What a feeling! You get that call on your cell phone, and you’ve got a job for the summer doing theatre. Someone is ACTUALLY PAYING you to do theatre! What a rush! What a high! What the hell do you do now? What is summer stock, really?
Clothing is the most intimate and relatable design element in theater. Everyone wears clothing, and everyone has opinions about clothing. Often what we wear says more than any words or actions do: who we are, where we’re from, what year it is, how much money we have, how much money we want other to think we have. These are just a few stories clothing tells in real life and onstage, making the relationship between the actor and the costume designer one of the most important. As you share your discoveries of your character, the costumer can share theirs and you can build a strong character together if you follow five simple steps.
“You are terrifying!” came the enthusiastic greeting as I stepped into the post show lobby. . I had grown used to it by then, and knew from the grins on the faces of this pleasant older couple that it meant they’d enjoyed the show. I smiled back sheepishly and offered a genuine, though bashful thank you, trying to distance myself somewhat from the character I had just played. Each night, I even made a point of dressing up more than usual when I went to the theatre. This was my first production in a new city, after all, and I wanted to be sure that everyone knew I wasn’t really a sociopath.
Community engagement must be a part of every theatre-making process. There is no theatre without an audience. The audience is as much a part of a play-making experience as the artists—so how do we incorporate them more actively into what we do? We must work with them – and I’ve learned, in so doing, that working with the community teaches me just as much or more about the play on which I’m working than anything I do in the rehearsal room or on stage.
Some people say that social media is more important to your career than actual talent. I wish I could say that is entirely untrue. We live in a world where people are dealing with lots of money. It takes a great deal of money to put on a Broadway show or create a new television series. We know that the industry likes to hire celebrities to star in their movies because name recognition sells tickets.
So why are we so surprised that industry executives want their performers to have followings? Maybe it is time to start looking at social media in a different way. Flip it on its head, and look at it as a brilliant opportunity to cultivate what makes us unique, and — in turn — helps us find our tribe. That tribe of followers can translate into a platform that can truly help you in your career. How you go about gaining your followers, creating your niche, and nurturing your platform is up to you. Here are some vital tips on how to use social media to enhance your performing arts career: