By Lauren Muraida
Luck Be This Lady: Were you one of those lucky ones who Had an experience with an intensive program where dance class started your day, audition workshops, improv, and voice lessons carried on your afternoon, and Broadway shows ended your night at the stage door and on occasion, you cracked the dawn with hundreds of others who look like you, and/or braced crowds who camp outside box offices for student rush tickets?! Well I did a few years ago, and it struck an internal chord of enthusiasm I never experienced before. I loved every second of my active, hardcore training, artistic lifestyle in the city that never sleeps. I knew, after my first day of classes, my first professional audition, from the connections I had begun to create, from the homeless man yelling at me on the corner, I knew that I had to settle here for a while after graduation. It was my destiny to make something of myself out here and soon! You may have a similar story or your very own strike of mind-blowing realization that your destiny resides in NYC like this dreamer right here before you! And guess what, you can still carry on something similar, if you have or have yet to experience such a thing, but it won't be as easy as a 5-6-7-8! You're gonna need the rest of that eight count to gather your bearings!
The Rough Stuff: Just a heads up, classes are pricey, but there are deals, auditions are terribly tough, unless you're Equity, agents are far more helpful than representing yourself, there are still plenty of deals for shows and such, and you should also take advantage of when you have visitors for exploration and rushing shows while you're at work! I do NOT want to discourage you, by any means; however, you're about to dive in head-first, which means, you don't have someone guiding you through a schedule and an agenda to become a huge success out here, right? Unless you do have management set up out here prior to your move, you're representing yourself, everything that is provided on your resume, your "look," your "type," your knowledge of what you have to offer and all of the training you've acquired! So, prior to your move, do your part and educate yourself as best as you can in regards to what you need to do in order to drive your passion forward.
AGENDA: The various dance studios I have listed below offer daily class schedules, workshops, and audition opportunities in almost every theatrical style of dance. Set up a voice lesson or two with various vocal instructors to help build a bond and secure a weekly or every-other-week continuous training. I have provided a few names to look into. Continuous vocal work and exercise will be beneficial to your continuous efforts towards success! DO not forget to budget for vocal work in your weekly agenda as best as you can. They are truly an investment, but so are YOU!
Some of my favorite things to do with my theatre friends are to mingle a little, sing a bit, see shows, and dance as much as possible! Therefore, join the thriving community of theatrical socialites and do the same! There are various piano bars, open mic cafes and bars, silly cabarets, crazy discounts on lottery or rushing Broadway and Off Broadway shows, and admirable street performers surrounding you! Take advantage of these fun and crazy outings!
A friend of mine had recently moved here and wanted to meet up for drinks in the West Village, I agreed to join and we ended up swing dancing to live jazz in the Garage bar and later ventured to Marie's Crisis for an unforgettable experience of cheap drinks, cheap thrills, and singing our hearts out to Broadway show tunes amongst other New York City artists! I didn't want to leave; I was finally in my element! It was wonderful! I highly encourage you experience this for yourself!
Here are a few things I would suggest for the benefit of your talent and soul:
Musical theater workshops
The Growing Studio Classes
The Grove Studio Classes
Broadway Rush website
NYC Auditions FB group
Monster Piano Bar
Open Mic Nights
Don't Tell Mama
If you are seeking other information and would like me to reflect on such topics for you, please leave your suggestions below!! I want nothing short of success for you and therefore, I have made it my mission to network and connect and reflect as much as I can. I only know from my experience and those who share theirs with me, so please continue to share!