Actor Life

Maybe You’re Just not a Belter: A Letter to a Young Actor with Vocal Strain

Dear Young Actor,

I get it.

You’ve listened to Barrett Wilbert Weed and Krysta Rodriguez and Sutton Foster and now you just want to sound just like them. We’ve all been there.

Contemporary Broadway is full of belters belting their faces off. It’s flashy and impressive and now basically everywhere you look.

Here’s the thing about belting.

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Actor Life, Uncategorized

5 Nonfiction Reading Recommendations for Theatre People

Because it’s the subject in life I’m most passionate about, theatre is nearly the only subject on which I actively seek out and enjoy nonfiction. Some might say I’m just growing up and discovering a more sophisticated taste in books, but fiction is no less refined than nonfiction, and I’d make a list on theatre-related fiction recommendations if I’d read more of it. (Maybe soon!) Regardless of your ideas on the sophistication merit of nonfiction versus fiction, these are five nonfiction books anyone can appreciate, even if nonfiction isn’t your usual gig. For the sake of the less enthusiastic nonfiction readers, I will order this list following a sliding scale of “reads like a novel” to “reads like an essay” and let you decide for yourself where reading will become a chore. I really encourage everyone to try these five books, even if they intimidate you– they’re worth the struggle!

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Guides and Tips, Teaching Theatre

A Director’s Guide to Making your Set Builds and Strikes more User-Friendly

Getting your cast and crew to stay focussed and productive during set build and especially strike is always a challenge. Although it can seem like inaction on the part of your actors is purely a matter of laziness or disrespect, many actors simply don’t know how to help or be useful. If you want to keep everyone active, some small steps on the part of the director can help.

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Guides and Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Tech Week (UPDATED)

I have a sickness of the mind, and it is that I kind of get a kick out of tech week. The idea of 12 hour rehearsals gets me sort of jazzed. The head-down, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other grind of tech week is very fulfilling to me. It’s a week to throw the entirety of my energy squarely at two targets: put on a good show and don’t kill yourself. It’s like a week of wilderness survival but for a theatre kid. It’s exhilarating and when it’s done you get to show off all your cool scars (some figurative, most literal).

I’m a dweeb about tech week preparation, it’s true. If tech week is wilderness survival, I am your overenthusiastic survival guide. I will get through it and I will get you through it, too. Just heed my advice.

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Actor Life

Why Working in an Escape Room is a Great job for Theatre People

I’m lucky enough to have a part time job I really enjoy. Like most of the world, I’ve done my time in retail, and I hated almost all of it. Though great co-workers and the occasional fun customer can liven up any job, the feeling that you’re just putting in boring, tedious hours to scrape out the money you need to survive is draining and unfulfilling. It helps if you can find a job somehow relevant to your passions, but many of us aren’t so lucky. I struck gold when I found my part time job working at a local escape room.

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Guides and Tips, Uncategorized

10 Ways to get an Education in Theatre Outside of College

A college education in theatre is an incredible opportunity. However, for many reasons, it’s not always attainable. With the current cost of college, any degree should be closely examined for its post-graduation worth. Though a theatre degree is as worthwhile as any other degree, the capital required to earn the degree is a huge barrier for many, with often uncertain returns.

Whether you cannot afford a degree, or are in the process of preparing for a degree, it is necessary that those seeking education take initiative. In today’s society, the ability to learn on your own is paramount. There are many resources available waiting to be taken advantage of by those committed to their own growth!

Here are 10 suggestions for taking your education on theatre into your own hands.

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Guides and Tips

How to be Useful at your Required Strike when you have no Technical Abilities

Post-show strikes are made easier when more people lend their hands to the cause. Many actors avoid them as much as possible, however, because they simply don’t know how to help. While technical skills are of benefit to every performer, and I heartily recommend every actor get the gist of as many backstage skills as possible, many times the issue is simply “what can I do besides stand around the whole time?”

Here is a set of suggestions for everyone, no matter their strength, skill, or abilities, regarding making themselves useful at strike. The list starts with the least technically-inclined options, with the “hardest” options at the end.

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Guides and Tips

Ultimate Guide to Auditioning for Musical Theatre

I get pretty manic about auditioning for shows, especially when I really want to nab a part. Since theatre is basically just a never-ending cycle of auditions, I have a lot of thoughts about how to make them count.

Here is basically all of the advice I could possibly think to put in one place on the art and craft of auditioning, step by step, from before you even find a song, to what to do post-cast list.

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