Getting Started With Performing Arts

Being a thespian isn’t something you just wake up being. It’s something you become through studying the arts of the ages. Great actors have graced the stage in every generation. They were just people that understood characters and could express them well. That’s what performing arts is all about.

There are many fields you can get into in performing arts. You could be a director and put a production together. You should be a playwright and actually write the words that people will be saying. You can be a set designer, or a costume designer, and help bring the world of the play to life. Or, you could be an actor.

An actor, or an actress, is the most noticed person in a production. They are the ones that will ultimately decide if a production is good or not. No matter how well written, directed, or designed a production is, if the actors aren’t good it will not be successful.

Some people are a little intimidated by acting because of all the lines they have to memorize. Well, you might be surprised to hear that most actors think that line memorizing is the easiest part of the job. After you practice a scene enough times, the lines just stick. The hard part is becoming the character. The hard part is actually delivering those lines in a believable way. So, don’t worry too much about those lines.

When you are starting out as an actor, you probably won’t have that many lines to begin with. Beginning actors are given bit parts where they only come on stage for a moment. As you rise up in the field, you are given larger and larger parts. That is how you become a successful member of the acting community.

Some actors get bored with just acting, and want to try some of the other parts of performing arts. They begin writing plays of their own, and then trying to direct them. Some of these are absolute flops. That means they are terrible and nobody likes them. Every now and then and actor becomes a talented director and playwright.

We are getting ahead of ourselves. Before you can even become an actor, you will have to pass an audition. Auditions are very competitive. Many actors will show up and read lines from the play. Most of the actors there will have read the play at least a few times so they understand the character they are auditioning for.

The casting director will ultimately choose the actor that fits the most with the play that they are imagining. So, you have just as good a chance as anyone to get the part. You might just be the face they were imagining to begin with.

Confidence is important as you are auditioning.

I hope that this has been a good introduction into the world of performing arts. It’s a wonderful world to be part of. It can be extremely exciting for everyone involved. Still, it can be very competitive, so make sure you have the stomach for it.

Successful Application into Drama School

Millions of young people share the dream of achieving success on the stage but each year only a select few secure places to undertake performing arts training at theatre and drama schools. Each week, I receive emails from aspiring performers who are dedicated to pursuing a career in the performing arts. How do I find the best training opportunity? How do I submit a good application to a drama school? and How do I achieve success at audition?

These are just some of the questions you may be asking. The first major stage of making a successful application to drama school is finding the performing arts training program which is best suited to you at this time. Focus on your current performance skills and your career aspirations. For example, if you can sing and act but not dance and you want to be a ‘triple-threat’ musical theatre performer, don’t apply for a course that has a crucial dance component. Instead, I would recommend finding a one-year foundation level course which will help you to develop your dance skills or focussing on your singing and acting skills and finding a course which just focuses on these disciplines.

Once you have done your homework into the courses which suit your skills, requirements and career aspirations, you can think about submitting your application forms. In my experience, the people who apply for ten or even more courses in the same year are less successful overall than those who focus on three or four applications. So I recommend narrowing your choices down to the courses which you think are most suited to you at this time and then focussing on submitting excellent application forms for these institutions. Your application form should be completely truthful about the skills and experience you have in the performing arts – any enhancement of the truth will be spotted as soon as you start to perform at audition.

Your opportunity to impressive the admissions team reading your application form is in your personal statement. Spend time getting this right – it’s really important! Make sure you demonstrate your reliability, commitment to the arts and strong work ethic which are important traits of all performing arts students.

In addition, you should highlight special performances and projects you have done and, importantly, indicate why this has made you a stronger performer. Unique performance skills are also worth mentioning even when applying for the more traditional drama schools. When you get your audition date, begin preparing right away.

Don’t leave it to last minute and make your decisions about your monologues and singing repertoire quickly so you can get to work on them. Seek advice on your monologue and song choices to make sure you are not only presenting the most suitable material for you but also for the drama school you are applying to. For more advice and guidance to help you make a successful application to drama school, register free at MyStageDoor.co.uk. Register today and get free access to training tips, leading advice for the performing arts, industry news, info on events in your area and the opportunity to meet other like-minded performers.

The Mindset For Success in the Performing Arts

When working with aspiring performers, whatever their age or level of work, the first and most critical ingredient for success is good attitude. If the performer does not present themselves in the best possible light, how can they possibly expect to be successful in the performing arts industry?

Aspiring performers are often seen to work very hard to develop their skills and prepare themselves to shine in auditions. Whilst these performance skills (e.g. vocal skills or stage presence) are obviously fundamental to your success as a performer, the importance of presenting yourself with a good attitude and a positive work ethic is widely underestimated. Exactly what do we mean by a ‘good attitude’ and a ‘positive work ethic’? Well, we’ve broken this down into four key areas. Each area is crucial for success and some of the information below is stating the obvious. However, you would be surprised at the number of aspiring performer who forget about these small things and how much they mean to the people you are trying to impress:

1 – Manners: It sounds obvious and many of you will already have perfect manners at rehearsals and auditions but you would be surprised at the number of wannabes who forget the basics. If in rehearsals or auditions a director, musical director or choreographer enjoys working with you because you have a calm, collected and pleasant manner, you will make an enormous impression. For this to happen, you must remember that basic manners go a long way. So, don’t ever forget those Ps and Qs and make sure you recognise every piece of help and advice you are given.

2 – Attention: The attitude and work ethic of a performer is clear from how attentive they are when they are working. Not only should you be attentive in order to produce your best work but you are also showing respect for the director, musical director and choreographer you are working with. You may never get to know who the director is connected to or what contacts the choreographer has, so you should always try to present yourself as an attentive and hard-working performer. Fully engage with the material you are performing and take full notice of every instruction you are given and, finally, make sure you have good posture at all times unless the material or your character requires otherwise.

3 – Determination: The performing arts industry is renowned for being extremely competitive and full of struggling performers trying to earn a living. The performers who establish a stable and successful career in the performing arts industry demonstrate skill, energy and, above all, determination. Whatever stage you are at, determination and hard-work will help you get to the next level of your career. If you’re training, you need to show you have the determination to develop your performance skills and become a successful performer. If you’re auditioning for a production, you need to show the determination to get the part but, more importantly, you need to demonstrate to the audition panel that you have the determination to help make their show the best it can possibly be. The determination you put into your work will reap the rewards you deserve and will help you to present a good attitude and a positive work ethic to those around you.

4 – Energy: This is probably the most important area of the four because if you don’t have the energy to do any of these things, how will you possibly be successful? Sometimes, it’s difficult to find the energy to be a bright, bubbly character and to show full attention through a long hard rehearsal and to demonstrate you have the determination to succeed. At these times, you need to simply remind yourself of what you are doing, what you want and your passion for the performing arts. In addition, look after yourself – eat and sleep well – because when the tough gets going, you will need every ounce of energy. However, if you can find the energy to commit to your work, you will shine as a performer and you will achieve your aspirations.