5 Questions with Broadway Casting Director – Patrick Goodwin

pat-goodwinOver the past 10 years, I have had the amazing fortune of working with a ton of brilliant casting directors in this industry. Personally, I have gained so much knowledge by sitting next to these amazing guests. Working with casting directors who have witnessed thousands of auditions has informed me and provided me with expertise as both a director and as a teacher.

I have taught so many master classes alongside of Patrick Goodwin of Telsey + Company. He has always been so generous with actors; especially kids. Pat is so smart and has helped many of our Broadway Workshop students reach their greatest potential. He is not only a great casting director, but also such an amazing teacher. The amount of time he took with every child auditioning for the revival of Annie was truly inspiring to me. That’s a lot of listening to “Tomorrow”.

Pat Goodwin has been with Telsey + Company Casting for over a decade. He has been directly involved in the casting of the Broadway productions of Waitress, Finding Neverland, Pippin, Annie, Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the Broadway bound productions of The Spongebob Musical, The Honeymooners. Telsey Casting is responsible for the casting of shows like Hamilton, Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof, The Color Purple and the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Anastasia and Hello Dolly and the NBC musicals The Sound of Music Live, Peter Pan Live and Hairspray Live.

As we prepare to bring Pat back to Broadway Workshop for a KIDS ON BROADWAY workshop, I asked Pat to answer a few questions about the casting process. Check out “5 questions with Broadway Casting Director Patrick Goodwin,” and we hope to see you at Pat’s KIDS ON BROADWAY workshop next Sunday!

5 QUESTIONS WITH A BROADWAY CASTING DIRECTOR
1) What is your favorite project you have worked on?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite, because I’ve loved all the projects I’ve been fortunate to work on. But if I had to pick one, I think I’d have to say Waitress. I love the style of the music and the challenges of finding the right people to fit the very specific roles in the show.

2) What is the most interesting thing you have seen an open call?
What I find most interesting in open calls are people who really know what their strengths and are very comfortable in their own skin.

3) What is your favorite audition song?
There’s SO many, I can’t pick a favorite, but I will say that it’s very dependent on the person. What works for one person will not be a wise choice for another person because there’s so many different types that people fall under.

4) What is the biggest mistake you see from kids and parents at auditions?
Not being prepared. Your preparation is the one thing you have control over in auditions, so don’t come in unprepared. Do your homework!

5) What is the biggest challenge of your job?
The biggest challenge is also the biggest reward- discovering new talent by thinking outside the box and using non-traditional avenues to find new people.

Bonus Question:
What was your first Broadway show?
RENT!

Pat Goodwin is set to teach a KID ON BROADWAY workshop on Sunday November 13th. This workshop is geared for students ages 8-13 and will take place at Ripley Grier Studios. For more information on this class CLICK HERE!

Marc Tumminelli is the owner and director of Broadway Workshop in NYC – 11/4/16

The art of the perfect theatrical RESUME!

Your resume needs some love…

It’s pretty weird for a kid to have a resume but in this business, you need one. The format for a theatrical resume is not like a professional non-theatrical resume. I’ve seen so many resumes from kids and teens that are pretty much a hot mess so I hope this helps. Below are some tips to make sure your resume looks as good as you! I have also included a sample resume for you to use.

  • Make sure your resume is clean and easy to read!
  • You should have a list format – the name of the show (CAPS), role you played, theater or company that produced that show. Do not use full sentences.
  • Make sure that your contact information is current and correct. If no one can reach you, then it’s all kind of pointless, isn’t it?
  • Less is more. You should list the credits you are most proud of first (especially if you have a lot of credits). The Middle School Christmas concert is not really necessary. When listing education, you do not need to list every workshop or class you’ve ever taken. And if you’ve been in 60 musicals, maybe list 10-15 of those projects. Keep it current!
  • Your resume should be printed on 8 x 10 paper and fit perfectly on the back of your 8 x 10 headshot. Normally, paper is 8.5 x 11. If you are going to print on 8.5 x 11 paper, then you will need to cut it down to the right size. It’s a real pain, so why not just buy 8 x 10 paper.
  • Your resume should ONLY be 1 page.
  • Do not add reviews or extra attachments to your resume. It just makes it look messy (and a little desperate).
  • Do not use those plastic sheets on your headshot/resume. Save them for your music book.
  • Do not put your address on your resume. You never know where these things end up and the last thing anyone needs is a photo of you and your home address attached to it.
  • Make sure you have the correct spelling of any teachers or directors you have worked with. I have seen my name spelled in insane ways on resumes. It makes me crazy.
  • Make sure the type point is at least 10 point. If you need to reduce it to less than that, you have too many things on your resume. Avoid using multiple fonts – don’t use more than 2 different fonts.
  • When you create your special skills list, make sure you can do those actual skills at any moment. If you need a half hour to warm up to do your duck impression, maybe it’s not that special. Only add acrobatics if you can do a back handspring or better. A cartwheel is not actually acrobatics. It’s a cartwheel.
  • Try to avoid embellishments on your resume. Industry professionals who are looking at your headshot and resume know that you are a young performer and they appreciate whatever you have on your resume. Be proud of your credits and avoid trying to make anything sound fancier than it actually is.
  • Commercials are often listed as Conflicts Available Upon Request. That basically that means if you have a deal with Coke, you can’t have a deal with Pepsi. If you don’t have any deals or you are not really auditioning for commercials then you can just remove that section.

I hope you have found this helpful. Take a look at the resume templet below and use it. I hope this has helped a bit as you put together your winning resume. Next week I’ll talk more about your headshots so stay tuned.

resume-template-2017

 

MARC TUMMINELLI – Broadway Workshop 10/27/17

5 Broadway Performances You Need to Watch Right Now!

 

4 Broadway Performances you need to watch right now

It’s no secret that I am a huge Broadway fan. Pretty much everyone who works on my team loves the theatre so much, we can’t imagine working in any other industry. I have been seeing Broadway shows since 1987. My first Broadway show was Ain’t Misbehavin. I hated every single second of it. But luckily, I also saw a Broadway show called Jerome Robbins Broadway not long after. It changed my life. As a new crop of kids come up and fall in love with Broadway the way I did, I want to make sure they have seen some of the most incredible Broadway performances that are streaming on Youtube right now!

So here are my must watch Broadway (and beyond) moments.

1) Christine Ebersole – GREY GARDENS. When Christine sang the 11 o’clock number – Another Winter in a Summer Town in Grey Gardens, I held my breath for the entire 9 minutes. This is a master class in acting a song and telling a story. Also Christine has the most perfect voice and I will see her do anything!

2) Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner – SIDE SHOW. When I was a senior in high school I got a comp to a Wednesday matinee of Side Show on Broadway. I cut school (I am not advocating that, but listen kids, if you get a comp to Side Show on Broadway and it’s 1997 you can go). These two woman blew the roof off the place, It was so exciting. I went back a few more times during that Broadway run. Listen to that ORIGINAL cast recording kids, Listen to it till you know it.

 

3) Sheri Renee Scott – THE LAST 5 YEARS. All you really need to know is I saw this show so much, the people in the box office at the Minetta Lane theatre knew my name. Sheri and Norbert were brilliant, Jason Robert Brown’s score is perfect. This song is musical theatre magic and Sheri finds every possible moment.

4) Sara Ramirez – I WILL FOLLOW. This one is not from an actual musical but when you hear Sara (pronounced – SA-DA, confusing but whatever) belt this Jason Robert Brown song you will know why it made the list. This performance was from a benefit concert in 2001 in the east village. I was there and I remember every second of it! You probably know Sara from Grey’s Anatomy but lets hope we get her back on Broadway soon.

 

 

 

Industry Showcase and why it’s FREE

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Alessandra Baldacchino 2012 Showcase

Industry Showcase – a REALLY free event

Since 2008, Broadway Workshop has been producing a FREE industry showcase in conjunction with The Random Farms Kids’ Theater (RFKT). Random Farms is an amazing organization based in Elmsford, NY (Westchester County). I worked at Random Farms for many years with Anya Wallach who created RFKT and who has done amazing things for youth theatre.

Anya and I were seeing so many companies offering Industry Showcases where students were paying $400-$800 to participate. We felt that together we could produce a showcase where every student accepted would not have to pay a fee to perform in front of agents or managers and we could really help jump start so many careers.

Typically, we have around 300 students audition each year and we create a cast of 40-50 students to perform on the big night in NYC. Anya and I rent an off Broadway theatre venue to present the showcase and we are able to bring together around 30 top industry professionals to attend every year.

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Rachel Resheff – appeared in our first showcase!

So you might be asking “What is the catch?” There legitimately isn’t one. It’s such a win/win for us. Yes, its a ton of work to put the event together, setting up auditions, scheduling industry guests etc., but we get the amazing pleasure of working with students we have never met and giving a really amazing opportunity to kids we are currently working with. It’s also really incredible to help educate parents about the industry and what to expect. It’s my favorite thing to see a kid from our showcase go on to a Broadway show. It’s been such a rewarding process for us!

Since we started, the students cast in the annual showcase have gone on to huge things, Broadway shows, TV shows and movies. Just a few of the kids that got their start
in our showcase include: Katherine Reis (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bull, All We Had), Rachel Resheff (Shrek, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, Fish in the Dark), Gianna Harris (School of Rock), Zachary Unger (Billions, Containment, Bway – Chaplin, Newsies), Alessandra Baldacchino (Fun Home) and the list goes on and on.

Our 2016 Showcase dates have just been announced and audition sign ups will begin the first week of November. Click here for more info!  We hope you will come out and audition either in NYC or in Elmsford at Random Farms’ Studio!

Marc Tumminelli – 10/13/16

So you want to go to college for musical theatre…

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YAY! It’s time to go to college! Because you are happiest when you are performing, you’re taking the big leap and you’re going to spend 4 years majoring in Theatre. So, basically, you picked a hard profession… but every profession is hard. At least you are doing something that is so exciting you can’t imagine doing anything else. (And you have awesome parents that want to support your dream!)

I have been coaching students for the past 10 years for college auditions. I do not know it all but I am happy to share things that I think are important and some things that I have learned along the way!

  • Make a spreadsheet with ALL of the info for ALL of the schools that you are auditioning for. I am talking: NAME OF SCHOOL, DATE OF AUDITION, DUE DATE OF PRESCREEN, MUSICAL PIECES NEEDED, ACTING PIECES NEEDED – ANY info that you need to keep track of.
  • Pick good material and be prepared. Every school has different requirements but you will track that in your spreadsheet, mentioned above – you’re welcome! For the most part, you need to have 2 contrasting Musical Theatre Songs and 2 contrasting Monologues from PUBLISHED PLAYS. I would suggest you have around 4-5 songs ready (full songs and 16-32 bar cuts) and 3 monologues. You need to find songs and monologues that work for you and that are not too mature for you.

On Finding Songs – For some help finding great songs, check out my BLOG from two weeks ago.

On Finding Monologues – Yes, monologues are hard to find. You have some options though. Go to a coach or spend a day at the Drama Book Shop. The staff at the Drama Book Shop will help you look through plays to find something that will work! Or just pull plays off the wall and read the back. If you find something that has characters your age, keep reading. If it says “16 middle-aged women go on a camp retreat” put it back. Get it? I would avoid monologues from “monologue books” – even if the monologues are from published plays. Make sure you read the play and you feel comfortable talking about the author and the play itself. Do the research. Do the work.

  • Learn about the school – You should make sure you know a lot about the schools: What is campus life like? What opportunities will you have as a student? What is the closest big city? Can you see yourself spending four years there? Etc. Many programs do not let you perform for the first year. If you are not okay with that, well, maybe that school is not for you. Research the schools’ alumni. This will give you some good background of the students that have come out of that program.
  • Keep an audition log – You are going to audition for a bunch of schools. You should keep a record of who you have auditioned for: What did you perform? Did they ask you any questions in the room? What did they ask you? Did they give you an adjustment? What did you wear? What was your impression of the school? Did they pay attention to you? How did you feel about your overall experience? Etc.
  • Be yourself –They want to meet YOU. Have fun, show them who you are and have a great time in the room, Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. There is only one you! You are going to get into a school so show them who you are and why you are a big ol’ star!
  • Get help – Broadway Workshop has a team of coaches that can help you prepare for these auditions. We have another One Day College Audition Intensive coming up on December 18th. Stay tuned for that info.

 

We hope this helps you on your College Audition journey!

-Marc Tumminelli – 10.6.16

 

Looking for Representation or “How do we get an agent?”

IMG_7351Most adults, kids, parents and pretty much any performer without an agent or a manager thinks that if they could just get an agent everything about their career will change. They are not wrong. An agent or manager can help a performer get into the room for projects like Broadway shows, movies, TV shows etc that you just can’t get into on your own. So how can you get one??

If you feel your child is ready for representation, there is a lot you can do to get the ball rolling. Remember, this is a business and if you get your child an agent or manager, you (the parent) must be prepared to get into NYC for auditions, be ready to film self tapes at a moments notice and your child will be missing parties, after school activities and other events because they have auditions and hopefully a job.

If you are still reading, here are some helpful tips…

*Do a mailing! This is super old school and it’s a long shot but not impossible to get some attention. There is a service called Henderson Enterprises, that puts together pre made lists of agents/managers in specific categories (kids, commercial, voice over). For a pretty small fee you can download or buy pre-printed lists of industry folks to send your child’s headshot and resume to. You can write a short cover letter saying your child is looking for representation, maybe mention what they are currently working on or if they are taking a class with anyone they might know. 98% of these will end up at the bottom of the trash bin but it can not hurt. If you are the right fit for what they need in their roster they may call you in for a meeting. http://www.nyactingagents.com/new-york-acting-business/actors-mailing-labels.html

*One day workshop with an agent or manager. A bunch of programs offer agent or manager workshops. Be aware of what you are signing up for. They are not all good and know it’s just an opportunity to get in front of industry and perform. There is no guarantee. Also be aware any company that is really selling the dream is not somewhere I would want my kid (I don’t have a kid, but you get it). We at Broadway Workshop don’t offer a ton of these. We do try to offer enough opportunities where agents and managers would see your child perform during some of our class showcases and productions.

*Ask a friend. If you have a friend that works with an agent or manager, you can ask them to put in a good word. It’s very awkward and if your child is a lot like their child – don’t do it. It  is a bit of a conflict of interest and most likely if the agent reps a kid that is just like (age, height, type) as yours they do not need two of them. They do their best not to have a client list that competes with each other.

*Invite industry to any performances your child is doing in NYC (cabarets, readings, off-Broadway shows). I would suggest not inviting them to the high school musical on Long Island. They are not coming to that.

*Audition for Broadway Workshop and Random Farms annual Showcase. Broadway Workshop and Random Farms (an awesome youth program in Westchester) produces a showcase together each year. It’s a totally free event and pretty much every agent/manager and casting director attends. More info can be found here! Did I mention it is totally free to be part of it. Auditions start in November.

*No Agent/No Big Deal. There are so many ways to find auditions without an agent. Not every kid is ready to be auditioning for muli-million dollar Broadway shows and network series. So as your child trains and grows into their type, you can do so much to get them some work or some great opportunities. Check out www.backstage.com, www.actorsaccess.com and http://www.playbill.com/job/listing for auditions. open calls, workshops, readings and non union TV and student films.

If you found this helpful, share it with a friend!

– Marc Tumminelli – Broadway Workshop Director 9/28/16 

 

Finding the perfect audition song

Winter Excel Teen IntensiveThe biggest question I get from both parents and students always revolves around two things, how do they find auditions and how do they find audition material. Today I will focus on how to uncover the mystery of finding the perfect audition song and what to avoid in your Broadway musical detective work!

* Stay away from songs from very popular musicals. These songs are going to be overdone and will not show you off well. I am talking – Phantom, Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Mille, 13: The Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde and Wicked.

* Take the time to research older or lesser known musicals. There is a world of songs from Broadway musicals and musical movies that are not produced often and are just fantastic. Check out shows like: Little Me, Anything Goes, Babes in Arms, She Loves Me, Kiss Me Kate, 110 in the Shade, Promises/Promises, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, The Apple Tree, Meet me in St. Louis, Triumph of Love, The Magic Show, Damn Yankees, Snoopy, State Fair, Steel Pier, Funny Girl, Funny Lady, 

* Higher is not better, it’s just higher – Sometimes students pick songs that are crazy high because they think that is impressive. In truth you should be singing songs that are in your range and not reaching for notes you don’t have…yet. Simple is better.

* Use YOUTUBE to dig for songs. Check out some of the bigger college programs final showcases on youtube (CCM, Michigan, Point Park, CMU). Check out – Thats Entertainment on youtube for some great old school musical choices.

* NO HAMILTON. Trust me, if you are singing from Hamilton it will NOT show you off well. So just don’t do it. You can work on it in your voice lessons….

* If you love a Broadway singer, they have most likely produced a solo album (Sutton Foster, Sierra Boggess, Judy Kuhn, Liz Callaway, Jarred Spector, Matthew Morrison etc.) take a listen to those solo or cabaret albums to get great ideas of songs that might work for you.

* Use resources like http://newmusicaltheatre.com to find new contemporary musical theatre songs and www.musicnotes.com to download sheet music, but make sure you play it though at least once with your voice teacher or anyone who plays piano because sometimes Music Notes will default to a crazy high or low key.

* Try to avoid singing songs that are too old for you. Everyone wants to sing I Dreamed a Dream but if you are 14, its a little embarrassing for everyone. It’s impossible to connect to that kind of song. I would say you can avoid ballad’s in general if you are under 16. Pick a great fun uptempo. Remember this is a chance to get to know who you are, if you sing a slow sad song, that is what you are leaving in the room!

* Make sure you love your song and you have a reason to sing it. If your song doesn’t mean anything to you or feels hard to connect to, find something else there are a million songs don’t get stuck with something that doesn’t make you excited to sing it for people!

– Marc Tumminelli