“Special Skills”

So, most actor’s resumes will include a section at the bottom labeled “special skills” – which are often unique abilities that don’t fit anywhere else in the resume, but might impact casting considerations.  Sometimes they are practical skills that might be a part of a particular role (like juggling or playing an instrument), but sometimes they are more like great conversation starters (fire-baton twirling).  Playbill.com put up an article that asked 60 actors what their “special skills” are.

I only list playing musical instruments and singing as mine.  I can do several dialects, but I’d hate to be asked to prove it on the spot…

My SETC Experience

This year was my second year to attend SETC, and it was different for me in more ways than one. The biggest being that I passed State Screenings in December and was able to audition for about 80 different artistic directors from many theatres around the country while at SETC. Last year I didn’t pass State Screenings but I was still able to do Job Contact at the conference, which was very beneficial for me. It was good to be able to take in the craziness of the conference and get myself mentally ready for this year. Coming into this year’s conference I felt a lot more prepared and knew what was expected of me. I was really thankful that two of my best friends, Scott and Marie, were also passed on to SETC auditions and it was great to be able to bounce ideas off of them and journey through the overwhelming (but rewarding) process together.
I was thankful to audition on Thursday, the second day of the conference. My audition wasn’t until 3pm, so I had the entire day to focus, go over my monologue, and relax. The way the auditions went were that the auditionees went into a large ballroom 40 at a time and waited in chairs on the side of the room while one person went on the stage to do their monologue and/or song in front of many tables of artistic directors. I won’t lie, it was quite intimidating. The level of talent and dedication around me wasinspiring, and I felt like a “little fish in a big pond.” I feel confident that I gave my very best efforts that day, and the fruits of my labor paid off in 4 callbacks, which I went to later that night. I met some truly wonderful people and learned about several great internships that theatres around the country offer. The knowledge I gained from those callbacks is invaluable, and even if I don’t hear back from the ones that interested me most, I’ve made connections that I wouldn’t have made any other way!


Better Prepared the Second Time Around

This was the second year I was able to attend SETC and participate in the Professional Auditions. Because I can’t do anything easily, I also decided to indulge my masochistic side and participate in the Graduate School auditions in lieu of my upcoming graduation from Belhaven. Thankfully, I was scheduled to do my Professional Audition the day before the Grad Auditions (how some people did them both on the same day, I don’t know). All in all, this year was vastly different from last year. Because I was able to participate in the professional auditions the year before, I knew what was to be expected and was therefore able to prepare a little bit better (knowing to project more, picking a better audition piece, mentally preparing for any callbacks etc.) I was, however, surprised by the difference between the professional auditions and the grad school auditions. The grad auditions were set in a lot smaller setting, a little bit more relaxed–overall not as “intense” as the professional auditions, you were allowed two and a half minutes to perform two pieces (a classical and contemporary), the stage was smaller, and there were definitely fewer auditioners and auditionees. After all the auditioning was done, I had been given four callbacks from the Professional Auditions, and nine from the Grad School auditions. Thanks to last year’s experience and knowing what to expect, I feel I was able to enjoy the callback/interview experience a lot more. As of now, I’ve applied for  the University of Arkansas’ MFA acting program and should hear back from them next week, as well as several internships in Sacramento, CA (with the B Street Theatre Co.) and Norfolk, VA (with the Virginia Stage Co.)


SETC logo

Approximately 20 Belhaven University faculty and students will be attending this year’s Southeastern Theatre Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 2-5.  For the students, most of them will be participating in either the Professional and Graduate School Auditions, or involved with the Job Contact forum – looking for opportunities for summer work or their first post-graduation position.  Our faculty members will be participating in various committees, workshops, recruitment opportunities, networking and professional development.  We hope to be able to post some pictures and stories from this year’s conference – so stay tuned over the next few days for Belhaven Theatre updates from the SETC annual convention 2011!

Southeastern Theatre Conference 2010

This week, about half of our department is at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) which this year is in Lexington, Kentucky.  This conference is held each year for theatre professionals, academics and students from all over the Southeastern part of the US. (Officially Virginia through Louisiana, but there are people here from all over the country).  Workshops and Keynote addresses, performances and committee meetings, networking and auditions and job contact meetings from Thursday morning through Saturday night.  Thousands of theatre people all under one roof.  Two of Belhaven’s performers are auditioning in front of more than a hundred companies and graduate programs looking for summer work, further education, or beyond.  Many other students are interviewing or presenting portfolios looking for work in technical or production related positions.

Stay tuned for posts about our individual experiences at SETC 2010!

Theatre Audition Day!

This afternoon, in our departmental meeting, the theatre performance emphasis students and students in the Acting 1 class will be auditioning in front of the rest of the department, presenting their headshot and resume, much like the format of formal auditions at SETC, URTA, etc. An Audition Day appears once each semester.

In our format, Performance emphasis students must present to the audition panel a list of 10 monologues that they have prepared, and the panel will choose two for them to perform on the spot.  Non-performance emphasis students who are currently taking Acting 1 class must choose two monologues and present them (no list of 10).

This semester, we happy to have, as our guest panelist, Francine Thomas Reynolds, the Artistic Director of New Stage Theatre.