Posts Tagged ‘Todd Schroeder

26
Apr
13

West Side Story Auditions – Noosa Arts Theatre

West Side Story Auditions at Noosa Arts Theatre this Weekend!

Noosa Arts Theatr Front Entry

This weekend, in between our green smoothies, coffee, vino, ADELE UP LATE and Katie Noonan’s SONGBOOK Sam is auditioning hopefuls for the upcoming Noosa Arts Theatre production of West Side Story.

One of his favourite shows ever, this version of West Side Story will establish a contemporary urban feel from the outset, and challenge fans of the original production style. Because I’m not directly involved in this one (from now until September I have my french tips in too many other pies, people!), I will be your eyes and ears throughout the process. You’ll learn a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. More about that after the auditions.

Noosa Arts Theatre ain’t that big a place, it’s a lovely little intimate theatre, and having been privy to the early ideas being discussed with committee and the production team, I know audiences will be surprised with the way the space is to be utilised. Performers will experience something different at Noosa Arts too!

Bringing one of our fave Sunshine Coast choreographers, Stephanie Brown on board, means that the look and feel of Sam’s West Side Story is going to test cast members in the initial stages, and ask them to be open to trying anything. I know! How excitement! It will be no different to working with Sam on any other project!

Sam Coward

Director, Sam Coward. Image by Blueprint Studios.

So are you auditioning?

 

If you call today you can still book an audition spot for Sunday 28th April but Saturday 27th April is BOOKED OUT!

 

TO BOOK YOUR AUDITION CALL SUSAN on 5471 1047

Stephanie Brown

Choreographer, Stephanie Brown. Image by picture this! photography.

Assistant Director: Synda Turnbull

Musical Director: Noel Bowden

Choreographer: Stephanie Brown

Join the Facebook group to be part of the conversation!

 

CLICK HERE for Available Parts & Character Outlines

Need some last minute audition tips? Remember our good friend Todd Schroeder?

Check out what he’s been teaching performers for years!

Principal Roles include:  
Maria, Bernardo, Anita, Riff, Tony, plus the 4 adult roles:
Officer Krupke, Doc, Schrank, and Glad Hand.

Auditions: 
By appointment 

Saturday, APRIL 27 – BOOKED OUT!

Sunday, APRIL 28 from 9.30am

An pianist/accompanist will be present at auditions to play your music, 
or bring your own backing CD.  A CD player will be provided.

Due to time constraints, please keep your singing audition to 16-20 bars Maximum.

Performance dates: 

SEPTEMBER 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30pm 

SEPTEMBER 15 and 22 at 2pm

For more information about Sunshine Coast productions and auditions contact Synda via email  info@livetheatre.com.au or keep an eye on Facebook and http://www.livetheatre.com

29
Nov
11

todd schroeder: one night only

 

THE SUNSHINE COAST THEATRE ALLIANCE

AND XS ENTERTAINMENT PRESENT

FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY

TODD SCHROEDER

 

Dale Pengelly

AND THE AUDITIONING AND WORKING IN TODAY’S MUSICAL THEATRE MASTER CLASS PARTICIPANTS

Listen to songs from the new album at toddschroeder.net

 

 “His shows are master classes in the art of performance”

Cabaret West

 

Nambour Civic Centre Theatre 

Tuesday December 13th

 

Tickets available at the door. Doors open 7:00pm for 7:30pm

 

Tickets: $10 concession, BYTE & Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance members

($15 non-members)

 

Contact XS Entertainment for more details

xsentertainme@gmail.com or 0411 015 918

15
Nov
11

Todd Schroeder: The Master Class (auditioning and working in today’s musical theatre)

For those of you who don’t know him, Todd Schroeder is a master at his game. Musical Director to the stars, Casting Director for Universal Studios and Disney and an enigmatic performer himself, Todd is based in LA and travels all over the world in search of new talent. He must like Australia and Australian talent because he keeps coming back! This next trip will be Todd’s fifth visit and word about his master classes and coaching sessions is starting to spread. Quite simply, if you’re a singer or a singing teacher, you can’t afford to miss this opportunity.

Next month, Todd will visit Melbourne, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, in a generous bid to share his musical theatre expertise with aspiring vocalists. With the emphasis placed firmly on facing fear and serving the lyric of each song, singers will feel immediately at ease, getting the most benefit from classes, as we do, when made to feel comfortable and confident to take risks in a safe, supportive and intimate learning environment. Artists need to be allowed to make mistakes – we’re human after all – and Todd succeeds in balancing a gentle, persuasive approach with more vibrant energy and drive, which commands a newly confident singer to “JUST DO IT! GO FOR IT! TAKE THE RISK!” What a freeing feeling that is for artists!

Not all well-intentioned teachers allow the space and time for performers to go to that place, let alone face their fears, break down those barriers and succeed at such a personal level.

Todd Schroeder: The Master Class

Todd Schroeder has fifteen years experience as a Los Angeles based casting consultant and audition pianist for Broadway shows including Wicked, Rent, Lion King, Aida and many more. He serves as the musical director for Universal Studios Japan as well as Disney’s Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular. In addition, Todd coaches and arranges for Broadway stars such as Jason Alexander, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Sam Harris, David Burnham, Katie Finneran and many others.

This 2-Day Master Class will cover all the elements needed to work in

Today’s Musical Theatre including:

*Selecting an Appropriate Audition Piece

 

*Arranging your Best 16 Bars in the Right Key

 

*Building your Repertoire of Songs

 

*Audition Etiquette & Technique

 

+ Find out what casting directors are looking for!

DON’T MISS THIS AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

December 2011:

 VENUES TBC

Melbourne 7th-9th Sunshine Coast 12th-13th Brisbane 14th

 

Check out the Facebook event page and contact XS Entertainment to secure your spot

(numbers strictly limited)

xsentertainme@gmail.com or 0411 015 918

26
Aug
10

EROTIQUE – NOTES

I know I had promised to share process/progress notes at the outset of this blog and failed to deliver during La Ronde, largely because I felt I was in such a busy, multi-tasking place at the time and I never stopped for very long to reflect upon or to dissect exactly what I was doing. Also, I tend to shy away from the more academic literary styles of writing…as you may have noticed.

Tonight we had notes. It was just Ben and I, working together with Sam on our scene, Scene Six; the final scene of the show.

No pressure, guys, NO PRESSURE.

I had been given notes previously of course, during La Ronde‘s rehearsal process, which I either applied or argued at the time, before getting on with the job. This time, this process seems slightly different. In my life, I’m just as busy (busier), just as multi-tasking (more so), just as exhausted (much more so) and yet, this time around, it feels like I’m more focused and more able to apply immediately – without arguing – the teeny tiny adjustments necessary to make this scene really…smart. And by “smart” I mean “sting”, rather than come across as anything particularly intellectual!

The premise is simple. The motives are honest. The story is short and bitter sweet.

For those of you unfamiliar with

a) the way we work or

b) our product

let me explain something…

We don’t do “acting” *GASP*

I know. I hear ya. It’s a big call. And arguable, sure, depending on your perceived notion of what acting is or isn’t or should be or shouldn’t be. And whilst Sam and I may disagree on the process part, we certainly strive for the same end result. And that is:

TRUTH. BEAUTY. FREEDOM. LOVE.

Ha! I just wanted to throw in a little Moulin Rouge again. It was time.

We do want all of that, in various guises, on stage at some stage…but not all of the time. What we do want all of the time is truth. And the way we get it is to gradually rehearse the actors out of their pre-conceived notions of story, character and connections or relationships.

The actors end up not “acting” at all.

Ben and I have indeed been feeling our way into this final scene. No pun intended. It is so not that sort of sex scene. We had a script with which to work on Monday, after 2 rehearsals and just 2 weeks out, before we “should” have it all together for the preview performances at the M1 Function Rooms in Maroochydore (stay tuned for those details).

As Director, Sam gave us the basic structure of the scene and did his whole descriptive-analysis-my-turn-in-the-spotlight thing so we were sure to GET IT. His vision, that is. WE GOT IT and we brought our own stuff to it, then we contributed to the shape of the script, did away with the script, wrote a new interpretation of the script to better reflect the mood and motives of the people we felt these characters to be and we worked it to the desired emotional point at the very first rehearsal anyway, because we were really feeling it, because we could relate to it, because we had created it.

Wow, look at that; my little green grammar line didn’t come up there! *win*

Expressed that way, it sounds so simple! Doesn’t it?!?? It is simple…if, as an actor, you can let go of all the stuff you “should” be doing as An Actor and just be the person in the story. And within that story, tell your story. We are privileged to be working with a bold director who believes in madness before method and that in between, anything goes! Lucky for him (and for us) it appears to work.

It is, in fact, the same way I coach much younger actors and singers (not so much of the madness methinks, though they – the kids – may beg to differ). It’s certainly not a common approach on the Sunshine Coast, particularly when we’re talking about school students and studio students in the lead up to the local eisteddfod!

Luckily, my recent experiences, outside of the schools, have served to validate the way I do what I do.

The way I see it is that parents are happy to pay fees for lessons outside of school in order to see results outside of the ordinary.

Contrary to popular belief, these are not just parents looking to put their child into a class because they didn’t make the netball or the footy team! In fact, they are my favourite kind of parents because they are like mine and they acknowledge and support their child’s passion for the Performing Arts, driving them to classes and rehearsals and concerts and eisteddfods and exams and…well, you probably know them too.

In schools, regardless of fees paid or the way in which the department is run, I have found that if I employ the same unconventional teaching methods, parents and principals all tend to ask, “Is that really necessary?” even before they see the work. Or indeed, the results that come from working in such an honest way.

Sometimes, when they have seen the work, they can’t help but question the way in which it was developed. And well they should! It’s always a fascinating and very courageous journey! But they don’t always like what they hear. They wonder why, when JUICE is the title in the curriculum, do we stray from it?! “Well, actually, it’s more that we’ve gone off on a tangent, to tell more personal stories and the stories have come from the kids. This is their Juice.” Their ideas, their content, their experiences, their stories. Their truth. Do we censor that? Do we deny what actually happened during their weekend? Do we not tackle the real stuff when it starts to get hard? Do we not allow the real stuff – the hard stuff – to become the lesson? I don’t want to get way off track here (too late!) but self-devised and collaborative drama is really what we’re doing here. And it’s magic. Let the kids play like this too. Don’t stop at “drama games” for 10 minutes to start or finish a class *groan* but build on them! Use them to advance the drama and develop the stories the students want to tell. We are all storytellers; actors, singers, dancers…how liberating and empowering it is to just tell the story in the spirit of truth! I hope I’m preaching to the choir here!

Maybe it’s just me.

Oh, but tears! Tears, for example; tears mean trouble! Trouble for me, that is! For the student, tears often mean the liberation and self-discovery and the realisation that “OH! I never knew I could do that!” And, “Thank you!” that, as a teacher, I can tell you, we love to hear! Tears might be shed over something joyous like this or over something devastating, like, “Oh. I never realised I felt that way.” And, “Ouch! That’s a painful truth!” (i.e. he’s just not that into you!) Somehow these lessons are more easily taught away from the rigour of a traditional classroom setting.

For those on the outside of the drama class at school, tears (or any strong emotion) can be confronting and confusing and frightening and threatening (“Oh! What? She made her cry?!”) For those outside the studio setting however, tears seem to be a little more acceptable; there is an understanding that the student has made a bold choice and has committed to delivering their own interpretation of the song or monologue or scene. AND THAT’S CONFRONTING. For the artist, I mean. So let’s learn to chill out, open up and tell the truth of our stories! Let’s accept that THE PROCESS MAY INVOLVE TEARS. And let’s appreciate those parents who support the interests and ambitions of their children and send them to Performing Arts studios outside of school hours! And look, I don’t really make a habit of making my students cry; of course it’s just an example. What I do, unlike others who baulk at the thought of anything really tricky or emotional or REAL (or those who have also been told by administration that they just can’t field any more enquiries about one class) is to not stop nudging somebody towards their own raw, vulnerable place, which is where the tears might be.

The truth is extremely confronting and we face it in order to deliver it believably to an audience. As my good friend, Todd Schroeder likes to say, “If you can see it, you can sell it!” This is so difficult at first, for the students (including the adults) who have been told that their proclamation style “acting” and pantomime over-the-top-ness is DA BOMB.

THANK YOU Idol, X-Factor, Everybody in the Whole Freakin’ Universe’s Got Talent and every other reality tv talent-seeking competition insisting on increasing ratings and rewarding mediocrity!

Even my 10-12 year olds will invariably hear from me, from the outset, “I don’t believe you!” I say it lovingly, of course. And then I wait, with baited breath, for each to turn up to their second lesson ever…and yes, they always do!

Ok. End of rant/schools vs studios comparison/self-appraisal and approval segment.

So. I was going to share the director’s notes with you. Here they are:

  • 4 pages of script and 3 out of 4 pages perfect.
  • projection. You only have, at any time, one word each; make sure they get it.
  • more joy in the memories. Not sure why but “wasabi” works!

The rehearsal ran thus:

  1. lines run
  2. gabble, which is a lines run in fast forward
  3. lines run out of context (this was DIFFICULT for me)!
  4. lines run eyes closed (this was easy for me)!
  5. director’s notes

So, without even moving it this evening, we felt we got to the truth of it again. Well, our truth, which is, after all, all we can offer.

And you can take from it what you will.

Sam said an interesting thing, a great analogy for what we do. Here it is, paraphrased and noted here late, late, late; I will do my best to explain it so you GET IT.

The Preface: Sam used to run nightclubs. The real seedy ones, you know? He would sort out all sorts of trouble, especially after close (and kids, I’m talking about a 5am close, none of this 1:30 curfew and bring up the ugly lights before 3). During a stint at the helm of one particularly notorious club, he would walk home to our apartment at sunrise each morning and then walk with me along the beach to the school at which I was teaching, before walking home again to go to bed by about 9am. True story. He walked a lot.

The Analogy: Sam says a scene is like a nightclub. You have it there, all set up and you can see in your mind, the types of people who are going to rock up each night. You vaguely know what to expect from them because you’ve seen it all before (the bogans, the bikies, the flirtatious fake boobs, the stiletto through the palm of your hand on the stairs)…When they actually rock up, they’re not quite as you imagined them but they fit your scene and you can manipulate their actions to a certain extent (mood, music, lighting, security, etc). Every time a person walks into that club, the scene changes. You manipulate what you can but ultimately, the people make that club what it is.

Sam says it is his job to welcome the actors to the club and help them to feel comfortable in their own skin. Hmmm…Well, now, more than ever, that job description makes perfect sense. Next week, Ben and I will be getting comfortable – literally – in our own (lily white winter) skin.

Keep those ugly lights off, thanks, Sam!