The following students will be attending the NYSTEA Student Conference January 10, 11, 12, 2020 in Callicoon, NY:
All paperwork must be turned in before the trip in January*
*Doctor signed medical form must be turned into the HS Nurses' Office by December 14
- Turn in paperwork
- Pay attention to payment schedule (or pay all in lump sum)
- November 1 - students select their workshops!
- After the fall play - any student who wants help selecting and rehearsing monlogues please schedule some time with me!
Want guidance on selecting monologues and songs?! Check out my advice below:Some of you have asked me recently for help. Here is step one. Read this email. I would love to help you. We could meet as a group or as individuals (oooh - group session to share what we've all been working on?! This could be fun!). Selecting material is the hardest part - and you have to drive that process.Not all of the classes/workshops at NYSTEA require you to have material prepared in advance. In fact, MANY classes do NOT (seriously...tons of the classes do not). However, you will find that it is great to have something in your back pocket if you want to sign up for any of those classes - or just because it's super fun to work on this kind of stuff in your free time! AND NSYTEA is the perfect time to be brave and put yourself out there in a class!!This email is not meant to stress you out. As you all know by now, I overshare - so here is my email with all thoughts about selection and preparing material! If you'd rather chat in person I will see you on Thursday at the Drama Club meeting.As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.Selecting a monologueThe most important part of a monologue is that you, as an actor must be drawn to it! Here are some hints:
- always use a piece from a published play (not a movie script or a monologue that was written just as a monologue - lots of books that have those so avoid a "monologue book")
- once you pick the monologue you should read the entire play so you know context - who are you, when does this happen in the play, what do you want/need/your overall objective etc.
- The better the play - the better the monologue. Select something well written - go with a known playwright. Don't be a hero and try to find the weirdest most obscure monologue.
- pick something that is age/race/gender/etc. appropriate for you as an actor - you want to find something that you could be cast as right now in your life (and while yes, as a high school actor you often play outside your age/type for a monologue audition you'll want to stay inside those boundaries). Think about what makes you unique as an actor and capitalize on that!
- Make sure it is appropriate - in subject matter and language. There is ZERO reason to push boundaries when it comes to preparing a monologue for auditions. Shock value is just that...shock value, not substance.
- Think about monologues in four categories: Classic Dramatic, Classic Comedic, Contemporary Dramatic and Contemporary Comedic. You don't need to have all four right away but it's nice to eventually have these in your back pocket.
- Classic = anything from Greek to Shakespeare to Moliere to Shaw etc.
You will do a lot of reading. My suggestion is skim the websites I am providing below. If you find something that "speaks" to you save it on your computer and mark it as a possibility. See if you can find a few you are drawn to and we can take it from there.List of "suggested" monologues from NYSTEA if you are really stuck: https://www.nystea.org/
- Contemporary = anything sort of past mid 20th century - the cadence will be more naturalistic or sound "plain speak"
wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ List-of-Monologues-2016-2107.A bit overwhelming but you can narrow your search on backstage by age range/gender/type/ etc.: https://www.backstage. com/monologues/Take a look on your own and then let's circle back. I know it's overwhelming. Just see if you can find something that interests you. I'll help you with the next steps. Start memorizing.Selecting MusicSome of the same tips/hints from above. Select something that is right for YOU - your correct voice type/range/gender/age/etc. etc.Again, you want to show off your BEST qualities. Do you have an awesome "money note"? Do you play comedic characters in story songs well? Think about what your strengths are as a performer. You also need to really love the song.Like the monologue, you need to know the context of the piece of music. What musical is it from? Who is singing? What just happened to them? What is their objective? etc. Knowing info about the show generally will also help you. Be sure to watch/listen to/read the whole show. Know any important historical info about it (composer? famous person who originated the role? any significance of the piece in theatre history?)You need to learn, memorize, and know the entire song...but you will most likely be asked to present a 32 bar (or 16!) cut of the piece. You will want to find the BEST 32 bars. This is often at the end of the song, or might be the chorus of song. Avoid repeating. Ask Mrs. Flock for help! HOWEVER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST. Bring a song to Mrs. Flock say "I think the 32 bar cut of this piece should be here, could you please help me take a look?". Don't ask Mrs. Flock to do all of your work for you.Properly marking your music - music should be in the correct key, with the full accompaniment, and printed clearly. You will need to mark the beginning of your cut and the end on the music. I also write "Thank you!" next to the end. We'll talk about this in person. Music needs to be in a binder.Make yourself three copies of each piece of music. One - the whole song (clean copy). Two - marked up with 32 bar cut. Three - marked up with 16 bar cut. Place this music in a sheet protector in your binder.Speaking of binder...here are the different pieces that you will eventually want in that binder (you do NOT need all of these before NYSTEA! but if you are thinking about signing up for any of the vocal classes - it would be awesome if you had at least two from the list!)
Are you totally overwhelmed and don't know where to start with finding music?! Do not FEAR! Take this advice:
- Traditional Ballad (think "Golden Age" of musical theatre - R&H, L&L, etc. or older - Porter, Gershwin, Berlin)
- Traditional Up-Tempo
- Contemporary Ballad (anything past 1960)
- Contemporary Up-Tempo
- A pop/rock/country song (or from musical theatre rep that is more along these styles)
- Specialty song (for example - I used to have a "patter" song in my book - speedy song lots of lyrics (Not Getting Married Today). I also had character songs where I would sing in an accent or silly voice...(Cain't Say No or My Mother's Wedding Day) Think of this is as your "wild card" spot. Are you great at Jazz? Folk music? Honestly, I used to keep my favorite Italian art song/aria in my book too...just in case.)
Once you find your music - MEMORIZE AND LEARN IT. Ask Mrs. Flock if she would be willing to record the accompaniment so you can practice on your own...or find a karaoke track on youtube (make sure it's the right key).Once you have perfected it VOCALLY we will need to treat it like a monologue and dig into Song Interp! Ask for help from Mrs. Flock and from me! HOWEVER, do your homework!! Come in with the piece memorized and be ready to work.Did you make it the end of this email?! I'm proud of you. I am very happy to help you on this journey - but be prepared to do some work on your own too. Talk to me in person or shoot me an email! :)
- Pick something you already know. Seriously. Pick something from a show you've been in - even if you didn't play the role.
- You know you have some "go-to" songs you LOVE to sing along with. Pick one of them.
- Are you trying to think outside the box? Is there a show you love but the music is overdone (ahem...Wicked) - check out the composer's other shows (Baker's Wife, Children of Eden) and find a hidden gem!
- "I Want" songs in musical theatre are always great because you will have clear intent and purpose as an actor! What is an "I Want" song? It's the song where a main character is telling the audience/world about what they need/want or their "Super Objective" for show. Don't necessarily use these examples but think "Part of Your World" from Little Mermaid or "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin.
- Are you obsessed with a particular Broadway performer? Find videos on Youtube of them performing at a cabaret style show and steal one of their songs!