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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.

https://youtu.be/2IC-3BWisg4

 

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.

 

 

 

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