This week, I’m premiering Episode 12 with actor, musician and songwriter Katrina Lenk, who is currently on Broadway in The Band's Visit. Katrina originated the role of Dina in the award-winning musical.
I’m veering off of my regular career-focused blog posts on such a fitting day to talk about how love can fit into our lives. Stephen and I were recently asked an interesting question, “Is love a compromise?”
A widespread shift is sweeping through the entertainment industry, and it’s impossible to ignore. The #MeToo movement has dominated the Facebook newsfeed, the national news, and the red carpet for the past six months. Women (and men too) are raising their voices in outrage over the decades of sexual harassment and systemic oppression within the industry that has long gone unpunished and ignored. Yet, while we’ve seen the jettison of powerful Hollywood figures who have abused their positions, the New York theatre community seems to support a much slower change within their system.
It’s never too late to reach out to someone who hasn’t heard from you in awhile. It may feel awkward at first, or that you’re just asking for them to give you something like an audition or a job, but with a little preparations, you can keep the conversation authentic, and not so out of blue. Check out these 5 tips on getting ready to reach out again.
Perhaps the most valuable and necessary tool for a soon-to-be Broadway performer is your audition book. This book is something you will lug around EVERYWHERE, and since it’s a shared item with every pianist that you meet in the room, it becomes a reflection of your preparedness. Here is my checklist for creating an audition book that will help you shine at your next audition.
Last Thursday, the Casting Society of America handed out a lot of trophies, and I bet you didn’t even know about it. I’m talking about The 33rd annual Artios Awards, and casting directors from some of your favorite plays and musicals were among the winners.
Ah, the first week of the new year, the time for resolutions and goal setting. I bet your ideal to-do list for 2018 is exhausting. Sure, it’s all doable, but with the pressure of making resolutions, we tend to put too much on our plate all at once. Then we feel a sense of failure having barely accomplished anything on our list within some arbitrary period of time. This is why I think it’s important to focus on a word instead of a resolution.
Managing a busy acting career, a successful coaching practice and a happy marriage requires a lot of help, and these are 5 tools I use to keep a healthy balance going in my life. I hope this list can also help you to create success for yourself and your career in 2018.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 11 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with producer, author of The Untold Stories of Broadway, and major theatre aficionado, Jennifer Ashley Tepper. Jennifer is the Creative and Programming Director of Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, where she helps connect talented writers and performers with new audiences.
You just finished an audition. How do you feel?
Quite often, we can spend hours boggling over how an audition went, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: no one in the room is thinking as hard about your audition as you are.
How can you learn to bounce back after a bad audition, and set yourself up to repeat a stellar performance after a great one? Here are four suggestions to help you let it go after an audition, so you can concentrate on what's next..
In this third and final part of my New York Newbie article series, I’m sharing my tried-and-true advice to help you make the most out of your new life in the Big Apple. The city has so much to offer actors, but we can certainly get into a grind trying very hard to prove ourselves. However, it’s important to FEED THE HUMAN, to make time find new inspiration and have a little fun. Here are my Top 5 favorite spots in New York City to continually enrich and energize the human part of you as a performer.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 10 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with Analisa Leaming. Analisa just joined the cast of the Broadway musical School of Rock, taking over the Principal role of Rosalie Mullins
Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to build a solid reputation this industry, full of up and downs, and still become a happy person. Here are my 4 tips to help you develop the best reputation on Broadway.
You’ve finally made the transition to the big city. So, now what? Like most eager actors, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get seen by all the people that need to see me?” In this edition of the New York Newbie series, I’m sharing my “wish I knew then” advice for getting your foot in the door and building relationships with industry contacts and more.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 9 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the hilarious Emma Pfaeffle, who plays Veruca Salt in the Broadway musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
As an artist, this lack of inspiration can feel like the end of the world. Yet, the universe is abundant with inspiration, and replenishing your creative well can come as quickly and easily as quenching your thirst. You just need to know how. Here are my suggestions on how to find your motivation when inspiration feels scarce.
I’m here to let you in on a secret to booking better auditions...stop trying to book the job. The goal should never be to the book job. I know it sounds crazy, but the goal should be to start building relationships. The people you meet in the audition room matter more than the show for which you’re auditioning.
Growing up in a small town in Texas, I had no idea what I would need to make it in NYC. After doing theatre endlessly my entire childhood, and from college experiences, I imagined that I would just continue to do theatre non-stop. Reality can be a little bit different when you reach adulthood.
So in the spirit of paying it forward, I’ve created an article series called New York Newbie to share my “wish I knew then” advice for actors making the move to the Big Apple. This time, we’re taking a good, hard look at expectations versus the reality of what to need to do when you first arrive in the city.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 8 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the inspiring Telly Leung, who plays the titular role in the Broadway musical Aladdin.
The decision whether or not to find an agent is one of constant discussion among actors. However, you never see much discussion over what mindset you should be in when you start your representation search, and that’s unfortunate. Teaming with an agent is a very personal and sometimes frustrating process for an actor, and finding a good agent can be even harder. So you want to be in a good place before you begin.
Here are three questions to help you take stock of your mindset and career before you start searching for an agent.
Imagine this: You just booked this great job! Congratulations! The material is outstanding. The creative team is on your target list. Everything seems perfect, and then you find out there’s one person in the cast that just gets under your skin! It’s not a hard and fast rule, but typically there’s always one. Here are 4 suggestions to help you prevent negative cast interactions from taking even a bit of energy away from your creative enjoyment of the job.
Many actors do not realize that a Production Contract (i.e. Broadway) is similar to a full-time job offer, meaning... you earn days to use for illness and vacations. Here’s what those benefits usually look like and how to handle taking time off like a true Broadway pro.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 7 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the inspiring Caesar Samayoa, who plays Kevin J and Ali in the Broadway musical Come From Away.
We could all use a quick refresher on the fundamentals of running your business as an actor. It’s easy to get bogged down by wanting to be creative; we forget that we have to run a business too. Communication is key. So, in case you need the friendly reminder, here’s my go-to list of fundamentals for stellar career-building communication.
My husband Stephen and I share the five things going on in the world right now that we think are pretty great. It’s all about our growing global community, celebrated diversity and elevated consciousness.
I get it: Playing a principal role means you get one of those coveted final bows and a private dressing room. If you’re lucky enough to be in the ensemble, there’s no magic formula to breaking out. However, here are four tips I can offer for making it into the principal spotlight.
Traveling as an actor is a major perk of the job, but it also has its challenges. Your career doesn’t press pause just because you’re out of town, so sometimes you have to audition when you’re in a transient space, like a hotel room or unfurnished apartment.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 6 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the inspirational Christopher Gurr, one of the principals in the Broadway revival of Cats. In this episode, Christopher talks about his personal experience working with a real-life Gus, his secret to living your best Broadway Life, and why the joy of telling a good story is the most important part of being an actor.
On paper, you are golden, but even though you keep going in for musical theater auditions, you can’t seem to get past the initial call.
You have taken the voice lessons you thought were necessary. You’ve attended the casting director workshops and are following all of their advice to a tee. But still, you feel like you can’t make it over that invisible hurdle to a callback.
Well, I have a few things to keep in mind when approaching an audition to give you the competitive edge you need.
As Pride month comes to a close, I have a special message about my own experience coming out in show business.
I'm Bret Shuford, and I’ve dedicated my life to creating theatre. I followed my childhood dream to NYC to pursue a career as an actor on Broadway.
After attending the University of Oklahoma and graduating from Wagner College, I made my Broadway debut in the ensemble of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.
Since then, I've been in many other Broadway shows, national tours, and played principal roles in feature films; including Martin Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Through performing, even directing and choreographing for organizations such as Royal Caribbean International, I've established myself as a leader in the Entertainment Industry.
I discovered along my path that there was a deep desire from people within the industry to find guidance and support. Through years of self-care, recovery, career mastery, and success people were being drawn to the tools that I used and continue to use. I realized that this was a gift that I wanted to offer in order to change the energy within the community. Becoming a certified Life Coach became the natural next step for me.
As the Broadway Life Coach, I have helped others get more auditions, book more work, and find their self-confidence. If you are interested in knowing more about how coaching works, keep scrolling down.
Are you afraid that you’ll never make enough money to support yourself as an artist? Do you worry that you’re wasting your time on a dream that may never come true? Are you living day to day, paycheck to paycheck just trying to make this acting thing happen?
Been there. Done that.
And I know there’s a better way. I know because I’ve found it and I want to help you find it too. Your journey through life as an artist doesn't have to be tread alone. We will break the rules that have been holding you back, and help you create your own rules through one-on-one weekly phone sessions.
You are content with where you are, but know you have the potential to do so much more. With career coaching I will help you break outside of your routine and build relationships with the people you need to know to have the career of your dreams.
You CAN book more high-level work, more often.
Let me help you find the way.
Are you stuck in the industry "shoulds?" Click here to start a journey towards uninhibited auditions. We will find the ideal package that you want to present to casting directors and industry professionals. Through one-on-one sessions in person or online.
"I cannot say enough positive things about working with Bret! In the past 6 months, with his coaching, I was able to make incredible strides in my personal and career goals. Bret provides a safe and judgement free environment which allowed me to dig deep and identify the source of my artist blocks and ways to overcome them. His coaching sessions are catered to suit each individual—which made each experience personal and genuine. My way of life completely changed after I adapted to his goal setting methodology. He is a wonderful listener and has a fierce passion for assisting others in achieving their goals. Not to mention, he is an incredible human being. I would, with great confidence, recommend Bret to anyone."
-Jay Philip Marlow
"Working with Bret Shuford has been an incredible experience. He has helped me to take huge steps forward in achieving many personal and career goals, often pushing me gently into uncomfortable territory with incredible results. Bret's passion for coaching is very evident in his work, making our sessions joyous, safe, and useful. I highly recommend working with Bret."
-Jackson D. Cline
"BEFORE: stuck, uninspired, limited, powerless, self-conscious, apprehensive about actor marketing/networking.
AFTER: free, inspired, limitless, empowered, confident, excited about the creative ways I can lend my own voice to marketing and building industry relationships.
My secret weapon? Bret Shuford."