The Audition Playlist

pencilOne of the fun things I’ve been doing since May is writing a weekly article for a website called TheatreMusicDirectors.Org.  My friends David and Geraldine started it, and I was asked to contribute every week with an article and video playlist, recommending audition music.

The great thing about this website is it definitely filled a gaping hole in the musical theatre audition information world.  There are hundreds of sites with great content geared towards actors and singers, but not much aimed at the people teaching and coaching the actors.  The same goes for education in general.  There are hundreds of schools you can go to in order to advance your acting career, but I can only think of three that really train musical directors for a career in theatre.

And what’s even better about writing this weekly column, is I was asked to create a video playlist to accompany it.  I can’t take credit for the idea, but it’s a great one.  You can read my suggestions for choosing audition music, and then simply press play to watch ten videos of the very songs I was writing about.  If you’re interested in reading, you can visit the site here, or you can jump right in with this week’s post on choosing music for children’s theatre auditions.

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That’s A Wrap: Professionally Single

Today was our second and final day filming Professionally Single, and it was even more fun today than it was yesterday.  Since we were all new yesterday, the early hours were spent with the usual and somewhat awkward small talk where everyone is just getting to know each other and feel each other out.

Today it was handshakes, hugs, and familiar faces as soon as we arrived. The cast (talent) was called at 12:00, but the director knew I’d be late coming from my church gig.  I got there just in time to snatch a bagel, a cup of coffee, and a seat on the couch.  It was a couple hours before I was needed, so I got a lot of work done on a new monologue, as well as marking up some changes for a new domain I just bought (more to come).  And then it was time to have some fun!

My character, Billy Bob, has two lines: “Well, if someone tried to rape me, I’d just sh*t on them,” and “Now I’ve really gotta sh*t.”  If I didn’t spend 7 years in college preparing for this day (you read that right), I don’t think I’d ever have been able to deliver those lines with the conviction that I did today.  I mean, it’s such a meaty role and a pivotal plot point!  (seriously, pick up on the sarcasm)  But I have to admit, I loved the reaction I got when I first delivered the lines.

And then it was time for more sliders, so all was well in the world.  I was “wrapped” at 7:30, and the rest of the shoot was over by 8:00.  Within the next month, I should have a copy of the project, so I’ll be able to share it here, or at least put in a YouTube link.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a monologue class from 10-12, rehearsal for an audio drama at NYU from 12:30-2:30, an audition at 3 for a TV show called “Most Likely To Be Murdered,” and then an audition class from 7-9:30.  I’m obsessed with days like this, where I just go like mad all day, but everything I do is fun and creative.  I mean, where else could I perform a monologue about a gay guy whose boyfriend prays for forgiveness after sex, then do a voiceover as a lawyer who helps victims of zombie attacks, improv a monologue about murder for a casting director, and then get great advice from an incredible acting coach all in one day?  I ♥ NY

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My First Student Film: Professionally Single

Today I started shooting my first student film. While “Professionally Single” could be the term used to desrcibe my own life, it just so happens to be the name of the film. It’s about two women attending a speed dating event, and all the characters they meet in the process.  I play a “creeper wearing black jeans and a black hoodie, talking about how he would avoid being raped.”  Mom and dad would be so proud!

I’ve auditioned for a few student films in the past and this is the first one I’ve been cast in, and I didn’t even audition.  I submitted my headshot, resume, and reel, and received a great e-mail from the director, Alec Isaacs, offering me the role.  I started the day with an audition for an “in class” project for another film student (which I just found out I booked), and then raced right “to set.”  I use all of those fancy film terms in quotes because they stil sound foreign to me, being a theatre guy.

We’re shooting at this club called Stash on 14th street.  They had bagels, poptarts, and coffee for brunch, and a great dinner of beef and chicken sliders, complete with fries and salad.  I’m quickly learning that the key to keeping everyone happy is to have good food!  When you walk in, knowing it’s going to be a long day, and you’re greeted with a table full of goodies, you know you’re in good hands!

We shot a couple of the group scenes today, and tomorrow, after my church gig, we’ll get to work on the montage, where all the characters come to life.

What was great about today was the great energy and sense of humor everyone had.  When you’re working for free, as you do with student films, it helps when you can just have a really great time doing something fun and creative.  The “payment” for student films is a copy of the finished product that use can use for your reel-a video montage of the work that you’ve done.  So when money isn’t involved, a hot cup of coffee and a couple of sliders can go a long way!

I took a couple photos which I’ll upload after we “wrap” tomorrow.  But now, it’s time to head to bed so I can get up first thing and head to church.

Sleep tight!

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And we’re off!

I bought this domain years ago, thinking it’d be a great way to chronicle my adventures here in New York CIty, trying to make a name for myself in the arts and entertainment world.  Every time something great (or terrible, or embarrassing) happens, I tell myself that it’s time to start blogging.  Well, here I am, year later, finally sitting down to get this started.

Initially, I thought I’d try to fool all of you (not that I have a single reader yet), writing backdated posts to make it look like I had this all along.  Well, after I started thinking about the hundred posts I wanted to write before today, I decided to start clean, and when I write about something that happened before, I’ll do just that, tell it as something from the past.  Same great story without pretending like it just happened.

So, with that being said, welcome to Big Apple, Big Dreams.  Hopefully this will not only be a great way for me to keep track of the ups and downs of my own journey, but maybe it will entertain, inspire, or terrify some of you that stumble across this blog just enough to keep you reading.

And we’re off!

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