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.  

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

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

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.

Read More

When Theatre Makes You "Whole Again"

When Theatre Makes You "Whole Again"

What if you don’t know the life you were born to live? What do you do when you feel you simply don’t know anything anymore?

It’s easier to face life when you have a script, when it very clearly says how you should think and react and what you should say. When someone else tells you how you should move and even how you should look and dress. 

Read More

The Actors and the Crew Should be Friends

The Actors and the Crew Should be Friends

While attending the Vancouver Web Fest this March, I discovered a brilliant web series called “Empty Space.” This comedic look at the inside world of theatre features a full-out fight between the actors and the technical crew, each blaming the other group for the play’s issues.

As a theatre artist, this moment was both hilariously extreme and bitingly realistic. Why does it so often seem like those in all black and those donning costumes stand at opposing sides of the stage?

Read More