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Can't wait for summer?! Counting down the days?!
Catch up with current & past Brave Arts staff, performers and the latest on theatre today! 

 

Ben Speaks: Louder than Words 

One of our favorite lessons at Brave Arts is: "If you have something nice to share, share it!" In October of 2013 Brave Arts and Open Fields joined forces with the Ben Speaks organization to be a part of their "Concert to Remember." If you'd like to learn more about Ben Speaks you can check out their work at BenSpeaks.org. Founded by Judy Giovangelo, Ben Speaks believes in the power of the arts, community and open sharing to "stomp out bullying" and provide support to kids and families.  

 

Today Brave Arts wants to share something nice! Judy Giovangelo recently received two very special awards honoring her work with the youth of Massachusetts and beyond to empower young people to seek out healing and stomp out bullying and self-harm. First the Massachusetts Conference for Women awarded her the "Be the Change" award and then she was honored by the Boston Celtics with the "Heroes Among Us" award. See a clip from the ceremony on the court! 

 

Once again this summer Brave Arts will prepare several songs to perform in the Ben Speaks' "Concert to Remember" with messages of hope, perserverance, love, healing, community and family. Stay tuned for dates and more information about the concert in the Fall of 2014. We are inviting Judy to visit our day and boarding sessions to share her story and her tools for a balanced, empowered and supported life. 

 

Congratulations Judy! We are inspired by you and love you! 

Audition Series part 2 - Keep Calm and Find Your Song

The number one question we get from our performers of Brave Arts is "WHAT DO I SING FOR THIS <insert musical here> AUDITION?!" We're always here to help via e-mail, phone, tweet, Instagram comment, whatever! And now this blog post series will help you to "keep calm and find your song."

 

Step One: What type of musical or play is it? What's right for GREASE is probably not the right choice for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF based on the type of music, time period and style of the show. There are great resources on the Internet to listen to the soundtrack, read a synposis and even see clips of the show. We're big fans of Music Theater International and Playbill for research and using Spotify, iTunes or YouTube to hear and see clips.

 

Answer those 3 questions above (type of music, time period and style) for the show. For GREASE we'd say old-school rock/pop music, 1950's and high energy comedy about high school kids.

 

Step Two: Think about songs you already sing or are familiar with. Do any of those fit the description or 2 of the 3? Picking a song you already know means no cramming for the audition! If you have the time to learn something new search around for shows that fit 2 of 3 - Bye Bye Birdie, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, All Shook Up and Beautiful: The Carole King musical could all give you some options for Grease.

 

Check out this helpful list with musicals categorized by type/style.

 

Step Three: On next week's blog we'll give you the steps for how to break-down the song to learn it with tips from our counselors Chelsea and Dan who taught an audition workshop this summer at Brave Arts!

 

 

Audition Series Part 1 - Just be: celebrate yourself triumphantly!

First things first - we love this reminder from KINKY BOOTS the Musical and think it's the perfect way to kick off this series. Auditioning is a part of every show's journey and sometimes audition nerves are what keep people from trying! The unknown can be the hardest part to swallow. Our goal each summer at Brave Arts is to create a safe, caring home to grow in while building the confidence of our performers on and off the stage. Before we teach you the tips for auditioning we wanted to share this reminder that you already have the most important tool in any audition: being you! Read below for some tips for celebrating yourself and what you do best.

 

1. Be proud of YOU and show YOU off The audition room is the chance to show what you do best. We want to see you; leave your best impression of Idina Menzel or Ed Sheeran for the mirror at home!

 

2. Honor your talent We got this from Teri M at InSync Dance and use the message in lots of ways! One way to honor it? Keep apologies away! Not every audition is perfect, but neither is every performance. The director wants to know you can handle mistakes and not fall apart if it's not your best performance. Instead of saying "I'm sorry," telling them you're sick or making a disappointed face  - end every audition with a big smile and "thank you" that says I'm proud of my work!  ​

 

3. Do your homework: come prepared The number one cure for nerves? Preparation! The jitters are inevitable; when you've put some time and thought into your audition that will rise above the nerves. Lay out all of the materials you'll need (more on this later) and give yourself plenty of time to practice your song or monologue. Just like a test - small chunks of time spread out will help more than cramming the night before.

 

4. Practice kindness The initial audition tells the directors 2 things - if can you act, sing and/or dance AND if you're going to be easy to work with. A bad attitude, being rude to the directors, the monitors in the hallways or other auditionees is a sure-fire way to not get a call-back. Moms and Dads this goes for you too! Wait until you are in the car with the door shuts firmly to discuss anything about the audition. Say thank you, keep a smile on your face and focus on what you need to do in the audition room. Accept yourself and you'll accept others too!

There are the Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys and the Tonys. For Broadway, the Tonys are the biggest night of the season. Tune into the Tonys on CBS on June 11 to learn more about some of the most talented musicals, plays, actors, directors, designers, composers, etc this year. Watching the Tony award ceremony is a great chance to get a sneak preview of some of the musical numbers Brave Arts plans to perform this summer as well as what’s all the rage in New York and regional theatre right now. 

A Christmas Story, the musical is based on the beloved film from 1983. The show is nominated for Best New Musical this year and features Alexa Niziak, who is currently finishing the tour of Mary Poppins as Jane Banks. Kids fill the roles of Ralphie, his classmates and family. Look for a performance from the show at the awards!

A Tony website just for kids! Lots of pictures, videos and fun facts to learn more about the ceremonies past and present. 

Check out this article about kids on Broadway this season. Nine shows in the season feature kids! 

Matilda, the musical burst onto the West End (the Broadway of London) to rave reviews. It is currently in New York and is expected to win the Tony for Best New Musical. If you're a fan of the Roald Dahl book you'll love this musical! 

TOP 5 AUDITION TIPS I'VE LEARNED - whether it's school, a local theatre or Broadway these tips can help make the audition less scary and show off your best work!

 

1. Pick materials (songs & monologues) that are relevant to the show you're auditioning for. If you're auditioning for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz picking a song from Wicked might seem like a good choice but the styles of music are very different. Instead look at some classic musicals such as Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls and My Fair Lady.Compare composers, time periods & genres to decide if it's a relevant choice.

2. Be proud of YOU and show YOU off. The audition room is the chance to show what you do best! Class, rehearsal and Brave Arts are your chance to work on new material and skills.

3. You are interesting and talented - own it! Don't apologize for you work. Not every audition is perfect, but neither is every performance. The director wants to know you can handle mistakes and not fall apart if it's not your best performance. Instead of saying "I'm sorry," telling them you're sick or making a disappointed face  - end every audition with a big smile and "thank you" that says I'm proud of my work!  

4. Come prepared! Read what the directors wants ahead of time (16 bars of music, a monologue, headshot/picture, sheet music etc) and have it ready to go. If there's going to be a dance portion bring comfortable clothes to change into. Being over-prepared can never hurt either! Brush up on past audition songs & monologues in case they ask for a second song or monologue. The director may ask to hear a song from something on your list of past experience also!  ​

5. ​Be positive and be kind! The initial audition tells the directors 2 things - if can you act, sing and/or dance AND if you're going to be easy to work with. A bad attitude, being rude to the directors, the monitors in the hallways or other auditionees is a sure-fire way to not get a call-back. Moms and Dads this goes for you too! Wait until you are in the car with the door shuts firmly to discuss anything about the audition. Say thank you to everyone, keep a smile on your face and focus on what you need to do in the audition room. Comments about the directors and other auditionees can be misinterpreted easily! 

Remember your Brave Arts counselors are always here to answer questions about auditions! Whether it's advice on what song or monologue to perform, how to put together a headshot or resume, etc. we're here to help! Email us at braveartssummer@gmail.com anytime. And good luck in those auditions!!!! Keep us posted on what YOU are up to! 

 

READ NOW: Life on Broadway​

Counselors Kathryn Faughnan and Katherine Doherty opened the Broadway production of Mary Poppins as Jane Banks. Check out this feature on BroadwayWorld.com with interviews with Kathryn and Kat about their experience and what they have taken with them!  

WATCH NOW 

Counselor Dotan and his twin brother recently recorded this video for a Perez Hilton contest. Check out their vocal and guitar talents! 

READ NOW
 
"Theatre Education Programs Are in Demand for Workforce Creativity"


by Bruce E. Whitacare, The Huffington Post

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