Business

Take Charge of Your Freelance Career

BY COURTNEY HENRY via www.dancemagazine.com When I transitioned from company life to freelancing almost a year and a half ago, “adulting” got real. Quick. In my previous experience at Alonzo King Lines Ballet, details and scheduling of my daily life were decided for me. As I began my freelance career I quickly learned that the simple things we take for granted like call times and physical therapy suddenly become your decision, your responsibility. I know that many freelancers find this part of the job to be the biggest learning curve. Ironically, I find it’s also the most essential part to having success and maintaining a sense of control in this new life that has a forever shifting balancing point. In choosing this unconventional path, I knew tha...

Amber Gray, Tony nominee, on her ‘Hadestown’ audition from hell

BY ASHLEY LEEvia www.latimes.com When Amber Gray was auditioning for “Hadestown,” Anais Mitchell’s folk-operatic reimagining of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, she nearly blew it. The actress, who was making her Broadway debut in “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” at the time, couldn’t read sheet music but had prepared for the tryout by diligently listening to the assigned song from the production’s buzzy concept album — which had since been tweaked. “The accompanist was giving me all of these dirty looks, and I was so confused,” she told The Times with a laugh. Nevertheless, Gray got her ticket to “Hadestown,” which reimagines the underworld as a factory town. She booked the role of Persephone, who has arranged to spend half of the year with her manufacturer husb...

Entertainment Industry & Economic Survival

BY SOUND GIRLSElana Carrollvia www.theatreartlife.com Working toward a career goal in entertainment comes with a lot of baggage. Movies depict a certain sequence of events, ads promise a kind of instant gratification, and our elders say they were able to work their way up the ladder, buy a house, pay for college for the kids and retire. Never mind that movies aren’t real, that ads are intended to manipulate (at worst) and influence (at best) our spending habits, and that the jobs our elders had no longer exist. In spite of widespread understanding of these facts, our careers are still prodded and picked at by well-meaning friends, family, and even other creative professionals. The unspoken assumption is that there is a correct way to build a career, and that if you do it that way then you ...

Audition Advice with Casting Director Christine Sheaks

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com From “Fargo” to “Boogie Nights,” Christine Sheaks has cast some of the greats. Sheaks took a break from one of her current projects, the “Dramaworld” series on Netflix, to offer her take on auditioning best practices. Is there any advice that you think all actors should hear? “Actors need to know who they are and be connected to it before they get in the room. What makes an actor different is what’s going to get him or her the job; it’s a light that shines brightly. When William H. Macy used to audition, he did this so well. He’d just come in and do his thing. It may not have been for everyone, but it would always be true to who he was. I was the casting associate for ‘Fargo,’ and we had him come in and read several times. He wasn’t a star yet, bu...

15 Theatre Books to Add to Your Spring 2019 Reading List

BY DAN MEYER via www.playbill.com inter might still be here, but as the weather starts to change, take on some of these reads – great with a snuggly blanket or outside at the park. 1. Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations about Film, Television, and Theater, by Kathleen Turner and Dustin Morrow One of America’s most iconic actors, two-time Tony nominee Kathleen Turner looks back on her four-plus decades of work and shares the lessons she learned along the way. The book dives into some of her famous roles, as she discusses, with film professor Dustin Morrow, the techniques and skills she developed to become successful in the craft of acting. Filled with her signature wit (and that gravelly voice narrating in your head), this tome is bound to teach aspiring and established actors a ...

8 Must-Haves for a Self-Tape Home Studio

BY AMY RUSS via www.backstage.com Imagine you get an email from your agent tonight requesting a self-tape for a huge role that’s due first thing tomorrow morning. How do you react? Do you do your happy dance, confidently record at home with the correct equipment, and send your agent a professional quality self-tape ahead of the deadline? Or do you panic because you don’t have any lights (or other elements you need) and cobble something together that you’ll ultimately need to redo so your agent can submit it? If you’d react in the first way, well done! If you’d react in the second way, you need to up your self-tape game. A self-tape is crucial to your success as an actor and you need to be prepared when a last-minute request comes in. To make sure you’re ready when the requests come in, it’...

Actor Taxes: How to Prepare for the New Tax Law Changes

BY BAILIE SLEVIN via www.backstage.com I’m not an accountant but I am a financial advisor which means I’m one of the professionals people turn to for help in deciphering what could happen with their tax return, especially this year with these new tax laws. The changes are so sweeping and wide-reaching that we still don’t know exactly what the potential problems are and it’s easy to feel like you’re being dropped into a foreign system. So let’s talk about how to prepare, not just financially, but emotionally and practically as we creep closer to April 15. Accept that neither you nor your accountant has all the answers yet. This is the toughest and the most important. You may “know” this, but have you accepted it? Accepting it means that while you may not be happy about it, you also aren’t s...

You Must Practice Gratitude for Successes Big + Small

BY LEAH NANAKO WINKLER via www.backstage.com I am a playwright, and I cling to the love that surrounds me. I try not to bask in my own insecurities because that is dismissive of the people who support me. The world may say “no,” but it’s OK to carry a natural confidence, even if you’re a woman. But I try not to be so obsessed with myself—that’s dangerous. Or with critics—I’ve never been and never will be a perfect wispy darling. But I’m obsessed with my audience. I could die happy sitting in a dark theater with you, my throat tightening at the sound of your sobs, my heart vibrating by your laughter. I will love this feeling of strange intimacy for a lifetime. I will wake you if you’re snoring near me, but I enjoy that, too. How lucky am I to have something I love so much? So, I speak up wh...

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...

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...

Artistic Directors: Let’s Do Better

via www.americantheatre.org At its national conference in St. Louis June 14-16, TCG asked four theatre leaders to answer the question: How does the role of artistic director need to change for today’s world? All four delivered these “vision statements” as speeches to fellow leaders assembled for an artistic directors summit on Friday, June 14. They are published here with their permission. Modeling a Better World Howard Shalwitz, artistic director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. The theatre is a utopian enterprise that impacts our world by modeling a world that is better. It does this in a few different ways. It does it through the plays we produce on our stages, which, even though they are built on conflict, model the give and take of ideas, the depth of human struggle and connection, an...

  • 1
  • 2