A preamble…Recently I reached out to several friends in the arts asking for them to share some thoughts with my readers on the subject of transitioning from Academia to The Real World of Show Business, whether Opera or Regional Theatre or Broadway of the Concert Hall. Among the responses that have come in so far I find John Riddle’s one of the most compelling. Here he is in his own words…
Be the person that everyone wants to have in their show and rehearsal room
“The transition from college to the professional world is completely dependent on the artist—you are in complete control of your artistic future. I think this begins with identifying the type of artist you want to be by the time you graduate, so that all of your energy is efficient and focused on achieving your goals.
This means that your instrument is in top shape, that you are healthy both physically and mentally for whatever demands are placed on your body, and that you have a point of view about your craft.
When I was first starting out, I said yes to any opportunity—concerts, readings, etc.—which opened many doors both artistically and socially. It also opened my eyes to taste and kept my skills sharpened, now that I no longer had the structure of a school setting.
After about two years post graduation, I began working regularly in the theater. Work came because I was prepared—I became very good at auditioning. The secret: preparation. Someone is always going to know the material backwards and forward, and will be able to perform it in the audition room as if it is opening night.
So that person might as well be you.
There is power in being good at auditions. After all, most of us in the theater are simply subjects for professional interviewers, with a performing habit every now and then.
So get good at it!!
Finally, just become a good person. I have been in a number of professional shows with actors, directors, designers, etc who are simply not kind. It would be best if that bad energy were not part of the creative process. So be the person that everyone wants to have in their show and rehearsal room.
Again: preparation, but also respect, professionalism, humor, honesty, and kindness.”
John Riddle, actor, vocalist, pianist
John will soon be opening on Broadway in the role of the Prince in Frozen.
From his 2016 cabaret show at Live at Feinstein’s/54 Below Lonely House (Street Scene) – Kurt Weill https://youtu.be/IZcXCgtbVVU
Class – Stephen Sondheim https://youtu.be/rGImrS696x4
Go slow Johnny/Shooting High – Noel Coward/McHugh & Koehler https://youtu.be/dnTPYB0g3cE
The Mermaid” (Great Big Sea) – George Abud https://youtu.be/hp3eUZqHla0
I didn’t know what time it was – Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart https://youtu.be/pOSLLZYgDr8