Take Wing and Soar

Theater Arts for the People

There are quite literally thousands of colored actors who have made their bones on Broadway. The majority of these performers began their Broadway careers playing a character similar to that of one of their parents. However, there are also many performers who were discovered while still in college and are now playing parts on Broadway. The type of performer you find as an actor on Broadway often depends on where the actor came from. For example, if an actor is from a large city like Los Angeles or Chicago, chances are that they have come to realize their career potentials on Broadway after seeing a play or two on that very subject.

Of course, not every highly acclaimed Broadway play ends up making it to the end of its run on the road. Many times these shows get sold out quite early and the actors involved do not wish to prolong their contract with the company any further. Sometimes they decide to come out of their contracts and pursue other acting opportunities elsewhere. In this instance the caliber of the colored actors on Broadway usually has a lot to do with the outcome of their final Broadway performance. While a show that gets sold out very early could still be extremely good, it could also mean that there aren’t enough tickets left for the remaining shows in the run.

On the flip side, many talented colored actors on Broadway have found themselves on the verge of getting a break when a popular play starts to wind down. Shows can go on for several months at a time and it is not uncommon for an actor to wait for the curtain to rise for the last time before agreeing to renew their contract. This waiting period can often make a dramatic difference on whether or not an actor gets to see their breakthrough. A strong case can be made that waiting too long can kill a promising career.

So how does one go about securing a spot on Broadway? It certainly helps to be prepared by studying past performances and gaining knowledge of the cast and crew. This will give you some insight into what is expected from you and how long you will likely be waited on by the other actors. In some cases, you might even be required to audition for many shows in order to get a chance to shine on a particular play. If this scenario sounds familiar, it is certainly worth discussing further.

After meeting with theater producers and agents, always take notes. Keep track of any information that proves useful to both parties. Some topics that can crop up include being on time for auditions, giving proper notice of any changes, scheduling conflicts, and any other general information that pertain to your career. Always be honest and open with any producers or agents you speak with and don’t be afraid to let them know that you are interested in pursuing an acting career of your own.

When it comes to actually signing up for a Broadway play or production, there are many things to consider. Most theaters require potential actors to attend a casting call in order to get an opportunity to audition. This is a great way to learn more about the specific theater and get an idea of what is involved. It can also be a good place to find out if the particular theater you are interested in has a preferred audition list. You should always bring a resume and/or payment receipt to the audition so that you can be double-checked.

You should also do your homework to see what kind of perks or rewards certain theaters offer when it comes to being cast in a particular show. While it is true that salaries are often quite low for these types of shows, there may be other benefits as well. For example, many will give you your choice of script reading or directors. This can be very helpful to someone who is just starting out in their career.

Once you begin looking at roles for Broadway plays, keep in mind that there are many different kinds of roles available. There are usually always colored actors as well. Just remember that they are in the theater for one reason only: to entertain. Whatever your goal as an actor in Broadway, there are plenty of opportunities for people just like you to get a great start in the industry.


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