Actor Life, Theatre

The Single Most Important Skill in Theatre: Knowing When to Get the F*ck Out of the Way

I’ve spent my fair share of time building sets and working run crew. When surrounded by fast-moving set pieces, people carrying heavy objects, and other moving parts that could easily hurt you and others, you learn very quickly the importance of getting the f*ck out of the way.

I’ve also done my fair share of performing, and I’ve even done a little directing. In time, I’ve discovered that knowing when it’s time to just get out of the way is in fact the most important skill any theatre artist can develop.

Physically, mentally, and emotionally, sometimes the most important thing you’ll do on stage is just f*cking move and let the others do the work they’re there to do.

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Actor Life, Theatre

The Comfort in Saying “I Can’t”

I would love to be a belter. One of those pure Broadway belters who can effortlessly hit high notes all day long with their perfect, clear tone, as if it’s the most normal, natural, easy task ever. It’s something I’ve been really trying to work towards ever since I started performing– and, speaking humbly, I think I’ve made some strides.

I’d also love to be a dancer. But I “can’t dance.” Guess how my dancing skills have developed?

If you guessed, they haven’t at all, you’re probably more or less correct. At least, I don’t think my dancing skills have developed. But I haven’t really been looking for improvement in that area, anyway. That’s the beauty of simply saying “I can’t.”

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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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Actor Life, Theatre

“Don’t Take This the Wrong way, but You’ve Really Improved”

These words were spoken to me upon the completion of the singing portion of a recent audition.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve really improved a lot since last year.”

The director said this and caught me completely off guard. A few hours later, he apologized, and caught me even more off guard. He explained that he’d meant what he said as a compliment, and hoped it hadn’t sounded rude.

My response was basically, “yeah, of course it’s a compliment, duh.”

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