It is not uncommon for performers to experience moments of self-doubt, times when they wonder whether if they are truly good enough to succeed in show business. Musical theater students, as well as non-theater students who nevertheless love to perform, sometimes grow tired of waiting for their “big break” and take fate into their own hands.
This is the premise of “[title of show],” a musical produced by Act III Theatre Ensemble that debuts on March 8. The musical centers of the lives of four people who dream of making it big on Broadway, and decide to write, produce and perform a musical themselves. Members of Act III said they realized that many UCLA students have similar ambitions, but are often nervous about taking the steps to achieve these goals. Out of this desire to help student-performers begin their dream career path, the group created “A Week of [tos]sabilities,” a series of workshops to aid and advise students in performing, producing and directing. The “[tos]” stands for “Title of Show.”
“It can be really scary to enter the world of theatre, but Act III can make it less intimidating,” said Megan Fitzgerald, a second-year theater student and organizer of the workshops.
In a similar vein, Act III recently joined with HOOLIGAN Theatre Company for its annual presentation of “24-hour Musical,” one of the few student productions at UCLA that features a large ensemble of performers with varying levels of talent and experience.
“’[title of show]‘ is about people who write, create and perform a new musical, and all students should have this opportunity,” said Cameron Bird, a second-year Design|Media Arts student and co-organizer of the workshops.
As a musical theater performer and member of HOOLIGAN Theatre Company, I was very interested in attending these workshops. I often find myself wondering if I will ever achieve my goal of performing on Broadway. I was curious to see if the workshops would provide me with insights about the real world of musical theater.
I attended the dance workshop on Sunday morning (that’s me in the green shirt in the photo above) and learned the choreography to dances from the songs of musicals “Urinetown” and “Nine.” Our choreographer was Chris Albrecht, a UCLA alumnus, former member of Act III and current dance teacher. He showed us some dance routines and gave us advice on how to succeed during dance auditions. As someone who lacks formal training in dance, I can definitely say the workshop helped me gain more confidence in learning choreography.
The workshops continue this week and include lessons on performing, writing and producing. For more details, check out the group’s Facebook event.
- Brian Pham