The StageAgent Theatre Blog

News, thoughts, opinions and advice for the performing arts community.

How to Warm Up and Prepare Before Singing

Felicia Ricci

Whenever a student contacts me about a “problem spot” in a song she’s preparing, I remind her: “It’s not the actual note, line, or phrase that’s tripping you up; it’s the moment directly before it.”

In other words, it’s how you approach the three notes leading up to the high A (or whatever) that makes the high A possible.

I call this the “runway” effect. The simple principle that any “money moment” takes anticipation and planning — clear preparation — before you bust it out.

The moment before is key not just on a micro-level (in the case of individual notes and lines) but also on a grander scale, day to day, audition to audition.

I’m talking about vocal warm ups and mental prep, my friends!

Read More

Most Popular Musicals

PopularMusicals

StageAgent members ‘fan’ their favorite shows over 1000 times per week. As a result, we get a good sense of what shows the theatre community really likes. I’ve personally been curious if the same shows that are popular in the San Francisco Bay Area are also popular in other parts of the country and the world.

For this post, I’m taking a look at the top eight most popular musicals, as voted by StageAgent members. While the current top eight are all certainly well-known shows, it’s impressive to see the diversity of composer and genre.  Big-time composers such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Menken and Stephen Sondheim are all represented. But no one composer currently dominates the top eight. Genres run the range from dramas to comedies and everything in-between.

Want your say? Make sure to visit the show database and fan your favorite shows! Without further adieu, here is the list of most popular musicals!

Read More

Soliloquy Compared to a Monologue

Becca Ballenger soliloquizing in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Young actors can often get confused about the differences between a soliloquy and monologue.  Soliloquies and monologues are widely used by one of my favorite playwrights, William Shakespeare.

Approaching Shakespeare as an actor is both thrilling and intimidating. Most thrilling is that you can allow Shakespeare’s brilliant language to do a lot of the grunt work for you. Most intimidating is that before you can rely on the language, you have to identify and excavate the clues within it. I once had an acting teacher explain to me that a play by Shakespeare is like a bottle of premade marinara sauce– all the spices are already inside, so your job is to heat it all up and add your own spin (alphabet macaroni, anyone?). There are going to be future blogs here on Stage Agent about the many different “clues” Shakespeare provides in his plays (scansion, rhetoric, prose and verse, alliteration, etc.). With this post, I’m going to talk about just one: soliloquies.

Read More

How to Prepare for an Audition

Theatre Actors

Auditions are part and parcel of the actor’s life. Whether you’re a performing arts newbie or a seasoned professional, a huge part of your work will inevitably involve showing off your chops to the people responsible for putting together theater productions (i.e. our director, producer, and casting director friends).

In the beginning, it’s easy to see auditions as overwhelming and frightening. Indeed, nervousness before auditions is something that even the most experienced of actors admit to feeling — it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

That being said, there are many tools we can use to get out of our own way and show our best work at auditions, the most reliable being adequate audition preparation. There’s simply no better trick to eradicating fear then to know that you’ve done absolutely everything in your power to give your best performance at an audition. Only then can you let go and let the magic happen!

Read More

2015 Tony Award Warm Up

Tony Award

 

While broadway’s biggest day, The Tony Awards™, got their start in 1947, CBS began carrying the broadcast in 1978 and has aired the Tonys every year since.  As a result, the Tonys provides an opportunity for millions of people around the world to get a taste of Broadway from their living rooms. The show puts a spotlight on the entire theatre community – not just Broadway but regional theatre as well. It reminds millions of viewers about the benefits of arts education and support for creative arts.

For theatre producers, winning a Tony can bring new life to a financially struggling show. However, productions that leave the Tonys empty-handed can find themselves quickly nearing the end of their run on Broadway.

The 2015 Broadway season has been one of the best in recent memory. I don’t pretend to be qualified to make Tony predictions — except it would be a crime if Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time does not win the Best Play award.

As usual, the show tonight will be aired on CBS (June 7).

Read More

News, thoughts, opinions and advice for the performing arts community.