Welcome to the world of theatre and it is a world unto itself. For the stage actor the ultimate is Broadway in NYC and London’s West End; But the Herculean task of 8 shows a week, input rehearsals for new cast replacements (Especially frequent for Musicals) and occasional benefit performances is also challenging for Regional and off Broadway runs.
Training is paramount! You cannot get by because you’re cute. The best film Actors have or still work in Theatre.
The following list will help guide you to how you need to prepare yourself.
This will be at the center of your training. It’s best to learn an acting technique that includes your own development, accessing your emotions, character work, working with the script.
These classes include Speech and Voice, Movement, Dancing, Singing, Musical Comedy. One doesn’t take the place of another.
Some begin with money for training, such as a financial account that was saved for College or graduate school. Others have to work around a job with flexible hours. Some people come into the profession later in life and have savings. Don’t let money stop you, but be aware of the cost of classes and day to day living including rent, electric, cell phone, scripts, travel, copies of scripts, copying scripts, mailings, unions, clothes, the gym makeup, grooming, computer, networking events, vitamins. Some places have work/study programs or scholarships. Save up some birthday and holiday gifts and use it for your career. Remember it takes 10 years to become a Doctor, Think about that also the rewards of being a theatre actor when you’re working that double shift.
4-You must stay in great shape
Yes dance and movement class helps but do include working out at the gym. You must have enormous energy available to you and a quick recupe system. A terrific actress Christianne Tisdale who I work with has been in many Broadway, west end, and regional shows (as well as TV) can sometimes prepare for as many as 10 auditions a week. Her auditions are the equivlant to the performances of many actors. So, you need to be in shape for performance and auditioning. (Not to mention life)
There isn’t a camera, no close-ups; we see what is going on with you thru your actions, attitude, physicality and activities. For instance Annie Edgerton who is in the Broadway show Mama Mia was working on a scene in class this week from the wonderful Broadway play by Donald Margolis “Time stands still. She brought her dinner salad into the scene. And worked with that for her activity. How she chewed, handled the food, stopped chewing and spoke with a mouthful gave us insight into what she was feeling and going thru. Acting for Theatre (an excerpt from my book “Star Power”) The ultimate climb, pushing you beyond your limitations, utilizing atomic energy, daring you to be risky and inventive, inviting you to transcend any doubts, alchemizing your fears into brilliance, demanding you to be the best you can be!
I wish for you to develop to be the best you can be at every given moment; that is both the great challenge of acting for theatre and the prize for being you!