In a world fixated on Calvin Klein, the Mannequin Challenge, popular sports teams, and Greys Anatomy, it is not exactly difficult to feel misplaced and estranged as a participant of the musical theatre (or theater if you're feeling particularly patriotic) lifestyle.
Even if you're not a musical theatre major, actor in the industry, or general arts enthusiast, this article may help to spread the message that WE ARE DOING OUR BEST. We apologize for those of us who make our kind appear intolerable, and if you think you may be in danger of being one of those types, please read on to my 8 easy tips for how to bring your full on belt down to a sensible mix when necessary.
1. Refrain from singing more than 8 bars in public.
We all know that thrilling sensation when someone unknowingly (or perhaps fully consciously) makes a reference to one of the beloved headliners of the Great White Way. However, when this burning and itching initiates deep within our systems at the time in which you are riding the metro with dozens of your closest new friends who just boarded, please do not exceed 8 bars maximum. If the reference is going to be realized, at that point it will be. Even if they don't get it, you've basically just had a solid cattle call style audition, so anything further could and will be considered vocal orgasm, i.e. loving the sound of your own voice.
2. No time steps in public for free. Regardless of complexity.
Skills pay bills. Save them for someone who can write you a check.
3. Do real people things
You can't be a real person onstage if you don't have real people experience. Of course it's difficult to make time for less staged experiences what with rehearsal schedules, voice lessons, dance classes, working out, etc, but it simply must be worked into the routine. Go for a bike ride, go out to a party, or maybe even go to a baseball game.This way not only will you have more experience to draw from as an artist, but then you'll be able to have sustainable conversations with people outside of the Norbert Leo Butz fan club.
4. Don't use your resume as your newest monologue
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments and your craft! We live in a world where artists young and old need to be reminded of this constantly. However, it's difficult to make conversation with someone who relates every exam to their latest starring role. "Oh gosh, that test was almost as hard as the third time I played Eponine!" *she said in impeccably projected and enunciated voice*
5. Make "normie" friends
Of course the people we end up getting close to are those we spend most of our time with, such as in work and school. But it's important to branch out and be friends with people with other interests, hence opening yourself up to other interests and perspectives.
6. Listen to radio stations that you can't find on Sirius XM
Yes, you should listen to things other than the Broadway channel. Not only to keep up with pop culture, but also because what's on the radio today will be on the stage tomorrow. But also you don't want to be that person on the road trip whose phone is banned from the aux chord. Been there.
7. Watch the news
Self explanatory. Just know what people are talking about so you don't look uneducated when words other than "LaDuca" and "Billy Porter" are being used.
8. NEVER BE ASHAMED OF WHAT YOU DO
We as artists work to make change, and we can't do that unless we do what we do with pride. So make sure people know that you're an artist, you're proud, and you're damn good at what you do! Just try to keep the belting in Starbucks to a minimum.