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The StageAgent Theatre Blog

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

Actors: Do Your Homework!

Do Your Homework pic 1

The other day, I got on the subway and overheard a young musical theatre actor say, “Oh no, I don’t know the work of Annie Baker. Honestly, I don’t really read plays.” It took all of my strength not to walk over to this young man, shake him, and scream, “THIS IS YOUR CRAFT!!! YOU HAVE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF OR YOU WILL BECOME IRRELEVANT.” But it was hot and I was tired — so I rolled my eyes, said a wee prayer for his career, and enjoyed my brief respite in the air conditioning.

However, the incident got me thinking about how, more and more, I am meeting performers and industry professionals who are not doing their homework — and it shows. Yes, school is starting for many theatre students all over the world in the next couple of weeks, but — in fact — the homework never stops. Homework should be an essential part of your life, throughout your career. There are a lot of people who believe that if they have gone to school and done well, then they are educated, have a leg up in the industry,

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The Theatre Performer’s Back-to-School Guide

Dancer

The start of a new school year is exciting for a performing artist. Hopefully, you go to a school or college that has an active, professionally-managed drama department along with student-run productions.  Day one of school is an exciting fresh start.  Your time in school is a special period of life where you can focus on developing the necessary skills to become the adult you want to be someday. A brand new season of plays and musicals opens up a world of artistic possibilities. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of the coming school year:

 

Set some goals:  Having goals will help you make the most of your time this school year, and actually writing them down provides a visual reminder, giving you something to aim for.  Make sure these goals are achievable during this school year. You might want to make it to Broadway some day, but smaller milestones will provide you greater motivation. Examples of achievable goals include mastering a particular tap dance step, working as artistic staff on a production, or adding ten songs to your singing repertoire.

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Beyond Performance: How else to make an Artist’s Life

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“There is no shame in not having the right personality type to truly thrive in NYC. I am not a failure because I haven’t stayed in NYC. I am a success because I keep adapting to life. Personal and professional growth and transformations are such a huge part of growing up and working towards finding your wisdom, and I am so delighted with my own.” - Corrie Beula Kovacs, owner of Show How, LLC, a Wisconsin based private voice, dance and acting studio

Some of you reading this might be in the professional theatre world, some of you might be starring in your high school musical, and some of you might be packing up your life and getting ready to head off to college to study theatre. I would be willing to bet that all of you at some point as a child thought that you were going to be an actor. I certainly did. I was speaking with a colleague the other day who suggested that when we are children the only representation of the entertainment industry that we see frequently enough to understand is the professional actor.

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Top 5 Most Popular Plays

Macbeth

Updated Aug 10, 2015

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, StageAgent members ‘fan’ their favorite shows over 1000 times per week! It provides a great insight into what theatre fans really like.

The slide show in this post displays the top five most plays , as voted by StageAgent members.  Not surprisingly, Shakespeare plays dominant the top five.  Only one play in the top five is NOT written by Shakespeare. Can you guess what it is?

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 plays!

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Choosing a Drama School: Advice from A.C.T.’s Conservatory Director

Acting class at ACT

So, you want to go to drama school.  How do you find the school, or schools, that are right for you?  The school that will help you transform yourself and your acting?  The one that will be worth taking several years out of being in the marketplace and pursuing work?   There are many, many actor training programs to choose from in the United States, alone — not to mention the United Kingdom.  One can easily become overwhelmed surfing the websites of the top 10 schools, not to mention the top 25.

But websites are a great place to start.  You can do worse than begin with a listing of the top 25 schools — there are various lists, just Google.  Then, as you click from website to website, and later as you connect with current students, faculty or alumni, in person or by phone, keep the following criteria in mind.  In fact, keep a journal. The search for a school that fits you is a journey and a process, and you may be surprised at how your thinking evolves. 

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