Just Take the Note

Between the madness of Midsummer last month, and starting rehearsals next week for Cupcake Lady Productions‘ Night of One-Acts, I’ve been preparing to act in the Fringe Festival. And I’m NOT producing! It’s interesting to watch how Actor Melissa conducts herself, now that all this producing knowledge has seeped in, and one particular phrase keeps popping back into my brain. Continue reading

Actor Brain vs. Producer Brain

Midsummer

It’s proven much more difficult than I’d imagined to gather my thoughts and convert them to blog form, while in the thick of a rehearsal process. Every step has felt deeply personal – too personal to openly discuss in the format that I had so far established. With that said, let me attempt to share some musings, some reflections as our final dress rehearsal for The Fools & Kings Project’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream approaches tonight.

Producer/Actor is not like Producer/Director. The other two full-length shows that I’ve produced before felt very, very different Continue reading

Impress Me, In 60 Seconds or Less: Submissions, Part 1

The Fools & Kings Project is putting up its inaugural show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Excitement! Merriment! Auditions….

I have spent the past few weeks poring over actors’ submissions with my lovely and amazing Fools & Kings partner, Vanessa Wendt. I could hardly wait to talk about them here. This is one of the subjects that inspired the existence of this blog.

(Almost) no one to whom you submit will give you feedback. Rightly so. If you’re being rejected anyway, unsolicited advice is just Continue reading

Acting Sucks. Do It Anyway.

Well, acting doesn’t suck. Acting’s the best. Being an actor sucks, but that title wouldn’t have sounded as good.

Living as an actor in New York City is WEIRD. Normal people don’t do this. Normal people get degrees in things like “Engineering” or “Education”, and they follow the clearly laid out path of job interviews, masters degrees, and salaried jobs. It’s not that there aren’t challenges in all career paths; of course there are, especially when the job market is awful and there aren’t a plethora of jobs to even apply for. But that’s a totally different set of frustrations.

An actor gets a B.A./B.F.A. in Theatre…and then what? Yes, audition for a gazillion different shows. Get a truly flexible survival job Continue reading

My Theatre Life (Abridged)

I’m an actor, first and foremost, and a singer. As of about two years ago, I’m also a director/costume designer/set designer/producer. I’ve never, ever been happier in my life, and all of it is making me a better actor. I found myself recently wanting to shout from the rooftops about all the things I’m learning about acting, through producing. Perhaps a forum where other actors could soak up a bit of encouragement when they don’t get cast for stupid reasons, or where they could find a few tips on how to be Someone Who’s Great to Work With™! Where, oh where, could I impart my newfound wisdom? IF ONLY THERE WAS SUCH A THING!

That’s a blog, Melissa. You want to write a blog.

Before giving you any advice, I should probably explain myself. Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m the child of two opera singers. My first acting gig was when I was three years old: I played Trouble in Madame Butterfly with New York City Opera Tour. The moment I knew I wanted to act forever was Continue reading