Mix Up Your Training With These Insider Tips

Mix Up Your Training With These Insider Tips by Bret Shuford.jpg

I recently started coaching high school students on their college auditions for Musical Theatre. It’s fascinating to see where their knowledge is at such a young age and the similarities in the professional world.

So many of these students are looking forward to getting their college training but then also set the expectation that once they get that training under their belt, they are done. It has been a good reminder that so many students are attending college programs unprepared for the reality ahead of them.

Specifically, training doesn’t stop after your degree. You must always be studying.

Taking classes is how you get better, of course, but in addition to that, it’s how you meet the people that will help you get where you want to go professionally. If you’re waiting to be discovered at open calls, perhaps taking class is a better way to create a community and prepare for the next step.

Here are my top suggestions to help you find the places to study that will help you uplevel your performance AND connect you with the people you want to know.

Right off the bat, let me say that this is different from Casting Director workshops. I’m talking about real training.

You may feel comfortable at your current place, but I believe if you aren’t uncomfortable, you're not growing. It’s essential for you to be versatile and observe how other people approach their craft. Try mixing up your training with a few of these ideas.

Actor Websites - Use IMDb or your Playbill to explore your favorite actors’ websites and resumes. You may be able to see their teachers listed under their training. I’ve even had private clients reach out to actors they respect and ask them for suggestions. People want to help people, so why not give them the opportunity? If you come from a place of sincerity, the worst they will say is no.

Auditions - You know when you’re sitting in the waiting room and you hear that other person just nailing the audition? Instead of wishing you were them, use this as an opportunity to compliment them and ask them who they study with. Remember, compare = despair.

Casting Directors - Ask a casting director. Who do they look for on resumes? Who do they notice has made a difference in their performers’ careers?

Which one of these places will you tap into first? Let me know in the comments below.