Hello Broadway lovers, theater students and creative artists everywhere! Welcome to the blog as we enter August. This summer has literally flown by, and I’m still working on resting and rekindling my devotion to the arts before the school year begins again. When life speeds up in the blur, it becomes easy to feel disconnected from yourself and your passions.
So, I thought, what better way to reconnect with love theater than to seek advice from some of the most passionate and hardworking people in this industry? For my third annual “tips article” (and stay tuned for more – I have more quotes on the way!), I reached out to some exceptionally talented creators and asked them: what’s the best advice you have received in your career? I guarantee that their answers will touch you, whether or not you work in theatre. Read on for a dose of happiness, motivation, and a reminder to keep embracing the unexpected.
“Be nice. God, the more I get into this industry, the more I see it. If a guy showed up the other day to hang on and focus and, boy, was he short and rude. He won’t come back, don’t. I care about the quality of his work. I much prefer someone pleasant who takes three times as long as someone who is going to make everyone’s day worse. – Bill Kassay (actor, director, producer, University of Maryland graduates)
“One of my mentors said that life is 51% comedy and 49% tragedy and the two push against each other and create this space for laughter. In theater we try to explore the tension of this space to provoke laughter.” –Michael Fields [retired Dell’Arte Inc. Producing Artistic Director] – Roman Sanchez (Producer, Director, MFA Candidate in Yale’s Theater Management Program, Founder of Lime Arts Productions)
“EVERYTHING is collaborative in theater. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first (literally even one person shows up), you will absolutely benefit from the collaboration and input of others, even if you don’t end up integrating that input. directly into your work.” – Isabella Benning (actress, writer, University of Maryland graduate)
“You have to be able to handle the ‘No’ answer many times before you get a ‘Yes’. You have to keep showing up and working hard in everything you do. Your work speaks for itself, so the “Yes” will come – but it may take longer and look different than you imagined.” – Rosalind Flynn (professor of practice and director of the master’s program in theater education, Catholic University of America)
“What works for you will come to you. Denying who you are, or your true needs…will waste your time. right, healthiest, most prosperous scenarios for your success.” – Jordan Resnick (actor, writer, director, University of Maryland graduates)
“Life doesn’t move in a straight line, neither does the theater. As soon as I accepted this, I was able to get rid of a lot of anxiety. There’s no secret one “right” way to direct a production or build a directing career. Yes, it is important to put effort into planning, preparing and learning. But ultimately, I think you can only control the next step. I’m not going to worry about where I’ll be in five or ten years. What play am I going to read tomorrow? How am I going to collaborate with these actors in front of me? How am I going to engage with the moment I’m standing in, right now?– Kelsey Mesa (Director, Head of KCACTF and Theater Education at the Kennedy Center)
“A casting director…told me and a group of college students to ‘stop doing her job for her’…and by that she meant it’s her job to start the show… not mine… so stop worrying if I’m right for the role, or if I did what I think she wanted me to do… my job is to be an artist…so just do it and share…and that goes for critics too…it’s not my job to criticize my own art…so don’t.” – Nathaniel Claridad (Actor, Director, Producer, Teaching Artist)
Stay tuned for part two!