditioning.

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Three Easy Theatre Games that Aren’t Zip, Zap, Zop

Three Easy Theatre Games that Aren’t Zip, Zap, Zop

Any theatre teacher can tell you the importance of theatre games. Games and ritual help create a safe and supportive environment and promote teamwork.  A great circle can mean the difference between a class that is fun and successful or one that falls flat. 

It can be easy to get caught in a rut of games and warm up activities.  We sometimes rely too heavily on the same games or activities. Perhaps we use activities that have worked well in the past without regard for how your newer students might respond to it. Sometimes it is just fun to mix it up or add to your class lineup of games and warm ups. 

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An Artist's Job is to Tell the Truth

An Artist's Job is to Tell the Truth

The point of seeing theatre or a movie is to feel things. That's the most basic way to explain why we go see something....to feel things. So feel them.  Our society tends to shy away from expressing emotions outwardly, but participating in theatre, whether it's as a performer or as an audience member takes a certain level of vulnerability that is crucial to the experience.

I find the magic of art is to be moved in a way that you aren't ready for.  I'm someone who isn't made of stone, so yeah, if I'm watching Toy Story 3 I'll get a little weepy, but always feel the need to hide it, or force myself to keep the emotions inside...but isn't feeling things the point of art? So I've come up with challenge for myself and you, the reader when you participate in an artistic experience...don't censor. Whether you are a performer or audience member, just be real. Tell the truth.

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I need an audition song!

I need an audition song!

We’ve all had that thought come in our head, right? An audition comes up and our standard “go-to” songs aren’t going to work, or they’re asking for something specific that you just don’t have. Time to freak out and cancel your audition...just kidding.

Hopefully this blog will help. As I’m thinking about auditioning for a few things and trying to figure out audition material, I thought I would jot down some of my thoughts.  These are things I’ve learned over the years through success and more importantly, failure in picking songs. Hope it helps!

A piece of general advice: make sure you’re prepared First step in that is to make sure you've practiced it with an accompanist/voice teacher etc. You need to know if it’s really difficult to play, if what you have in your mind as the intro actually matches what’s on the page, how to explain the tempo to the accompanist so you sound like you know what you’re talking about. If you don’t know, ask someone who accompanies auditions, and ask them if anything needs to be written on the page that would be helpful for a sight reader. Preparation is the key to doing well and not sweating the small details.

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Let's Talk About "Act Singing" For A Second....

Let's Talk About "Act Singing" For A Second....

If you are a performer, know that whether they know it or not, this is what every audience member is thinking about you before they see your interpretation of your role. Answer this question in your performance honestly. Tell the truth. Show them what you have to offer in the role.

What do you have to say that no one else can say?

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10 Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman Theatre Major

10 Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman Theatre Major

While it's only been a couple of years, find myself already waxing nostalgically about my freshman year as a theatre major. That year was a great growing experience but also incredibly difficult, so this one is for all you baby theatre students wandering wide-eyed into the world of university theatre. 

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10 Must-Read Books for Theatre Actors

10 Must-Read Books for Theatre Actors

An actor’s work is never done. If you’re not onstage or in front of a camera, you might be found taking classes, doing research, or volunteering backstage. Sometimes, especially when actors run into dry spells between projects, it becomes essential to become your own teacher, and one great way to do this is by reading acting books. Regardless of your individual level of experience, it never hurts to explore what the greats have written on the subject. So, in no particular order, here are the ten acting books with a spot of honor on my bookshelf.

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The Reality of "Theatre Friends"

The Reality of "Theatre Friends"

There are friends and then there are Theatre Friends. It’s kinda like Facebook. There’s some folks you’re “friends” with on Facebook and you have lively conversations back and forth on one wall or another but you know if you met them in real life it wouldn’t be the same. That’s sort of like theatre friendships. They burn hot and strong for a few weeks, months whatever the duration of the show’s rehearsal schedule is and that’s it. They fade just as quickly as they come until you see them at the next audition or if you’re lucky another show. 

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College Audition Vitals

College Audition Vitals

College is right around the corner! That’s right, high school seniors- I’m talking to you. In just a few months you’ll be handed a piece of paper and be sent off into the big scary world of college. Most of you probably already see yourself in your dream school- acing your classes, and living it up. News flash: you still need to get accepted! Now is not the time to be losing sight of everything you’ve been working so hard for.

Odds are, if you’re a theatre student or a music student looking to pursue your passion, your auditions are in full swing. As a long-time vocal student and performer, I thought my voice audition for colleges would be the easy part. I had been classically trained for years and it had always been my forte. Why would that change? Little did I know just how much work you really should be putting into your college vocal auditions!

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