Do you de-value your own work? The Enterprising Actor shares her thoughts:
“Sometimes a project comes across my transom that I’m interested in and appropriate for but the pay rate is shockingly low. In film/TV/commercial work, my agency generally has already negotiated the rate and to increase it substantially isn’t really an option. Everything can be negotiated, though, so recently I responded to my agent that I would be interested in a project, but that the pay was simply too low to justify the time I would be investing in the project…” Here’s the rest!
Hey New Yorkers! Have the day off?
Grab your reading glasses because here’s a challenge for ya!
As theatre artists, we should (and I think we want) to be as well-read as possible when it comes to scripts. It keeps a constant flow of new audition material coming our way, plants ideas for scenes we’d like to work on in scene study class, and as professionals, it is just completely necessary.
So here’s my bookish challenge: How many plays can you cram in one day?
The following NYC locations are all within walking distance of one another. Also, this challenge is complete with perks!
To all the struggling performers out there: close down the browser that’s searching for a survival job, close down that one with your diminishing checking account staring you in the face, put down the book of audition monologues your desperately flipping through. Now look back on your past career as a whole and compare it to your dream job in the future. Are you the person you always dreamed you’d become? I urge you to throw that question away and replace it with this: Are you happy with the person you are now?
As a child, I told everyone I encountered that I was going to be an astronaut and walk on the moon. Moving into my teens, I advanced from my astronomical fascination and moved into the glossy eyed land of superstardom infatuation, tenaciously stopping at nothing to become a famous movie star. Currently, in my early twenties, I seem pretty thrilled simply to tell anyone who will listen that I have a low paying, non-union, zero budget job in which I get to do a bit of singing and dancing.
What exactly was the bridging gap between young enthusiastic dreamer and current day realistic survivor? Is it years of rejection at auditions that bring our dreams crashing to the ground? Is it that dwindling bank account that keeps us accepting jobs we never thought we’d wind up doing? Or is it a genuine change of heart that moves our life in a different direction.
I went to college and wanted nothing more than to study stage combat—I filled out a lot of paperwork to make sure there would be no obstacles. This week, I filled out some more paperwork, to declare a second minor in Combat Movement.
No, my school doesn’t actually offer a minor in Stage Combat—I have been incredibly lucky and willing to fill out all sorts of paperwork that allowed me to self-design a minor that uses my dance and combat credits. Essentially, I got to give myself a future degree in something I am passionate about and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study. I didn’t plan on picking up a second minor—between majoring in theatre and minoring in creative writing, my semesters are usually over the maximum. But I was planning out my schedule for senior year and realized that with all the classes I had taken already (plus what I was going to take next), I could complete another minor easily.
Why combat? I’m not planning on becoming a fight choreographer and I could have created a minor in Playwriting or Feminist Poetry or even major in Halloween (which has actually been done here!).
My solo show, View from the Pews, has been invited to perform at the Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project Women’s Work Festival next month! Follow along on my journey as I post weekly about what I am doing to prepare, and the kind of progress I am making.
Tasks Week 1:
Edit script. Then let it go; let this production’s version of the script happen. Tinker more, later. Get my game plan together: action steps and deadlines! Send program and other requested info to producers of Festival. Confirm technical specs for the slides, or devise a plan to do the show without them. Generate a prop list. Check with Equity about getting a Solo Show Waiver
My j.o.b. involves a decent amount of time spent on the phone. People calling for lost credit cards or to book an event or with questions on what game the bar is playing on what day. Blah blah blah.
I can’t tell you how many people call and they have no idea how to talk on the phone. Which inevitably means I sit there listening to “Um…I think maybe…uhhh…are you…um….” And it is the most obnoxious thing in the entire world, so I am making it a bit of a mission to help improve people’s phone calling etiquette.
So here are a few tips on how to talk on the phone – it sounds simple, but it really makes a big difference in how you present yourself to someone who can’t see you.
For several years after I started taking acting lessons, I stagnated because I was afraid to actually audition for anything. Once I worked up the nerve to do so, I found immediate success in community theater roles and even a few entry-level professional roles. I discovered acting somewhat late in life, and a fear that turned out to be unwarranted robbed me of even more time as a performer.
While I have had a very good first year as an actor, I have butted up against another fear: the fear of monologues. This was not a fear of rejection or failure like that of my audition anxiety. Rather, I could not get my head around where to begin in memorizing a large block of text. Learning a monologue is unlike any sort of task I’ve ever undertaken. My study habits in my youth were haphazard, and even in the plays I have done so far I have been able to rely on the constant cues of on-stage back-and-forth dialogue to remind me what to say next. I just did not know where to begin.
The British Dancer shares her thoughts on how to confidently share dreams with friends and family.
“There are certain times in our lives when we suddenly feel forced to define ourselves and our future. Weddings are one such example. Relatives and friends that you don’t see or communicate with very often, naturally, want to know what you have done, where you are at and, most importantly, what your plans are for the future. Somehow, the truth doesn’t always sounds as good out loud when talking to your great Aunt who doesn’t have the slightest idea about the struggles of a performers reality. Instead of admitting that I see myself on Broadway in the future, I found myself waffling on about how I hadn’t really thought about it and …” Keep reading-