How To Love Yourself In 8 Counts of 8 and One Try

BWALPHA copyHoly Cow! We are sooo excited to introduce our newest guest blogger: the incredible Jesse Palmer from Motivated Movers! If you haven’t heard of Motivated Movers yet, boy are you in for a treat. They are an inspiring company that is all about creating a safe space for movers and dancers to create , explore and grow. We love it!  In this installment, Jesse will talk about how to leave your movement or dance call feeling great AND she will share a FREE 1 minute Audio Motivation EXCLUSIVELY to Broadway Warm-Up Blog Readers! How awesome is that?!? Read the blog , click on the link to get your FREE awesome motivation and check out Motivated Movers today  Y’all!

How to Love Yourself in 8 Counts of 8 and One Try
By: Jesse Palmer
Creative Director & Co-founder of Motivated Movers NYC LLC

There you are in your dance call, movement callback or in your nightmares (depending on how comfortable you are with movement). You’ve had 20 minutes to learn 8 counts of 8 of choreography… Run it a few times in large groups… Small groups… With the choreographer and without.

Now: it’s your turn to show them your stuff. Book that job. Do what you do best and show them how you love it.

In a blink of an eye: it’s done. And they say THANK YOU… Next group.

What?! Huh?! You forgot count 4 and then were late on count 5… But YOU KNOW COUNT 4!! Your heart is screaming,”PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE!!” Your brain is taunting “You know better”.

82nd Academy Awards, Dance AuditionsIn this reality of low employment, 6am sign ups, and contracts getting smaller and smaller, auditions are getting more and more crowded. This means that creative teams and casting directors don’t have time to give us that second chance we so desperately want.

Motivated Movers is all about empowering you to make confident and smart choices, SO
Here are 5 ways to help mentally prepare yourself before,during and after your audition to help you keep shuffling off to your next audition with confidence.

BEFORE:

Live-to-create-love-art1. Create art. Don’t book jobs.
What the what? This is a tough mindset to get yourself into, but dang, how good it feels when you are there! No matter why we are in this business, the base reason is: to create. See each audition as a chance to do what you love. Detach yourself from the expectation of booking work and revel in the process and creation of “something” in that 8 counts of 8 or 32 bars of a song.

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2. Mantra it out.We LOVE mantras at Motivated Movers. Having a little conversation in your head isn’t only for the slightly crazy people who you see on the train any longer! Here are a few we love:

 

* I am enough

*Breathe in joy and simply make a choice

* I am enough

* Breathe in joy and simply make a choice

* What is meant for me will not pass me.

If you can use these little triggers to get your mind in a better place– you are already walking into the room more willing, able, and open… All very castable qualities. CLICK HERE to get our special gift to the Broadway Warm-Up community. It’s a great tool to get you motivated for that next movers call!

d1x7RNHwlRJ7J9aRnmAEX06NsgbesvYDKWvIdfDV62c,fKwMAgdvhFAURCe1GKOST2PONj60y_G0J9MC8XetVms,x680lbzLhlEa_HEkbTS8m8S_uvt73CKvidm1w4W4fas3. Warm-up
(I know. I know. Here I am writing for BROADWAY WARM-UP and I am about to harp on the importance of warming up, BUT I only speak the truth! I promise they didn’t ask me to do this.. haha)
By choosing to start your day with the Broadway Warm-Up or getting that rehearsal room to run through material and/or your own form of mental/physical/emotional prep, you are setting yourself up for success! You have time to get your brain into the right mental frame, you are able to prepare your body and voice so that they are able to work to the best of their ability in that moment. Plus, you’ve already made sure that everything is in working order, so you can enter that room confident that you are at your best!

IN THE ROOM:

4. Create a sense of community– not competition.
Actors have a bad rap for being cut throat and crazy (pushing the lead down the stairs… sabotaging costumes… etc) but we all know that we aren’t THAT crazy….
I love to make eye contact with the choreographer and their assistants, answer them when they ask a question “Should we try it from the top?” Or “Anyone have questions?”. This makes me feel more at ease and comfortable, and they notice as well.
I also love to compliment people when their work or presence moves me. Now– I don’t mean you have to hand out compliments right and left. I mean when you see a great performance – tell someone.
Sizing others up and wishing others ill just makes for a toxic environment in the room and in your mind. Let’s try to quell that.

AFTERWARDS:

journal5. Write it out and LET.IT.GO.

I keep a journal with me at all auditions: On the train ride home,
I write:
•what I auditioned for
•who was in the room
•2 things I did well
•1 area of improvement

Then– I’m done with it. It’s off my back,and I am on to the next. Auditions are just job interviews. We don’t deserve to beat ourselves up all day about what we could have done better. We also have to be wary of pumping ourselves up too much when we think we do well. The journal helps me keep everything in perspective.

Now go out there and hit the ground running!

Follow these 5 easy steps and maybe you’ll even be able to embrace
Motivated Movers 3 favorite words in your next audition:
Love. Joy. Movement!

Motivated Movers is a contributor to The Broadway Warm-Up Blog

MotivatedMovers logoAbout Motivated Movers:
Motivated Movers is a unique mind/body dance program designed to create a safe space for beginner dancers to explore, express, create, and manifest empowerment as performing artists. It is our mission to motivate and educate movers within the musical theatre industry in a safe and positive space to set our students up for success for all auditions and artistic endeavors.​ We provide affordable, convenient dance classes, private coachings, goal coachings, and masterclasses, all ways for actors to hone their dance skills and evolve as artists. Our classes are theatre based, exploring fundamental jazz, ballet, and tap technique, take the time to break down steps and concepts at the pace our students needs, and pay close attention to the mind and emotions of a beginning dancer. For more go to www.motivatedmoversnyc.com.

JesseAbout Jesse:
Jesse is a Catholic University of America alum & Maryland native. As a performer and teacher, Jesse loves empowering others to find joy and abundance in their lives. Jesse resides in New York City as she is pursuing both a career in theater as well as choreography. For more about her, check out her website http://www.jessekpalmer.com. Do what you love. Love what you do.

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Practice Makes Progress

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Jessica Latshaw hits some really inspiring points about practice, progress and patience in this month’s installment! We’d love to hear some secrets/tips you’ve found for committing to regular practice or hear you talk about your struggle getting to practice!

Practice-makes-progressWe’ve all heard it: Practice makes perfect.

You know what is the best part of that saying?

Practice.

You know what is the misleading part of that saying?

Perfect.

I am reading a book by Dr. Brene Brown. The words she writes resonate in my soul. Reading them feels a little like coming home. Perhaps it is like finally looking at a real, honest-to-goodness photograph of that fabled land, Narnia. True, I have never been there and seen it with my own eyes, but I’ve read enough of C.S. Lewis’ books about it, that, were I to get to see it, I am sure it would be familiar. It’d be deja vu and then some.

Brown writes, ‘Bulletproof and perfect are seductive, but they are not a part of the human experience.’

What, then, are we reaching for?

Why the constant struggle? Forgive me for ending with a preposition, but–what’s it all for?

Progress. Journey. Maturation.

I think it’s easy to see that there is a plan in all of creation. An apple tree bears fruit. A bee makes honey. Sea otters play games and fall in love and hold hands while swimming so as not to lose track of each other. Are any of these things perfect? I guess it depends on what you mean by perfect, right?

UnknownPerhaps the apple tree has some nicks in the bark. Perhaps one season does not yield as many apples as previous seasons had. And yet the next season doubles the number. Is this perfect? I don’t know. Is the apple tree being an apple tree? Is it being exactly what the Creator intended for it? Yes.

I am currently training an eleven week old puppy (Oh, you didn’t know? Oh, so you don’t follow me on Instagram?). Every book that I have read on the subject–from the elite Monks of Skete to the no-name articles I look up on my phone at three in the morning–say the same thing: be patient; be consistent.

Guess what Luna, my pup, finally did tonight?

Her down stay.

I have a feeling that it will take a lot more of the same training tomorrow to get her to do it again, but it happened tonight, and when I saw it, I just about did the kind of Irish jig you saw being executed in the bowels of that great ship, The Titanic, in the movie with the same name.

Unknown-1After I gave her the treat, of course.

Is Luna perfect? No. Is she progressing and maturing and growing?

YES.

I MEAN, SHE DID HER DOWN STAY, GUYS!

And we’re practicing, together, all the time. Every day. Multiple times a day.

When she misses a cue or doesn’t reach a goal, I think to myself, Next time, Luna-Loo; it’ll happen next time.

Dr. Brown says something to the effect of using the same kind of self-talk that you would use with a loved one. Patience and kindness. Encouragement. A you’ll-get-there attitude.

Just today I was talking with my good friend, Grace, about her performance on stage. She’s constantly asking me what I think she could do to make it better. So I tell her, but not without first saying that she’s amazing. That I am splitting hairs. That I am finding the tiny bit of rust in a sea of brightly shining metal. And then I tell her to be patient when she is frustrated that her craft is not yet perfect. I tell her she’s on her way–and, more than anything else, to be herself and enjoy the process.

The professors I admired most in school critiqued from a wide, beautiful place of love. Ruthie, especially, a fiery and beautiful blue-eyed woman who was one of the great American choreographer, Paul Taylor’s, muses, would begin every criticism with a compliment.

“You have such a beautiful way of moving, Jessica,” she’d say, “Why not try it with a greater sense of groundedness? Can you imagine your pelvis closer to the floor as you initiate your movement with an undercurve and always, always, always a plie?”

She thinks I have a beautiful way of moving? I will do anything she asks. Anything.

Ruthie brought the best out of me. Her kindness and patience actually motivated me to work harder, believe it or not. It wasn’t that she didn’t have standards–no! Her class was hard and everybody knew that her warm-up alone would either get you in shape or have you die trying. But somehow her words had a way of encompassing every kind of dancer–all sorts of shapes and sizes and talents and abilities–and setting us up for success, rather than failure.

She led us to believe that success looked differently on a dancer who is 5’2 with tree trunk legs and a contraction for days compared to a dancer who is 5’8 and more comfortable in pointe shoes than anything else.

The word perfect wasn’t mentioned, yet the word math–in the sense that there would be problems and here are the tools to solve them, class!–was mentioned quite a lot.

Like I said before, it was a you’ll-get-there-attitude, and I always left class feeling like maybe, just maybe, if I worked hard enough, I really would get there.

661629c3758da54cf762d0121a6ba33bMy point is that we could try these same things on ourselves. I am convinced that the battles we fight in this life are won and lost first in the mind. Why not set ourselves up for success? Why not practice patience and kindness within, just as we practice those same things with those around us?

 

 

And perhaps we will fall so in love with the journey of practicing and where it takes us, that we will forget about the static old goal of perfection. We’re movers and climbers, anyway. You can pull out your flag and stake it on a small plot of earth that you dub PERFECT and then stay there forever, if you’d like. And, yes, I am going to admire it for all its loveliness, for sure, when I visit, but I won’t be staying. I will keep going. Because there is always something up ahead. Something right around the bend. Something more in this journey that we are on, whether we like it or not. Whether it feels good or not.

So practice makes progress.

And patience is made of more durable stuff than roadblocks, my friends.

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img-26Jessica Latshaw  is a monthly contributor to The Broadway Warm-Up Blog.  For more information on Jessica go to: www.jessicalatshawofficial.com

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Recitals, Midriffs and Typing…Oh My!

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In this installment, monthly blogger Gretchen Bieber shares her insights and thoughts on dance recitals, midriffs and knowing your type. In response, we’d love to hear about the times that you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone, broken away from your “type”  or challenged yourself.  Tell us about when it worked and tell us about when it didn’t work so well  and what you were able to take away from the experience!

 

        Recitals, Midriffs and Typing…Oh  My! 

I went to a dance recital in my hometown last weekend. My best friend’s 3 year old spent most of her dance singing the song with abandon and staring upstage at the fancy moving lights. But, my goodness, was she adorable. She wore an age appropriate hot pink and black polka dot tutu and had her hair in sponge curled ringlets. Too. Stinking. Cute.

However, this particular studio insisted on black eyeliner and a red lip which made these gorgeous babies look like creepy 25 year olds. It made me look back at my own early recitals to see what my dance studio required for performance makeup. Holy moly! I’m definitely rocking a red lip and some heavily applied blush. I guess it just goes with the territory.

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While viewing the (THREE HOUR!!!) recital, I couldn’t help but notice their senior company. I was pleasantly surprised by how healthy they looked! Several were quite slim, but some had more “normal” body types. All of them had more flexibility than me. All of them could leap twice as high as I can. And all of them could turn multiple pirouettes and stop on a dime. What made me frustrated was that their costumes were mostly midriffs, cutouts, and booty shorts. It just wasn’t flattering. It was distracting. Not because some of the girls didn’t look good, but because the girls who weren’t a size 2 were banished to the back row in every dance. And they looked uncomfortable. Why couldn’t a costume be chosen to suit everyone??? I only know about 5 people that could pull that look off.

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It made me think about going to auditions and how our appearance makes a difference. We always want to put our best foot forward. However, sometimes we have to face the fact that we are not going to be right for every show.

When I first moved to the city I went to an ECC for Rent. I wore pleather pants (purchased the Halloween before) and a baby T. I went heavy on the eyeliner. I sang my 16 bars of pop/rock. I thought I owned that audition. Casting gave me a sweet smile and said to come back next week for the Hairspray audition. Well. It was a tough pill to swallow, but what great information! It’s so important to clarify the difference between doing something challenging that may stretch oneself vs. doing something you may be passionate about but isn’t the best fit.

 

1656420_488267407944823_862669968_nGretchen Bieber is a monthly blog contributor to The Broadway Warm-Up Blog. For more information on Gretchen go to: www.facebook.com/stylebygretchen

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Snapshots of NOW: My Photo Shoot With Lululemon

 

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Another inspiring blog installment from Broadway Warm-Up monthly blog contributor Jessica Latshaw:

 

Snapshots of NOW: My Photo Shoot With Lululemon

UnknownTomorrow I am doing a photo shoot for the ambassadorship for Lululemon. If you don’t know, Lululemon is a fantastic clothing line for all things movement. With the hashtag, #TheSweatLife, they encourage people to live their best lives; to constantly be challenging themselves and working towards health–physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. If there is a way to be healthy, they are for it. I am so happy to partner with them. I love their philosophy and their positivity and it’s an honor to be part of their team. And like I stated already: tomorrow morning is my photo shoot with them.

The ironic part is that right now, I have probably never felt less like being photographed in a tight tank top. You think about these moments in life; you imagine them being a certain way. I remember first walking into the Lululemon in Union Square and seeing a large poster-sized photo of a beautiful dancer/ instructor on the wall and literally thinking, I’d love to be on that wall someday.

That was a little less than two years ago.

Now it’s happening.

Now I get to be on the wall.

And now I am almost four months pregnant.

images-1 “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans,” is what John Lennon wisely said. You have plans–you should have plans, too–but they are not the obedient little children you thought you were raising. They are wild things, plans. They sometimes go their own way. And as the plans run the opposite way, you face something even more wild than the plans: the moment. And if you’re smart, and maybe a bit wild, too, you embrace it. You learn to let it lead in this dance, swaying and dipping to a music that is both wonderful and new and unlike anything you’ve heard before until now. Until this moment. And life is a lot of things, yes, but it is not boring and it is not predictable and it is probably better than what you’d originally conceived in a mind that is brilliant, yes! but a mind that cannot take in or consider all the elements of this glorious universe that, together, land in the same place. A place we call now. A place where the wise and daring ones live.

Unknown-1So tomorrow morning I will not be rocking my favorite crop top, as I would have just a few short months ago. Not this moment; for this is a different one than then. I don’t regret this baby growing inside of me for one second. I just never imagined that I’d be a pregnant girl on the wall of Lululemon. It is a vulnerable thing to pose without feeling perfect. But it is also an honest thing. And it is also an always thing. For we are kidding ourselves when we toss around the word perfect. It does not exist, really, in the realm of art and movement and individuality. There is excellence and there is vulnerability and there is you–and I would argue that those things, together, capture a heart and make one content to stop looking for perfection, for what they’ve found instead is far more captivating, anyway. So here goes embracing this moment. This beautiful, imperfect, vulnerable, new, never-before-seen, awesome, and pregnant moment.

 

 

img-26Jessica Latshaw is a monthly contributor for The Broadway Warm-Up Blog.  For more info on Jessica go to: www.jessicalatshawofficial.com 

 

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The Broadway Warm-Up: A completely synchronized vocal and dance warm-up for performers that can be completed in under 30 minutes! 

Now Available on DVD! 

www.broadwaywarmup.com