I Know What I’m Doing – Not Likely

iuMost young people entering the entertainment industry have a myopic view about the paths to success. These preconceive notions are often laden with misinformation and false assumptions. Such thinking limits opportunities, narrows the possibilities to learn ones craft, connect with industry people, and promote one’s self. So convince they know the way, they attempt the same approach repeatedly and the result is a stagnating career.

It’s almost a religious belief that their way is the only way and no one is going to change their minds. Their undying faith is testament to their confidence and determination; however, when their thinking is erroneous bad things happen. Let me give you a few examples:

One assumption is that graduating from a leading acting or writing school provides special entry into the industry. The huge numbers of well-educated artists that fail to get a foothold in this industry demonstrates such thinking is faulty. They end up subsisting on low paying jobs while waiting for their big break. The same applies to studying with prominent drama and writing instructors.

Another assumption is that getting representation is the key to being successful.

7 Ways To Make Use Of Your Time Backstage and Book More Burlesque Gigs

juyMaking the most of your time backstage before a show, can lead to mor bookings not just at that show but at other shows.

    1. Steer clear of gossip – When the gossip starts to flow, tune out. You can try changing the subject or ask if your friend can tell you the dirt after the performance.


    1. Ditch negative attitudes – Don’t spend all of your backstage time bitching about everything that went wrong that day. It’s a huge time waster. It may be at the forefront of your mind, but your words of frustration may also be misconstrued by others.


    1. It’s okay to be a diva, but not demanding – You can be goddess like, but know that you are not a god. You are not above anyone else backstage even if you are the headliner.


    1. Be a Giver– Head backstage with the plan of giving: give compliments (only honest ones), give hugs, give laughs, give pastie tape if asked, and give advice if asked. When you give, you will receive something. The exchange can be an excellent use of your time.


    1. Focus on the task at hand

5 Biggest Myths About Learning Burlesque

miu1. Real burlesque performers look like Dita Von Teese.

Nope. Heather Sweet is gorgeous and she has styled her stage persona Dita Von Teese to look like a 1940’s pinup. Take a moment to check out videos of dames from the Golden Age of burlesque and you’ll see that the ladies came in all shapes and sizes. African American, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican despite popular belief burlesque has always been a melting pot with ladies of varying waist sizes. Yep, it was not uncommon to see a size 12 dress backstage.

2. Real burlesque is danced to big band swing music.

While classic burlesque is mostly danced to music from the past, the gals in the 40’s weren’t dancing to music from 1910. They were strutting to the hot jazz beats that the house band played, the current music of the time. Today, burlesque is danced to songs from various genres including: pop, rock, country, hip hop, and R & B.

3. Burlesque isn’t really dancing. Just big costumes and shiny props.

Today there are a number of performers masquerading as burlesque dames, as they hide behind elaborate props and

Feeling Alive

Last night I was fortunate enough to participate in a monthly meet-up with fellow Miller Voice Method teachers-in-training. The meet-up was overseen by Scott Miller, head teacher of the Miller Voice Method. Another teacher and I led the exercises for the evening. It was truly inspiring to be in a room with other like-minded teachers and artists. After a long slow August, my soul was yearning to be filled up with movement and inspiration. I found that at last night’s meeting in spades.

It got me thinking how important it is for us artists (and indeed for all humans) to seize opportunities to feel fully alive. I don’t know about you, but when I’m not doing things that make me feel alive it turns my whole world grey. And yet it’s incredibly easy to fall into a place of complacency where we stop exercising our creativity. Sometimes we feel like we want to experience aliveness but no one is giving us the opportunity to do so. The truth is we can always give ourselves that opportunity, we don’t need to wait for anyone, such as a casting director, to give it to us.

As actors, we experience connection to our aliveness when

4 Types of Stage Lighting

Whether it is a professional or amateur production, lighting is an essential part of the set-up and based on creative inspiration and logical decisions. The stage lights are part of many different categories, such as those related to beam quality, shape, and size. Here are four of the most popular types of stage lights:

Flood lights

The quality, shape, and size of the beam emitted from flood lights are rigid with no option to make adjustments. It is a popular choice for illuminating skies or backgrounds, but not so desirable for highlighting the actors. Flood lights can operate as a single light or combined with three or four other lights to provide a color mix. Most come with a reflector to make it easier to provide an even wash across a large space.

Soft spots

Soft spots are easier to control with the ability to adjust the beam shape and size. The quality of the light emitted is soft and even edged, and has minimal light spillage outside the intended area. This type of light is more practical for the short throws, and is generally unsuitable for long throws.

Profile spots

The use of profile spots is suggested in the areas of stage lighting that needs

How to Do Duo Tricks in a Lyra Hoop

In duo tricks, one partner is the person who holds onto the other person in a trick aka the base. The base must be strong and capable of holding their partners weight. The other role is the flyer, the person who tends to be smaller yet still strong and is being held while doing a trick. A couple of important notes: first, anytime a partner is climbing on to the top of the hoop the other partner MUST be holding onto the side of the hoop or bottom resisting the hoop to flip up or else your partner CAN get injured or fall out, secondly, when getting out of tricks wait for the flyer to call a “hup” indicating that they are back onto the hoop and holding on to otherwise if you try to come out of the trick before they are stable you might drop them. Both partners need to be flexible, strong, and have COMMUNICATION.

Praying Mantis

• Base

o Climb up to the top of the hoop and get in sitting position.

o Once your flyer is in the back balance position you can get into a double knee hang.

o After your double knee get in pencil position with one

Finding My Way Back

When I was 5 years old I got my first drum, a tom tom given to me by a neighbor for Christmas. It came with a small wooden mallet that had a round, blue, rubber tip. A grey, rubber skin, tied down with thin course rope, kept the drum skin in place. I beat on that drum head night and day until my mother, who was not blessed with patience to begin with, disposed of it. I was not a happy camper when I found out that my one and only instrument had been unceremoniously terminated. Stricken with sadness and frustration, I pestered my parents to replace it, over and over but it was not to be. There would be no winning this battle so I gave up the fight, but my love of drumming was imprinted in my brain for all time. Over the years my fascination with drumming grew exponentially. As I entered adolescence I began to work on my parents in the hope of wearing them down. My father insisted that I play a “nice” instrument like the piano or violin. “Every drummer I ever met was crazy.”, was the psychology he used to try to

The Road to Being a Professional Standup Comedian

In comedy one of the worst things you can do is create a group of friends whom you only hang out with or do shows with.

Because every time you do a show, you will always use the same people in your group.

I have seen hundreds of good rooms get destroyed by new comedians who start a great open mic room. The first month, everything is great and the room is always packed. However, the following month they start losing people, and they can’t figure out why there is nobody in the room anymore or why the restaurant owner has become fed up and stopped the comedy.

The number one room killer is comedy groups, in which the same people keep trying to tell the same old jokes. Perhaps they have gotten so comfortable that they don’t even care about writing funny material anymore; they get on stage and bullshit their way through their act and bore the audience.

When starting a new room, I have learned to always make sure you get a lot of comedians involved. For instance, you can host the room and maybe rotate your friends to host.

New comedians with new rooms, we love to host our rooms because

The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker ballet originated from a fairytale written in 1816 by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Although this story was classified as a fairytale, the original plot was not written for children. Years later, Alexander Dumas rewrote the saga with youngsters in mind. Then, in 1892, Peter Tchaikovsky was asked to compose the music for the story. This was the beginning of the popular ballet that has become synonymous with the Christmas holidays.

Act One

The Nutcracker ballet opens in a quaint German village on Christmas Eve. Townspeople are bustling, getting ready to attend a party at the Stahlbaum home. The members of the Stahlbaum family and their servants are preparing for the holiday celebration. As guests arrive, the children, Clara and Fritz, enjoy mingling with their friends. Soon, Clara’s godfather, Herr Drosselmeier arrives. Drosselmeier is a local toymaker, and he comes bearing gifts. He passes around the China dolls for the girls and brass bugles for the boys. Fritz receives a charming drum, and Clara receives a beautiful nutcracker. Unfortunately, Fritz becomes jealous of his sister’s gift. He seizes it, and promptly breaks it. Drosselmeier saves the day by fixing the broken gift with a wave of his magic handkerchief.

The party breaks

The Roles of a Costume Designer

One of the most important jobs in the theatre is that of costume designer. Much of what is seen on stage during the production is the work of the costume designer and his or her team, so the success or failure of the show largely hinges on the quality of the costumes. Great costumes can bring characters to life and make it easier for actors and actresses to engage the audience – poor costumes will make the shot seem low-budget and amateurish.

Of course, the job of costume designer is far more than simply sewing together a few outfits before the curtain goes up. The job is actually quite complex and involved, and the lead costume designer on a big show is sure to be an extremely busy person. Much in the same way that hiring a great performer can help the show be successful, so too can a great costume designer be a key player in the popularity of the production.

Teamwork is Vital

Working together is important in any setting where more than one person is responsible for putting together a final product. That is certainly the case in the theatre, where there are a number of roles behind the scenes

Fun Facts About William Shakespeare

Of all the facts about Shakespeare, one of the oddest of all is that, although he is regarded as the finest writer of the English Language that there has ever been, Shakespeare didn’t actually write all the words of some of his plays. In fact, some people say that William Shakespeare didn’t write any of his works at all and that William Shakespeare was merely a pen name that was used by some other writers of his time. Whatever the truth, many of Shakespeare’s words and phrases are still used in the English Language today. Here some more William Shakespeare facts that you may not have known.

We don’t know how to spell Shakespeare’s name

It is thought that Shakespeare’s name is derived from the old English word ‘schakken’, which means spear, or to brandish. What we don’t know to be a definite Shakespeare fact, though, is how he actually spelt his own name. This is due to the fact that the famous poet used different spellings of his own name and he often used abbreviations of it as well.

All the words of Shakespeare are not his own

It is a fact about William Shakespeare that he was a prolific writer. He wrote

The Overwhelming Benefits of Supporting the Performing Arts

When budgets are cut in schools and communities, the first thing that takes a hit is the performing arts. While singing, dancing, and playing instruments might seem like a colossal waste of time to community leaders, they are some of the most important activities that you can have. If you are still on the fence, here are some reasons you should lend your support in your area.

Strong Communities

Performing arts are central to building a cohesive community. An area that has a vibrant community of music, dance, and drama allows kids to partake in things that are not just pop culture. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, communities that embrace the arts have higher child welfare, lower poverty, and higher civic engagement.

Cultivating Creative Industries

Creativity is an industry, and without performing arts, that industry cannot exist. In an analysis by Dun and Bradstreet, around 756,700 businesses in the United States are involved in the creation and distribution of art. These businesses employ nearly three million people, representing approximately 2.17 percent of the workforce and 4.14 percent of all businesses. These businesses include museums, films, theaters, and symphonies.

Local organizations spend money within their community and are considered the cornerstones. It is

How to Find a Talent Agency

Go to Agencies Directly:

There are a lot of modeling agencies out there so the first option you have is to track them down and find them yourself. Unfortunately, one of the biggest issues you have with this is that there are thousands of agencies out there and it can be hard to determine which ones are legit and which ones are just wasting your time. At the same time, getting into a big agency by yourself can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t know anyone.

First, find out what type of Model you are:

Depending on your age, height and weight, certain agencies specialize in working with specific type of talent. If you are under the age of 16, you are considered a teen model. Most teen models book catalog or print work in local markets.

For high fashion models, also know as editorial, are required to be at least 5 Feet 9 inches for woman and at least 6 feet 1 Inch for males. The industry is mostly made up of print or commercial talent, which are commonly booked for household and lifestyle brands. Commercial print work is very lucrative.

Plus size modeling has become increasing popular as most top agencies

Tips to Learn Mentalist Mind Tricks

Mentalism is really pretty impressive when you look at some of the pros’ performances on TV. Some of what they do seems so unreal.

The difference between a lot of magicians and mentalists is that magicians let their subjects know that they are indeed performers. In other words, they don’t have any superpowers or a sixth sense so to speak. However, a lot of mentalists choose to make their subjects believe they do have some sort of special powers. Which we all know just isn’t possible. An example of this would be Uri Geller from years ago.

Many mentalists might claim they are psychic, telepathic, can hypnotize, levitate and can even read minds among other things… Like magically bend spoons, but it’s all just a performance actually.

So what are some of the important aspects of being able to learn mentalist mind tricks? What do the pros use to pull off their tricks? I’ll discuss a few things below that every mentalist should know.

Reading Body Language

Reading body language is a huge part of mentalism. This is especially true for tricks like reading minds, which is one of the most popular of all mentalist mind tricks. When learning mentalist mind tricks you must master

The Elements Of Character

For an actor creating a character from scratch is a major undertaking. If you wish to achieve more than playing some variation of yourself there are many elements that go into creating a role.

After developing a solid technique you will have to learn how to break down a script. The writer provides the actor with a road map and it is the job of the actor to navigate the twists and turns of the writers vision. Actors approach their roles differently. Brando was an actor who relied heavily on his instincts and intuition to gain an understanding and feel for the character’s point of view. He was a keen observer of human nature who spent hours watching people in a variety of situations. In the latest Brando bio by Susan Mizruchi (“Brando’s Smile”) Ms. Mizruchi writes that Brando was an avid reader/researcher that would read voraciously to gain information on all aspects of the character’s nature. Annotating every script he worked on was part of an insatiable curiosity that was an integral part of his process. To gain an understanding of character he had to know why his characters were motivated to do the things they did.

Intuition is another tool

Learn Mentalist Mind Tricks

Magic. I’ve always loved it. Going to the shows and watching people on TV like Criss Angel and David Copperfield who are some of the best illusionists around has always been a favorite past time of mine.

Many of these people are also known as mentalists… and many of these people also made me want to learn mentalist mind tricks.

What is the Difference between Magic and Mentalism?

So what is the difference between regular magic and mentalism? Magicians are those people that let you know they are going to fool you. They don’t claim to actually have a superpower or anything of the sort. – Their performance, for the most part, ends after the show. Simple enough.

However, many mentalists portray themselves as actually having a six sense so to speak. They can read minds, channel spirits, etc. For example, Uri Geller.

Geller, most known for his spoon bending routine, was able to fool the public, journalists and even scientists with his tricks.

This is the type of guy that you should want to learn mentalist mind tricks from. He’s obviously a professional.

Magicians and Mentalist Combos

Some performers like Criss Angel combine both magic and mentalism. These guys are brilliant at what they do to put

Learning To Listen The Meisner Way

Sanford Meisner’s technique is based on the “reality of doing”. Rather than focus on emotions, he focused on truthful behavior that was the product of “doing” not “thinking”. To provide actors with a way of achieving truthful behavior he created what he called the “repetition” exercises. First and foremost these exercises teach actors to really listen to one another. The earliest stage of his exercises is referred to as the “first thing”. By “working off” one another and listening without adding anything artificial onto the exercise actors begin to understand what it means to respond from their truthful selves. In order to illuminate the value of listening as it relates to the instincts, Meisner provided his students with 3 rules:

Rule 1. “Don’t do anything until something happens to make you do it”. By learning the value of “leaving yourself alone” the actor begins to understand that there is no meaning in fabricated responses. To achieve the sense of truth that we strive for in our work the actor must learn to put all of their attention on an “object” outside of themselves. In doing so the actor is no longer watching himself/herself. This is the foundation of listening to the

Summer Camp Drama

Plays, skits and campfire shenanigans are a huge part of what makes sleepaway summer camp so special. Theatrical productions at camp not only provide some excellent entertainment, they also introduce kids to new interests, boost self-esteem and teach a lot of important lessons on how to work as a team.

Amazing Imagination

Whether creating some crazy stage makeup, writing funny dialogue or getting into character for their role, theater encourage kids to free their imaginations, coming up with new ideas and developing their creativity. As Einstein once said, “imagination is more important than knowledge.”

New Skills

Whether your youngster has already starred in the class play or is just taking that first timid step out onto the boards, camp provides a lot of excellent opportunities to hone acting, singing and even choreography skills. Many camps have seasoned theatrical professionals teaching drama classes, offering chances to learn the many facets of putting together a production. Campers not only act in plays and skits, they also write, direct, design and build sets, operate stage lighting and take charge of props.

Team Work

Putting together a play is an excellent way to learn team work. Each person has a vital part in pulling off a successful production, from the

What? I’m a Theatre Star

In my mind, I calmly told spirit, If you want me to do this, fine. And if not, then I’m okay with it. Then they called my name, and I jumped up and screamed. I couldn’t believe I made it!! I was going to be part of the 2016 Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival.

That was the scene last November at the Tranzac Club in downtown Toronto. My husband and I had each submitted a proposal to stage a production at the Fringe, a two-week celebration of theatre, storytelling, dance, comedy and anything else that defies a quick description. Benjamin submitted his idea first – a staged reading of monologues based on interviews he’d done with people who worked in hospice. But, I hesitated… Ben’s a great writer with great stories to tell.

“Why don’t you submit a proposal?” he said one day over lunch. “You do spirit-inspired events all the time. It’s kind-of like theatre.”

“Actually, my public message events are nothing like theatre,” I said, unconvinced. “I work for spirit, connecting loved ones on the other side of life to audience members eager to hear from their departed-”

Wait a minute… Did I just say “audience”? Hmmmm…

“Then do something a little different,” he

How to Look Like a Top Model

Modeling is perceived as if it is a representation or a “certification” of superiority in appearance because not everyone can become a model. Being a model impresses people and because of this, there are actually many people who will light up at the thought of being a model. As such, this article will be to help those who aspire to be a model, but do not know how to get started.

1) Know the kind of model you want to become

There are various forms of models, from runway models to commercial models, event models, blogshop models, photo models et cetera. People tend to generalize the term “models”, meaning they associate models solely as runway models, which is obviously not the case. You need to know what kind of model you want to become before you set your sights to becoming one. For example, if you are tall, have sharp facial features and a slim body, you might want to try to be a runway model. If you are good at socializing and grooming yourself, you can try out event modeling. There are many different options, but be sure to find out which one suits you best.

2) Finding a modeling agency

In order