How Do You Feel When You Screw Up on Stage?

How Do You Feel When You Screw Up on Stage?

We have ALL been there. There are many times that we’ve been on stage and suddenly forgotten our lines, cracked while belting out a song, tripped and fell, forgotten a prop, missed your cue, I could go on and on. I will tell you that ALL of these things have happened to me.

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Audience Member Etiquette for Millennials

Audience Member Etiquette for Millennials

Hi my name is Alex and I am a Millennial. Something I really hate to admit. 

As a performer and a theatre goer and fellow millennial, I have seen the decline in the audience member. They have no clue as to how to behave at a show. And to be perfectly honest the "normal" theatre goer is dying out. I also blame social media and reality TV, and guess what? I blame my fellow Millennial's. Our attention spans suck. 

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A Professor’s Recipe to Electric Musical Theatre Stage Presence

A Professor’s Recipe to Electric Musical Theatre Stage Presence

Stage Presence.  Star Quality.  The X-factor.   Whatever you call it, it is the difference between an adequate actor and a good actor and often times, between a good actor and a star.  Many people say it is an indefinable quality that someone is either born with or not.   As a college professor who is charged with teaching students how to be solid actors and musical theatre performers that does not cut it.  It is my responsibility to teach my students everything in my power to make them stronger and “you’ve either got it or you don’t” is a mantra that does a disservice to my students and my profession.  

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No One Wants A Pit Musician’s Autograph

No One Wants A Pit Musician’s Autograph

I am intensely passionate about attending live theatre, mainly because of its immense power. It makes reality melt away, drawing me within a into a world different than my own for a few hours, playing my emotional keys through sentimental ballads and show stopping soliloquies, and provoking thought and subsequent change. Due to the fact that I myself aspire to become a professional performer (especially a musical theatre performer), I swell with the admiration I feel towards the extraordinary people I see gracing the stage. I adore the fact that when I attend a Broadway musical, I am able to exit the theatre directly after the curtain call and approach the stage door in the hopes of meeting one of these exceptional performers.

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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. 

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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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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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It's Time for a Tony for Best Ensemble

Last year Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 received the ninth annual "ACCA" Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. Presented by Equity's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA), the ACCA Award is the only industry accolade of its kind to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical.

Past winners include Past Broadway chorus recipients of the ACCA Award are Legally Blonde (2007), In the Heights (2008), West Side Story (2009), Fela! (2010), The Scottsboro Boys (2011), Newsies (2012), Pippin (2013) Beautiful (2014), An American in Paris (2015) and Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (2016).

Upon hearing this news, I was thrilled for the cast but it got me wondering, "why isn't there a Tony Award for this yet?"

Now before the Tony "purists" start in on me, let me make a couple things clear:

1. I don't think a Tony Award should become a participation ribbon.

2. I know there are some areas of theatre that would be near impossible to properly adjudicate, ie. Stage Manager. 

However, the overall performance of members in the ensemble is an area that certainly could be adjudicated as part of the Tony nomination process. From the performance of various roles, conciseness of choreography and harmonization, there is a lot to consider.

And it's not like entire casts or ensembles aren't awarded in other industries. In addition to the ACCA Award, the Screen Actor's Guild also awards entire casts of movies and television shows, even more so, they are the final awards of the ceremony. 

I'm not looking to add competition into the Broadway season, but it would be nice to truly recognize these incredibly hard-working performers with more than just a group performance during the telecast(or not, ahem Hello Dolly!). 

With all due respect to talent in the lead and featured roles, a quality performance from the ensemble is, in many cases, just as important. They are the bullets in Hamilton, Ozians in Wicked and the groundhog in Groundhog Day. These people play more roles in more performances for less money. And for far too many of them, this might be the only time they perform on these stages.  

I sincerely hope the Tony Awards truly step up and recognize these performers and etch their names in Tony history. 

UPDATE: Since I wrote this article last year, AEA has started a campaign to make this award a reality at the Tonys. The campaign is title . Everyone On Stage. More info is listed here. The idea? The title. If this happens, I'm taking credit for giving them the idea :)

When Is Broadway Going to Start Honoring Replacement Casts the Right Way?

When Is Broadway Going to Start Honoring Replacement Casts the Right Way?

I have the perfect Broadway trivia question for your next party. Throw out the following question to your guests,

"Name a Tony Award that was created but never awarded?"

You might get a multitude of answers but a correct one would be, Best Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Recreated Role.

Yes, back in 2005, the Tony Awards Administration created the new category. However, less than a year later, it was removed and never awarded. 

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