How to Decide If a Broadway Career Is Right for You

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One of the most common questions I get asked by my coaching clients is, “How will I know when I’m ready to make it on Broadway?” First, let me say that this is a difficult question to answer because ultimately “making it” is a subjective concept. It’s a different standard for everyone in show business and I recommend you taking some time to determine what it means for you personally. 

Still, there are some important questions you can ask yourself to measure if you really are ready for a career on Broadway. 

1. Are you trained? 
You don’t need to have a degree from Julliard to prove your worth, but you definitely need to be able to stand behind your skills without a doubt. It’s important that you’re not only honest but if you want people to start paying you, you better be able to back it up with the talent. So much of this business is about relationships and relationships require trust.

READ: How to Get Cast on Broadway

2. Do you like New York City?
Plain and simple, you have to enjoy NYC in order to have a career on Broadway. It’s okay if you don’t. There are amazing theater cities all over this country that you can thrive in that don’t require dirty subways, crowded streets, and freezing winters.

3. Are you self-motivated? 
The hustle is real, my friends, and you have to be willing to show up to events and auditions even when you don’t want to. No one is going to do this for you, so learning to push past your comfort zone is going to be one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of a life on Broadway. The beauty of this situation is that while no one is going to do it for you, you don’t have to do it alone. The Broadway community is amazingly supportive, and you can be a part of that as soon as now.

If you don’t feel like you can say yes to all three of these questions, that’s OK! Use the information to tell you where you do want to go. Do you need more training so you can stand behind what you say? Maybe you would like the sunshine of L.A. more or perhaps working with a coach will help your motivation. By answering these questions, you’ll be able to decide your next steps and ultimately if a Broadway career is right for you.

Decided Broadway’s the place for you? Then check out Backstage’s Broadway audition listings!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Bret Shuford
Bret Shuford is The Broadway Life Coach, a Broadway, television, and film actor whose Broadway credits include Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour,” “Amazing Grace,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” He is an iPEC Certified Life Coach who's determined to make fulfillment the norm in show business rather than the exception. Join the free Balance on Broadway Challenge at balanceonbroadway.com.
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