Articles, Blog

Life in NYC as a musical theatre performer

November 3, 2019


hi I’m Ashlee and this is Actions for
Actors we will discuss weekly tips for musical theater performers where you can
implement actions and gain progress for your career to be a musical theater
performer the first thing I want to talk about
this week is the East Coast versus the west coast which one is right for you
and which one is right for where you are in your career right now many of us jump
back and forth between the East Coast and West Coast and some of us kind of
stick to one or the other it really honestly depends on where you want to go
with your career at this exact moment the first thing I want to do is talk
about the four reasons to move to the East Coast the first one is access to auditions
when you’re in New York City you have such an array of auditions to attend on
a daily basis so you are always able to show up for a new audition you are able
to find different audition casting directors and appear before them so they
get to know you and you really have a plethora of auditions available at your
disposal another great opportunity with auditions is that you have access to
regional theatres auditions many many regional theatres go to New York to have
a big audition because you get access to a lot of actors at one time and so you
can audition for regional theaters that will take you outside the city if you
get a job but you continually get to work on the craft of performing and
actually take the skills that you’re learning in New York and put those onto
a stage the second one is access to Broadway
shows if you’re living in New York you can always jump down Times Square or
jump down to the theater of your choice and stand in line for a rush ticket and
get a really cheap ticket to see a Broadway show what’s wonderful about
this is that you can always see what’s happening on Broadway and see what the
trends are be able to experience the new directors choreographers work and the
artists that are on Broadway right now at this very moment number three is training no matter what
your training background is whether you went to college or you sort of training
right out of high school or you’re in a studio wherever you happen to be right
now when you move to New York City or transfer from the west coast to the East
Coast you have access to training in dance singing and acting because there’s
such a hub of performers and teachers that are always working in the industry
there the great thing for a dancer is that you can train at Broadway Dance
Center you can also train as steps and many
other studios that are available to you right there in Manhattan what’s also
great is that if you start going to those dance classes you can have a
networking access to the choreographers to the people that are in the room for
all of these different shows both on Broadway and in regional theaters and
you can create that community and that network connection with them even people
like Phil dukkha who created LeDoux cashews still jumps in and teaches a
master class at Broadway Dance Center and you can meet him and talk to him and
you can start to find a way to create connections it’s also a really great way
for you to keep up when you’re training see what’s happening on Broadway and to
always be present in what’s happening in New York
as it changes and diversifies continually the fourth one is community the
community and network opportunities that you have in New York City are amazing
everybody on Broadway is a normal human being and once you try to take yourself
out of that you have to be a star to be on Broadway then it makes it more
tangible and so if you move to New York you have that sense of community where
you can start networking and start talking and start asking questions for
those people that are not only working on Broadway but that are working in
regional theater I also want to talk about four
challenges that you may have when you move to New York City now I use the word
challenge because these you can overcome you just have to be diligent about your
progress and the actions that you are implementing
as an actor in your weekly and daily lives the first one is the fast pace of the
city if you have never lived in New York City before the first time you move
there it might shock you a bit I know I did me because I moved from a small town
in Oklahoma and I went straight to the city after I graduated from the
undergrad program I went to at the University of Central Oklahoma and so
when I first moved to New York City and got off the plane with my two suitcases
I was a bit shocked I had been before to visit but I had never lived there with
no return ticket home and so that was something that I had to
overcome but because I was so excited to be there that fast pace of the city
really pushed me to get into classes to hit every single audition I could and
the first day I got off the plane and hit the ground I literally went to
audition the same day like I got off the plane I dropped my bags off at the place
I was renting and I went straight to an audition it was great number two the next challenge you may
discover is transportation transportation in New York City is
typically when you first move there it’s going to be taking either the subway or
the bus it is confusing at times is challenging at times but you can
overcome it it just takes a little bit of organization
I used to write everything down because when I first moved there we didn’t have
ice we didn’t have the phone and the app so I would literally notate every single
road and Street and turn to every studio so I could easily access that and have
it written down on paper so it would lower my anxiety level early in the
mornings when I was going to an audition at like 4:00 a.m. so transportation that
is one of the challenges that you can deal with but anybody can overcome it it
just takes a little more time versus most of us who are used to getting in
the car and just driving to audition and having that a safe space you really
don’t have that as much in New York City but it is also an energizing city number three is employment might be a
challenge that you could encounter when you move to the city you have to be able
to pay your bills obviously and so there are many different options that you have
available to you you can be a caterer you can work at restaurant you can work
at a Broadway theater selling t-shirts and play bills and you can I was a temp
I worked at temp agencies when I first moved to New York and that was really
wonderful because it gave me the opportunities to still attend auditions
while still making money to pay my bills so it’s just one of the challenges that
you may discover is finding a job that is going to allow you to still attend
auditions it is possible you just have to be really diligent about searching
out where you can work that is going to allow you to continue focusing on
auditioning which is your main goal if you move to the city as a performer the fourth challenge you may encounter
is having the time to build the community and surrounding yourself with
people in the same musical theater industry that can support you and really
give you the uplifting courage that you need because this is a very challenging
career let’s be honest we all go through that we all have anxiety and stress
because you have to put yourself out there every single day like I’m doing
right now and that allows you to show a vulnerable side which is great but then
on the other hand too it’s really going to be a challenge to create a community
that supports you and that uplifts you you can do it it just takes time to get
yourself acclimated to the city and to reach out and find a support system so
if you have friends that already lived there if you know people that already
live there if you have family or relatives really find a community so
that you can have a sense of establishment in the city because the
city is so small oftentimes it’s feels like you are one little speck
in a a bustling city and you can get overwhelmed and so find a community that
you can really delve into that’s going to keep you safe secure and in a
positive atmosphere as you continue on this journey for auditions in the next
episode we’re going to talk about the west coast which is where I am currently
working right now and what are the pros and also the challenges keep in mind
that all of these challenges you can overcome if you put your mind to it you
can literally do anything and that’s what I want you to keep in mind as we
move through our episodes together taking these actions making decisions
and going for it implementing them into your life so if
you watch this video and you thought oh my gosh the East Coast sounds perfect
for me right now then gather everything together that you
need to do and just go you will never have enough time
enough money you will never be prepared enough I literally left New York with
like $5,000 in my bank account actually I don’t even think it was that much it
was probably more like 3 grand and I had headshots and resumes and audition
attire and my dance shoes and my rap book and all of my songs recorded so I
could practice them on the train without being too loud and I literally just
moved to New York and that was how I got my start as a musical theater performer
right after I graduated from my undergrad program in college and you can
do it but you have to make that first step so if you thought the East Coast
was right for you start taking the preparations that you need and the
actions that you need to take to make the transition to move to New York just
do it if you liked this video go ahead and subscribe and if there’s anything
that you would like for me to specifically talk about go ahead and put
it down in the comments and I’ll start trying to put videos together that
specifically talked about auditions casting submissions and anything else
that you might want to know as a musical theater performer alright thanks for
watching everyone have a great day and start doing those actions and
implementing them to gain success you

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