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Photo by Robert Bellospirito.

From TV in LA to Theatre in New York

Dove Cameron & Zurin Villanueva, Clueless the Musical

Dove Cameron and Zurin Villanueva in Clueless the Musical

I hope your 2109 is off to a great start… how is January almost over??

I’ve been thinking about time, and how quickly it goes. Dove was just 14 when we moved to LA to pursue her dream, and she turned 23 this month! Feels like we started on this journey only yesterday. But suddenly nine years have gone by…

This past season I spent a lot of time in New York as Dove rehearsed and then performed Cher in Clueless the Musical.

It was an amazing experience to get to watch a new show get on its feet, and see exactly what that takes… from the 12-hour days of tech week, to the excitement of Opening Night, to attending the show with Dove’s grandparents, and watching their pride as they saw her onstage. Unforgettable. And unforgettable too to see her joy as she originated an iconic role she’s loved since her childhood.

New York is not LA, and live theatre is not film or TV, but there are many commonalities. The skills and work ethic that are required for success in one are required for the other. The traits of resilience, courage, and persistence are required for success in both.

It wasn’t that long ago that the three genres might as well have been different planets… “theatre actors” and “TV actors” and “film actors” were exactly that, and rarely crossed those lines.

But today, the distinctions are fairly fluid. If an actor has the skills, they can cross over and succeed in different genres. Kristin Chenoweth and Bryan Cranston are example of actors who cross genres constantly. The trend toward live musicals on TV (RENT Live, Hairspray Live, etc.) is bringing top-notch live performances to millions who would never otherwise have access to Broadway. And it’s giving TV actors a chance to show off their musical theatre chops, while giving theatre actors a chance to shine on TV.

Most young actors fall in love with acting through local theatre… community theatre, school plays, even church or temple productions. Theatre is an accessible way to discover a love for performing because it has a fairly easy entry at the local level. This can lead many actors to wonder if Broadway should be their aim. Broadway (and Off-Broadway, which designates not a lower caliber of show but literally a smaller number of seats in the house… Off Broadway has 99-499 seats, and Broadway has 499+ seats) is a glorious place for actors. But it is even more competitive than film and TV because there are simply fewer roles. It also pays significantly less.

When Dove and I were discussing whether to move to LA or to New York so she could pursue her dream of being a professional actor, I liked the idea of New York.

It had a certain romance for me, I think. She pointed out that more film and TV are cast in LA, and her odds of success would therefore be better if we chose LA. Not one to argue with reality, I said yes to LA.

Nine years later I can say it was the right choice for us, and somehow she ended up in New York on stage despite choosing LA for the TV and film! The work she’s done since we landed in LA steadily built her skills and reputation to the point where originating a role like Cher in Clueless the Musical became not only a possibility but a reality.

Work begets work, and opportunity begets opportunity. Click To Tweet

Every project plants the seeds for another one. You can’t always know what’s being planted or when it will come up. But you can be sure that if you don’t take that first step, you will never know.

May 2019 be the year you take some steps, even the smallest baby steps, toward your dreams.

***
If you need some help figuring out your next steps toward an acting career for yourself or your child, schedule a consultation with me over Skype or in-person in LA. Talking with me can get you going in the right direction and save you months and years of being stuck.

Sometimes a few shorter sessions can work even better for you, to support you in making steps over time—so I just created a NEW PACKAGE!

You can buy a package of THREE 45-minute Skype/phone sessions and then schedule them as needed.

Need a little nudge? Here’s a COUPON CODE good for $50 off the new package!

Just enter FRIENDPKG50 in the Coupon Code box when you purchase a consulting package.

But use it soon… the code expires March 1st!

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