Broadway - Training, Agents and ManagersBroadway Specific Training
Here’s a helpful thread from the PARF moms about the types of dance training and audition tips for dance:
The universal advice from our experts is: Bloom where you are planted: take classes and do community theatre at home. Take classes at the local dance studio. Find a local voice teacher and learn to read music. Get some leading roles in a small market. If your child outgrows the local theatre, it might be time to try a bigger city like New York or Chicago.
So what kind of training do you need? Unlike Los Angeles, where acting classes are the norm, NY kids tend to take singing and dancing lessons first. That is because most Broadway kids are hired for musicals. When you get to NYC, search out a voice teacher and a dance studio.
Voice Lessons: Note that many voice teachers feel that children are too young to learn the Broadway Belt style of singing and to do so may be doing harm to their voices long term. Make sure to research your voice teacher and be sure they are truly qualified! Singing teachers often work with kids on music from the current shows so that when auditions come up, it is not unfamiliar material.
Dance Lessons: Many studios in NYC will allow drop-ins, meaning your child can try a class here and there. This is a great way to find a teacher you feel comfortable with. There are also dance studios and teachers who are known to be able to teach at least a version of the audition dance routine to their students prior to the audition.
When asked for specific suggestions for dance and voice lessons, our experts offered these as examples:
--Teachers: Bob Marks, Diane Hardin Workshops, Madelyn Burns, A Class Act
--Intensives: triple threat training: Broadway Artists Alliance
approx. $595 for a 3 day workshop: http://www.broadwayartistsalliance.org/
--Camps: Professional level theatre camps are something unique to the East Coast. They are very expensive and they often put up fully produced musicals each summer, providing invaluable experience. Some examples to check into: Stagedoor Manor, the subject of the film “Camp” (2003) and French Woods.
Agents and Managers
You don’t really need an agent to get started auditionng for theatre. Calls are well publicized. But that doesn't mean you don't need a representative at some point. Many working kids seem to have managers, rather than agents, since kids are allowed to free-lance with agencies in New York (freelancing is not allowed in Los Angeles). Once you get offered a role in a professional stage production, we HIGHLY advise seeking agency representation before you negotiate your contract. Read the “Finances” section of this article for a taste of all the negotiating work that can be done to to improve your child’s Broadway experience.
Agents who are known for their interest in clients doing stage work:
NYC—Nancy Carson, CESD, Generation, Buchwald, Innovative, Abrams Artists
LA—Kazarian Spencer Ruskin, Bloc Talent, DDO Artists
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