“Im not trying to climb a ladder – I’m casting a bit of a net” – Neil Patrick Harris

As our graduation day loomed, deadlines dwindled and the realization that our student days were coming to an end. My classmates and I discussed the future. All being Drama students the next stage for us, was finding our place in the industry, trying to piece ourselves to an ever expanding jigsaw. Having so much creative freedom the past year made us re-evaluate not only our professional selves , but the persona and character people see when you first step in a room. Apparently it takes a matter of seconds to create an opinion of someone!

Our final project, with four of my closest course mates made a musical personal to us.

Trying to find your role. Trying to find your part. Exploring various ways to define ourselves

From studying Musical Theatre for the past three years and being in various performances. We had all been type cast in one way or another.

There was a whore, A mother figure, The independent woman, The comedy character and The virgin. In a timeless space the five stereotypes interacted with each other, voicing their frustrations of their type casting. And although some wanted to change they can’t seem to shake the roles society has already given them. Most of these “stock characters” or “stereotypes” stem from the stock characters commedia del’atre (Google if you’re a bit confused!)

Throughout musical theatre history you can categorize the female characters into these five “roles”. But through various discussions it wasn’t just our voice types that attributed to our type casting. But our own personalities, our own experiences build up who we “chose” to portray on stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsPoUr9YlJo

Here is my short video, this video and others were used to develop our piece, have a look ↑

My casting is “The Whore”!

Maya X

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2 thoughts on ““Im not trying to climb a ladder – I’m casting a bit of a net” – Neil Patrick Harris

  1. What advice do you have for younger students those who might be thinking of studying musical theatre, given your own experiences?

    • Well first off make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. If your aim is just to be a generic popstar and the fame then I wouldn’t advise it you to start learning about the field. As it’s so much more about the money and fame, sure everyone wants to be recognised for your achievements but it can take YEARS!

      1. Go and see lots of varied plays and musicals. Not just the productions on west end, but the fringe and small theatres. Being fully exposed to all aspects of theatre opens up all your creativity. As you have a better understanding.

      2. Take classes! Starting your technique early puts you in great standing for your career. So do ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, choral singing lessons, private singing lessons and of course acting lessons.

      3. Find your style! If you’re the next Stephen Schwartz or Lena Horne, make sure it comes across. Otherwise you’ll end up going for roles or positions that aren’t tailored to you or help you progress your career.

      4. Now if you decide to enter the creative, performer or management side of musical theatre. Try and get a taste of all aspects. Working backstage or working as a producer on small projects. Makes you realise the amount of preparation it takes to develop productions.

      5. Embrace in everything musical theatre!

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