Blog

Working in Wardrobe

via www.stage-directions.com Here’s a video from the American Theatre Wing that takes a look at the work of the Wardrobe Department, specifically for the current production of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. The costumes are created to fulfill the epic world that a play or musical inhabits. It takes lots of organization, maintenance, and often creativity to get the performers ready for each and every scene (and maybe even a quick change during a scene). They interview Patrick Bevilacqua, Assistant Costume Designer / Wardrobe Supervisor, Jessica Firorella, Internal Costume Swing, and Dean Amato, Male Principal Dresser for My Fair Lady. The costumes are vast for the company of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. They require multiple teams with various responsibilities to m...

Actor Self Care

BY KYLE BUCHANAN via www.backstage.com Actor Self-Care: How to Reset Your Mind + Body During a Day Off It’s a tough, wonderful life, starting an acting career. One or two day jobs—maybe three—plus the audition that pops up out of the blue and requires that you drop everything, resulting in another IOU to the generous co-worker who covers your shift. It’s admirable, crazy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way (except for that series regular…), but there does come a point when you inevitably hit a wall and exhaustion kicks in. Frustratingly, that exhaustion can creep into auditions and performances. So when a true day off finally does come, I encourage you to use it as a reset day to focus on self-care and not ever-enticing bar hangouts with friends. Sure, the latter feels good in the momen...

Curt Olds “A stylish performer bringing opera and Broadway together.” -The New York Times

With an active career in both opera and musical theatre, baritone Curt Olds has been seen in productions ranging from Don Pasquale and The Magic Flute to musicals such as Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, The Threepenny Opera, Broadway’s Riverdance and CATS. Hailed by Opera News as “A wonderful singing actor, as adept in pointing dialogue as in phrasing song,” Curt is best known for his portrayal of the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and his signature role as Ko-Ko in The Mikado, for which he has some 22 productions to his credit. This season, Olds sings Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Hawaii Opera Theatre, Njegus in The Merry Widow for Utah Opera, Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance at Atlanta Opera, and Ko-Ko in The Mikado for Anchorage Opera. Living up to his singing acto...

Broadway’s Audiences Are Getting Younger

BY BRUCE HARING via www.deadline.com Broadway used to be the province of the blue hairs. But lately, the blue hairs attending shows are as likely to be kids and teens as they are the ladies who lunch. The Broadway League’s annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2017–2018, has been released, comparing current Broadway theater-going habits in New York City to previous seasons. The Broadway League was founded in 1930 and is the national trade association for the industry. From June 2017-May 2018, the League’s research department administered surveys at 49 different productions at 120 individual performance times. Shows were selected on a quarterly basis to represent what Broadway was offering that season (i.e., a proportionate number of musicals versus straight ...

The Drama Book Shop to Close Doors in 2019

BY OLIVIA CLEMENT via www.playbill.com The 100-year-old performing arts bookstore is reportedly looking to relocate after facing a steep rent increase. The Drama Book Shop, which celebrated its 100th anniversary just last October, has told Crain’s New York Business that it will close the doors to its longtime home in midtown in early 2019. The performing arts book shop, which boasts an impressive collection of play and musical scripts, biographies, guides, and history books, will reportedly look to re-open elsewhere in the theatre district. The Drama Book Shop’s vice president Allen Hubby told Crain’s New York that the closure was due to a recent, and steep, rent increase. The company has occupied its home at 250 West 40th Street for almost 20 years. The theatre community...

Singing? How to Transition From Chest Voice to Head Voice

BY ARDEN KAYWIN via www.backstage.com Does switching back and forth between chest and head voice give you anxiety? You’re not alone. The ability to transition from chest voice to head voice smoothly is the source of a lot of insecurity for many singers. And I don’t blame you! The middle voice can be tricky to negotiate and downright scary without good tools. Hopefully, the following insights will help. Many singers and voice teachers call this part of the voice “the break” because that’s exactly how it sounds and feels for many: like a fissure in your mechanism preventing you from moving fluidly from one register to another. Personally, I hate the term “the break.” I don’t use it and I encourage you to toss it out, too. The words we use to talk about our voices are important and using some...

Is the Cruise Ship Life for You?

via www.backstage.com Over the last few years, the production value of performances on cruise lines has skyrocketed, and it seems the days of putting a performer’s career out to pasture on the high seas are over. Cruise lines are attracting big-name talent, Broadway choreographers, and highly skilled set designers. RWS Entertainment Group, which works with Holland America and Azamara Club Cruises, has contributed to the uptick in the quality of singers, dancers, music, and set design. We spoke with Ryan Stana of RWS to hear about the misconception he most commonly encounters about working on a cruise ship, what to expect in auditions, and branded shows that tour cruise fleets—“much like touring Broadway productions,” he says. What’s a common misconception about working on a cruise ship tha...

Webinar Registration: WHAT’S NEW IN VECTORWORKS 2019

WHAT’S NEW IN VECTORWORKS 2019 FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY Tuesday, September 18 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET Vectorworks®  software is the industry-standard for entertainment design, production, and documentation. With the latest release of Spotlight, Vision, and Braceworks™, you can design, document, analyze, and pre-visualize your project in a seamless workflow that enables you to outpace the competition and impress your clients. Whether you work in the A/V industry or in lighting, scenic, film, event, or rigging design, you won’t want to miss our one-hour webinar with Frank Brault, as he explores the newest versions of Vectorworks Spotlight, Vision, and Braceworks. Attendees Will: Explore the many new improvements to Braceworks, including bridle calculations. Learn about major sp...

Broadway Swings: Covering the Ensemble in Musical Theatre (BOOK)

In this textbook for performers, the position of a Swing-an Understudy for the Ensemble-on Broadway is examined from every angle, showing just how vital Swings are to the success of anmusical theatre production. Authors J. Austin Eyer and Lyndy Franklin Smith draw on their own experiences as performers, and gather first-hand stories from other Swings about the glories and hardships of their industry. The book features interviews with over 100 Broadway pros-Swing veterans, Stage Managers, Casting Directors, Choreographers, and Directors-including Rob Ashford, Susan Stroman, Jerry Mitchell, Larry Fuller, Tony Stevens, Beverley Randolph, and Frank DiLella. Broadway Swings is the ideal guide for anyone considering a career in this most unique of positions, or anyone curious about what really g...

Becoming a Broadway Swing, Understudy, or Standby

BY CASEY MINK via www.backstage.com When it comes to “making it” on Broadway, the first thoughts are often of 11 o’clock numbers, Tony Awards, your name above the title on the marquee, and taking the final bow at curtain call every night. While those glamorous rewards can come with the territory, it’s far from the only Main Stem experience. In fact, the majority of performers on Broadway are part of the superhero army of swings, understudies, standbys, and replacements that alone keeps the Great White Way up and running. These gigs are frequently believed to be a mere breaking-in point to Broadway, the steppingstone to bigger and more principal gigs and originating roles. But that’s actually not true. In fact, many performers spend the entirety of their careers in these positions by choice...

How to Make a Living as an Extra

BY CASEY MINK via www.backstage.com There are many ways to make a living as an actor. For some, it means starring roles and a foot-long IMDb page. But that certainly isn’t the only way for actors to spend their lives on film and TV sets, getting paid to do so. Background acting—or ”extra” work—can absolutely be a full-time profession if you know how to go about it. That’s where we come in. In this guide, Backstage will provide all the information and resources you need to answer the question you came here with: How can I make a living as an extra? Why would I want to be an extra? Being an extra is a no-pressure way to gain firsthand experience on a set, make valuable connections, and get paid to watch experienced actors and creatives work. So, why wouldn’t you want to be an extra? You can ...

Broadway Stars Share Their Rejections On Social Media

Broadway is a tough industry, and if you’re going to pursue a career in theatre you’ve got to be prepared to face rejection fairly regularly. Though performers will often take to social media to share exciting news like booking a gig, very few will openly talk about jobs they didn’t book. This weekend, that changed when much of Broadway took to Twitter to participate in #ShareYourRejection – where performers talked about jobs they didn’t book and how though at the time it seemed hopeless, they soon rebounded. Check out some of the highlights from stars like Kelli O’Hara, Idina Menzel, Rachel Bloom, Patti Murin, Morgan James and more below… Do you have a rejection story you would like to share? #ShareYourRejection in the comments below! Kelli O̵...

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