Summer is rapidly approaching, and if you’re like me, it’s important to make plans for the lazy days of summer, otherwise they whoosh by so quickly that before I know it the autumn leaves begin to turn, and I have no idea what I did with my time. We all know that choosing a yearly time to reset and assess where you are at is invaluable. Many people like to do this at the start of a new year. For me, it’s the start of summer; it’s my time to make plans for the future, discover what’s new in the musical theater world, update my book, and invest in myself as an actor. As I continue in my process, I thought I would open up my process to you. It’s not everything, but I thought sharing my process might be of help to others, so here we go…
- Start by investigating new and upcoming shows. I’ve been hearing there are some great new shows on and off Broadway, and this is the perfect opportunity to dive in and learn a little more about them. It’s also a great time to check out videos from the library, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or any other place you like, to catch up with some of the classic shows such as She Loves me, A Little Night Music, and The Pajama Game. Knowing a bit of history and familiarizing ourselves with stage actors from the past can offer valuable lessons to help us develop and learn our craft.
- Refreshing the materials in your book is another great place to focus on during the summer. I know I can get very lazy with this one. Yes, I regularly work on new music, but I always forget to add it to my book. Then when an audition comes up, I find myself scrambling to remember what I have worked on. I make myself crazy with this. This is a great time to get it all organized.
- Updating headshots—I know I’m due to update mine again. It’s amazing how quickly our look can change from year to year, and having fresh headshots that represent who we are now is essential. If you don’t know where to start, DAG photography is a great resource.
- Seeking out new monologues—You can start with the great lists here on The Prepared Performer. Another great way to find new monologues is by watching the classics I mentioned above, or looking through other resources for actors at your local library. What you used three years ago might not be the best fit for who you are as an actor today.
- Investigate new and new-to-you musical theater tunes you’d like to work on for the coming year. As stage actors, we need to continually keep up-to-date with what’s out there. If we stay in the know, searching for the perfect song that will knock your audition out of the ballpark won’t be a frustrating activity. If you’re new to the musical theater world (and even if you’re not), one of the best places to find audition material, sheet music, and piano tracks are in the Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthologies. While these books are a terrific source for tracks providing accompaniment, they do not come with tracks of someone actually singing the song. If you’re familiar with only the most popular songs in the books, it can make choosing new and different songs quite difficult. (This is another good reason why developing your musical theater knowledge is important!) Spotify is a fantastic resource for building your repertoire. It has all of the anthology songs compiled together on a playlist here.You can listen to all of them, and then make a list of the ones you’d like best to begin working on. Be sure to add them to your book as you do!!
As a quick final note: As many of you probably already know, Spotify is also a treasure trove of new musical theater tunes. I’ve found some fantastic songs from their service that offers “suggested songs for you.” It’s another great way to uncover new musicals.
Sometimes remembering to take the time to develop ourselves as actors is the hardest part. With summertime offering a break from the normal routine, it makes it an excellent time to invest in ourselves as actors.
-A kid who likes to shimmer, shine, sparkle, and glimmer!