Musical Theatre audition books come in all shapes, sizes, and creeds. Some audition books that live somewhere between a paper cut and a broken dream. Some deposit loose pages and muffin crumbs all over the piano. However, every so often one encounters a rare unicorn: a clean, organized binder filled with easily readable and fabulous songs. Remember, for a musical theatre actor, the audition book can be your biggest asset or your Achilles’ heel.
It can be tricky navigating your way through plays with good roles that offer an exciting challenge for the modern teenager. After all, there are thousands of plays out there–where do you start? Are you looking for a powerful monologue, a dramatic scene, or a full play that features a lead teenage role?
Every actor’s (or stage manager’s) journey is unique and joining the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) is a personal decision that only you can make. I suppose it’s appropriate that I weigh in on this topic as it’s a decision I am in the middle of making myself. My life and career have presented an opportunity which begs the question, are you ready? Your path will be different, or perhaps similar! In either case, here I am, an actor teetering on the edge of Equity. What about you?
Fitness truly comes in all shapes and sizes. The word fit means “able to do a task.” That’s it. Nothing more. But when you get a theatre job, it can actually be a great time to “get in shape,” whatever that means to you. If you’re already strong and fit, maybe your goal is to be stronger. Or maybe you’d like to lose a few pounds. Or maybe you’ve never seriously exercised and want to start. This is a great time for two reasons: the first, you are likely away from home and away from the distractions of your day-to-day life (like friends, a day job, your favorite TV show on the DVR); the second, once your show is running, you have an insane amount of free time. What else are you going to do with all that time?
Performers of any kind rely on their bodies. Whether they are dancing, singing, or acting the most dramatic roles, a performer needs access to their abilities and their emotional life. As performing artists, we’ve chosen a difficult path, one often laden with long hours, little rest, constant practice and training, for what at times can be little reward. To survive in this environment, and hopefully thrive, you must have your health, and be able to maintain your health when you’re away from home.