Summer is coming up fast! It is a great time for performers to kick it up a notch in regard to studying their craft! In today’s industry your chance for success really does require you to have triple or quadruple threat skills. Actors can explore singing and playing an instrument. (I recommend the piano and/or guitar). Singers can work on dance and movement along with actors. And dancers who can sing and act can write their own tickets!
Directors love it when a performer can read and play the music in the score, sing all kinds of music from pop to opera and jazz standards, is comfortable with basic tap, jazz, hip hop and ballet and can create memorable characters. You can have talent, but do you have the skills to land the job you’re dreaming of?
Summer programs that teach these skills, along with the opportunity to perform, can be found across the country. For high school and college level students, opera and music theatre workshops and camps can be great opportunities. Professional dance companies select young dancers to work over the summer with them. And there are all kinds of theatre productions and arts programs for film and stage students. These are often called, “Pay to Play” organizations. You pay for the opportunity to flesh out your resume’ with performance credits and coaching.
How do you pick one? I recommend you audition for the ones who can get you to the next level toward your goals. A minor role under a director who can really show you how to work would be a better bet then landing a leading role in an amateur production that stresses the fun of putting on a show. Know what your priorities are. Getting your feet wet in that amateur production is a great way to start but don’t stay in your comfort zone for very long if you hope to compete in the world of college level theatre and the professional film, theatre and music industry.
If you are a senior performer (50+), this is a great time to audition for those wonderful character roles and explore an improv class or even stand up comedy. Tap and ballroom dancing, dabbling at the piano are all worthy prospects at keeping you marketable. One of my colleagues is over 70 and learning to play the drums. Have a great summer and break a leg at whatever you go for!