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BWW Blog: The Best Advice They've Ever Received - Theatre Around the World

“The best advice I’ve ever received is…”

In these hard times, we could all use some good advice! I reached out to some in the theatre community, and here's what they had to say...

Adam Gillian, BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL (UK Tour) @ajgillian: "The best advice I ever got was to have interests and a full life outside theatre. That way, when you are in theatre, it's a bonus rather than the only thing you centre your life around.

And to always seek inspiration, was also useful."

Alex S. Freeman, Regional Sales Director (BroadwayWorld.com) @alex_s_freeman: "Best advice I ever received was: Embrace the aesthetic power of no. Understanding the boundaries and limitations (time, money, whatever) forces you and the team into finding the creative solution, not necessarily the easiest solution."

Ally Beans, Eisenberg/Beans Casting (@castingbyally): "If you want to see drastic results, make drastic changes."

Anna-Lee Wright, MISS SAIGON (International Tour) @annaleewright: "It's about the joy of the process, not the final performance."

Ann Beryersdorfer, COMPANY (Associate Scenic Designer, Broadway) @annberyersdorfer: "Be courteous, respectful, open-minded, and patient with everyone and with the jobs they are doing. It's easy to get swept up in the quick pace and stress/mentality of "this needs to be done yesterday" that we often have when working with our quick deadlines, but everyone is human and we are all in this working together to make something fun and magical.

Champion and support your peers instead of comparing yourself next to and competing with them. Everyone has their own journey and path in this business to get to their goals - there's no one singular way to get there - and it's far better to grow a network of support and learn from each other as you grow.

Drink water, try to get sleep. I've had some great mentors and designers that I've worked for in the past who always made it a priority for us to get rest and I'm very thankful for that. We'd switch off who was covering what parts of the 10/12s so we could refuel/refresh our brains."

Ashley Kate Adams, LA CAGE AUX FOLLIES (Broadway) @ashleykateadams: "The best advice I ever received about the future of my career while growing up actually came from a book! In high school I picked up a book by Twyla Tharp and she talked about the importance of always going after and asking for what you want in your career. She stated so brilliantly, 'What's the worst thing anyone can say? No.' I took that inspiration about the idea of rejection and ran with it and it has helped me to be fearless in the pursuit of my creative dreams! Because I'll tell you what, within 'no' lies future possibilities for a bazillion YESES!"

Ashley Kristeen Vega, NYC Actress and Director (@ashleykristeenvega): "I'd say the best advice I've ever received is that there is no absolutely right or absolutely wrong choice, there is just what works for you and what you make work. And to grant yourself some grace."

Chilina Kennedy, BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL (Broadway): "The best advice I've ever received is to be myself. I know that may sound corny or like a no brainer but we spend so much time wanting to be like other artists we admire - trying to be prettier or thinner or sounding more like another singer. But really there is no one in the world like me or you. The qualities that make us unique are the only things that set us apart. I've learned to be the best version of myself rather than live in the shadow of someone else, no matter how much I admire them."

Eli Tokash, FINDING NEVERLAND (Broadway) @tokash_eli: "The best advice I've ever received was 'If you want to succeed in this business, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. You must go all in. You can't make it in this business until you put everything else aside and are willing to do whatever it takes.' I was told this at the age of 10. At the time, I was doing A CHRISTMAS STORY at Madison Sq Garden. I was still living in West Virginia where I'm from and still was playing sports. We were going to go home after the production was over when Dan Lauria pulled me aside to tell me this."

Ethan Kelso, 2019 Jimmy Award Winner @ethankelso9: "The best advice I've ever received came from one of my coaches. They said, 'Failure is a part of getting to the top. There is no success without failure and no failure without the courage to jump into the unknown.' I took this into my acting and my career and it has helped me so much!"

Haiden Pederson, High School NEXT ON STAGE Winner (Season 2) @itsjusthaiden: "I can say the best advice I've ever received, specifically pertaining to the musical theatre realm, was to be unapologetically myself in everything I do! Though it was that simple as a statement, it really did shift my life as a performer in such a positive and motivational manner! Staying authentic to who you are as a person and an artist is what creates the new frontier of the art we know and love so much!"

Justin Sargent, ROCK OF AGES (Broadway) @justinmsargent: "The best advice I ever got was 'Don't be afraid to look at yourself objectively and say, what can I be doing better? What's not working?' Give yourself plenty of love, but never stop learning how to improve. Complacency is an artist's worst enemy."

Kara Lindsay, NEWSIES (Broadway) @karalindsay1: "Best advice.... don't forget the fun. Our nerves, pressure, being a perfectionist, etc, can get in the way of just loving our craft. So....don't forget the fun!"

Laura Schein, EMOJILAND (Off-Broadway) @thelillaura: "I was in my first dramatic play at age 12. In one scene towards the end of the play I had to take off my necklace, symbolic of severing my connection with my mother. The very wise actress who played my adopted mother, Mary Ann Thebus, saw me working really hard in that moment, 'milking it,' so to speak. One night she gave the advice, 'Just take off the necklace.' I took her advice and the moment actually soared in a way it never had before. So whenever I feel like I'm working too hard, I remind myself to just take off the necklace."

Lauren Lukacek, Theatre Content Creator (@laurenlukacek): "The best advice I've ever received in theatre was from my friend and conductor Dan Micciche: be kind to the audition accompanist. In some auditions, the accompanist might be the music director of that show (!) but either way, how you speak to them is very telling to the director. You can show that you are knowledgeable about the music, that you know how to speak to a colleague and most importantly, that you are kind. It's easy to get caught up in your nerves and blow through your few minutes with the accompanist before you sing, but if used well, they can set you up for a great audition. But there's a caveat: Don't be too overly sweet to them either - you'll look like you're trying too hard. (I learned that the hard way!) Be professional, knowledgeable and concise - and you'll have a great audition."

Mallory Maedke, SIX (Broadway) @mallorymaedke: "My college dance professor, Christie Kerr, told me to 'always be nice to everyone, someday the ticket office person could be the next director in town, you just never know', and I've never forgotten that. She also taught me to always 'show up, stay focused, work your hardest, be reliable, and respectful in every show you do.' She's the best, obviously!"

Megan Levine, Tik Tok Theatre Content Creator (@meglevv): "The best piece of advice I ever received was to hold on to my authenticity. I carry it with me every day."

Nic Rouleau, BOOK OF MORMON (Broadway) @nicrouleau: "The best advice I have ever received is: don't be afraid to fail. As a student in college, I always strived for perfection. I was adamant I would never let anyone see me make a mistake. But there is so much to be learned from failure. Both in the failure itself and the way in which we pick ourselves back up from it. I'm so thankful someone encouraged me to embrace my failures. I think it's made me a stronger performer, but more importantly, a better human."

Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert, SIX (Broadway) @nila_kyoungmi: "I think the best advice I received was from E. Faye Butler at one of her concerts. She said 'be kind to everyone on your way up because they will be the same people on your way down'. Seems like a no brainer, like just be a nice person, but when you're stressed, working nonstop, and that ego has kicked in... that's when E. Faye's words come back to mind."

Rachel Anne Moore, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Broadway) @rachelannemooreofficial: "The best advice I've ever received was: 'Be an eternal student. Never stop striving to learn more.'"

Salisha Thomas, BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL (Broadway) @salishathomas: "Best Advice I've ever received is from my friend and mentor, @chanteamcintyre: When you believe something about yourself, the world will agree with you. It makes me reflect on all the shows I've watched on tv or books I've read that.... weren't very good. But whoever created it didn't stop and say, 'I suck. I should stop.' They finished anyway because they believed in themselves. Cut to the world binge watching Tiger King."

Samantha Pauly, SIX (Broadway) @sampauly: "My sophomore year of college I had some faculty members approach me and tell me 'We're worried about your level of ambition.' Hearing that made me work even harder to get to where I am now. I think my ambition has worked out in my favor so far."

Seth Black-Diamond, A CHRISTMAS STORY (National Tour) @sethblackdiamondofficial: "I think the best advice I have ever received is to never give up. I know that is cheesy but in the acting industry there are 100 no's until there is that one yes."

Terrence Bogan, High School NEXT ON STAGE Winner (Season 1) @terrence_bogan: "The best advice that I have ever received theatre wise came from Kyle Taylor Parker, he said 'When you perform a song, think about the moment before, and think about all that has led up to that moment'. You have to remember that when you are singing a song even though you have rehearsed it time and time again, it is the character's first time going through that experience and that moment in time. I think about this every time I sing or perform."

Tommy Kaiser, College NEXT ON STAGE Winner (Season 2) @tommykaiser_: "The best advice I've ever received was from one of my directors. They said to 'give 110% of your energy on stage. If you don't feel stupid, you're not doing enough.' What they were getting at here was that a lot of the energy that you're giving on stage is lost by the time it reaches the audience, so you should always give extra so that the audience is really invested in your performance. Now every time I'm acting and I feel a little silly, I know I'm doing something right."

Vivek Tiwary, JAGGED LITTLE PILL (Lead Producer on Broadway): "'Do what you love, and work for yourself.' - My Grandfather."


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