Podcast Episode #236: 10 Audition Tips for Actors

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS EPISODE:  12 Minutes

LISTEN WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS:

 

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

The episode is for the actors out there. 

Sitting on the other side of the table is something that every actor should do. It’s incredibly educational and inspirational because frankly, you realize that while there are lots and lots of people who call themselves actors, there’s a much smaller group.

Since so few actors get a chance to sit where producers and directors sit, I am sharing 10 tips on how to have a better audition experience.

 

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  • REVIEW the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  • SHARE this episode with your friends!
  • JOIN the TheaterMakers Facebook Group

 

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

 

RECENT EPISODES:

Podcast Episode #225: What do the recent Actors Equity Protocols mean for Broadway Producers like me?

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS PODCAST EPISODE:  12 MINUTES

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE to do so!)
  • Rate/Review on Apple Podcast
  • FOLLOW on Broadway Podcast Network’s FREE iOS app
  • Share this episode with your friends!

DESCRIPTION

A lot has happened since I posted this blog about my perspective on the recently announced Actors Equity protocols.

I expected a lot of responses.

What I did not expect was some of the biggest actors in our biz to post a petition asking for an open dialogue with their union about why those protocols appeared so strict.  (See here for more on that).

If you want to hear my perspective on how those protocols will affect Broadway Producers like me and the return of the theater, click here.

And then, tune in to my clubhouse event with Tim Hughes (who started this petition) as well as Sammi Cannold and more!  We’ll be talking all about the return, what’s taking so long, and taking your questions and comments as well.

How Super Bowl LV was EXACTLY like my first acting class.

I watched Super Bowl LV last night along with close to a kajillion other people around the world.

Ok, ok, that was an exaggeration.  Only 148.5 million tuned in.  Which, by the way, is the equivalent of 90,274 performances of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway – 6.75 times more than the 13,370 performances our longest runner has already logged!

Ok, ok.  That was another exaggeration.  I had my laptop open while I watched and did some work.  So I guess I only half-watched.  Or ‘tched?  Eh?  (Sorry, Dad jokes are coming in hot this Monday morning.)

You might have already guessed, I’m not a big football guy.  But give me a Tom Brady “underdog” story (who is almost as polarizing as Jeff Bezos!) and an excuse to eat Buffalo wings, I’m in!

And wouldn’t you know it . . . but as I ‘tched, I couldn’t help but notice a theatrical metaphor that I had to share.

Like most acting students, I was taught the basic fundamentals of acting/writing in one of my first classes on the subject with a simple improvisational exercise.

It went something like this:

  • Two characters stand on a stage.

  • One character wants something.

  • The other character doesn’t want the first character to get what they want.

Poof.  Instant drama.  No matter what that “want” is, whether it’s to get the other person to go out on a date or to give them $500 dollars . . . or to score a touchdown.

See where I’m headed?

Sporting events like football, where there are two teams, are the simplest form of classic dramatic structure there is.  I want to score.  You don’t want me to score.  We clash.  Eventually, one of us will lose.

And to make it even more thrilling of an event?  There’s a ticking clock.

Sporting events and theater seem so diametrically opposed (maybe that’s because there is such little crossover between the fans), but when you take away the shoulder pads and you take away the Capezio tap shoes, they are much more similar than you think.

So if you’re looking to make your show thrilling, take a page out of a football playbook . . . and make your show a sport.

– – – – –

Interested in learning more about making a script as exciting as The Super Bowl?  Enroll in the TheaterMakers Studio “Script Mastery Course”.  For less than the price of Super Bowl Pizza and Beer, you can learn from some of Broadway’s best on how to make your script sizzle.  Learn more here. 

Rebecca Luker: The Real Angel of Music. 1961-2020.

I was disappointed.
 
In 1988, I listened to the original cast recording of Phantom of the Opera over and over and over. And with each “repeat all” I fell more in love with the show, the characters and the voices of the actors I heard on that CD.
 
And then, after eight months of waiting, we got tickets to see the musical live on Broadway.
 
It would be my first Broadway musical. 
 
I didn’t know what to expect. But I remember saying, “I can’t wait to see those actors from the CD that I’ve been listening to!”
 
I had no idea how Broadway worked. I had no idea that the original cast had long since left by the time I pulled up to the Majestic Theater.
 
So when I opened my playbill and saw the woman playing Christine was someone name . . . Rebecca Luker . . . well, I was disappointed.
 
And then . . . she sang.
 
It was a voice unlike anything I had ever heard. And I wasn’t hearing it on a CD. Or on TV. It was live. Granted, that voice was a little far away, because I was in the 2nd to last row in the balcony . . . but I couldn’t take my plastic opera glasses off her. 
 
I read her bio over and over (God how I wish I had Google back then), wondering who she was . . . and knew I had to see her perform again.
 
I saved my Domino’s pizza delivery money for the next few months, earning enough for “scalper seats” to go back to see Phantom . . . praying this time NOT for the original cast . . . but that Ms. Luker would still be there.
 
She was.
 
Years later, I saw her in The Secret Garden . . . first in this appearance on The Tony Awards, and then, after saving up some more delivery dollars, live.
 
Then I started working in the business. My first job on Broadway was Hal Prince’s Show Boat.  Unfortunately, my stint in the show started just after she finished her term as Magnolia, so our interactions were few.  But I remember every one.
 
I saw her in everything. Fanboying from a far. Meeting her at a few events. And then finally, just a couple of years ago, when she was cast in a workshop I was involved in, I was able to gush. And I’ll tell you what I told her.
 
Rebecca Luker is one of the most glorious leading ladies Broadway has ever, ever, EVER had . . . and ever will have.
 
And we lost her, in this year that won’t quit, at the tender age of 59.
 
She took my gushing that day like she had never heard it before. Gave me a hug. We talked about our mutual friends and how it was surprising we hadn’t worked together before.
 
And I walked away from the encounter like I did after seeing her in Phantom in 1989.  Because she was as much of a star offstage as on.
 
To her family, especially her husband Danny, who is one of the most inspiring humans I’ve ever met: you’re all in my prayers.  Losing her is one of those things that make you look up at the sky and say, “Really?!?!  Why?”
 
If you don’t know who Rebecca Luker is . . . well . . . lucky you, we have Google today.
 
But I’ll post the video from The Secret Garden to get you started.  In this musical, she plays a woman . . . who her husband and the world lost too soon.
 

 

You an Actor? One quick question for ya.

 Danny Burstein did it.
 
The six-time Tony nominee appeared on my podcast a year ago and blew my mind.
 
Because actors are often the last ingredient added to a show’s developmental process, it’s easy for Writers, Producers, and all the other TheaterMakers involved from the get-go to forget how important they are in the TheaterMaking process.
 
Thankfully, Danny reminded me.
 
So for you Actors out there who have followed my blogs, podcasts and such, I’m sorry for not including more of you in what we do.
 
But I’m making a commitment today to help you figure out how you can achieve the success that you want in this biz.
 
And, surprise, surprise, I’ve already got some ideas on how you can do just that. 🙂 (And there are some bold-faced names who are going to help me help you along the way!)
 
But first, I need to ask you ONE QUICK QUESTION. By answering it, it’ll help me find out what is standing in your way . . . whatever your big obstacle is . . . so I can go out and find something to help you crush it.
 
So, if you’re an Actor who wants to act more, click here. It’ll take 30 seconds.
 
If you know an Actor who wants to act more, send them this blog, or this link.
X