BWW Blog: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Hi BroadwayWorld! Welcome back! As promised, this week I am here to talk all about resources that have provided me with exceptional theatrical training and an overall gist of what has kept me busy as an artist during the pandemic after the remainder of my spring college semester on zoom came to an end. As I spoke about in my previous blog, the video platform, Zoom, saved my life as an artist over quarantine for my college classes. Beyond that, I continued to use this platform as I searched for free or lower priced training on social media and by word of mouth. These simple discoveries have brought me so much joy and a sense of a schedule to me during these trying times which is why I wanted to share it all with you!
Keeping up with somewhat of a schedule during the pandemic is something that was of great importance to me because otherwise my mental health would've taken a complete sink and I could've become lazy whilst hanging majorly indoors at my childhood home for four months. Anyway, I took it upon myself to seek out classes. MANY artists were posting on their personal Instagram accounts that they were offering private coaching which is incredible if you have a favorite performer; however, I was indecisive and wanted to make sure I could find something affordable that would be most beneficial to me. Something that caught my eye were the programs that donated to The Actor's Fund, BCEFA, places in support of Black Lives Matter, and places that supported the pandemic or those affected in some way.
The first masterclass I stumbled upon was Michael Orland and Debbie Gravitte's which was free or pay what you can and on Zoom weekly. I had the opportunity to sing and receive feedback from the both of them and meet many of their special guests each week. This was an incredible opportunity in itself and became a part of my weekly schedule. Then, I went back to Broadway Dance Center (BDC) where I took a couple of beginner dance classes at a low fee with some of their known staff. Next, I hopped onto BroadwayPlus Instagram account where they were offering many free Q&A's over Zoom with well-known performers. My personal favorite was the Wicked one I got to be a part of with the two touring witches. From there, I booked an online group class with them and paid for a spot to sing and receive feedback which was absolutely a dream for me because of how much I adore the show and these performers! It was an intimate class, and I received coaching on my song over Zoom for about 25 minutes. I also highly recommend Artists and Beyond for similar services. I haven't booked anything through them yet, but I'm eager to see all of the amazing services they have to offer. On top of that, I took a few classes again over Zoom from 3DTheatricals, a page that I found on Instagram and was so satisfied with what I learned there. Finally, I heard over Instagram of a company called Broadway Weekends at Home. They were offering free and pay what you can classes over zoom every day. Each class was targeted to a different skill set in the arts. I can not express enough about how much I love them! Their services are highly recommended and set to continue now with a fixed price rate. I got to sing and dance with some wonderful teachers and community. Alongside these platforms which offer great services through Zoom, I also took many classes free of charge over Instagram live. Many were dance classes, but I absolutely loved the idea of hundreds to thousands of people dancing together. LaDuca's Instagram page offered many of these dance classes as well. I loved any informative lives that had to deal with anything in the arts. For example, some of Playbill's team offered one about media in the industry which sparked my interest!
To sum it all up, the masterclasses and programs I found may still be available, but they saved me and brought me so much happiness as I got to do what I loved. I made many goals for myself to hone in on old skills and to even better myself on skills I felt were holding me back or that I lacked. For instance, I am not the world's greatest dancer, but with Zoom, a teacher, and the space of my living room I felt like I could accomplish anything. I wasn't insecure about lacking incredible skills in this aspect because no one was watching me and to ensure that I could even turn my camera off, so this wasn't an issue. I was determined to better my "moverness" and pick up choreography quicker, so I'd become better at dance calls. During all this time, I even read many performing arts related books, plays, scripts, and brushed up on my music theory knowledge. My biggest piece of advice I'd love to share if you haven't yet is to start an all things theatrical journal. I did this over quarantine and have already nearly filled up every page. I'll be sure to address all of the things my theatrical journal consists of in another article soon. Anywhoooo there's truly no better time than now to better yourself as an artist. Pick up a new skill, instrument, or even read a book that you never had time for before! Challenge yourself and the end results are guaranteed to be so rewarding. But remember don't push yourself. There are days when the creativity just isn't there and that's okay too. Do your best in all you do, and success is sure to follow. I hope these resources and advice helps you as much as it has for me. I encourage you to continue to browse and find your own too!
Have a great week and see you soon! Thanks for dropping in!
The curtains in your home are open, and awaiting you! Soon we'll see the real curatins again on Broadway, but until then make the most of what you have and be prepared for what's to come after this intermission. 1,2,3 Break a leg!
Happy Hamilton release week! I can't wait for so many people to finally experience this awe striking piece of musical theatre via their own home television screen! How cool!
-Another Blog More with Christina