Performance

An MRI Reveals How the Vocal Tract Changes Singing Four Different Ways

BY LORI DORN via www.laughingsquid.com Using an MRI machine at the NYU Langone Voice Center, the very talented vocalist and teacher Tyley Rossbrilliantly demonstrated the changing physicality of his vocal tract as he sang the classic Puccini aria “Nessun Dorma” in four different ways; a light and heady mix, “forward facing Broadway”, “back and down Opera” and in a rock style. As seen through the MRI, each vocal style had its own set physical features. What you’re looking at here are comparative images of the same vowel being sung at the same moment in each vocal style. …take a moment to see for yourself how the anatomical features of the vocal tract that we can see here align differently in each style. How does the tongue position differently? How about the view on the mouth opening? How a...

Economy of Movement and the Theatre mask

BY JONATHAN BECKER via www.theatre-masks.com Neutral Mask Class What is Economy of movement? Why would that be important? I was once having a conversation with a colleague and had just mentioned having finished the section on neutral theatre mask. She asked me how long I had spent with the students on the neutral mask exercises. I replied eight weeks. She was shocked. What were you doing for eight weeks she asked? I had to think for a minute before replying because for me the answer was simply, neutral mask work. It occurred to me that not much has been written about the class work with the masks or what surrounds the mask work that makes it so deeply effecting for the students.   It is not enough to simply hand out the masks and get started. The student needs a foundation for understandin...

A Word to the Wise on Resumes & Cover Letters

BY JAY DUCKWORTH via www.stage-directions.com We get so many resumes here at the Public Theater it’s sometimes hard to go through all of them. So, there are some things I look for and some things that are just standard practices. With a lot of you graduating out there or applying for internships or maybe just old codgers like me looking to revisit and update your resume so you can remember where you worked and how cool it was, here are some good rules and tips from us, (myself and Sara Swanberg, the prop shop manager for The Public Theater), the people who have to actually read your resumes and make hiring decisions.

The North American Lab for the Performing Arts: Registration for Summer Workshops

The North American Lab for the Performing Arts A space in the heart of the midwest founded as a place where artists can learn from each other, teach and create new work.Participate in a creative act.  Create change and what better place to do it than in the center of the United States in Muncie, Indiana. All are welcome here!  Learn more about NALPA. The Summer of 2018 will offer three workshops: Come live learn and work together. Workshop participants are all housed in the Charles Over Mansion or hosted by one of the neighbors in the historic district. Everyone eats breakfast and lunch together and then can use the kitchen to prep food for dinner or head out on the town. There are several great places within walking distance. I have recognized that now more than ever artists need to explo...

How to Set Up Your Home Voiceover Studio

BY CASEY MINK via www.backstage.com Whether you’re a practiced voiceover actor with years of experience and dozens of credits to your name, or you’re only just now trying to break into the voiceover game, a home VO studio can do wonders for you and your career. A home voiceover studio is also a great way to subsidize your income from the comfort of your very own house or apartment (which means you don’t even need to change out of your pajamas), and you can put the work in on a schedule that fits you and you alone. But how do you even begin to turn an existing space into a voiceover enclave? And what materials will you need? And, perhaps most importantly, what is it all going to cost? Get answers to that and more right here in the Backstage Guide for setting up your home voiceover studio. W...

Acting Games

Acting Games Warm-ups and practices are meant to be productive, but why not make them fun by playing games to get you into the groove (because who doesn’t like to play games)? Not only can these activities help students get warmed up, but they also help them feel more comfortable and focused. The games are broken into categories and also list the age range they work best for and the difficulty level. There are games for all ages included, some of which you may have heard of before. Remember, you can’t put an age on having fun! Check out the link below to get started with these helpful tools! http://www.stagemilk.com/acting-games/

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Broadway Home Is Revealed in Stunning New Photos

The Lyric Theatre has undergone a complete renovation after temporarily closing in the spring of 2017. BY: JASON ZEDNICK via  www.theatremania.com A view inside the newly renovated Lyric Theatre, home to Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (© Dorothy Hong) With the recent unveiling of the new marquee for Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the big question has been what magic is in store inside the newly renovated Lyric Theatre’s interior. The top-to-bottom redesign (helmed by Christine Jones and Brett J. Banakis and overseen by Gary Beestone) has been unveiled in eye-catching new photos released by Ambassador Theatre Group. The Lyric Theatre underwent a complete renovation after temporarily closing in 2017. (© Dorothy Hong) Harry Potter and the Cursed...

Williamstown Theatre Festival – Apprentice Applications NOW OPEN!

THE WTF APPRENTICE PROGRAM IS A HANDS-ON, FULLY IMMERSIVE INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE DURING THE SUMMER SEASON OF THE TONY AWARD-WINNING WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL. THIS PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO BE A BRIDGE BETWEEN EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL THEATRE. PREFERENCE IS GIVEN TO CANDIDATES WHO ARE JUNIORS OR SENIORS IN COLLEGE AND TO RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES.  DATES: The 2018 Apprentice Program runs from June 14 – August 19. Full term attendance is required. COST: The approximate total cost of the WTF Apprentice Program is $4,250. This cost represents housing for the program’s full term with a private bedroom, a full meal plan provided by Williams College Dining Services, and all of the professional development workshops. COLLEGE CREDIT/EMC: The WTF Apprentice Program is...

“Meals 4 Monologues” Upcoming Events by Casting Society of America

Casting Society Cares (CSC), the nonprofit 501c3 charitable arm of the Casting Society of America (CSA), is holding “Meals 4 Monologues” events in various cities across the country. “Meals for Monologues” benefits local-area food banks while providing talent with the opportunity to perform for casting directors, agents, managers, directors, music directors, and others members of the entertainment industry. Upcoming Events & Where to find more information: November 19, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA  https://www.facebook.com/CSACastingSocietyCares/ and http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080944a4ab29a7f49-meals1 November 19, 2017 – Cleveland, OH Location: Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Ave., Kennedy Theater, Cleveland, OH 44115 https://www.facebo...

Voice Over Auditions by the Numbers

By KATE McCLANAGHAN via www.backstage.com How many auditions do you imagine it takes to land a single voiceover job? Five? Ten? Twenty? There must be an average. There is, but it’s likely to be a great deal more than you might think. You build your professional reputation as a voice talent and as an actor by consistently delivering exceptional auditions. Lots and lots and lots of them. Which is why tenacity is such a critical element to succeeding in this (or any business). So if it’s walking and chewing gum you’re after, best keep walking. There’s not much demand for that. You can’t underestimate that the bulk of your job as a professional talent is auditioning. You could even consider auditions your greatest form of promotion—they just shouldn’t be your only form of promotion (as it appe...

J.K. Simmons to Aspiring Actors: Listen, Listen, Listen

Photo Source: Courtesy of Freestyle Digital Media Oscar winner and self-professed “journeyman” J.K. Simmons is the kind of actor who pops up in just about everything, and often when you least expect him. (It was easy, for instance, to miss last year’s super-quick cameo reunion with “Whiplash” director Damien Chazelle in “La La Land,” no?) His latest project, however, puts him front and center as a widower and father who, after moving across the country for a new teaching job, learns to love again. “The Bachelors” is a heartfelt and touching comedy with newcomer writer-director Kurt Voelker—and it also showcases a never-better and emotionally exacting Simmons. The veteran actor recently talked to Backstage about his latest film, his love of sharing the screen with young talent, and the impo...

‘Describe the Night’: A Tale of Adversity, Told in Adversity

Despite the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Alley Theatre miraculously managed to open Rajiv Joseph’s timely new play on time. BY TREVOR BOFFONE On Monday, Aug. 28, the last thing playwright Rajiv Joseph imagined he’d be doing was volunteering at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, then a Hurricane Harvey shelter. While rains continued to flood the city, Joseph was busy writing P.A. announcements for the shelter: what time showers were arriving, when meals would be served, when lights on and off were, where there were warm dry clothes, etc. For Joseph, the process wasn’t unlike rehearsing a new play. After getting feedback from his stage manager, Lori Lundquist, Joseph realized that he sounded like a “vice principal reading morning P.A. announcements.” But the p...

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