Reality 101

I really wasn't going to go here. But I must. The "noise" surrounding audition results, whether it's congratulating yourself on social media or sending a frustrated email to a director has gotten bad enough...it's time to say something.


Firstly, you need to find people in your life who can be genuinely honest with you regarding your talent. It's probably not your mom, because moms are either overly gracious or overly critical. Plus, you don't really like it when your parents are really honest with you because you want them to love you no matter what. That's why you need to find people who can be very honest with you about your potential as a performer. This is one of the reasons a good voice, acting, dance or theatre teacher, who's not just in it for the money, is so critical. They can certainly be encouraging, but should also be able to tell you specific ways to improve. Your job is to listen to their suggestions for improvement, not be in denial, and then DO something about it. No one wants to be the guy on American Idol in the initial episodes that we all laugh at because he thinks he can sing. When Simon asks, "Who told you you could sing?" Those guys inevitably say, "my mom says I have a great voice."


Secondly, you need to gauge where you are in the grand scheme of the talent pool. It will take discernment to select the type of programs to which you should apply. If you only apply to three schools for Musical Theatre and they are Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan and NYU, what happens if you don't get into any of them? Maybe you should add a few schools not in the top 15 that might be more accessible that you'd find acceptable? That is, if you really want to study in this field. My general rule is, one "reach" school, at least three "quite possible" schools and one "sure thing" school. Then apply to multiples of that formula. A great place to start perusing is: Musical Theatre Programs.


In the last few weeks, I have heard multiple teenagers threaten to quit performing because they didn't get into a certain program, earn a certain role, receive a particular callback or win a certain award. Hyperbole? A sign of the times? This is a sign you should do one of three things: 1) reevaluate if this is really what you want to do, 2) buck-up and use it as motivation to improve or 3) quit performing. Ryan Scott Oliver told the Jimmy Awards participants something along the lines of, 'You won't get cast most of the time. When you don't get cast, go home, buy a pint of Haagen Dazs, and cry yourself to sleep. Then, get up in the morning and work your a** off!'


The sooner you can develop a thick skin, the better.


That's the industry. There will be more no's than yes's, and that's HARD when you have been the "star" at your school for the past four years. In the best programs, and even the middle of the road programs, you won't perform your freshman year. You won't always get the lead (you actually can't always get the lead in the real world, but that's another blog unto itself). Hopefully you won't arrive at college and be the best at the school. If you are, why are you wasting your money on training?





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