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"Making It On Broadway?"

mjohns09mjohns09 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited August 2006 in Musical Theater Major
So I bought this book called "Making It On Broadway?" It is basically this book where many many people who have preformed on broadway tell stories. It was really discouraging for me. Most of them were like "even since i've had a lead in a big show it still takes me two years to get a job" and there were many many more things that would take me forever to share. but my queston is what kind of situatons or stories do all of you know about personally??? is ur son or daughter waiting tables just so they can live in a small apartment waiting for there break??
Post edited by mjohns09 on

Replies to: "Making It On Broadway?"

  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Sorry to hear that you found Making It On Broadway discouraging. My D and I both read it (it was given to her by her aunt as a birthday gift a few years back) and found it very interesting and worthwhile. It certainly is a reality check for anyone who thinks that getting one big role on Broadway or even a Tony means never having to worry about work again. But discouraging? We didn't think so.
  • shortnsweetshortnsweet Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Interesting article link from a previous threat on the forum in regards to "making it": http://www.bostonsingersresource.com/mtstar.asp
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    I think it all depends on what you define as "making it." To some, it means being able to support herself or himself doing what she or he loves best: acting and/or musical theater. To others, it means being famous enough to be recognized wherever you go and having oodles of money. To still others it might mean getting regular paying acting/MT jobs, even if one has to supplement that income with a "day" job.
    Those who want to be famous are the ones most likely to be disappointed.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,559 Senior Member
    Those who want to be famous are the ones most likely to be disappointed.

    NMR, thanks for those words of wisdom. How true.
  • IJElkissIJElkiss Registered User Posts: 133 Junior Member
    Those who want to be famous belong on American Idol, not Broadway!
  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Registered User Posts: 827 Member
    This is a great book and everybody should read it for the reality check. I'm personally a lot more likely to eventually make a move to LA than NYC, but all you can really hope for in all this is to maximize your talent, make smart career/business decisions, and let the chips fall where they may. Anything past that is gravy. It makes me happy that I'm the world's greatest waitress! ;)
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    Hey, fishbowlfreshman, being the "world's greatest waitress" is nothing to joke about! Being a good waiter or waitress is definitely a good, marketable skill, and far too few people have that skill, in my opinion. This came clear to me today when my two Ds and I were doing back-to-school errands and encountered three "service people" (people in restaurants and behind the cash registers of stores) that seemed to hardly have pulses, much less personalities. Whatever happened to a nice, friendly smile and a simple "Thank you" at the end of a transaction? I am constantly taken aback by how many people working in various customer-service capacities just do not seem to have the foggiest notion of how to interact with customers; they act as if they are doing *me* a favor by waiting on me. (I won't even mention the ones who continue to talk on their cellphone while waiting on me .... Grrr!! :() Encountering this lack-of-affect and charm today prompted me to comment to my MT D that I thought her acting training would hold her in good stead when she becomes a waitress someday (it's a running joke -- but probably a true one -- that she will wait tables in NYC someday ...) OK, end of middle-aged woman rant. But I am betting some of you feel the same way ...

  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Registered User Posts: 827 Member
    This I know because I AM the worlds greatest waitress - not to be confused with Priscilla the genius waitress – and I have the coffee mug to prove it! :)
  • MTgeekMTgeek - Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Me personally... my idea of "making it" is to just one day be able to make the majority of my income performing. That in itself is a rare thing, but it can happen. As far as me being on Broadway, or winning a Tony.. that's more or less one of my long term goal. My current short term dream, however, is to get into a good MT program where I can get great training, and then hopefully be employed regularly at regional theatres so that I can eventually get my Equity card.

    Of course, I would certainly love to be on Broadway, but its not the be-all, end-all and I dont think it should be for any performer. All any actor can hope for is to be employed on a regular basis, period. So if that means that I have to work part time at a theatre box office or a book store to pay my rent, then so be it. Ultimately, I'd just like to be able to support myself performing. And by supporting myself I mean being able to pay my bills and live in my own little apartment without financial assistance from my parents. Too many kids our age have these dillusions of grandeur when they think about a career in the performing arts thinking that the only form of success is becoming the next Sutton Foster or Idina Menzel. I think kids my age need to start setting smaller goals for themselves at this stage of the game, so that when life throws them a curve ball, they won't be crushed.

    On that note, if I listened to every person who said I would never be able to make a living acting, I would be studying to be a pre-school teacher. I'm only 19 years old... why not use your youth doing something you love? Who says you wont be in the small bracket of performers who one day IS nominated for a Tony? You'll never know until you try. In a nutshell, dont let books like that throw you. Take it as something to consider, and just keep working as hard as you have been to acheive your dreams. If it doesn't work out, you still have the second half of your life to do something practical ;)
  • actrss100actrss100 Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    making it in the theatre does not necessarily mean winning a tony...If I am able to support myself through performing, that I would say I am a pretty successful person :)
  • BiGismamaBiGismama Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I like your attitudes!! Far too often (especially in discussing the acting profession) people seem to equate fame (or noteriety) with success! Seems like there are plenty of ways to put one's acting training to good use, all around the country, not just on Broadway or in Hollywood. There are regional theaters, theme parks, tours, teaching (pre-school through college), coaching, etc. etc. And when you're tired of all that, what trial lawyers aren't great actors?? :)

    I hate to see people discouraged before they even start; a college degree is important, be it in acting, MT, or engineering. It's a starting point, a springboard for the rest of your life.

    And here's another fact: lots of people (not just actors) don't ever work in the field which they got their degree in; but the point is they got that degree and went on to something else. I myself worked in my degree field for only 2 years (back in ancient times, of course) before i decide to chuck it and retrain (on-the-job, on their dime) for something else!
  • BreakIntoSongBreakIntoSong Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    This book is seriously like my Bible! I absolutely adore it! The stories are hilarious and/or heartbreaking, but they're all the dose of reality that I think performers need before really thinking about getting in to this business. I've also learned a lot about the daily grind of being in this profession from my friendships with a few established and up and coming Broadway performers. The thing I noticed with all of them in the book and in life, is that they all have a damn good sense of humor about all of it! You can't do the "I'm just gonna quit" or "I'm just not good enough" game with yourself every time a show closes or you don't get that audition. It's a hard road, but for those with the passion, talent, and drive, it can be achieved.

    My dream goal of "making it" would be to be on Broadway even once. Many would be kidding themselves if that's not their ultimate goal! But like MTGeek my goals at the moment are to get in a great program and eventually get my MT card. I would be absolutely ecstatic to get employment anywhere in NYC, Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, etc. Another dream would be to have a decent performing career in Europe as well! But as long as I can make a living solely on performing, I will feel that I have achieved what I had set out to do!
This discussion has been closed.