Broadway Performer

An Actor’s Life: Your Career Path to New York Shows

Tips On Becoming A Performer In New York Broadway ShowsIf you’re an aspiring Broadway performer, the steps you take during high school play a significant role in your success on the stages of New York shows in the future. Sure, you sometimes hear stories of people who book amazing lead roles in shows after a single audition, but that’s not a realistic view of how it all happens – for most actors, at least. Ask any working Broadway performer – New York is not a city that hands you success simply because you’ve just moved there. Hard work, discipline, and strategic career steps are required.

When it comes to career development as a Broadway actor, like in any other career path, proactive planning and early efforts go a long way. And since Broadway performers needing to be accomplished in singing, acting, and dancing (i.e. a “triple threat”), there are plenty of steps you can take now to help you on your journey to on-stage success. It’s not enough to sit around singing or doing some improv with your friends; nor is it enough to occasionally go to a drama workshop or two. Making it as an actor in top New York shows will require you to put in your 100% all of the time. The work environment is extremely competitive and not very friendly to newbies – you have to be prepared for this, both physically and mentally.

So ask yourself: do you truly have the desire and motivation for a career in show business? If you are fully convinced that Broadway performing is what you were designed for, read on for our career advice:

1) Increase Your Personal Organization Skills Now

A large part of success in a sustainable career as an actor depends on the ability to manage yourself and your time. Working in New York, there will be no cute reminders from Mom to get to rehearsals or auditions on time – it’s all up to you. Start now by organizing your time with a handy day planner. You can apply it to school, homework, sports, social, and even downtime (sufficient rest is essential for any performer!).

Even though you may have an agent one day, it’s not their job to manage your every waking moment. Getting to places on time – and sometimes, with very short notice – is all a part of the job, so it’s best to master your time management skills now. Running late in show business is not an option; the show will inevitably go on without you. On the odd occasion that you are late, the best thing to do is to communicate your plausible reason clearly. If you don’t have one, take responsibility for your mistake. By applying this principle to your day-to-day life now, you will grow to be a dependable employee one day.

2) Understand Auditions

Audition processes for shows may vary, but it’s important that you are prepared for and patient with the audition process. Even when it comes to smaller productions in your hometown or at your school, ask questions and do some research to ensure that you are fully prepared to play your character.

You’ll also need to get used to auditioning overall. Some people have the misconception that auditions are only for newbies and that once you’re a working actor you don’t have to audition anymore. Nope! Working actors and even major stars have to audition all the time. It’s not always about you – it’s about the character – so don’t take rejection personally. It’s normal to have ten auditions or more before booking a single job. Stay strong and keep focusing on your own skill development.

3) Enroll in Acting Lessons

While we’re on the subject of skills development, this is one of our strongest recommendations: find an acting coach in your area who has a special interest in preparing students for New York shows. The best way to ensure that you’re on track in terms of career development is to regularly work with a private acting coach. Long term, one-on-one lessons with an experienced mentor will help you develop your skills and confidence in pursuing your dream. Here’s a quick look at the skills you can learn with the help of a private coach:

  • Theatrical Acting:  While working with amazing scripts from Shakespeare, as well as works from other popular playwrights like Chekhov or Ibsen, you will enhance your skills in text analysis and play-reading. These efforts will be built around productive character investigation from the page, which is a must-have skill for all Broadway actors.

  • Theatrical Singing: According to your goals and natural ability, you can learn valuable techniques like breathing, pitch, tone, diction, and rhythm. Overall gracefulness and stage presence will also be trained. The aim of these lessons will be improvement (not perfection) as you embrace and enhance your natural talent.

  • Theatrical Dancing: Understanding expression through movement is another important factor that can be addressed through private coaching. Broadway performers should aim to be accomplished actors, singers, and of course, dancers – your versatility will be your strongest selling point! In your dance lessons you will learn how movement directly relates to vocal health and general performance with your body taking center stage.

Remember: even experienced Broadway stars need regular coaching, so try to adopt a positive attitude toward lessons and learning as a normal part of your career path.

4) Get Inspired

Make an effort to really absorb the culture of New York shows – if you live in the city, try to see as many shows as you can! If you don’t see the shows live, how will you know what to prepare yourself for and who to aspire to be like? Think of going to shows as a form of acting homework!

Working on Broadway is as serious as any corporate job – and the hours are sometimes longer than eight per day, so don’t let the spotlights and pretty costumes fool you. The keys to a successful career path to New York shows are discipline and planning ahead. A little extra effort now will have audiences shouting for an encore of your solos pretty soon. Good luck!

 

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 Photo by Rob Boudon

Acting

Audition Monologues for Kids, Teens, and Adults: Every Actor’s Worst Nightmare!

Audition Monologues for Kids, Teens, and Adults: Every Actor's Worst Nightmare!Struggling to find that perfect audition monologue? It can take some time, so be prepared to be patient! Read on as Courtney P., one of our acting teachers in the Orlando area, offers her advice:

Let’s face it, most actors HATE monologues. They are tedious, and most of the time, it’s ridiculously hard to find the right one. Monologues are, however, necessary in the entertainment Industry, and many times your monologue can make or break an audition.

The process of perfecting your monologue can be long and drawn out, but working with an acting coach can really be beneficial. Many of my students have booked jobs, found an agent, or wowed audiences with their pieces. Finding and perfecting the right piece for you is crucial. Here are a few tips that can help you in your search:

1) Find the right piece for YOU:

The right monologue is out there, you just have to look. There are so many ways to find great pieces. Monologues from plays, TV shows, and films are all great places to start! The possibilities are endless. In many ways, monologues are like a great pair of  shoes. You have to try the monologue on for size. Does it fit your personality? Does it inspire you with ideas? Does it complement your skills? It has to be more personal than just Googling monologues and picking the first one you see. You should try out a few until you find the perfect one.

2) Make sure your monologue is age and situation appropriate:

This is a BIG one!  For children, there should be an age range of no more than one year younger and one year older. Adults can usually span about five years or so. As an adult, even if you look young, it’s not appropriate to use a teenage monologue, and likewise for kids/teens, stick to something close in age. As you’re searching for your audition monologue, keep in mind if you’re looking for monologues for kids, teens, or adults. The director can use their imagination if they need to consider you for a younger or older role.

Also, consider your audience when choosing a piece. Are you auditioning for a children’s theatre or family-friendly theme park ? An agency? A dramatic role in an adult play? As an actor you should have a few different pieces in your repertoire. A child-friendly monologue, a PG or PG-13 piece, and maybe something a little more heavy. Choosing the right monologue for the situation can really save you a lot of embarrassment and keep the casting director, director, or agent from feeling awkward.

3) Practice makes perfect:

Now that you or your coach has helped you find the right piece, you should really begin to explore the piece. Make strong choices, and think outside of the box.

You should try to keep your audition monologues fresh and rehearse them as much as possible, while continuing to add new pieces. Having a coach or qualified friend view your monologue and give notes is really important; often they can point out mistakes you’re overlooking or give constructive criticism.

Taking on the challenge of finding an audition monologue can be daunting, but once you find the right piece, you will flourish! Take the time to find complementary pieces for you. Make sure to practice often and keep adding new material! Happy hunting!

Courtney P.3Courtney P. teaches speaking voice, stage performance, and acting lessons in Winter Springs, FL. She specializes in TV & Film, Commercial and Stage Technique, and has worked with some of the industry’s top casting directors. Learn more about Courtney, or search for a teacher near you!

 

 

Photo by vancouverfilmschool

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of prescreened teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for safe, affordable private lessons today!

Free TakeLessons Resource

 

Academy Award Nominees Before They Were Stars

Academy Award Nominees, Before They Were Stars

academy award nomineesWe’re so excited to see the announcement for this year’s Oscar nominations! We love trying to guess who will win and debating our favorite performances and the best films of the year. There’s so much great talent this year, the Academy Awards and other shows are sure to be a blast!

It’s also fun to reflect on how even the brightest stars had to get started on smaller roles and go through a learning process to get to where they are today. We love looking back to see how they made it big, and it’s valuable for acting students and other performers to see that success doesn’t look like a straight line and stardom doesn’t happen overnight. Take a look at just a few nominees’ roads to fame and you’ll see what we mean! Read more