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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“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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Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Last year I sat in on an audition for an upcoming community theatre production of Oklahoma. I was friends with the director and he wanted some feedback on how they run their auditions and organize their talent pools. 

As auditions began, something stood out to me. Depending on the role they were auditioning for, every man sang either "Kansas City" or "People Will Say We're in Love". Every woman who auditioned sang either "Out of My Dreams" or "The Farmer and the Cowman". There were even a couple of "I Can't Say No" and "Lonely Room" auditions thrown in as well. 

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Why Your Friends Don't Show Up

Why Your Friends Don't Show Up

This is a piece inspired by another piece, written by our editor-in-chief, Chris Peterson. (Although, this is far from a response piece, and not quite the same issue).

I have a maxim borrowed from my best friend: “Friendship is a two-way street.” (This actually surfaced in a disagreement about how much I support(ed) my friends in the arts, and how much of it had been one-sided. “Friendship is a two-way street!” he told me. And he wasn’t wrong).

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An Actor's Perspective - When the Show Ends...

An Actor's Perspective - When the Show Ends...

Post Show Depression, some laugh and say it’s not real, but those who have felt it know that it’s very real. The end of a show can hit different people in different ways. It can also vary from show to show, but let me back up for a moment. The final curtain has fallen, strike is complete and you have partied with your cast mates to celebrate the success of your show. You get home and suddenly realize, that’s it, there are no more lines to be said, no more rehearsals, no more performances, it is simply, over!

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Theatre Saved My Life. It Can Save Others Too

Theatre Saved My Life. It Can Save Others Too

Depression: To me, it is one of the most destructive and misunderstood diseases on the planet. It is to the spirit what cancer is to the body. Slowly but surely, it eats away at who you are until there is nothing left of you but a miserable, empty shell of a person. The number of victims who lost their lives while fighting it off is countless. It is the worst possible thing that could be inflicted on a person’s psyche, and personally, I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.

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Theatre: Why Do It At All?

Theatre: Why Do It At All?

Every time I audition for a show and deal with the pre-audition nerves, the waiting-to-hear-if-I-got-a-callback nerves, the waiting-for-the-cast-list nerves I (and others) ask “why?” Why put yourself through that agony. Why spend weeks rehearsing taking time away from family and friends, potentially missing out on other activities? Why? Here’s why.

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Striving for Excellence in Community Theater

Striving for Excellence in Community Theater

A few months ago, I was working on the set building crew, fussing over a detail when someone came up to me and said, “It’s good enough; it’s just community theatre; it doesn’t matter.”

I wanted to scream in frustration and throttle the individual, but I liked him so I said with a calm that belied my feelings, “Of course it matters. Just because it’s community theatre doesn’t mean I should do less than my best.” He grumbled an “I suppose you’re right” and thankfully left me alone to my fussing. 

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