We had so many great questions from our last Musical Theater live chat, with special guest Tara Rubin, that Leslie and Roger were unable to answer all of them during the chat. Below are some of their answers to questions submitted by YOU!
What is the most sensible way to attempt getting on Broadway when you are non-union?
Roger: I think you should concentrate on your skills. Presently there is no chance of getting on to Broadway in a Non-Union show. Most theaters in Manhattan, almost every one, are Union houses who are anxious to be seen to honor relationships with other Unions such as Actors Equity and the Musician’s Union.
Does it matter if you use a theatrical or serious headshot or can you use a smiling or commercial headshot?
Leslie: Remember Tara Rubin's advice - have a picture that best represents who you are at this time in your life, and remember of course that you want to be appealing. Whatever looks better and feels the most like YOU!
Roger: Leslie and Tara are right – the picture must look like YOU. Happy, I think – better a picture that is optimistic, right? As Tara pointed out, you don’t want to put people off! Also, not a picture that looks too fancy or vain. Select a picture that shows you’re very pleased to communicate and reach out to audiences. Just a nice plain picture. Beware, too, of fancy photographers, and there are some out there, ones who want to make you unto their version of you. It’s YOUR version of you we want to see.
What special skills are appropriate to list on your resume?
Leslie: Special skills can be anything from different languages you speak to accents you are expert at - different musical instruments you play, if you are a gymnast, have tap skills, can whistle expertly - things of that nature. I think Tara also mentioned that someone said they could say the alphabet backwards perfectly in a matter of seconds. But remember our advice - do not include it unless you are fully prepared to demonstrate at a fairly expert level.
Roger: The only skill you need to work at is YOU. All the other stuff – juggling, horse-riding, surf-boarding in Spanish, these are secondary to the simple truth that Broadway is looking for hard working actor/performers that can sing very well in many styles, dance excellently in many disciplines, and act in a way that truly and imaginatively shows that they are interesting and charismatic artists that we want to work with.
Are company numbers (if cut down to 16 bars) good to audition with?
Leslie: Depending on the production number you have to make the right cut to feature the solo line. Careful doing that, so it features you best and makes sense.
Is a song like Over the Moon a good professional audition piece, seeing as it is almost a monologue AND a song?
Leslie: Singing at a large casting call, where you need 16-32 bars of a song, I would say absolutely no. Remember Tara's advice - if it seems gimmicky, stay away from that. But if you are auditioning for an avant-garde festival, sure. Also, remember Tara's other advice - analyze who and what you are singing for. In other words "read" the situation carefully before doing anything on the wilder side. I personally also don't think Over The Moon has enough singing in it for a vocal audition, unless you are specifically auditioning for Rent and they happened to ask you for it.
Do you have to be signed with an agent to get auditions for touring shows? How do you get an agent?
Roger: You get an agent by working hard and performing in as many things as you can.
Step by step is the maxim here. Don’t think of the goal – think of the journey. Make every step of your life in the theater a strong, exciting and constructive one.