Performance

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...

Mastering 14 Roles, Broadway Swing Angelo Soriano is Ready to Play Nearly Any Role

BY SCOTT HELLERvia www.nytimes.com it was a Friday afternoon on a two-show day in a nine-performance week, and Angelo Soriano, a cast member in the hit Broadway musical “Aladdin,” was in his sixth-floor dressing room, not yet sure what he might be asked to do that night. Would tumbling be required? Sword fighting? In the exuberant “Friend Like Me” dance number, would he make a comic appearance as a game-show host (in aqua spangles) or be one of the waiters (in red)?0:372:28Soriano and fellow swings demonstrate choreography for ‘‘Arabian Nights,’’ ‘‘Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim’’ and ‘‘Friend Like Me.’’Video by Sasha Arutyunova As what’s known in Broadway parlance as a “swing,” Soriano is paid to master a head-spinning 14 roles, though he is never certain he will go onstage in any of ...

Women of Broadway: Friendship at King Kong

BY The Ensemblist Eliza Ohman The women of King Kong on Broadway spend a lot of time together. Our show is spent either onstage or squeezed into a backstage dressing gondola that makes a cramped East Village studio seem palatial. There’s no escaping each other. Fortunately, we’re a silly bunch and we’ve really embraced the absurdity of our setup. On any given day you can expect to find one or more of us participating in very involved interpretative dances, incorporating lifts, props, and feedback from our audience (any girls not participating in that day’s events). We’re a bit of a mess, but it’s one of the happiest messes I’ve ever experienced. I’m continually grateful to our casting and creative team who brought this group of misfits together. Now, almost six months into our run, our dyn...

How Game of Thrones has been great for British theatre

BY ANDRZEJ LUKOWSKIvia www.thestage.co.uk I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. Not because I have any problem with topless dragon fighting and whatnot, it’s just there are so many episodes that by the time I really clocked it was a thing, it felt a bit late to catch up. Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped it becoming a fairly big part of my life over the last few years. That’s because its enormous success has become so intimately entwined with British theatre. With its hordes of characters, default Brit accents and Northern Irish filming locations, GoT has been a huge employer of UK stage actors. It first came on to my radar in 2013, when I interviewed Ciaran Hinds for The Night Alive, a Conor McPherson play at the Donmar. The veteran Irish actor played a chap called Mance Rayder for...

Audacity 101 Webinar – Register today!

Audacity 101 Webinar Instructor: Amanda Rose Smith Date: Tuesday, May 21 Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm ET Location: Webinar Price: $45.00 In this 90 minute webinar, Amanda Rose Smith will teach you about the basics of working with DAW software through a detailed look at Audacity. Bring all of your DAW questions, the class will be followed immediately by a 30 minute Q&A session. This class will show you the basic skills you need in order to successfully use Audacity, including recording/editing basics, how to master files, and how to save those files in the proper format. Instructor Bio: Amanda discovered a love of recording while earning a BA in Music Composition from Smith College and a Masters Degree in Music Technology at New York University. Since then she’s worked as a live so...

How to Brand Yourself with Headshots

BY CAT ELLIOTTvia www.castingnetworks.com Headshots are often the first impression casting directors have of actors. They see a thumbnail for a brief moment as they scroll through a large volume of submissions, and as an actor, you hope something about your headshot makes you stand out. But as top LA photographer Vanie Poyey tells us, it’s more than just taking a pretty picture. Knowing which characters you’re right for, as well as having a grasp of your overall brand, allows you to best market yourself as an actor. But how do you translate all this to your headshots? Poyey took time from her busy shooting schedule to give actors some guidance on the process. Know the Character Types in Your Wheelhouse “If you have an agent, ask them what looks they want. Some agents will give you specific...

A Day in the Life of a Stunt Double

BY CAT ELLIOTTvia www.castingnetworks.com If you’ve ever wondered what goes into the magic of on-camera stunts, keep reading. Stunt woman Katie Eischen, known for her work in “Supergirl,” “The Bourne Legacy” and “Date Night,” shares what a typical day looks like in the life of a stunt double. What’s your schedule like when you’re not on set? “I’m either training or doing what’s called ‘hustling.’ That entails taking my headshot and resume to stunt coordinators. If they’re on a location that I can show up to, I just drop in really quick to say hi and give them my materials. I take note of what they say to me, and then a couple of months later, I reach out to tell them I’ve taken their advice and thank them for it. Recently, a stunt coordinator said, ‘I see your contact info in my phone...

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...

A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com Ever wonder what it’s like to be the voice behind an animated character? How about the voice behind a commercial pitch or the lead character in a video game? Look no further. Veteran voice actor Greg Chun, known for voicing George Roberts in “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,” Ike in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and Takayuki Yagami in “Judgment,” shares a typical day in the life of a voice artist and offers insights for those considering a career in the field. What’s a typical day look like for you? “I wake up and see what auditions are due in the morning, and I’ll jump in my home studio by around 8 o’clock to hammer those out. Then I’ll leave to go to my recording sessions for jobs I’ve already booked for that day. Afterwards, if I have more audition...

Romeo + Juliet: Star-crossed lovers bridging the gap between American Sign Language and English

BY MISHA BERSON  via www.seattletimes.com In ACT Theatre’s “Romeo + Juliet,” Joshua Castille, as Romeo, will discourse primarily through American Sign Language (ASL). Gabriella O’ Fallon, as Juliet, will deliver her lines in spoken English. Shakespeare’s text has gone through a several-step translation process, then turned into ASL poetry. Wooing Juliet from beneath her balcony, Romeo proclaims, “O, speak again, bright angel!” The star-crossed teen lovers do a lot of talking in Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet,” which contains some of the richest, most passionately lyrical verse in the Bard of Avon’s canon. And the pair will have plenty to say in the new ACT Theatre production — but they will be speaking the speech in two different languages. Noted deaf...

10 Skills for Audiobook Narration + Voice Work

BY MARC CASHMAN via www.backstage.com Narrating an audiobook is the most challenging work you can do in voiceover. It takes myriad skills to navigate them successfully but if you can master the 10 skills below, you’ll be successful in accomplishing a performance most audiobook listeners take for granted. 1. Articulation This involves enunciating words and phrases correctly, clearly, and cleanly. There should be no over- or under-articulation (unless it’s a character); no sibilance or whistling (most commonly heard on the letter S or soft C) or lisping, and little to no mouth noise. 2. Breathing You must have enough breath so you don’t run out of air at the end of sentences or gasp for breath between or inside sentences. There should be no fading, swallowing, or gulping. Breath control also...

Actor Advice: Auditioning at Unified General Auditions

BY KEIKO GREEN via www.tpsonline.org Actor Advice from a UGA Volunteer Before she joined the TPS staff, Facilities Manager Libby Barnard volunteered at the Unified General Auditions — she has also auditioned numerous times, and plans to do so again this year. (Haven’t signed up yet? Click here to register!) This is a post she put together in 2014 about what she learned as a UGA volunteer. (Want to be a volunteer? Click here for info!) We post this as an additional resource that may be helpful for those preparing this year. The following are Libby’s personal opinions and do not reflect those of Theatre Puget Sound or our UGA auditors. ======================================= Obviously you can’t please every auditor. What follows is just my own opinion and lessons I decided to take, as a fell...

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