Musical theater is a way for you to express yourself and show off what you can do. Performing at times can become difficult for some because this field requires you to have a lot of skill and have space to get out of your comfort zone. I had the opportunity to talk to a musical theater instructor that works in this field and her name is Karla Hartley. Hartley told me the reason she chooses this career was because,’ The arts are the only industry I ever saw myself being happy pursuing’. Her additional training is in the staging and storytelling of musicals. I would love to have a career in the musical theater industry because of my desire to sing, dance, and perform.
American musical theater was transformed fundamentally in the wake of civil rights and women’s movements and the decline in government arts funding between 1975 and 2000. As you can see, musical theater has been around for quite some time. People’s desires and passion for doing what they love have brought this generation to grow and love theater even more. By 2000, Broadway itself had become only one of many places in which to find validation for original productions. Hartley said ‘ Performing is a difficult path. There are a lot of performers out there and only so many roles available. That means we should work extremely hard to succeed and earn the roles we go for, if we believe and go forward with what we want to achieve we would achieve it.
To join the musical theater industry you must have a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree. Many universities offer options for Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of music programs with an emphasis on ‘musical theater. Most schools require that applicants to the Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theater program audition on top of the standard admissions process, which includes taking the GRE. Karla stated that ‘Musical theater performers should have singing, acting, and dance training. Mrs. Hartley responds to the natural abilities and interests one must have that are needed in the musical theater are, To be a performer of any kind one must love it. One must be emphatic and have a natural ability to pick up rhythms and an outward personality. The ability to work well with others and follow instructions is crucial. She also stated, Learn everything you can -not just about the arts but also history and psychology. You need to be able to build characters from different eras and different backgrounds, so historical knowledge is very important.
Areas known for their musical theater programs are Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina. The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is located in Cincinnati, OH like CMU, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of music is an incredibly intensive and in-depth program that graduates many working alumni. Elon University is located in Elon, NC, and this university pride itself on graduating students who are ‘triple treats,’; musical theater artists that are not just excellent in either acting, dancing, or singing, but rather, all three. Lastly, The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance is located in Ann Arbor, MI it is perhaps the strongest musical theater program in the nation, the University of Michigan MT program graduates students every single year that ends up on Broadway, television, and in companies throughout the nation. Karla stated that During the pandemic, there is almost 0 employment. Things are getting better, ‘but slowly. Ever since this pandemic started schools have slowly been opening up, but the theatre remains shut down for safety purposes. I believe that musical theater should just keep moving on forward with social distance guidelines, and these amazing schools could start opening again.
Dedication, in my opinion, is the key to success in this field. They give you a bunch of opportunities for advancement and allow you to earn the main role in a show. Hartley stated. That would depend on OMG your level of talent. The more talented you are the more advancement opportunity. I feel like she is right. If you’re talented, but know you can do better, and you’re not giving it your all, you should try to work intensively. Once they see your hard work and dedication they might allow you to get the role you always dreamed of having. That depends if you are eager enough and stay focused on what you’re doing.
Musical theater can impact so many people in many ways because no one knows what someone may be going through and who knows the show they went to see can impact them in so many ways. Hartley responded that. ‘The disadvantage is the low employment generally and close to 0 employment during the pandemic’. This for me is sad because many people need some entertainment in their life, but can’t get any because of Covid-19. This also caused many to lose their jobs, but many have kept their guard up and been prepared for what’s next for them. When you think about the history of musical theater in America, musical theater has had famous personalities, prolific writers and composers, songs that have become part of our national identity, fortunes made and lost, and the exploration of our culture around the world. As you can see musical theater has its impacts. People nowadays try to shut down this industry but have failed because musical theater is such an amazing aspect that we have in our society today.
The reasons stated above why I would love to have a career in the musical theater industry because of my desire to sing, dance, and perform. It’s not only my desire to sing, dance, or perform, but the impacts and lives I can touch with the job I’m doing. I also plan to implement and minister to people about God through my performances and show everyone who God is and what he’s done in my life, and what he can get started in your life. This route will not be easy, but I plan to face it head-on and do whatever I have to do, not only for myself but for my family, and most importantly for God.