How to Keep up With Your Training + Career Plan When Social Distancing

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For performers, students, instructors, and industry professionals across the country, there’s a sense of uncertainty. It’s a natural response to feel some anxiety and even fear during this time. In practicing social distancing, it may become easy to feel isolated and even bored, but it’s important to remain positive, calm, and productive. If you’re feeling emotionally and physically well, this is an opportune time to stay focused on your self-care—and your training. 

As my professional track training studio for performers has closed its physical doors, we’ve used this opportunity to open the door to going completely digital. Right now, we have students across the country taking advantage of our FaceTime and Skype sessions with our instructors. Reach out to your instructors, if you haven’t already, to find out if they’re open to online lessons so you don’t skip a beat during this time.

If you can’t afford to keep paying for your sessions or to pay to start a class, there are still ways to train. YouTube has an incredible amount of instructional videos by licensed industry professionals right at your fingertips. This is a great way to keep up with your vocals in particular. That way when you get back onstage and in the audition room, you sound better than ever.

In addition to taking advantage of online sessions while quarantined at home, this is the perfect time for you to build up repertoires so that, when the industry is back in action, you have the most competitive material to head into auditions with. Take this time to learn new music, check out new composers, read plays, research new works, etc. Backstage has a fantastic library of works called the Monologuer—use it! One of my other favorite sites is NewMusicalTheatre.com for new composers and Scribd for plays, sheet music on a budget, full conductor scores, and more. 

Another avenue to build upon is your career in general. Once this is behind us, where do you see your career going? Do you plan to keep auditioning? Enroll in Master Classes? Find a mentor for career counseling, someone that can guide you into the next steps of your career. Are you home from college? Don't know if you'll be going back? Build your profile assets on performer and casting-driven sites like Backstage. 

Get that voiceover demo done, get your best 32 bars on-camera for a singing sample, or film some self-tapes at home. Also consider updating your acting reel, your résumé, put together that performer website, and update your social media channels with some performance videos to build your following and your brand. 

The bottom line is don’t just sit around scrolling through newsfeeds or even just watching Netflix (all the time). Use this time as a way to be productive and better yourself as a performer.

Stay healthy, focused, and work together! When we’re all able to get back to work, it’s going to be magical. Be ready for it.

*This post was originally published on March 19, 2020. It has since been updated.

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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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Theresa Fowler Pittius
Theresa Fowler Pittius is a New Jersey-based vocal and acting coach and mentor who specializes in audition/callback prep, self-tapes, college pre-screens, career counseling, and artist development in branding/marketing. Her students have been seen on Broadway/tours, film and television series on HBO, NBC, Netflix, FOX, Hulu, and more. She works with performers of all ages from coast-to-coast on a daily basis, in person, and via Skype/FaceTime.
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