A Dancer’s Details: Act 1

A Dancer’s Details: Act 1

Rehearsals were in full swing, and that meant a few things. First, the cast members had all settled into their own little groups, coming together when need be but only choosing a few to confide in. Second, you know it’s performance season when your body is five hundred different shades of bruise. Third, with great productions come great expectations.

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Advice on Dealing with Rejection

Advice on Dealing with Rejection

Let's face it: you've chosen a tough business. The competition is fierce, and people can be ruthless at times.

Chances are you are doing musical theatre because you are passionate. You can't imagine doing anything else. This is what you want more than anything, so it hurts that much more when things don't work out.

So how do you deal with that?

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Saying No to a Role: Does That Make Me a Diva?

Saying No to a Role: Does That Make Me a Diva?

Saying no to roles and jobs can be really difficult sometimes, especially in this overcrowded industry where such opportunities can be infrequent. It might feel like you have no choice - you need the money, the credits, the production team will be left in the lurch if you drop out. There’s always a reason to talk yourself into saying yes, even when you don’t want to. But saying no to something doesn’t make you a bad person, or make you ungrateful in any way. You’re allowed to say no - it’s just saying it out loud that can be hard sometimes.

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Auditions: Top Tips for Young Actors

Auditions: Top Tips for Young Actors

Whether it’s for a professional show or your school play, auditions are a difficult and panic-inducing process. Throughout my 14 years of experience within the world of theatre I have had countless auditions for everything from professional touring musicals to Am-Dram (the British term for community theatre) plays and pantomimes, encompassing acting, singing, dancing and even juggling once! No matter what the audition is for, I always find I have that shaky, butterflies feeling leading up to it, though I must admit I have much more control over my nerves than I did as a child.

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Vocal Styles: Stick to One or Expand?

Vocal Styles: Stick to One or Expand?

About a year ago, pop sensation Ariana Grande sang Carpool Karaoke with Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane where she explained her heavy musical theatre background, after which she and her duet partner had sung “The Song That Goes Like This” from Spamalot. If you know pop culture, you know Ariana Grande and that she’s a belter; she has the range and she proves it. That was why it came as a shock to me when I heard her sing in this beautiful operatic voice, because this whole time, I had boxed her in as this pop singer who always belted because she was a diva. As someone who is not a fan of her music, I will admit that, in another world where she chose a path to sing opera instead, I would be an Arianator. Unfortunately for me, she chose the pop angle—which is perfectly fine, since that was the vocal sound she wanted to build for herself— but because of this decision, she has a huge fanbase now and makes millions. 

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Some Helpful Tips for Learning Your Lines!

Some Helpful Tips for Learning Your Lines!

I can’t be the only one who has opened their script, stared at the first page for what only felt like ten minutes, and then looked up at the clock to find a full hour has passed me by.

When your script has become your comfort blanket, despairing at the thought of letting it go before show week will do nothing to reduce all the other stresses that come with being part of a production.

So, I would like to share a few tricks that, in my experience, have been incredibly helpful when starting to learn my lines.

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Acting Under the Influence: Comedy or Tragedy?

Acting Under the Influence:  Comedy or Tragedy?

Actors have a long association with alcohol.  There are many famous actors with a history of alcohol abuse, including Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton, Errol Flynn, and Humphrey Bogart, to name just a few.  Gerard Depardieu once famously claimed that he could drink up to 14 bottles of wine a day!  But famous actors often live by a different set of rules.  I wondered how community theater or regional actors would answer the question: Have you ever rehearsed or performed on stage while "under the influence"?

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Pre-Casting: Why It Happens and How You Can Survive It

Pre-Casting: Why It Happens and How You Can Survive It

Pre-Casting sticks in the craws of every unprofessional theatre artist, and probably in a lot of professional ones, too. Spawning drama that makes every stage manager worth their kit roll their eyes into next weekend, pre-casting somehow manages to worm its way into any given conversation about theater.

High school and undergraduate university productions, regional theatres, children’s theatres alike, all seem to struggle with this one concept that actors all loathe somewhat equally. Of course, being pre-cast is flattering, but no actor is happy knowing someone else got a part we were right for, too just because somebody knew somebody else; our egos are too big to allow it. But how do we survive pre-casting and all the evil that comes with it?

By calming down for two seconds, and thinking critically about why it happens.

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