With so many Musical Theater Kids contacting me for help, and asking interesting and challenging musical theater questions, I have decided to devote this page to some of the best questions I have received. I don't have all the answers but I will try to do my best to post as many as I can in this column(about 1 a week as time allows). I hope you find this helpful in your quest to be a Musical Theater Kid.
Musical Theater Question About High School Musicals
S.T. from the USA asked: What are the most popular High School Musicals performed?
This question has an answer which is impossible to fit all on one page. I decided to devote an entire page on the Website to answer the question. You can learn about High School Musicals and Middle School Musicals here.
Musical Theater Question About Broadway Songs
F.O. from the Canada asked: What are the best Broadway Songs ever written?
This is a relative question meaning relative to what your personal taste in music might be. In my opinion, the numerous Broadway Love Songs are some of the best ever written. Here is a list of the Broadway Musicals they are from and the
Best Broadway Love Songs.
Musical Theater Question About Dance Lessons
E.S. from the USA asked: You say we need dance lessons but what if my family can't afford it? This is a good and valid question. Here are my suggestions:
1)Check with your local library or library system(in my area the libraries have come together to exchange material, which they loan to each other). You should be able to find some dance instruction videos that you can borrow from the library. Use these videos to teach yourself the basic steps in ballet or jazz, start with these. The main thing is to become familiar with the terms, the language of classical dance. In this way, if and when you can take lessons or if you audition and you need to dance, you will be know what they are talking about. Concentrate on learning the ballet or jazz first, then go on to other types of dance. Practice as much as you can with these dance videos. If you find one you like, perhaps you could ask for it as a gift for your birthday or the holidays.
You can also learn, hip hop, ballroom, latin and other forms of dance by video, the more you do the better off you'll be. Musical Theater dance is definitely a combination of many types of dance. Get familiar with and practice as many types as you can.
Another tip is to check out book sales, thrift stores, flea markets, tag sales, and the internet for used tapes, or DVD's that you might be able to purchase for a minimal amount of money.
2)Take every opportunity you can find (that is free of charge) to practice movement, e.g. do they have a cheering squad in your school or dance team? Are there any after school dance clubs at your school or house of worship that are free? Perhaps you may be able to start one with the help of a teacher.
3)I don't know how old you are but if you are old enough to work, or when you do become old enough, you might look for a job at a dance school. I know our local dance teacher hires responsible high school students to work the front desk. You might be able to arrange to work in exchange for lessons. If not, how about getting a job to pay for your own lessons? Did you know that if you are old enough(depends on the dance school) you can buy a card for lessons(in my area about $15/lesson with a 10 lesson prepaid card =$150)and then you can attend when you have the time. I don't recommend this, however, if you have never had any lessons at all. It's better to study and practice consistently in the beginning.
4)Another way to get experience is to actually do a show. If you have some dance experience, which you must because you say you are a dancer, you should have no trouble picking up the steps. If you'r lucky enough to find a good local theater company, you'll get to work with a choreographer and you'll have a nice addition to your theater resume. Look for a school, house of worship or community theater production. Please note, it's perfectly fine and great experience to start off in the Ensemble of a Musical Theater Production, you still get to learn the show and you gain a wealth of experience.
Just don't get too hung up on the idea of "formal" dance lessons. If your family can't afford it, as a Musical Theater Kid, you need to find a way to get some dance experience without the "formal" part, at least until you can afford it. If you go to college for Musical Theater, you will get lessons as part of your course of study but they won't make you a professional dancer in eight semesters, so get started on your own.
Best of Luck!
Musical Theater Question About Casting Notices
B.K. from the USA asked: What does it mean when I see union or non-union in an audition notice?
Audition notices are classified into different categories. Union, meaning you are a member of an actor's union, e.g. Actor's Equity, SAG, AFTRA. If you see this, it means you must be a member of the union in order to audition unless the notice also specifies an open call.
Non-union means that you don't have to be a member of a union in order to audition. Non-union also means that for the most part, they are not seeking union members.
Musical Theater Question About Auditioning for U.S. Based Theatrical Projects
M.S. from Uruguay asked: I live in South America, can I still audition for casting in the United States?
This depends on a few things. First, is the specific show or film auditioning in the area you live in?...and/or are you willing and able to travel to audition somewhere else, perhaps to another country?
Second, should you get cast, will you be able to move to another country for awhile?...if you are a minor, who will travel with you? Lastly, if you've figured out the above questions and everything is positive, you should check with the casting agent or director of the show to find out if the whole thing is even feasible.
Remember, you can send your information in for an audition, and go for an audition if called, but if you get the part the goal is to be able to take the job. This is the business of acting. If you are serious about acting as a career, you need to gain and maintain a good reputation in the acting industry. If you are a minor, you need to have your parents or guardians behind you.
Musical Theater Question About Monologues
B.K. from the USA asked: I have an acting audition coming up for a college, how do I choose a monologue they'll like?
Start off by first making sure that you have and understand what is required of you for the audition. Every college has different requirements as to what type(s) of monologue(s) they ask for and how they define it. If you have questions don't hesitate to call the auditions office. Once you are sure you understand what is required you can follow this link and the process outlined on the page to which it links...
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