Thursday, April 2, 2015

Do You Have What It Takes?

In the process of making this decision to go pursue an acting, dancing, or musical career in New York, you must ask yourself:  "Do I, or does my loved one, have what it takes to make it?  Talent isn't the only factor in the equation.  There are personality traits that I think one should have before embarking on such an endeavor.

1.  Determination

Yes, this may seem to be the impossible dream.  If you are going for it, you have to believe that it actually can happen.  When you close your eyes, can you see it?  Are you willing to work, get up early, give up a social life, and be totally committed to your goal?  

2.  Self-confidence

Do you feel good about who you are and what you can do?  There is no room for self-doubt here.  You must be on top of your game at all times.  That being said, there is a fine line between being confident and arrogant.  Arrogance is quickly recognized and is not a popular trait to possess.  You are talented.  So is everyone else.  Recognize who you are, hold your head up, and do what you do best.

3.  Kindness

Be kind to everyone.  Your accompanist.  Your roommate's best friend's uncle.  The girl who is competing with you for a role.  You never know how people are related to each other, and one day, that person might just be in a position to help you out.  Regardless, it will make you happier and a better person in the long run. Your mother was right when she told you to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  That being said, make sure your kindness is not interpreted as weakness.

4.  Organized and Goal-Focused

You will become busy fast.  Are you capable of keeping it all organized with some sort of system in place other than in your mind?  You will have classes, workshops, auditions, work schedules, and private lessons.  It is also important that you are able to set obtainable goals.  Being able to roll with the punches is great, but in this life you will have to be better organized in order to get everything done and still sleep.

5.  Passion

Do your eyes light up when someone talks about musical theatre?  Do you sing show tunes in the shower/car/kitchen?  Do you tap dance while you are waiting to take your clothes out of the dryer?  Can you see yourself on stage in the future?  Can you imagine doing anything else with your life?  Search your soul, because this will be the hardest career path you could choose to do.

6.  Responsibility

Are you always late?  Do you sit around and wait for things to happen?  Do you forget your lines?  Do you blame someone else for your shortcomings?  If so, you will be chewed up and spit out.  Someone else will be on time, taking the initiative, and will be prepared.  Showing up is a big part of success.  Showing up and being prepared is responsibility.

7.  Enthusiasm and Energy

This isn't college and it won't be a piece of cake.  Finding a job to cover expenses, going to classes, and getting up in the middle of the night to wait in line for an audition isn't easy.  Cutting class in college was one thing, but skipping work, lessons, or auditions because you are tired or hung over just won't do.  You will need to be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the world.  Sometimes with only a few hours' sleep.  You will have to make time to eat healthy and exercise.  Smiling and radiating a positive attitude is a big plus!

There are other traits that will help you along the way, such as good social and communication skills, being able to take constructive criticism, and being a problem-solver.  Take a look at yourself and talk with others about whether you have what it takes.

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