Friday, June 11, 2010

Advice on Breaking into Broadway - Part 2

So, now that you've heard how some of the Broadway stars got their big breaks, you'll now learn how to train and prepare for the musical theater business before you get a big break.

How to Get Cast in a Broadway Musical 
From, with additions by Dance Nerds Unite

1. As a child, teen, and while in high school, take as many dance, acting and singing lessons as you can. Perform in your high school's plays and musicals, and get as much performing experience as you can, as this will help build your resume. (from Dance Nerds Unite)

2. Study musical theater in college. If you are a high-school student, apply to colleges with highly regarded musical theater programs, such as Syracuse, Carnegie Mellon or NYU. A musical theater degree will help you develop your acting, dancing and vocal talents. It will give you the opportunity to participate in school-run plays and musicals.

3. Take classes in acting, dancing and singing. Whether or not you have a musical theater degree, take additional courses to continually improve your craft. Sign up for classes at a community college, an acting school or a dance studio. You may want to hire a vocal coach to sharpen your singing skills.

4. Try out for roles in regional and small, professional theaters. Build your experience and resume by performing in musicals outside the New York City area. Participating in these smaller venues will prepare you to break into Broadway later on. Plus, they give you exposure in the theater world.

5. Prepare your headshot. A headshot is an 8 by 10 photo of yourself (generally your head and shoulders), and it is the calling card of a professional actor. Hire a photographer to take photos of you; choose a picture that offers a clear view of your face. Take your headshot to the musicals for which you are auditioning.

6. Audition, audition, audition. Attend as many Broadway open calls as you can. Casting calls are often listed in "Backstage," the leading publication for the acting community. Before you head to your audition, practice your song and monologue until you are comfortable with them.

7. Get a talent agent. Many Broadway roles are cast through "agent submissions," meaning the show's producers only audition actors who have an agent. Thus, you will need an agent to get you into auditions that are closed to the general public. You can land an agent by performing in off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway shows, since agents sometimes scout for new talent at these productions. Or try to get an agent by submitting your headshot and resume to a specific agency.

Advice: Keep your chin up, despite the rejections you will receive. With thousands of actors vying for each Broadway role, the odds of landing a position are slim. Keep taking classes and don't stop auditioning. Find a day job. Living in New York City is extremely expensive, and most non-Broadway theaters pay their actors very little. Working a job during the day will pay your living costs, as you pursue your Broadway dreams.

Resource: Advice on breaking into Broadway

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