Interview With Musical Theatre Veteran John Rubinstein

Dance and Audition Training: Tips from Julie McDonald, Choreographer Agent – Part 1

“There is no real school for Choreographers. The art of Choreography is passed down from generation to generation.” – Julie McDonald

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The Four Levels of Acting: Becoming a Master

When I was an actor, at different stages in my career and artistic growth I often wondered what skill level I was at in my evolution as an actor. Though teachers, directors, and my audience would often deliver positive feedback, which gave me a nice boost of confidence, I also knew that I struggled with technique and really wanted to own my craft. I came upon a study of the craftsman’s development and found it identical to the development of the artist. The following lesson is the journey from Novice to Master.

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Stage Parents – The Good, The Bad And The Downright Scary

Stage Parents

There is nothing more powerful or important than finding what you love to do and then actually doing it. Your child may have found that passion in the performing arts. As the parent of a “show-biz kid”, you’re embarking on an exciting and daunting adventure!

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Acting Tips: The Wide Shot vs The Close-up

Just when you thought you had learned everything about the emotional journey an Actor must master, we go and add another layer of technical knowledge into the mix. Camera shots! Unless you study filmmaking as well as Acting, you won’t know about shots and frames unless you spend a lot of time in an on camera class or on set, watching, learning and grasping all of those buzz words the Director and the crew are using to describe the shots they are setting up and using to shoot each scene. Read more

Accountability: It’s Time to Put Your Butt on the Line

In my last article on ‘Goal Setting’ I stressed the importance of setting goals, creating a strategic plan for your career, and following a timeline with clear specific actions to ensure that your goals happen.  It’s all great… in fact, it’s all fantastic if you’re the type of person who jumps out of bed in the morning eager to get started on the tasks for the day, loves a challenge and can’t wait for that first obstacle to get in your way, that rock to fall in your path.  My guess is, that’s not the case for many (if any) of us.

You’ve heard the saying, “when the going gets tough the tough get going.”  Well in the entertainment industry the “going gets tough” a fair amount of the time.  We deal with more rejection and more competition than probably any business in the world.  The solution… being held accountable for your goals and actions.  It works.

I’ve been in this industry for over twenty-five years and I’ve had ‘accountability partners’ or ‘accountability teams’ for every one of those years.  I’ve had a partner with whom I’ve done weekly calls.  And for years a group of five of my colleagues (from different aspects of the industry) met once a week to talk about our goals and what actions we were going to take that week.  On Friday we would email the team with an update of what we had done so far and what was still left to do before we met the next week.  It kept us focused and on target and the coaching and brainstorming we gave each other was priceless.

When I was interviewing professionals from the entertainment industry for my MTT video, Goal Setting Part II, I specifically asked them for their thoughts on the importance and the power of being held accountable.  Director, Mark Rosman (“A Cinderella Story”) says that he makes a point of getting together with people on a weekly basis.  “I’ve directed over fifteen TV movies and tons of episodic TV and feature films,” he says, “and I’ve found that especially when I’m in between jobs and I need that kind of help to keep going, an accountability group really is the thing that drives me.”  Bob Stewart, CEO NowCasting/Players Directory, recommends “a breakfast club with likeminded people.  Actors, directors, writers… even if it’s a mix of people… you make yourself accountable to them.”

Actress Mary Stein (“Changeling” “Babe: Pig in the City”) feels that accountability is key to success.  “When you’re sharing with someone on a regular basis,” she says, “it lets you know if you’re keeping your word or not.  What’s the truth here?  Am I really doing what I said I was going to do.”   Kris Emery, Production Executive at Comedy Central, told me that for her having somebody to talk to keeps her on track.  “I have a very good friend in Texas who I’ve known for over 20 years, and we have done goal setting over those years.  We have a personal blog where we correspond back and forth on a daily or weekly basis depending on what we’re doing.  We report in, talk about our accomplishments, our goals and where we need support.”

People at all levels and facets of the industry have accountability partners or teams.  I had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop with Film Producer, David Valdas (“Unforgiven,” “The Book of Eli”) and when I was speaking on the topic of accountability, David said that he has a team of other film producers who get together every Tuesday morning.  All of whom are extremely successful people in our industry.  It just proves the point… everyone can use that extra support.

So whether you’re taking on a new learning curve, a huge goal, or just going through the day to day routine with your promises and commitments, having a partner or team to check in with is essential. We’re all human and sometimes we need a little help to keep us on track.  Being held accountable for your actions and promises will work miracles.

In my video, Goal Setting Part II, which you’ll find on the website, I’ll be interviewing industry professionals on the “Seven Steps to Goal Setting” and we’ll address this fascinating topic of accountability.

Go to and enjoy my video on “Goal Setting – Part II.”

Hosts Tell All: Part 3

Breaking into hosting can be challenging and at times even downright frustrating. I’m sure you’ve all experienced it at one time or another and if you haven’t yet felt that way, you will. It’s all part of the process. In Part Three of ‘Hosts Tell All’ Jeannie Mai, Brian Corsetti and Lance Smith give aspiring hosts some more career advice and a little extra inspiration to keep handy on the journey to becoming a successful host.

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