Are you Broadway’s Next Big Star?

NextBigStarSQFor the past couple of years, we’ve sponsored 10 Minute Play Contests to encourage all you playwrights out there to keep writing (this year’s announcement is coming soon), and this past winter we sponsored a Songwriting Contest to get all you songwriters out there writing . . . and we had so much fun doing ’em, we thought we’d do another one.

But this time we’d target the one group in our business that we’ve forgotten so far.

The Actors!

If Writers are the Chefs of Musical Theater, the Actors are the ingredients.  Without ’em, we’ve got nothing but a bunch of ideas.

So, we came up with a contest that gave all the potential future Broadway stars out there a chance to be seen here in New York City, on an Off Broadway stage, and win all sorts of cool prizes, including a private work session with a fancy Broadway Casting Director (Cesar Rocha from Telsey + Company), a spot in my Audition Workshop, and, yesiree bob, $500 cash!  What’s a contest without cash!

We’re partnering with the super-cool fanzine to run this contest.  And the cool thing is, you don’t have to be in NYC to enter.  To enter, you just need to submit a video!  Finalists will be picked by online vote, and then those finalists will belt it out in person on stage at my theater on May 22nd.  Sheri Sanders (Rock the Audition) will host the live event, and the judging panel includes Cesar Rocha (Telsey + Company) and me, so I’ll see you there!

You can read all the relevant info here.  But video submissions are due by Sunday April 20th.

Enter.  Tell your friends to enter.  And maybe you can be Broadway’s Next Big Star!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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– Want a Producing primer?  Take the first-ever Producing 101 Tele-Seminar!  You can participate no matter where you are in the world!  Learn more.  Only a few days left to sign up!

– Win 2 Tickets to Violet on Broadway starring Sutton Foster.  Click here to enter.

– Want to learn about Broadway Investing?  Click here to sign up for Broadway Investing 101 on Saturday 4/12.

  • Dawn Kita says:

    Hi Ken:
    On a completely different theatrical note:

    I’m a complete Broadway lover, despite being a lifelong Southern Californian.

    My solution (back when my uncle was a dentist with a practice in Manhattan) has been to go for broke and see 9 shows in a week when we visited my relatives (we were great houseguests, we were never there in Upper Montclair, NJ), and to subscribe to several theater series closer to home.

    Living in the Los Angeles area, we have subscribed to the Ahmanson since probably 1982, to the Orange County Performing Arts Center (now Segerstrom Center for the Arts, or SCFTA) since they started that series (maybe 1987?), on and off with other theaters (East West Players, Japan America Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Mark Taper Forum, etc) and most recently, took up a pair with the SHN group in San Francisco, where my husband now works.

    Yesterday, I had my first real introduction to “Dynamic Pricing,” and boy, am I pissed. It is almost enough to make me cancel my subscriptions and cure me of my theater addiction. Almost.

    I went to exchange one of my three Saturday night seats at SCFTA to a Sunday matinee the following weekend, adding a ticket so my daughter could go with a friend when she is home over Memorial Day weekend. We went from Saturday night subscription second row cheap balcony to the absolute last row, against the back wall, Sunday matinee. And they charged me an additional ten bucks ON MY EXISTING SUBSCRIPTION EXCHANGE TICKET.

    I have never felt so ripped off in my life. Well, once at the service department of a car dealership, if that gives you the perspective.

    Today, since I posted on the Facebook wall of SCFTA, I got a call from the Box Office supervisor. Karen was actually very nice and I came to realize that for BOOK OF MORMON, the tour serves as their own scalpers, changing prices at will and demanding full price on even the subscriber exchanges. What a pile of (something from BOOK OF MORMON).

    Dynamic Pricing. Legalized Scalping. Another way of saying “We have the houses by their you-know-whats and we’re going to squeeze them as hard as we can.”

    I’ve never heard of changing prices once the tickets have gone on sale, and I certainly have never heard of charging prepaid subscriber tickets the “difference” between the original announced printed-on-the-ticket subscription price (for the same show) and the walk-up price, when ticket exchange privileges are a perk of buying the entire season at once.

    You are probably acquainted with people who “vote with their wallets.” I’m one of those folks. There are plenty of products and services that violate my (very liberal, I might add) ethic and moral compass (compii?) – let’s use Chik-Fil-A as an example. I would rather go hungry, REALLY hungry, rather than support Chik-Fil-A’s agenda with a single penny.

    I have yet to see BOOK OF MORMON and as a Salt Lake escapee (dad was Mormon, mom was not, after I was born, I got to the California border at age 3 months), I really, really want to like BOM. But money-grubbing tour operators are never ever attractive, and this experience gives me a really bad taste. I don’t want to give my money to people like that. I really don’t care how good the show is, how good the sandwich might be. I’m completely averse to supporting thieves, liars and cheaters.

    I’ll dish out dollars I haven’t even earned to see shows (as evidenced by my still paying off my Manhattan journeys), but it just gets my goat that the SCFTA is telling me that they are merely a vessel, a tool wielded by the BOM tour management and they can’t even protect the exchange privileges of their longtime subscribers. Really? I mean, REALLY? And the funny thing is, I actually believe them.

    If I punish SCFTA and toss my renewal, am I really punishing SCFTA, or are they my scapegoat for the sins of the BOOK OF MORMON greed?

    I would LOVE to hear the Producers Perspective on this “Dynamic Ticket Pricing” game played by the national tour operators. There really needs to an end to this revolting practice. It amounts to bait-and-switch, and it is difficult to believe this kind of behavior is legal.

    Can you enlighten us?

    Thanks! [Love the column and the emails, by the way!]

    A highly annoyed theater junkie

    • Dawn, you are a big time theater fan, that actually cares deeply about the performing arts. What about the casual theatergoer that doesn’t have the passion you have? Long gone, I’m afraid.

      In NYC, Book of Mormon tries to justify their obscene prices by claiming that the theater they are in is “small”. What is the justification in the very large theaters on the road? Well…

      It’s a crying shame.

  • Karen says:

    What about straight actors? This is really only for singers, not for actors at all. 🙁

  • George says:

    Just a late opine… but I was confused by this…

    Lately (50s) I re-booting me “operatic” interests and started to take vocal lessons (after a 25 year hiatus) and much to my surprise, I’ve evolved into a very fine Bass…

    So what do I do wit’ it? It would be fun to do an Audition and see how my “seasoned” voice stacks up… but “video?” YouTube?

    I guess if one is looking for a VISUAL performer… sure… but it takes a couple hundred bucks of Mac software to synthesize just about any half-way decent voice…

    If I was casting for a show – I would have hear a person, on stage, no mikes, back of the auditorium of a Big House to make sure I am not being bamboozeled by digital refinements…

    But then I do come from a Bel Canto background and MOST Broadway singing annoys me… starting with being all miked… but then that opens up the pandora’s box of “singers” who can growl and rasp and rattle their vocal chords like there’s no tomorrow… and their won’t be if they keep abusing those delicate chord like that!!!

    The ONLY reason I still have a decent voice at 50 is because I was trained NOT to do things vocally that goes far beyond the basic design (or gift) and that includes talking when one has a cold/flu or trying to drown out the crowd at a sporting event or rock concert…

    Two Cents


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