One of the smartest moves you can make as a musical theater student is to assemble your "team," a carefully selected group of trusted advisors, teachers and coaches around you for support, advice and technique enhancement. Within that team you'll want to have one or several acting coaches, depending on what material you're working on. This week's blog sings the praises of having a non-musical acting coach on your team, and why that person will be a key player on your team.
Why having a non-musical acting coach is beneficial:
1. They'll help you create a strong character, analyze your script, and find an interesting intention for each line of your song. Fundamentally, a song is a monologue and a monologue is a scene.
2. They'll help you tell the story that's within your song, without relying so much on the melody to move it forward.
3. Since musical theater roles tend to be a very stereotyped and sometimes one dimensional, musical theater actors tend to overact and focus more on the result/success of their performance. Non-musical coaches can help you break those bad habits outside of the context of music.
4. It can never hurt to have several new and different perspectives - personally, I study with 3 vocal teachers who all have different opinions and views!
5. Musical theater scripts tend to produce a lot of "cute" characters. Studying with a non-musical coach or better yet a non-musical acting group will give you opportunities to widen your range, experimenting with raw, ugly characters.
Finding a non-musical acting coach:
Not sure where to go to find a qualified teacher or class? I like to use Backstage.com, which has tons of professionals listed in their nationwide database.
In addition to coaching or classes, there's plenty of reading and study you can do on your own time to beef up your acting skills. Check out our acting eBook written especially for musical theatre performers: "Sensational Scenes and Songs."
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