Theatre, Theatre 101 Series

Theatre 101 Series: Rehearsal 101

The Theatre 101 Series is a set of introductory articles meant to explain theatrical concepts and situations to young actors as well as adult theatrical newcomers. View the whole series here.

Congratulations! You’ve auditioned for and been cast in your very first production. Exciting things are coming– including your first rehearsal. How should you prepare, and what should you expect?

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Teaching Theatre, Theatre

Why and How School Theatre Must Become More Democratic: In Four Steps

Most school drama departments are not democracies. They are dictatorships.

This used to be the way every school organization functioned: the students unwaveringly followed the command of the teacher, the all-knowing, all-powerful leader of the classroom. Yet, this is not the practice most modern education theory supports, and this is no longer the way most classrooms function. Now, many teachers take a somewhat backseat role in education, considering themselves more “guides” or “facilitators” rather than singular leaders. In their place, students step up to direct their own learning, and learn about leadership and self-actualization by fulfilling a more active role than “the one who receives the knowledge the teacher imparts.”

School theatre is lagging behind in this endeavor.

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Guides and Tips, Theatre

3 Definitive Traits That Make you an Excellent Performer

I’ve been around a lot of performers, in a lot of different settings. I’ve directed, I’ve taught, I’ve acted, I’ve watched from the audience and from the stage manager’s booth. Every performer is unique, and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Yet, in all of the actors, dancers, and musicians I’ve worked with, I have found that there are exactly three traits every truly excellent performer has in common.

These traits are instrumental to success in the performing arts. You won’t get very far without them, and having them can put you on top in close auditions.

If you can honestly say you have these three traits, then pat yourself on the back! If you’re not so sure, read over this article closely and do what you can to pick them up immediately.

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Actor Life, Theatre

“Where am I Going, and Where Have I Been?”: What I Learned From Reviewing Six Years of Past Performances

I have compulsively taken audio recordings of every voice lesson I’ve had over the last four years, as well as recordings of most auditions and a handful of rehearsals. I’ve made it a habit and feel the strong need to be recording whenever I’m doing anything with my voice. Funny enough, I rarely end up listening back to these recordings– I’ve probably listened to less than a third of the entire library of recordings I’ve made with the app Voice Record Pro.

For fun I recently listened to some of the first recordings. These were from my freshman year of college, a time in which I was very insecure in my voice, and still very green in my vocal training overall. I was struck by the difference in those audios from the most recent ones! I was excited about the prospect of growth, and ended up mentioning the fact to my therapist. She was very excited with my discovery, and asked that I take it a step further.

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Guides and Tips, Theatre

The Ultimate Guide to Warming Up

I’m a bit of a warmup enthusiast. I take warming up vocally very seriously. I always feel like I get back 10 times the vocal energy I put in, and it’s so worth it. I’ve talked at some length before on this blog about how important warming up is and why everyone should do it, but I’ve never provided much actual insight into how to do it.

Part of the problem there is that warming up is a very personal process. I can’t tell you what will work best for you. In this article, I’m sharing what works best for me personally. My goal is to present many ideas that you can use and modify as you see fit.

This guide is divided into five sections: Why Warm Up, Pre-Vocalization, Beginning Phonation, Singing, and FAQs.

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