Professionalism; no matter what level
Does your show change when you know someone from casting, show direction or other leadership is watching? Does your posture change when someone important walks in the room? Do you hear yourself saying, “So and so isn’t here, so it doesn’t matter.” Do you treat performances differently when you’re getting paid more (or less)? Does your performance quality change depending on the size or quality of your audience?
Do you think that no one else notices you doing those things?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should probably re-evaluate your priorities.
Your show directors, stage managers and most of all, fellow cast members are depending on you to be a part of the cast. Are you 100% invested in your role on stage? Are you in the blocking you were given with the rest of your cast to make a complete picture as the choreographer intended? Or are you showing off and doing your own thing, trying to outshine the rest of the ensemble? Are you a soloist who has no clue what your ensemble is doing?
It takes an entire cast to create the show, otherwise those roles wouldn’t exist.
Performing is just as much of a “job” as any other field. There are requirements and expectations in the blocking and choreography we are given. There is a quality and consistency that is expected in the product we produce. It takes emotional energy and work to create. Entertainment often takes more work than “traditional” jobs because we don’t really stop when we leave the theater/theme park/rehearsal hall/etc. We’re taking classes, we’re practicing at home, reviewing videos and taking notes. We’re drinking tea and taking epsom salt baths because our bodies need care too.
And we do this work because we care, because we are emotionally attached to the work that we do, right? Because we want to impact our audiences in some way. We want to make them smile, laugh, cry, think, be inspired…whatever it is that your role was designed to do.
Are you doing the work? Are you bringing the work to life for yourself or for your audience first?
Your job was designed by someone who cares about the story you’re telling. Your job was designed for impact. It wasn’t designed for you to do whatever you want with it. You learned a technique, curated your skill set and now use it to bring something else to life. You designed yourself for that job, for that role. It doesn’t matter if that role is in a theme park or on a Broadway stage. You accepted that role and now it’s your job to fulfill it.
How do you keep things fresh? How do you stay connected to your cast?