Are you a musician as well as an actor and singer?
If so, I'm sure you've been noticing the call for more and more actor/singer/musicians in the theater today- from John Doyle's Sondheim productions to shows like ONCE and NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812. And what a great way to set yourself apart from the herd in this competitive business! If you're ready to market yourself as an actor/singer/musician, you have a special opportunity to stand out and book work that few others can.
So, how can you make the best first impression auditioning with your instrument?
Check out this week's video below for what is being asked of you in these kinds of auditions!
I'm interviewing Erica Spyres who takes us through the step-by-step process of what it was like to audition and be cast in the National Tour of ONCE! (Be sure to follow her, as she makes her upcoming Broadway debut in CAROUSEL!)
Watch it now!
So what do you think?
Now that you've got some tried & true tips, select a song or two that would seriously show off your musicianship and personality on your favorite instrument, and let me know how it goes, in the comments below.
Stay tuned for more from Erica next week and in the meantime check her out at ericaspyres.com
Last week Actors Equity announced changes to the EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) program providing more flexibility to actors currently enrolled.
There is now an option to join AEA after 25 weeks in the program (vs. the former 50 weeks). If EMCs wish, they can stay in the program to Phase II- completing 25 more weeks as an EMC. A new dues structure has been put in place and those who qualify may be able to save $500 towards their initiation fee if they join before January 1, 2018.
Following the announcement, my FaceBook feed blew up with complaints, advice to EMC members not to join AEA prematurely, etc.
I noticed a lot of fear out there...
and I thought it worthy of discussion.
First off, Yay to the new flexibility!
Joining the EMC program may be easier in the regional markets and while some regional actors may want to complete all 50 weeks, it may behoove NYC or LA-based actors to join at 25. The strength of Actors Equity is important for professional stage actors and stage managers and if this change will increase membership and funding, I salute you Equity! #EquityWorks
Joining the union (at any time) is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. I never recommend taking the blanket advice of anyone who is shouting it on Facebook. Your personal credits, relationships & training must all be taken into consideration before making such a decision.
As a career coach for actors, I will never make a solid recommendation to a client on joining or not, until we have thoroughly discussed that actor’s goals, ambitions, past training and current relationships in the industry.
So, I’ve put together a quiz (including some of the questions I ask my clients), so that YOU can begin to explore if joining Actors Equity NOW is right for YOU!
build an acting career from anywhere!
This article was first published in the Thriving Artist Circle on October 9, 2017.
“Ugh!” You have tried to make it work in NYC… LA… Chicago… (fill in the blank with a major city w/ bustling film/tv/theatre scene… )
But you’re broke… or your mom is sick… (or fill in the blank with a legit reason that your life has taken an unexpected turn…) nervous breakdown, anyone?
The move out of the city might feel inevitable; it might feel like you’ve lost your independence, and it may feel like you no longer have a viable acting career…. That was me at 26! However, that time out of the city ultimately ended up serving my career and life in ways I did not initially anticipate.
I’d like to offer a few key steps to survive artistically during such a time.
Find a release – A confidence boost.
It can be tough to leave a thriving city with unlimited performance opportunities. You may go through periods of extreme emotions, mourning that independent, busy city-life. Find a healthy activity that helps you cope with extreme ups and downs. For me, I found positive endorphins through running. Other activities may include yoga, hiking, painting, songwriting, therapy, karaoke. What were the activities that kept you sane in your city life?
Pursue theater/film/tv opportunities in the area.
Share your experience and training with this new community. Research local performance groups and production companies and find a “way in,” whether it’s through readings, auditions, open mics or networking events.
Work is work, and in smaller communities, you may have more opportunities to be a big fish in a small pond. You may be seen for roles outside of your type and have the opportunity to stretch your acting chops; be gracious. The quality may not match what you were seeing on Broadway stages, but you may find projects that have the ability to enhance your craft and build your resume. A smaller market afforded me great opportunities to attain Equity status – something to consider if you are thinking of joining an acting union.
Check out local universities for further training. I trained with the head of a major grad school voice program for years, without the six-figure tuition bill; career-changing!
Focus on the task at hand.
If you moved away from the city to pay credit card debt, HUSTLE. Work as often as you need to pay those bills as efficiently as possible. If you moved to support a loved one, then do so full-heartedly. Be present. Don’t forget the importance of self-care (remember that endorphin, confidence-boosting activity). It will keep you facile and ready for the moment opportunity comes your way.
Tap into your network and be open to surprises.
If you have moved back to your hometown and have contacts there, let everyone know you’re back. Interesting opportunities may arise. I began teaching voice lessons and was able to tap into my family’s reputation in the area (my dad and brother are both music teachers). Think about what skills you have and the connections already in place to put them to work.
Create a clear vision and identify goals & milestones within that vision.
There is a reason you have left the city; keep that front & center, but remember to nurture your love of performing and continue the pursuit of your craft. Take some time to map out where you’d like to be in your career 1-3 years from now. As Dallas has shared time & time again, “reverse engineer it”. What is half of that goal (six months) and a quarter of that goal (three months)? Plan accordingly, and get into action. A thriving acting career IS possible outside of a major city.
But watch out, you might find that the fresh air and small-town living appeals to you more than you thought… you may not want to return to full-time city-living again!
For more on building an acting career from anywhere, download my FREE #GlobalActor GPS here.
the global actor Notes