Being a great artist means also being a great patron of the theatre performance. There is nothing comparable to live performance where anything can happen… But let’s be honest, seeing all that live theatre adds up $$$! How can we patronize the theater without breaking the bank? I have the ultimate resource guide to seeing free or low-cost theater for you!
f you’re already using Google Docs you probably know how great it is for collaboration, version control, and editing. Unlike Microsoft Word or Indesign (other popular ways to create a show program) you can share your Google documents and get feedback and edits from others.
Lately, I’ve been creating amazing show programs in Google Docs and downloading in PDF to print because I can share the program beforehand with the director, and marketing team to make sure we’ve covered all our bases.
If you’re working out of Microsoft Word currently, I’d recommend taking a look at Google Docs. If you create your programs out of Indesign, this may be a little too simple for you.
The best part is creating show programs is VERY easy in Google Docs, and isn't difficult to learn at all.
Wondering how to get your best work out of rehearsal? Preparation is key!
Before you head to your first rehearsal take the time to pack a bag of all the key items you’ll need to succeed. Based on how the best actors prepare for their rehearsal time, we recommend bringing:
You’re probably thinking, “duh! of course I need my script!” But it’s on those days you forget it (and it happens to everyone!) that you’ll wish you had checked your rehearsal bag in advance. Never a bad idea to remind yourself to check for your script!
1. Have a mission.
Know the direction you're going and be specific. People connect with specificity, not generality. Knowing your mission helps you build that tribe of dedicated and supportive audience.
2. Collect audience info.
Wondering who the demographics of your shows already are? Put out a survey at your shows. Make it fun, giveaway a prize, and get the info. This way you know if you're reaching your ideal audience or spot patterns and consistencies in your ticket-holders. Surveys sound boring, and trust us, they take work. BUT you will not get to know a large amount of information from your audience any other way.
3. Create a position for "Relationship Ambassador".
This position can be paid or volunteer, but their only job is to observe, improve, and expand the audience offerings and make suggestions about how to improve the theatre's relationships. Seriously, it's hard for those of us who work on the other side of the house all the time to really know how to improve it. Get an outside opinion. This could position can be open on a show-by-show basis, or a season at large.
You have your dramatic, comedic, and classic monologue ready to go at a moments notice, right? Good job, actor! Keep them fresh by pulling them out once in a while. And instead of practicing with them… play with them. Take the time find new values, beats, phrasing, and emotion in your words. Let your monologues breathe a little. We find playing with our monologues keeps them from becoming stagnant and, dare we say it… over-rehearsed?!
Some of these sound a bit kooky. But, hey, we did use the word interesting in the title. Give them a try with your monologue or in your classroom. See what new moments you’ll discover.
1. Whisper it into a corner
Seriously, go to a corner and whisper your monologue like you’re revealing a secret. Feel how intimate the experience is. Just you, softly saying the words aloud. It’s awkward, but push through. This practice will help you build an authentic voice, to really get to know the words you’re giving life to.
So someone said 'Macbeth' in a theater... What to do when the name of the Shakespearian Scottish play equivalent of Voldemort has now been uttered? Lucky for you, there's a way to get rid of the bad luck from the "the-play-that-must-not-be-named". Check out the cleansing ritual below for that play. And good luck! Er... break a leg!
The Classic Remedy
To reserve the ill-fate brought on by saying The Bard's Play is for the offender to step outside, turn around three times, spit over the left shoulder, and say a line of Shakespeare from another play.
Want to improve your theatre craft? Reading is the BEST way to become a better theatre artist. Try this challenge and we promise you'll become a better actor/director/educator/human being.
- Our Town by Thornton Wilder
- A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- Noises Off by Michael Frayn
- The History Boys by Alan Bennett