Saturday, June 23, 2018
Features and More

Want to join the theater? Here's your ticket to the big stage

So you wanna be a star …

The first step if you want to be an actor is to get a part in a production, and a good place to start — and where many stars started — is local theater (read Playbill the next time you go to a big theater and note how many people got started in community theater).

But how? Where to go? What to do? When to do it?

Residents of Pasco and Hernando and surrounding counties are fortunate to have several good places to learn showbiz from the ground up. For amateurs (literally, those who just love theater) there are Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey, Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill and the Performing Arts and Cultural Centers in Tarpon Springs and, at the professional level, there's the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. Many actors first play one, then the other, and all three welcome all comers.

All three venues have their own facilities and a full schedule of shows with plenty of parts for singers, dancers and/or actors of all ages. The Show Palace has recently stopped producing shows in-house and is contracting with the newly formed Show Palace Entertainment company to produce shows for them. But the new company, owned by Vicki Mara, is still holding local casting calls, as well as accepting videos from out-of-towners.

Not every casting call is the same. Sometimes the director takes full responsibility for choosing the players. More often, it's a collaboration, especially with musicals, with the director, choral/music director and choreographer making the decisions. Sometimes it's a team of up to a dozen people.

The community theaters hold auditions for each show; the Show Palace sometimes does, too, but often has opening casting sessions in which three or more shows are being cast. This means that in one audition, an actor can win parts in one, two or three shows. (Or none.)

To find out when auditions are being held, watch announcements in this newspaper or go to websites and click on "auditions." They are: showpalace.net, stagewest.net, richeysuncoasttheatre.com, and tarponarts.org.

Watch for free clinics to learn audition techniques or sign up for a theater workshop or camp, which usually includes audition tips. If you're a first-timer, consider attending an audition just to watch and see what happens. (That's what Justin Sargent did 13 years ago at Richey Suncoast Theatre, and now he's playing the lead role in Rock of Ages on Broadway. See where this can lead?)

Meanwhile, if you see an audition notice that appeals to you, here are some general guidelines for amateurs and pros:

1 Arrive on time — better yet, arrive early. You don't want to be the last one to audition, when everyone is tired and ready to go home. Get your name at the top of the list.

2 Look your best — clean, neat hair; proper shoes that you can move around in without tripping (no flip-flops, please) and no crop tops or short-shorts; no overdone makeup. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.

3 Have a resume with your name, age, gender and acting experience (role and venue), plus a photo to hand to the director when asked, or when you go onto the stage. The best are printed on heavy paper stock, with the photo on one side and your information on the other, so it doesn't get separated. If you don't have that, prepare a typed resume and attach a photo. The selection team will probably see dozens of people, and you want them to remember who you are. The resume should include your telephone number and email address in case you get a callback or (yippee!) a part.

4 If the audition notice is for a musical and it says to prepare 16 bars of a song, prepare it. Some theaters ask that you bring sheet music and they'll provide the piano player. Others ask you to bring a tape or CD of music only (no duets with Madonna or Beyoncé, please). Some will allow you to sing without accompaniment. If the audition notice doesn't specify, call the theater or director to ask what is necessary.

5 You may be asked to prepare a monologue, but, more likely, you'll be asked to do a cold reading, that is, read directly from a script. Usually, it's the show you're auditioning for, but sometimes, it's not. Just be ready to read.

6 If you stammer or lose your place, don't apologize and start over. Barrel through, just as you would if you were in the middle of a scene on opening night. Smile, if appropriate; remain serious if not.

7 If you take someone with you, or someone takes you, make sure they're quiet and respectful of all the other people in the room. Nothing kills your chances more than a noisy parent or pal, who might tag along and be a disturbance once rehearsals and shows start.

8 Go to lots of auditions, whether you want a role or not. You learn a lot just watching others try, and, who knows — you may be the next Justin Sargent.

Comments
Finding the fun in a family road trip

Finding the fun in a family road trip

When Matt Villano sets out on the 560-mile road trip from his home in Healdsburg, California, to San Diego in July, his game plan will be carefully crafted. When you’re traveling with three kids under age 10, you have no choice.Villano, a freelance w...
Published: 06/23/18
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Published: 06/22/18
Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

Enjoy Israeli Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers warm or at room temperature

By Katie WorkmanIsraeli or Mediterranean couscous are tiny balls of toasted semolina pasta that plump up when cooked into toothsome, slightly less tiny balls of pasta. They make a great base for a side or salad. You can make the couscous according to...
Published: 06/22/18
Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Bar review: St. Pete’s Garage is a dive with Pride

Last year’s St. Pete Pride went smoothly, despite some behind-the-scenes drama involving the decision to relocate the parade to the downtown waterfront, rather than the Grand Central District, where it had traditionally been held. After all, the Gran...
Published: 06/21/18
Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

Local craft beer of the week: Beach Slap Piña Colada Wheat Ale from Mad Beach Craft Brewing Company

"Hooray, it’s summer!" exclaimed no Floridians. But if it’s summer proper and not just the usual year-round weather, you might as well embrace the heat and humidity with a trip to the beach, accompanied by some suitably refreshing beers. While you’r...
Published: 06/21/18
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Published: 06/20/18
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

Artists’ talks and Sharon Norwood’s definition of beauty

MARK MAKING: DEFINING BEAUTYBlack, squiggly lines are at the center of multidisciplinary artist Sharon Norwood’s works, an exhibition of which titled "Defining Beauty" opens at Tempus Projects on Saturday. Norwood’s use of the line in a variety of me...
Published: 06/20/18
Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

Here’s the skinny on the ketogenic diet: What it is, how to follow it properly

It started with jugs of olive oil and cans of tuna, lots of it, which my husband hauled in one day and plunked on the counter. "That’s my lunch!"That was about three months ago, and every day since there has been a new entity in our house to consider...
Published: 06/20/18
Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

Five ideas for rainbow-themed foods to serve at your Pride party

More than 50,000 people are estimated to attend Pride weekend in St. Petersburg, which runs Friday to Sunday. (June is LGBTQ Pride Month.) Whether you plan to march in the parade or host your own smaller gathering, we’ve selected five rainbow-themed ...
Published: 06/20/18