Clay Aiken – All The World’s A Stage

All the world’s a stage

and all the men and women merely players:

they have their exits and entrances

and one man in his time plays many parts…”

…William Shakespeare

Last night, I found an interesting article by Arlene Schulman.  Arlene has over 25 years of theatrical experience in NYC and NJ.  She has directed many shows and has a passion for Shakespeare.  I thought her information about Broadway actors was interesting

A Broadway actor is one who works on Broadway.  There are very, very few of these.  Broadway is a very small community with very few jobs that thousands of actors want.  The way to become a Broadway actor – especially in musical theatre – is to:
1) work your tail off studying acting, voice and dance – only the very best get the chance to play Broadway;
2) work in lots of small professional and regional theatres outside NYC to earn your Equity card (Broadway does not hire non-Equity actors);
3) climb over everyone you know – Broadway is about business and status and prestige – it is a cutthroat business;
4) audition constantly – waiting all day for cattle calls were you get seen for 1 minute;
5) act in lots of unpaid NYC showcases in the hopes that you will be able to come to the attention of an agent who will want to represent you – most Broadway leads and supporting roles are cast by audition subnission by agents and are seldom available to unrepresented actors;
6) be prepared for years of rejection and disappointment – with thousands of actors auditioning for each role, many of which are precast anyway, the odds of getting cast are minimal and the more you are seen the better your chances;
7) network constantly all over NYC – getting cast in NYC is about who you know;
8) and be sure to find a good day job – living in NYC is very, very expensive and unless you are doing Broadway or Off-Broadway, most NYC theatre is unpaid or, at best, very minimally paid.

Acting, like any other profession – and more than most, requires in-depth training.  And if you want a career in musical theatre then you must study acting, singing and dance.  There was a time when a singer could take a lead in a Broadway musical, but more and more musicals require even the leads to be triple threats…And even more so for those not the leads.

If you are a professional, well-trained actor/singer it is possible to get musical roles without formal dance training, but you must be able to move well on stage – and that means more than just being able to walk gracefully.  It means that you can learn dance moves, that you are familiar with the basic dance steps, that you can look like you are doing more complicated moves without actually dancing.  But the more dance training you have, the more roles you will be eligible for.  And if all you want to do is musical theatre, then you better be sure that you can do any role they throw at you, or you will never earn enough to eat.

Even actors who aim for all theatre, and film and tv as well, have no financial security.  Less than 2% of all professional union actors are making a living as an actor.  Most are working at day jobs while they pursue their acting career, and the unemployment rate in the acting community is over 95%!  So if you are going to limit yourself to just a tiny portion of the acting field – musical theatre – then you better be sure that you are exceptionally talented, exceptionally well-trained, and able to do every part of your craft.

As far as how long to take acting and voice lessons – the simple answer is, that if you want to do this as a career, you will be taking voice and acting classes all your life.

Remember, acting is one of the most difficult professions there is .

When I read this, I thought of the talented Mr. Aiken who starred on Broadway and wowed the Broadway World.  Yes…..he is very talented!!

The remarkable SueReu put together another wonderful video.  Part 5 of her Clay Aiken – A Retrospective,  features Clay and his many performances on Broadway.

Thank you, Sue, for another wonderful video.

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain

10 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – All The World’s A Stage

  1. Great article on Broadway, Musicfan. It's true…people on Broadway have to be so very talented. Night after night, giving their all. I was so proud of Clay in Spamalot. He really was absolutely wonderful, considering most of his part was speaking with a little singing. I'm sure his next role on Broadway will have more singing…cause no one sounds better singing on that Broadway stage than Clay. Thank you to SueRue for that lovely montage….I hope Clay goes back there, cause he is truly loved on Broadway…

  2. I was (and still am) incredibly proud of Clay for Spamalot. He showed his range, not just singing, but acting – most specifically a comedic actor. He was spectacular!! and he does choreography quite well =)

    Very interesting article!! Thanks for using my video too!!

  3. I can't thank SueRue enough for the amount of work she puts in to bring us these wonderful videos. Musicfan and CANN has my undying love and thanks for the daily emails. I can't imagine any other singer/actor etc. who has such a dedicated fan base as Clay "The Man" Aiken.

    • What a nice thing to say!! I so enjoy writing about Clay and supporting his interests. I am just glad I have some people that actually visit here.

  4. Very interesting article on Broadway. I agree..Clay did an amazing job in Spamalot. He was an actor and a singer…even though there wasn't a lot of singing involved. I am sure he would fit in a play where he could do more singing. Can't wait for that.

    Love the new montage by Suereu on Spamalot. Even though I never got to go to any of the performances..I always felt like I was there..with all the cellcerts we had..and the video's. Kudo's to all the Fans who put out these fine Montages.

  5. I really liked that article on Broadway. Those people work so hard to put on 8 shows a week. I loved seeing Clay on Broadway. He did a marvelous job! Thanks for posting the great video done by Sue which reminded me of those glorious times in "Spamalot"

  6. How interesting a blog about Broadway. Thanks! I love Sue's new creation and the memories that I watched last night for the first time on facebook in this montage. What a fun play this was for Clay to perform in.

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