Friday, June 24, 2011

It sounds like Broadway in here!

Believe it or not, last night marked the end of two rigorous days of solo coaching. The transformations were INCREDIBLE! Upon arrival, the participants were placed into groups and assigned coaches. Now, the time has come for them to step out on their own with the new tools they've been given. Today is a full day of rehearsal, including all material for Monday's big night and they're ready!

They're working hard, but don't worry - all participants were treated to a delightful lunch yesterday with Broadway star and Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel; current star of "Baby It's You!" Beth shared her story about going from Social Work major at a small North Carolina college to Broadway veteran. Her advice to everyone - learn that which you don't know (in her case, reading music) and learn from every mistake you make! Poignant advice aside, she had the room in giddy laughter during her visit and is one Broadway "Baby" all nominees will be sure to remember for a lifetime.

Dinner brought a panel of expert speakers from NYU. As the participants listened closely, Patricia Decker, Director of Recruitment, explained the complex financial aid application process, making certain that everyone was familiar with the procedure. Manager of Admissions, Chris Andersson, entertained the crowd with his dramatic explanation of the various drama programs and available disciplines at NYU. Kent Gash, Director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts New Studio on Broadway: Music Theatre and Acting dove into the audition process saying "We are all actors. We are all story-tellers;" and encouraged everyone to "bring your joy, bring all of who you are, into the room" during auditions. Kent introduced the recipient of the very first Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor, Stephen Mark (2009). Having just completed his Freshman year at Tisch, Stephen talked about surviving his first week and using his experience at NHSMTA as a springboard to prepare for
the rigors of his new university training.

All-in-all a day full of nervous energy, laughter and even a little education thrown in! On to today - one step closer to Broadway and the Minskoff Theatre on Monday!

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