One of my favorite people told me last night that she was considering going back to college to get her degree in Musical Theatre….
I mean, don’t get me wrong, musical theatre is fun and all and if you know how to save money when on the road, it’s even better….
But when colleges do so many things right (science, poli-sci, environmental science, business, law, accounting, history, chemistry, literature, phys ed, marketing) why go through the expense of something they continually do so wrong like musical theatre?
And no, I’m not talking about EVERY college — just 99% of them.
In my one year of college, I flunked Intro To Theatre (was busy rehearsing and having fun instead of reading the book). 13 years later, I won the L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Award for Best Production.
In theatre, you don’t need a degree. You need guts and a willingness to learn about everything in your theatrical environment.
Which ain’t always in L.A.
But, if you’re “stuck” in L.A. and you ultimately want to do musical theatre in N.Y., here’s my best prescription for proactive, positive growth and development:
1. Focus on getting commercials: The pay’s good and you can become a familiar face throughout the world;
2. Focus on getting in front of the camera: Any instance where you say words with your clothes on is a learning experience, so get started — you can become a familiar face throughout the world;
3. Study acting with a teacher who has trained people who are currently working in front of a camera: Makes sense, doesn’t it?;
4. Study voice with a teacher (like me) who has trained singers who are currently working on the stage;
5. Take a dance class at least once a week: It’s good for you.
6. Every audition is a chance to create a positive relationship with a producer, director, casting director, musical director…GO TO EVERY AUDITION. NO EXCUSES.
You can work and you can train at the same time. Don’t worry about the money. Budget accordingly, but PRACTICE YOUR STUFF.
Love on ya!