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How To Be a Successful Actor

Do you like outshining everyone? Do you enjoy the thrill of crushing your biggest competition’s hopes and dreams? Are your idols Hitler and Stalin? Then I have the profession for you! The performing arts is the quintessential vehicle for enhancing the diva inside you and making you the diva you can, no, have to be.

Step One: Auditions. The primary ideal to focus on is to always be your best. And by that, I mean be THE best. Remember that no one can do better than you. Anyone who says anyone else did really well is obviously dumb, deaf, and has no sensible taste in true art. Bestow your compassionate side and pity those less fortunate behind their backs (and let’s face it, who isn’t less fortunate than you?). Maybe even to their faces! Encourage them with critiques like “Maybe you’ll do better next time!”, “Don’t worry about it: we need a large chorus anyway.” Or “Try acting the scene like I do! I’m sure you’ll make the director’s smile a little more and consider you for a different, later show. Feign feebleness and sickliness and tell the directors you’re going last because you don’t feel good. Truthfully, this is an innocent ploy to be the grand finale of the auditions and to show up any of your “competition”. Add as many runs and Whitney Houston moments as you possibly can to your singing cut. The music director’s love to see you show initiative and creativity when you change the original intent of the song and make it all your own.

Step Two: Rejections. They never happen. On the apocalyptic occasion that a rejection does in fact occur, go and calmly yell at the director. Very reasonably scream the infinite reasons why you were perfect for the lead in the show and why the no-good, untalented, selfish, undeserving, conceited, arrogant, misguided brat got the part you were destined for. Chances are the director will thank you graciously for revealing their misbegotten error in the cast list, resign from their position, and go mourn in ashes and sack cloths. But on the off chance they are a stubborn mule who doesn’t belong in the directorial position and continue to refuse to allow you to lead your show, burn all evidence that you even auditioned, deny all claims from “witnesses”, and if all else fails, make up a reasonable excuse. Common examples include “I had a headache”, “I was too good for them”, or “I had dairy before my audition”.

Step Three: Competition. Simply put, it is what you are to everyone else. From your stand point, it doesn’t exist.

Step Four: Technicians. These are the product of a useless theatre tradition that has been ridiculously worshipped by superstitious thespians for centuries. Routinely they only wear black, wave around flashlights, and yell at you to move out of the way. Always remember that they are beneath you. They have no talent and really just use their pathetic habits to help “run the show”. Every true diva must know this truth: the only purpose they serve is to benefit you.. The show does not, in fact, need a set, props, costumes, make-up, sound, or even lights and spotlights, unless they are your props, your costumes, your make-up, your microphone, or the person who runs your spotlight. In these cases, they simply serve as a scapegoat for when something goes wrong. As we all know, it is never your fault. If your costume suddenly got a huge stain from the glass of milk you just happened to be drinking that spilled down your front, it is obviously the costume head’s fault and you should go scream at them and tell them how pathetic they are at their worthless job. If your director tells you to project your voice a little louder, complain that you are speaking at just the volume you need and the sound head should stop being lazy and bump up the microphone levels.

Remember that leading a show means power. That power was bestowed onto you for a reason: for the sole purpose of elevating yourself to higher powers. Show business is the very situation Darwin was talking about when he theorized “the survival of the fittest.” Don’t think of your chorus members, your fans: all “the little people”. Those with less talent than you deserve the place they are in life. You, my friend, are the crème de la crème de la crème. Always remember that. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. And if they do, go complain to everyone in the show, specifically your director.

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