So you know you’ve whittled down all of your career options and you decide that you want to be a theatre actor. Great, now what? It can be a daunting task trying to figure out how to succeed in the hyper competitive world of theatre, but rest assured if you have the talent, the drive and a little bit of luck you can thrive on the stage. We’ve collected some wise insight and helpful hints from Broadway insiders to help give you a leg up for your Broadway future.
In order to prosper in an environment that centers around acting, singing, and dancing you must study those crafts so that you can be prepared for the demands of a Broadway show. Being well-rounded and becoming a triple threat opens the door to far more opportunities, while also ensuring that once those opportunities are available you stand out amongst the crowd. A well-rounded liberal arts education is also suggested by Theatre Consultant Rose Steele on Quora. According to Steele, having a strong understanding of history, politics, and other cultures deepens your understanding of where the scripts come from, thus creating a better performer.
A part of the preparation process is actually going to Broadway shows. Consider it an aspiring actor’s homework of sorts as shared on Broadway Spotted. Going to see shows grants you the opportunity to learn a mass of information such as the types of roles that fit you best, the type of competition you face, and the types of shows that are popular.
This next bit of information may seem like common sense, but auditioning is an absolute must. Yes, you must pound the pavement and really put in the time and energy to find the roles and subsequently audition for them. Absolutely nothing in this world will be handed to you, especially not in the theatre business as Broadway Spotted points out saying, “If you want to work in this industry (or really any industry, but we’re talking about theatre right now) you’re going to have to work your butt off. If you’re not auditioning constantly you obviously don’t want to work and that’s just the fact.
A bit of realism will also be very beneficial when pursuing this line of work. It can be very easy to see what seems to be an overnight Broadway success story and think that your own success will mirror their experience. Broadway Spotted bluntly spoke on the matter saying, “I know what you’re going to say: “But, BroadwaySpotted! So-And-So went to ONE audition and booked it. Newsflash. That person is the 1% of 1% of 1%. 1% of people are actors. 1% of those actors get jobs. 1% of those getting jobs book a job right out the gate. That’s practically no one. You only heard that story because it’s so outrageous that people feel like they have to tell it.”
Along with that realism comes the fact that rejection will be a brutal part of the territory. It is important to maintain a high level of confidence despite not landing roles so that you can pick yourself up, brush yourself off and head out to the next audition. Otherwise, self-doubt can cause you to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Take rejection as a sign that something better is out there for you and digest any constructive criticism offered. Use the experiences to learn and grow and then move on to the next opportunity.
A final and perhaps the best piece of advice offered when pursuing a career in the theatre is to only do so if it truly your passion. Working on Broadway is a challenge. It requires discipline and dedication that can easily break a person who isn’t completely invested. On top of the performance demands, comes the not so glorious financial status that many theatre actors have. However, if you truly love the art of performing and are passionate about it, then all of the negatives are easily outweighed by the joy gaining from following your heart and realizing your life long dream.
Author: Diamond Grant