The Quadruple Threat

Performers looking to be involved in musical theatre have to be multi-talented. You should know how to act, sing, and dance to better market yourself as a performer to theatre companies. These three skills are considered “The Triple Threat.” In some cases, these three skills may not make the cut for future auditions. Welcome to the age of the Quadruple Threat.

On top of honing your skills at acting, singing, and dancing, theatre companies are looking for performers who also have either one, or several unique talents to go along with the traditional three. These abilities can vary from being a musician to knowing how to walk on stilts or even knowing how to do acrobatics. These skills have been utilized in a few shows on and off Broadway in recent years.

Some musicals require their performers to have that additional skill for the roles they have. Million Dollar Quartet is one musical where all performers on the stage play an instrument during the show. Million Dollar Quartet is the story about four of the biggest names in music, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. All four of these performers play an instrument such as the guitar, piano, and upright bass.

Knowing how to play one, or multiple instruments will benefit you in a multitude of ways when looking for performance gigs.

  • Intonation skills/Training your ear
  • Pick out your harmonies/melodies
  • Reading music/sight reading
  • Assisting you musical director

These skills will make you easier to work with and ultimately more employable than someone who cannot play an instrument.

Another skill you should consider adding to your arsenal is writing. Whether it be professional or creative, writing can serve as a useful marketing asset when auditioning for roles. Having the ability to write will allow you to connect more deeply to the script and overall dialogue of the production you are involved in. You can analyze words to understand better what the writer was trying to portray. This ability can take you further into the depth of understanding your character as well as understanding the other characters around you and what kind of connection each other holds.

An additional skill to have in your back pocket when auditioning is never a bad thing. Hone in on the top three skills: acting, singing and dancing, and then look to find what other beneficial skills for theatre interest you and run with it!