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.
This week, I’m premiering Episode 5 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the talented Will Roland, who plays Jared Kleinman in the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. In this episode, Will pulls back the curtain on the unglamorous side of being dedicated to a production from initial readings to the Tony Awards, plus how the success of the show has changed his perspective on social media.
In the final installment of our Nail The Audition series, we’re going to take a look at your acting auditions. First and foremost, you are your own best acting expert. Only you can know what techniques work best for you, but these are my suggestions based on years of working in the industry, both in front of the table and behind. Acting auditions are going to vary based on the project, writing, director, producer, and genre. Please use your own good judgment when applying these suggestions.
The number one question I hear from clients is, “What does it take to make it on Broadway?” They think it’s about knowing the right person, singing the right song, or executing the perfect timing. However, the key to success is maintenance. Yep, plain, unglamorous maintenance. But before you get disappointed, let me explain.
These days, content is king, so it’s essential to have an online presence. There are lots of options to satisfy your content fix, but personally, I love making videos on YouTube. It’s a powerful way to share your content with a huge audience and showcase your talent. Here are 5 factors I think are essential to building a successful YouTube channel.
I’m mixing things up a bit this week with a special guest post by Erin Cronican. Erin is the Founder of The Actors’ Enterprise, a kickass career coach and a veteran actor. She's also the co-founder and Managing Director of The Seeing Place Theater, so she knows a thing or two about self-producing.
Check out Episode 4 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the lovely Caitlin Houlahan, who plays Dawn in Waitress on Broadway. PLUS, a special bonus download!
It can feel like a daunting task to pick the "perfect" song for your audition, but the process is easier than you think, if you trust yourself. Here are five simple tips to help you clear out the confusion and nail your next singer call.
Whether you are experienced in auditioning or totally brand new, it's always good to get a refresher on how to approach the simple basics.
Plain and simple: the key difference between successful actors and ones still waiting around for something to develop in their careers is follow up. Here are three quick tips to start mastering the art of the follow-up with important industry contacts today.
Check out Episode 3 of the #BroadwayLife interview series with the lovely Kara Lindsay, who plays Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. PLUS, a special bonus download!
No matter what your forte is (singer, actor, dancer), here's the next class I think you should invest in to help you nail your next dance audition.
It’s almost as difficult to sign up for an Actor’s Equity ECC (Equity Chorus Call) or an EPA (Equity Principal Call) these days as it is to as win the “Hamilton” ticket lottery. So, here's my number one tip to get yourself seen for open calls.
Let’s get real about the dreaded 16 bar cut! It’s essential to have in your audition book if you are a musical theatre performer, but it's not as important as everyone makes it out to be.
Rory O'Malley, King George in Hamilton, Discusses the importance of telling your story, and 3 ways to live your best Broadway Life.
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."