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.Read More
You go to school, you go to class. You sit and listen to the teacher. You absorb everything like a sponge, work through the new techniques in class, with your scene partners, and at home alone.
Then you notice everything you learn in the performances you watch.
And it never. Goes. Away.Read More
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.Read More
While surfing the web and avidly reading theatre blogs, I often come across articles that have been written by actors about how one should act in order to be a respectful, “good” audience member while serving as a spectator of theatre. I totally, 110% agree with these articles. However, I often feel that there is also a lack of respect on certain actors’ parts towards creative and production teams while they are working on shows. I feel that if we wish to demand respect from those who serve as spectators of our difficult work (as we should), we also must demonstrate respect ourselves whilst doing the actual work.Read More
Actors, actresses - cast your minds back to the first show you ever did. Can you remember the director? Can you remember the feeling of hanging on their every word because you know that this person will train you to be the best you can be?Read More
As performers, we find ourselves in the dreaded “off-season” far more than we probably want to. Either work is hard to find, or we move cities, or life throws us curve balls that force us to take breaks. This time of year, college students are returning home for two weeks or more, which I recall seemed like an eternity after a semester of nonstop work.Read More
As a teacher and musical theater director, I have found myself struggling. I am turning on my television, going on Facebook, or browsing the internet and seeing so many discouraging things out there. We have polar opposites vying for the presidency, violence against law enforcement and minorities, sexism, racism, whitewashing casts, and even clown threats to our society. How do we explain this to children? How do we teach them to be better human beings with compassion, humility, and understanding? What can we do as musical theater educators and community theater programs?Read More
While there has been some positive change in the theater world, there is a growing issue of things staying the same.
For the sake of ease, I’ll refer to it as The-OBC-Did-It-That-Way-Syndrome; that is to say directors forgoing their own artistic input and simply recreating the original Broadway production. It’s an issue I’ve noticed a lot recently, especially at community theater productions or amateur shows. Everything down to the costuming, set, mannerisms and blocking are taken almost 100 percent from the libretto. There is nothing inherently wrong with this – those choices were made with the original creative team and are in the script for a reason – but far too often it impedes directorial creativity and makes the amateur version feel like a pale imitation of the original. The thrill of seeing your child/brother/friend/parent on stage aside, these copycat productions do little but offer the same nostalgia as watching The Wizard of Oz on late-night television for the hundredth time.Read More
It’s no secret in the theatre world that stage managing is difficult. Between creating schedules, tracking each and every change and development in rehearsal, making sure the show runs smoothly each night, and of course, managing actors and tech staff, it gets hectic. You are ultimately charged with creating order out of varying amounts of chaos. And one thing that must be kept in order is your own attitude.Read More
A couple of years ago, I had the chance to work on a project with a local news anchor. It involved several meetings with her. What struck me before, during and after these meetings was her behavior. Rather being a polite, gracious and a cooperative colleague, she was rude, constantly late and displayed "diva-ish" behavior. Instead of a local news anchor, it felt like we were working with a world touring singer. I found her behavior both annoying and silly. Because as a local celebrity she might be well known in her own town, but the moment she goes elsewhere, no one knows about her status and no one cares.Read More