I sent out a message on Facebook recently asking my theatre friends, “If you could give some advice to a total theatre newbie, what advice would you give?” And boy, oh boy, did I get a ton of responses! Turns out theatre people have lots of opinions! In fact, I got so many suggestions, that I decided to break them down into different sections, and this one is the first.
I think everyone will agree that being a performer is NOT easy. In fact, it’s a lot of hard work! (The musical Fame even made it into a song, so you KNOW it’s legit!) You can’t expect to attend a couple of rehearsals and just magically become a great actor, singer, dancer or performer. You need to make practice and hard work part of your daily life if you hope to have a chance of making it! There’s honestly no substitute for putting the hours in, on your own time, even when you’d rather be doing something else.
Here’s some fantastic advice from theatre friends of mine about buckling down and doing the work. I agree with every single one of their points!
- “You’ll need to learn lines and music at home and not just think they’re going to come to you by attending rehearsal!”
- “Attending rehearsal is NOT optional. If you’re called, you better be there.”
- “Research your show and learn about its history, so on the first audition you don’t go in blind!”
- “Do your research. Think about your part. Learn about every aspect of production.”
- “Set goals towards learning and memorizing your lines! The faster you get that done, the faster you can immerse yourself in your character.”
- “When learning your lines, you also have to memorize who says the line before you and what it is so you know when to say your own lines.”
- “Even when you’ve memorized your lines, keep drilling them into your brain so it sounds more natural.”
- “Always practice your music! If you stop singing your songs you may lose your range, especially during puberty!”
- “DO be quiet backstage – practice it during rehearsals and BE it during the run. Not only can the audience hear you, you are unfairly distracting the people who are performing now. Undermining someone else’s part – even unintentionally – is incredibly rude and unprofessional.”
- “When you go on stage, take everything you’ve got into the performance and leave it there! You should be tired from rehearsals because it is a workout!”
Thanks to Aimee Adler, Kristina Baron-Woods, Blake Smith, & Marina Sheppard for their contributions!
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