An Open Letter to My Drama Teachers

An Open Letter to My Drama Teachers

After recently becoming a director of youth musicals, I find myself among eager performers of tomorrow, imparting my own wisdom and experience, hoping to inspire enthusiastic and confident new artists, if you will. Until you meet a student who out-rightly says 'thank you for your help', as I recently did, you don’t quite realize the impact you have on budding minds.  It led me to think of all the teachers and directors from my past that have helped me to grow into the performer/director/writer I am today, which believe me, is a long way away from the shy and chubby thirteen-year old that I was.

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Speaking Up: How Five Ithaca High School Students Protesting School Musical Became Targets of Hate and How They're Rising Above It

Speaking Up: How Five Ithaca High School Students Protesting School Musical Became Targets of Hate and How They're Rising Above It

In January, due to the protests of a group of students at Ithaca High School in Ithaca, NY over the casting of a white actress in the role of Esmerelda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", the school decided to cancel the production altogether. 

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Self-Doubt: An Actor's Unwelcome Visitor

Self-Doubt: An Actor's Unwelcome Visitor

There’s a show or a part you really want but somewhere stored in the dark corner of your mind is self-doubt. Sure you’ve locked him in his cage and relegated him to the farthest part of your mind.  You threw layers upon layers of confidence on him.  It’s just that every now and again he peeks his nasty little head out and you question everything. 

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An Open Letter to My Old High School Drama Club

An Open Letter to My Old High School Drama Club

It’s hard to believe it has been years since I left you. A little part of me still remembers the last curtain call for the last show I ever did with you. 

What’s even harder for me to believe is how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve done since then. I’ve graduated from college, where I got a degree in the same subject that you first got me into. I’ve slowly transitioned from acting to playwriting. Now, I’m living in New York City, in the hopes of following some of the very same dreams that you first made me think were possible.

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On Rejection...

On Rejection...

In this field, rejection is common. Sometimes we blow an audition. Sometimes we drop the ball on an interview. Sometimes we get the job and make a mistake…and lose that job. Often in these cases, the blame is on us. We might not have prepared well enough, focused well enough, paid close enough attention, or done enough research. These times are hard, but them’s the breaks. If you don’t do the work, you don’t get (or keep) the job.

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Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Theatre is complicated, no matter what your role. Professionals make it look easy, as any professional in any field does. Stage managers have their blocking, cues, line notes. Actors think about their obstacles and objectives and using their favorite techniques. Costumers need to find or create costumes; sound designers need to make the perfect sounds and lighting designers need to make the perfect light mixtures.

Hopefully, you are doing your part in theatre out of love and passion. Hopefully, what you’re doing isn’t a chore and is something you actually love.

Hopefully, you’re actually having fun.

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