Monthly Archives: January 2016

Recognition of Theatre Performances

images (15)Stage awards are given away for excellence in theatre and stage performances across various categories. The awards system differs from category to category – e.g. stage shows, musicals, dramas, operas and so on. Some have closed nominations monitored by a committee or board while some have open selection and nomination processes. The criteria for awards selection also varies across categories.

Let’s take a look at some of the 2016 Stage Award Winners. In December 2015 the shortlist was prepared and the final winners announced in January 2016. Categories such as Regional Theatre of the Year, London Theatre of the Year, and Fringe Theatre of the Year were some of them. Besides these, award categories like Producer of the Year, Theatre School of the Year, and Theatre Building of the Year appreciate the efforts of individuals, arts schools and theatre locations that contribute as a whole to the events.


A look at popular theatre awards in New York for instance bring up big names like:

• Tony Award
• Drama Desk Award
• Drama League Award
• Clarence Derwent prizes
• New York Drama Critics’ Circle prizes
• Theatre World Award
• New York Innovative Theatre prizes

And so on. Broadway in New York is home to the theatre industry in the country and is a prestigious name in theatre and stage shows. Some of the other awards from around the US are Carbonell Awards, Backstage West Garland Awards. Elliott Norton Awards, Ivey Awards, LA Weekly Theatre Award, NAACP Theatre prizes, Ovation Awards, Sarah Siddons prize and the like.


In the UK, London is the premier location for theatre and stage shows and some of the prestigious awards here are Laurence Olivier Awards, London Critics’ Circle Awards. Evening Standard prizes, Technical Theatre Awards.

While most of the above are given for individual performances in lead roles and for excellence in several technical aspects that go into the production, there are stage management awards that celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in Production & Stage Management both individual and team.

The Schmidt and Jones Awards

These prizes are named after Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, creators of the longest running show in American theatre history, The Fantasticks. An original Broadway production of the show ran for 42 years showcasing 17,165 performances. Honoring excellence in musical theatre produced by schools in Texas counties through a panel of judges that consist of theatre professionals and educators, the awards are given in many categories – individual and team performances, design, music, props, production etc. – but the awards are handed out only to students. The Schmidt and Jones Awards have provided the golden opportunity to North Texas theatre students to showcase their talent and skills and achieve recognition with a Tony prize feel.

Getting Scouted for Modelling

images (14)As fashion is an ever-growing industry, the best modeling agencies are always constantly looking for new talents, new faces and new personalities. Getting into the right agency will kick start an aspiring model’s career and be in the spotlight for numerous fashion shows and editorials, not to mention the chance to mix around with the best fashion designers and models at the tip of the iceberg. However, all these are easier said than done. While there are several means of how to become a model, getting scouted is one of them. At first, you may feel skeptical when you are approached by local scouters at MRT stations or near shopping malls, asking for your personal particulars like name, handphone number et cetera. Afterwards, they simply give you a name card and you walk away feeling puzzled with the card in your hand. What to do next? You can choose to do a few things after you received the name card as follows.

1) Throw it away

Yes, you can simply throw it away or put it aside and never touch it again. But in fact, you are missing out an opportunity. You are missing the opportunity to show the company that you are scouted and that you have the potential, you are missing the opportunity to enter into freelance modeling and slowly benefit from all the experience and attributes that comes along, but lastly and most importantly, you are missing out a chance for yourself to try out new things.

2) Keep the card and wait for the call

Almost certainly, after you are scouted, you will receive a call from the agency, asking you to head down to their place for an interview. You may accept or consider, but in fact, no agency will force you into modeling if you are reluctant, so why not go for the interview and see what is in store? Bring the card down, proving that you are really scouted, and see what the interviewer has to say. Only after that, you make your choice.

3) Head to the agency before they even call you

For those inquisitive heads out there who simply cannot wait to find out what is the main purpose of the card, yes, you can head straight to their office, and they will arrange an interview for you on the day itself. Why would they reject a walk-in “customer” right?

4) Call the number stated on the card

This is one of the best ways to find out what the company is about, but you can be assured, none of the front desk personnel will tell you anything in detail. You will be able to know generally what the company does, but to find out specifically what you will do, you will have to still go for the interview. It is always better to meet face-to-face and clarify your doubts isn’t it?

5) Find out more on their website

Log on to their webpage and scroll through the tons of models available, look through their testimonials, find out who are some of their clients et cetera. For those who wants to find out even more, head to their social media platforms and see for yourself some reviews and opinions from those who went for the interview.

Ultimately, modeling is not a very popular job because not everyone can make it big by simply modeling. However, you can try out freelance modeling, get some exposure and experience in this industry. Moreover, you can gain self-confidence and meet other freelancers to broaden your social network, why not right? I hope this article will be useful and relevant to anyone who has been scouted or aspire to be a model and hopefully you will feel less confused after you have been given the name card.


Five Essential Shakespeare Resources

images (13)When I coach clients on Shakespeare my students often ask me, “Where can I find information on what a particular word means in a monologue?” Or they’ll say to me, “I read the play but I didn’t really understand it. Is there somewhere I could find a synopsis?” Below are some indispensable resources that can help you understand a character or play as well as breakdown a monologue:

Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary. This resource comes in two volumes and contains a definition of all the words and phrases that Shakespeare wrote. It’s an invaluable resource for uncovering exactly what Shakespeare meant word for word. For instance, you’re working on Lady Anne from Richard III and you want to look up the word “avaunt” in the line:

“Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!”

You will find the word “avaunt” in the Lexicon and a list of every single time Shakespeare wrote the word “avaunt” and exactly what he intended in each instance!

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. This is a masterful book by scholar Harold Bloom, in which he argues that Shakespeare essentially invented the idea of character in literature. The book focuses not on Shakespeare’s language or poetry, but on the characters he created. I find it a valuable resource when auditioning for or playing Shakespeare’s iconic roles. It’s important to bring your own ideas to a part, but this helps you to start from an informed and grounded place.

Shakespeare A-Z. This huge volume is a compendium of everything Shakespeare. It includes detailed synopses of every single one of Shakespeare’s plays, breakdowns of all of the Bard’s characters, and short biographies on the historical figures on whom some of them were based. It also includes blurbs about actors who achieved fame in Shakespeare’s day, as well as information about Shakespeare’s contemporaries, and descriptions of locations that are important to his plays. This is perhaps the most exhaustive Shakespearean resource and truly lives up to its title.

Year of the King. This is one of my favorite books on the art of acting. This slim volume recounts Anthony Sher’s transformation into the role of Richard III. It’s an actor’s diary, filled with drawings that he created of himself as the infamous ruler. He goes into detail on how he researched the role as well as personal experiences on working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It gives great insight into Sher’s acting process. Perhaps most inspiring is Sher’s depth of commitment and obvious love for the craft.

The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. A beautiful volume written by scholar Helen Vendler on Shakespeare’s poetry devotes a chapter to each and every one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. It lays out each sonnet with the original text next to the modern translation. This book sheds new light on the form and content of each of these beautiful poems.

There are zillions of books dedicated to the scholarship of The Bard. But these five are an indispensable part of any young actor’s library. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!


How to Audition As Carol, a Bridesmaid With Something to Say

unduhan (31)Finding a good monologue can be a task. Use this monologue as an audition piece, as a way to practice acting on a regular basis, and as an instrument to add to your arsenal of tools used by actors. Play the role of Carol. She is a character that isn’t afraid to explore marriage and relationships.

The setting is a wedding reception. Carol, a bridesmaid, awkwardly holds a glass of champagne.


I’m not much of a public speaker. But for Karen and Brian I’d do anything. So I searched for a marriage joke to share on this occasion. Here it goes… What’s the difference between a prostitute, a mistress and a wife? The prostitute says, “Give it to me, Tiger!” The mistress says, “Let’s do it again darling.” And the wife says, “Peach. We should paint the ceiling peach.” Not very funny, huh? Marriage jokes, when you stop to think about them, are really quite sad. I’ve been married for five years. I also have a two-year-old son. My parents are divorced. My husband’s parents are divorced. Most of my friends come from broken homes. And most of them are on their second marriages. I don’t mean to be a downer on this happy day but I want to understand it. Oh I’ve heard all the reasons why people split up. “We grew apart.” “We married too young, too soon, too whatever.”

Everyone always says that they won’t make the same mistakes twice. That they’ll start their new relationship out right. But if these people put the energy it takes to start a new relationship back into their marriage, maybe divorce wouldn’t be the answer. In a society where instant gratification takes too long, people are obsessed with feeling good right NOW. And so they make stupid choices. I will never be unfaithful to my husband. Not simply because he is the love of my life. But because I don’t want to be someone who cheats on their spouse. So when the best man came on to me at the rehearsal dinner, he wasn’t flattering me. He was attacking my husband. Assaulting my son. I don’t get excited by this type of behavior. I get territorial.

How could I ever find this predator appealing? He’s obviously incredibly self-absorbed to make such a move. Imagine the needs of this man when the passion wears off. Yikes. I don’t care how good looking he is. Or even that I was mad at my husband last night. It’s not about that. (smiling) A woman marries a man expecting he will change but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change and she does. But is that grounds for divorce? No. I’m sure this isn’t what you were expecting as a wedding toast but I take matrimony seriously. Signing your license as a witness is a big deal to me. I love you guys. Do it right. (slipping back to joke mode) An older couple attends a class to improve their memories. They learn that the trick is to write things down. Late one night, the woman decides she’d like a bowl of ice cream. “I’ll get it,” the husband offers. Vanilla,” she says, “with chocolate sauce.” “Got it,” he replies. “You’d better write it down,” she warns. “No, I’ll remember,” he says. “Oh and I want nuts.” “Vanilla with chocolate sauce and nuts,” he repeats.

“You’d better write it down,” she says. “No. I’ll remember.” “Oh and a glass of water,” she adds. “Vanilla with chocolate sauce and nuts and a glass of water.” “Write it down.” “No, no I’ll remember.” A little while later he returns with a beautiful omelet and a glass of orange juice. “See I told you to write it down,” she tells him. “You forgot the toast.” Now that’s a marriage joke. (raising her glass) To Karen and Brian. May your marriage be one of forgotten toast.