Why We All Need More Christopher Durang In Our Lives

Why We All Need More Christopher Durang In Our Lives

…the play is pre-#MeToo, having premiered at The Public theatre in New York nearly ten years ago. My stomach twisted on more than one occasion at what we would now call the “toxic masculinity” of the male characters. As I read it, I thought, “We can’t do this play any more.” I thought, “There are SO MANY problems with this.“ Not long after, I was startling my fellow subway passengers with bursts of laughter. By the end of the piece I was convinced the play is more relevant than ever.

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"We Want Actors to Succeed" - An Interview with Gama Valle of Harriet Bass Casting

"We Want Actors to Succeed" - An Interview with Gama Valle of Harriet Bass Casting

A lot of times you see very talented actors, they're great with the material, and then when the read is over and it's time to have a moment with the creative team, they sort of close themselves. At the end of the day, the director wants to know if there's some sort of connection there, someone that you can talk to, someone that you can spend six to eight weeks together rehearsing with from ten to six…leave an impression on me, because I'm sure you have a personality.

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When #TimesUp Hits Home: Bringing the Truth into the Light

When #TimesUp Hits Home: Bringing the Truth into the Light

Why am I telling you this?   Because my job as an artist, my purpose in life, is to tell the truth.  And I can’t fully tell the truth in my work until I can fully tell the truth about my own life.  I want to tell the truth.  I am so ready to tell the truth.  And my truth is that I’m a survivor.

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Holding Room Hacks: How to Keep Your Cool and Not be a Jerk

Some people are just not going to understand that you don’t want to chit-chat before what is essentially a JOB INTERVIEW. Maybe they’re an extrovert who finds chatting calms their nerves and they figure the same is true for you. Whatever their reasons are, sometimes you need to politely extract yourself from a conversation pre-audition. Here’s the basic script that I tend to riff off…

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How To Choose: Practical Advice for Actors Making Tough Decisions

How To Choose: Practical Advice for Actors Making Tough Decisions

As a professional actor, you’ve learned to rely on your gut feelings and instincts, probably in a way that is much deeper than the average person.  It’s part of your training and it’s an essential tool of the trade. Don’t just limit that skill to your profession – use it in your life.

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How to Own Your Time: Self-Care For Artistic Types

How to Own Your Time: Self-Care For Artistic Types

Artists often have a crazy amount of commitments.  It can be difficult to set aside time for our own health and well-being. But here’s the conclusion it’s taken me a long time to arrive at: we deserve it.  More importantly, we are allowed to take ownership of that time. If you commit to making one positive choice, then you are taking care of yourself—there’s no need to start with drastic changes. 

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Say No To Unpaid Positions and Stipends: A Newcomer Takes a Stand

Say No To Unpaid Positions and Stipends: A Newcomer Takes a Stand

The expectation to dedicate 20+, 30+, even 40 hours a week and be offered a daily or weekly stipend to ‘offset the cost of housing and living expenses; is simply absurd. Institutions “providing opportunities” like such are only doing harm to those that can’t afford to work for you.

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Do You Have The Guts Not To Be Famous?

Do You Have The Guts Not To Be Famous?

Ultimately, life as an actor means wrestling with the idea that the success you desire may never materialize.  I think we can all agree based on the evidence that you have a better chance of getting a seat on the first manned mission to Mars than you do of booking a lead in a Marvel franchise.  So the question becomes – is that OK with you?

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"I Never Call Out" is the Theatre Equivalent of "Most of My Friends are Guys"

"I Never Call Out" is the Theatre Equivalent of "Most of My Friends are Guys"

We don’t question the eight-show-a-week model, or the demands of score, or the press events the actors are expected to attend. We blame the actor. The show must go on. If it doesn’t, that actor is either lazy or they have bad technique. It’s a lose-lose situation.

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The Vietnam War In The Words of The Women Who Served at 59 E 59th

The Vietnam War In The Words of The Women Who Served at 59 E 59th

In Their Footsteps is a celebration of real women in a messy and complicated war. The women in this play all served willingly, did the work, and then “went back into the shadows” when the war was over, with little or no recognition.

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Not Us, Too! Cleaning Up Nonprofit Theatre's #MeToo Mess

Not Us, Too! Cleaning Up Nonprofit Theatre's #MeToo Mess

Every arts organization needs to craft policies and procedures that state a zero-tolerance policy for abusive, bullying, and similar conduct by any employee or volunteer.  That goes for the board, too. Board members, in particular, must train themselves to understand the law.  They need to know what local, state and federal laws have to say about harassment and abuse.  They need to make this training a regular and ongoing part of board orientation and development.

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If You Work in Theatre, You Know a Sex Worker

If You Work in Theatre, You Know a Sex Worker

Trust me when I say I lost count of how many actors have told me in confidence that they had once danced or done live videos on the Internet or had sex for money. Trust me when I tell you how relieved they were to come out about it to someone who understood not only the risks of revealing their past but also the circumstances around their choice to do that work…

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Top Ten Excuses for When An Audition Makes You Late to Work

Top Ten Excuses for When An Audition Makes You Late to Work

…you will, as an auditioning actor, occasionally find yourself between a rock and a place where you need a convincing excuse fast: it’s inevitable.   Professional jobs cast during the day, semi- and non-professional jobs often cast at night, all three can appear at a moment’s notice, and there are going to be times when you have to be in two places at once. 

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