I’ve been thinking about you lately. Here we are in May 2020 and theatre, as well as life, as ground to a halt.
Especially when I heard Cameron Mackintosh (*if you don’t know who this is, look him up. He’s important) said that he doesn’t think theatre is coming back until at least NEXT YEAR.
Oh, that’s so unfair.
I mean, I get it, social distancing means the inability to have full audiences...
If shows are not playing to large enough houses, it’s actually more expensive as opposed to just remaining closed, and if shows lose more than they make, that’s how they close forever.
(This happened to me once in college....
Our show was selling so poorly that after the Sunday matinee on the first weekend, there was a meeting to explain to the cast that we were closing early because we would lose less money by not performing at all. 😲 😲
Brutal, but that’s show BUSINESS).
Not to mention how depressing it is as a performer to play to a small house.
Can you IMAGINE seeing mostly empty seats and having people sit only 2-4 per row?
Now I don’t even want to go there mentally about what shows may never return on Broadway if they can’t open until NEXT YEAR, but I do know two things:
- Theatre will ALWAYS exist - it’s too much part of the human soul. So Broadway and theatre will return one day.
- NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO LOSE YOUR SKILLS
Yes, I know we’re all home, unable to rehearse with our peeps.
But I am STRONGLY ENCOURAGING YOU TO LOOK AT IT THIS WAY:
Practicing at home is one of the staples of being a performer.
If you’re only rehearsing when you’re at rehearsal, you’re missing it.
(That previous sentence was so good I think I need to write a whole blog about that)
To become the best performer you can be - which isn’t that what we all want? - you MUST practice at home.
And now, you have more time to practice than you’ve ever had before on your own.
Yes, I know you still have schoolwork, but you’re not stuck in the school building in classes all day.
Now is the time to INDULGE IN YOUR THEATRICAL PASSION.
Because when we get out of this, you’ll be in one of two places:
You will either be exactly where you are (or backtrack depending if you haven’t done anything to keep your performance skills sharp)...
You can gain a competitive edge that will absolutely fast-track you to being in more shows, getting better parts, and getting to live your dream on stage.
So how to do that? Here’s 5 easy ways to improve your audition skills in May while we’re in lockdown:
1. Free online dance classes
There are so many free dance classes online right now - GO HUNT THEM DOWN! Whether you’re a dancer dancer or you are petrified of dancing, THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW. You have the safety of messing up at home! No judgments! Go for it!
2. Watch the Sondheim 90th Birthday concert
The most important thing to do when auditioning is ACT THE SONG. This entire concert is just Tony Winner after Tony winner putting on a masterclass in acting while singing and how that makes the ENTIRE difference. Watch their eyes.
3. Watch streaming Broadway shows
Part of the work (and love) of being a theatre kid is that you must educate yourself in the cannon of musical theatre shows. Right now, there are more shows legally streaming than in any time in history. Take advantage.
4. Learn new music for your book and new monologues for your repertoire
Now is the perfect time for you to discover new songs you love singing that sound GREAT in your voice and to work on the acting beats and motivations. Explore different composers, old school, new school.
5. Work 1-1 with a coach
If you really want to take months if not years off your audition ability, you’ve got to stop practicing and preparing on your own and have an expert pair of eyes help you polish your audition and get it to an opening night worthy performance (which is what the directors are expecting!) It’s like having a director for your audition. And I know a *really* great one. ;)
Whichever option you choose, or if you choose ALL of them, take action TODAY on something.
This time can be a gift as a time to cultivate your theatrical prowess and come back to your next audition 10x to even 100x improved.
And then you can blow their socks off. 🤯🤯
Happy performing at home (for now),
PS - if you're struggling at all with what to do versus what not to do at an audition, you need to grab a free copy of my Theatre Kid Audition Guide. It will help you get inside the director's head and deliver the audition that will get you noticed and get YOU the part. (And if you came here just for the Free Guide, that's it!)