Carnegie Hall's Musical Exchange is a global online community through which young musicians connect with one other, share musical performances, and participate in groups and projects led by professional artists. Each week this summer, we pick content submitted by Musical Exchange members and artists to feature on the Blog.
This week, Musical Exchange members Brittany Bigelow, Madison Lynn Embrey, and Brett-Marco Glauser, undergraduate students at Pace University, answer questions from other Musical Exchange members about living in New York City and pursuing their goal to perform on Broadway.
Madison: One of my biggest realizations from living here is that everybody in this city is on a different journey. And it's really important to acknowledge that it's not a race, but a journey. You have to stay very, very focused on your goals and what you have to do to improve yourself. It is very easy to get distracted by the success of others. You can't judge your progress based on the product others are producing. You should absolutely use others as inspiration, but do not degrade yourself.
My personal example is that I came to New York City a much stronger dancer than singer. I have always loved singing and I take direction really well, but I was in a dance studio 20 hours a week and just didn't grow up doing musicals. When I got to NYC, I spent so much time thinking about how behind I was in singing. I should have spent more time realizing that each day of practice is one day better than I ever have been. And just as there are people like me who are trying to improve singing, there are people who are constantly trying to improve dance, or choreography, or acting, or anything. I know I would never discourage someone from practicing dance, so why should I down myself for keeping at it with my singing? I shouldn’t, and that is exactly why I have stopped. Self-confidence will be your best friend.
The coolest thing is that we are in a profession where we always have more to learn. We can always be improving and getting better. So enjoy every step of the journey and all the twists and turns it takes. "No" is not a bad thing, it’s an opportunities to get back in the studio and keep working. This applies to living in NYC, but I think it holds true for anywhere you are in life. So keep having fun, keep learning, and enjoy the ride.
Brett-Marco: What an awesome question. I'd say one of the biggest things I've realized is the importance of being open to new things in theater. New people, new opportunities, you never know what or who might turn out to be really important someday.
Brittany: The difficult part of auditioning is finding time in the midst of school, rehearsals, and the little spare time in the middle of that. Right now, I have been auditioning a lot more because it was summer stock season. Most of the auditions I have been able to find out about have been on playbill.com, backstage.com, broadwayworld.com, and through my teachers and friends. Actor's Access has recently become a new site I have been using, as well. I check these sites every day to see if there is a show that I fit in, because ultimately, you have to be smart about which auditions you attend depending on your look, voice, type, or what type of audition it is. My current goal is to gain more audition experience so I feel I can walk into an audition room and always be confident enough to do my best. Of course we are going to have days when things happen, but I would love to feel more comfortable with the whole audition process. Now that it is summer, I plan to really begin networking and gaining more audition experience. I intend on posting blogs on all the things I learn throughout the process.