A Sight for Sore Eyes: Bringing Performing Arts back to the Mainstream



Ambition and talent are required to become an actor and to move into mainstream performance. It is assumed that you have talent because it is what placed you in front of audiences during the early stages of your career. Your ambition has made you part of your school or community theater scene as one of its helpers, workers or actors. 

An additional quality of toughness is added to provide you the stamina needed to go through all the challenges of building your performance resume and reaching mainstream theater. With ambition, talent and toughness accompanying a resume of performances, you are now ready for  pre-professional, college theater programs where you can sharpen your acting skills.

Among many designations, college degrees offered may be bachelor degrees in theater arts or bachelor of fine arts (BFA) with a major in theater. College theater programs are usually highly competitive and normally narrow down their list of applicants through a few days of auditions.

Audition formats vary from school to school. They may be short in time length but require you to schedule in a block of several hours. 

Schools may have auditions taking place in several major metropolitan areas of the country to account for as many applicants as possible. Make sure you have applied to several theater programs. You may be able to bunch several auditions within a reasonable time frame and local area.

Give yourself lots of time to rehearse your audition speech. Seek constructive criticism and make sure you have prepared an attractive structure with a solid beginning and ending. 

It’s normal for schools to require at least three letters of recommendations with applications. These should come from theater professionals or acting teachers who have guided you into a record of achievements.

There may be interviews, and these may, if not taking the place of auditions, accompany them with the same weight. Handle yourself in a way knowing that the school is looking for someone who is positive and who can add constructive values to their theater department.

A callback may be issued to you following the first audition. Theater performers should also have a song or two prepared just in case. Some schools make their decisions with only one round of auditions.

Pre-professional, college level training in theater will place you in two areas: acting and technical coursework. As a performing artist in theater, you will study in both areas while concentrating in acting. The courses in technical studies include studying such subjects as costume-making, lights, sound design, playwriting and theater management. 

Your success in the route of bringing performing arts to the mainstream weighs heavily on the portfolio and resume you have built up. Your early pre-professional experience demonstrates over and over again the ambition and talent that imbues your spirit. 

If you don’t make it into a school program the first time, imagine it as a particular role you had auditioned for but didn’t get. Rely on that additional quality, the toughness you have built into your spirit that keeps you pushing onward. Every defeat becomes one more step in the ladder toward success and enables you to keep applying.

It’s just as possible to obtain that pre-professional training in community theater without going the college route. Either way, you will find that being an artist takes hours of work and practice.

Some have calculated at least 10,000 hours of sweat work building skills is necessary for any artist or craftsman. Such a commitment may bring sore eyes to the actor practicing and performing on and off stage. But with ambition, talent, and a tough spirit, you bring performing arts back to the mainstream.

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