Finding the perfect present for theatre fans can be hard. Still looking for gifts for the theatre lovers in your life? No worries! Here’s ten suggestions to get you started.
Everyone can learn to sing.
No, no, save your protestations.
Everyone can learn to sing.
“Well not me, I’ve never been able to–“
EVERYONE CAN LEARN TO SING.
I’m coming off my bask-in-the-glow-victory-lap after closing a successful production of Little Women at a local community theater. This whole show (and the months leading up to it) were rife with stresses, but the entire production ended up being a testament to hard work paying off, in a variety of ways.
Allow me to tell my tale.
If you’re involved in theatre in any way, then you’ve definitely heard the phrase “there’s no small parts, only small actors” at least once– and probably far more than that. When I was younger, I figured this was just untrue. There are small parts, I thought, that’s just a fact. Some parts are on stage less, or have less lines. They’re small, but that’s not the actor’s fault.
Clearly I wasn’t alone in this sentiment and clearly I’m still not, because I constantly hear stories about actors quitting shows because they didn’t get a “good” part.
This idea among young theatre students– that there is indeed a “small part”— feeds into multiple bad behaviors that not only makes their acting worse but can make entire shows worse. In fact, I’d say that dispelling this myth is one of the most important things a director can do right off the bat to make sure their show has all the power it can have.
So let’s establish something right now– there is no such thing as a small part.
Following up my previous list, here are even more reading suggestions for actors and fans of theatre. Once again, this list is organized roughly from “easier, conversational works” to “textbook-style information”.
There is this weird supposition that all or most actors are extroverts, to the degree that some people think theatre isn’t attainable as their career or hobby just because they’re introverted.
Boy is that a load of crap.
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.
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!
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.
It’s very clear what you expected to happen at auditions. It’s very clear you’re unhappy with the results. In a sense, I’m not happy about them either.