This series of opinion pieces about theatre personnel is reprinted with the kind permission of The Lovers, The Dreamers and You. The Lovers, the Dreamers and You consists of some very creative minds. They create a Podcast about passion, inspiration, loving what you do & following your dreams. Read their blog & download their podcast They can be followed on twitter at @LoversDreamersU
“What I really want to be… is an Actor.”
Really? Are you sure?
No really? Are you? Cause here’s the deal. It’s a tough job. Sure it can be fun, rewarding and at times even lucrative, but acting is one of the toughest gigs in the whole business of show. Here’s why…
You have to be ready for rejection. Lots of it. Daily. You not only have to be ready for it, you have to almost crave it. You have to be prepared to seek out criticism so that you can grow from it and improve. Not everyone has the guts for that. It’s tough to get rejected at your work on a regular basis and still want to do it each day.
You have to know how to act. And no, people are not just born with “it”. I don’t believe that. You can learn it. Sure, some folks have an innate quality that draws us to their performances, but if you want to be good, and I mean really good, then you’ve got to practice and learn and study and get rejected. And then start all over again. That is the only way to get really good.
You have to do it all – especially these days as film, television and stage demands are so much greater. You have to act, sing, dance, tumble, do voices, fight, crochet, whatever! You’ve got to be able to do it. And not just SAY you can do it, you’ve got to be skilled at it, or don’t say that you are.
You’ve got to be ready to take risks. No everyone was born with a voice ‘like buttah…’ but if you want to act, you’ve got to sing. No actor made a good living staying away from singing. Get some lessons. Learn some repetoire, develop a taste for musicals and Gilbert & Sullivan and all the rest. Know the material and know your strengths and then keep practicing them. Ditto for dance. And whatever other skill you want to put on the bottom of that resume.
When you do get a part, be fun to work with – for heaven’s sake! You want to work again, don’t you? Be on time, be organised, take notes, be prepared and learn your part. Come with ideas and be willing to play, but be ready for a vision that you weren’t expecting and go with it! Nothing pleases an artistic team more than a flexible actor who is willing to grow.
So, if out of all these roles in the 9 parts of this series, if THIS one still stands out for you above all else, then go for it. With gusto. Cause that’s the only way you are going to have any success!
Break a leg!
What makes the best …
Good people. That’s what you need more than anything is good people who are willing to give their time to a project. Then you got to let them run with it!
The best Lighting Designers will read the script. And read it again, and again, and probably again. Their medium is very, very visual and ephemerally so.
the show belongs to the Stage Manager. It won’t happen without them. No calls are given, no audience is admitted and no curtain goes up without them.
A Music Director is in the Director’s corner and has his/her back on the artistic decisions that affect the show. They know how to take that vision and translate it into the music
Great Costume Designers deal with diva’s who don’t want to wear what has been chosen for them and directors who know exactly what they want and others don’t.
A great Set Designer needs to be able to take their artistic sensibilities and skills and apply them to the whole vision of the show.
Producers are tough, because no two are alike and no two see their roles the same. Some folks like be very hands off and others demand to be in the thick of the production.
Creativity goes with the entire job – and is vital to every aspect of being a director. You’ve got to be creative in everything you do and always be on the lookout for new ideas.
For Choreographic work in Theatre the skills are specific. The dance should, whenever possible, further the story or service the plot in some fashion.
Ceris Thomas is a creative person. She teaches by day – and finds as much creativity in her job as she can and by night, (and during every spare minute she has), she creates through directing/choreographing and performing plays, drawing, writing, podcasting and now, sewing puppets.
She likes to help others find and nurture their creativity and she loves finding out about other people’s path to their own creative projects. The Lovers, The Dreamers and You can be followed on twitter at@LoversDreamersU