Acting in the Boonies, Dealing With Height

Acting in the Boonies, Dealing With Height Question
Dear Blair,
I'm at the end of a run and I'm getting ready for a new batch of auditions. The problem is, the four auditions I'm really interested in take place over one month. I'm afraid that I'll audition for the first one, get in, but will still be interested in the others. What do you suggest I do? I'm actually more interested in the later auditions, but do not want to blow my chances if I skip the earlier ones. Thanks.
Sasha

Question
Dear Blair,
I'm at the end of a run and I'm getting ready for a new batch of auditions. The problem is, the four auditions I'm really interested in take place over one month. I'm afraid that I'll audition for the first one, get in, but will still be interested in the others. What do you suggest I do? I'm actually more interested in the later auditions, but do not want to blow my chances if I skip the earlier ones. Thanks.
Sasha

Sasha,
Yours is one of those, "six of one, half a dozen of the other" predicaments. If you don't audition early--you may not get cast. If you get cast in a show from an earlier audition, you may spend the entire time miserably wondering if would have gotten the part you wanted, had you waited.

It sounds like a good time to build your confidence and your sense of entitlement to roles you want, by isolating which part(s) you want the most, and going for it. Really let yourself want the part, prepare for it, make it yours. Then go for it.

I suggest not even auditioning for the earlier shows, rather, spending the time prepping for and giving your all to the latter ones.

Break a leg, Sasha! Let me know if you get it. Question
Dear Blair,
I am currently a sophomore musical theatre major at a well-known theatre school. While I have spent a lifetime working on my skills in order to become the "triple-threat," I am concerned that this will all be irrelevant because I am only 5'1". Do you think that a career on the stage is impossible for a girl my height, no matter what her abilities? Thanks for your time,
Shrimp

Dear Shrimp,
Fortunately or unfortunately, you don't get off that easily.

Elaine Paige, the virtual queen of London musical theatre and current star of Broadway's Sunset Boulevard, is 4'11".

Sorry, you still have to go for it.

If you think about the range of people who've made it over the years, -- a big presence is really what 's required--body size is irrelevant. Madonna seems tall, but she is very small!

One more bit of advice. Celebrate your height and use it as a way to differentiate yourself from other people. Study your experience of what it's like to be in the world and be physically smaller than most people -- how does that affect your experience and your character?

Thanks for your sweet question, shrimp.

Question
Blair,
I am a young actor and only have the chance to do school productions. However, I would like to be in more serious and better-funded shows, only I live in DE and do not know how to go about getting more exposure.
Please help,
Ian

Dear Ian,
It's good for actors to get started and become focused early on, so thanks for your great question.

I have answered your question, in the Oct. 17 column--to a young boy in a similar predicament from Madison, WI, named Scott. Please refer to his answer, as well as Margaret's answer in the Nov. 7 column, both available by searching the features section or through a button "Previous Articles" at the bottom of each "Ask Blair" on the website.

After reading answers for Scott and Margaret, I suggest you contact the Delaware Theatre Company . They are a reputable regional theatre in your state -- hopefully near you -- and see if someone there will help you out, or at least advise a good class.

Find other actors in your area and talk to them. Actors love to talk and it's a great way to learn.

Browse through the regional listings to see if there are any other theatres near where you live. Also, take your school drama seriously and see if you can invite casting people from local theatres to come see you. Research to see if there are any talent agents near or in your area.

If you are old enough and can afford it, there are also summer programs available for high school students -- ones at Yale, NYU, and Vassar have particularly good reputations, and theatre schools in New York City, such as Circle in the Square, have summer workshops, if you have or can find a place to stay.

I hope this gets you going, Ian.