No matter if you are going into musical theatre, classical music, or even pop music, a strong and solid vocal foundation is where everything begins. But how to begin? Its a big old world out there, even bigger now that the internet has made everything available at the touch of our fingertips. A word of caution as you take this very crucial first step; not everyone is what they seem. It used to be that snake oil salesmen the like of Pirelli were found only at the circus; now they can be found in the pages of well-known industry magazines, on YouTube, and from self-professed ‘coaches’. So how can a young singer take the first steps?Read More
So we’re backstage at the conclusion of performance #10 in a 12-show run of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, produced by Big Dawg Productions at the Cape Fear Playhouse down here in Wilmington, NC. We’re in the single, narrow dressing room that accommodates all five of us and our two-person backstage crew, changing back into street clothes.
J. Robert Raines, who plays Doctor Watson, is in the midst of changing his shirt, with a broad smile on his face.
“That,” he says, “was just so much fun!!”
Amidst murmurs of agreement all around, acknowledging that it had taken us a while to reach a performance level that was “fun” for all of us, we stumble across one of the harsh realities of community theater; that by the time everybody literally gets their act together, the run is over.Read More
At 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, and being the “love all the info person I am,” I’ve read several books (or parts of) on pregnancy. I know that the baby can hear voices right now. I know it’s good for my husband and me to speak out loud to her since she can recognize our voices specifically. But it feels weird. Now, we speak all the time to our cat, but then again our cat is vocal and answers back which makes it seem less strange. But talking in the general direction of my stomach…hmmm.
Anyway, I found a way around it - Music. Specifically, Broadway show tunes because that’s mostly my entire music library. Here are the songs and shows my Broadway Baby is being exposed to which if the books are right may result in helping calm her when she’s here, live and in-person!Read More
All of us who have attended or participated in theatrical productions have probably witnessed that one actor who stood out above the rest. This particular person could be given any number of roles in various genres (comedy, drama, musical, etc.) and would still shine just as brightly on the stage. So, this begs the question, what components contribute to such talent? Is that person just born with it, or are other factors at play?Read More
Why do you do what you do? That's a question every person is asked at least once in their life. Money? Something to do? For professional (or struggling, working, barely-getting-by, etc.) actors it's a completely different story. We all know there isn't much money in acting (unless you're Meryl Streep... in which case, never mind), and while it's definitely something to do, you need a better reason to commit your life to the stage/screen than simple enjoyment. Enter: the reason. It's the question that's put to you by acting teachers, directors, and particularly interested CDs. WHY do you do what you do?Read More
Closing night. It is the epitome of bittersweet emotions.
You’ve been with the show since the beginning. Or even before then, if you’re a tech or design person.
You’ve sat through rehearsals, production meetings, tech week and more. You’ve memorized the lines, you’ve sung the songs, you’ve made the props, set, and costumes your own. All the cues, all the scenes, all the good times and chemistry are now about to become nothing more than a memory.Read More
This business is not easy no matter what way you look at it. Performing onstage night after night is no easy feat- it’s physically and emotionally exhausting and requires a dedication that most people simply cannot muster. The dedication to one’s craft will be tested time and time again through an acting career- it overflows with rejection and heartache, as I covered in my previous article and sometimes it feels like you’ve been beaten down to the point where you have nothing left to give. Everyone knows what it feels like to not be cast in something, but something that not every actor experiences in his or her career is understudying.Read More
If there’s anything more challenging and nerve-wracking it’s putting yourself physically as well as emotionally bare on the stage. Acting is one of the most vulnerable and risky professions in the world. The idea of breaking down in front of hundreds of people eight times a week is extremely daunting. In a small acting class of about fifteen people it’s even more daunting and the idea of “playing it safe” is absolutely enticing.Read More
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am very passionate about the arts, particularly when it comes to my love of theatre, film and creative writing. I enjoy these more than anything else, I am grateful to have had the chance to study them in school, and I feel as if my life would be completely miserable without them. Anyone who knows me especially well also probably knows that I’m not exactly the biggest sports fan in the world, and whenever a big game comes on – such as the Super Bowl, just to give one example – I couldn’t possibly care any less for how it goes.Read More
I have been involved with theater fairly consistently since I was 10. In those resulting 16.5 years, I have appeared in musicals and plays as an actor, played drums in the pit, worked front of house, ran the sound board and done vocal coaching. But in January of 2016 I got the chance to assistant direct a production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which I also liberally co-adapted from the original G&S libretto. It was a wonderful experience, a chance to pull back the curtain and see the process of putting on a show from a totally different angle.
From giving notes to running some rehearsals, I was able to be involved in nearly every moment in our show. Being an assistant director (or working on the creative team of a musical) will make me a better performer the next time I step on stage and having been a performer absolutely made me a better assistant director. But the place my insights will be the most helpful happened while watching and judging auditions for the first time.Read More