The Holiday Season is officially upon us, and it’s time to get creative about holiday gifting!
The obvious and ONLY choice? TICKETS TO HAMILTON ON BROADWAY, OF COURSE!
Just kidding … That’s impossible.
So … What do you get a theatre lover? Especially one in the throes of preparing for their college auditions!? Well, tickets to a show are always a great (and welcome) idea, but I have a few others you might want to consider.
Here are 10 awesome (and practical) gifts that will spread some holiday cheer and set your student on the path to success:
1. Vocal Steamer!
The value of a good vocal steamer cannot be overstated. Steaming relieves inflammation and congestion of upper respiratory mucous membranes, moistens dry nasal passages, thins and loosens mucus, and helps clear congestion. It can help ease symptoms of the common cold, sinusitis, allergies, and laryngitis, and it is an absolute lifesaver after spending hours in a dry airplane cabin on your way to auditions!
Vicks makes a great steamer that is super portable and guaranteed to get the job done. For an upgraded model, check out the MyPurMist I invested in a MyPurMist a few years back, and I absolutely love it. Best of all, MyPurMist is self-cleaning!
2. Belt Box
A singer’s best friend. Warm up anytime, anywhere, and never feel self- conscious. Belt Box looks like a little fabric face mask, but it has the ability to muffle your voice up to 30 dB. It’s an awesome way to keep your chords warm in public, and also to ensure that you’re singing by feel, rather than by sound (every audition space will resonate differently!). Plus, you’ll never be the cause of any hotel noise complaints during your travel!
3) Portable Speakers
Some schools now require that you provide your own speaker device and accompaniment for your audition. But never fear! A quality portable speaker is something you can reap the benefits of way beyond college (think every self-tape you will ever make). Pros recommend models like the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom and Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Ultra. Or head to your local electronics store and find the model that speaks to you! Look for something with great sound quality, bluetooth capability, and enough volume to fill those auditions rooms. Invest now, and thank yourself later!
4) Mini Clothes Steamer
Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles! This may not seem like the most exciting gift, but the magic of this My Little Steamer cannot be overstated. Not only is it extremely portable, but it heats up in less than a minute, and it gets those wrinkles right out of your audition clothes! This is my secret weapon, and I cannot recommend it enough!
5) A Reusable Water Bottle
A great water bottle is a non-negotiable for any performer. Your body is your instrument, and one of the very best ways to stay in tip-top performance shape is to stay hydrated! I love S’well Bottles because they are super durable, never leak, are easy to clean, and have awesome insulation. Plus, investing in a reusable water bottle is a great way to cut down on personal waste. Hooray for healthy hydration and hooray for sustainability!
6) LaDuca Character Shoes
If your student has been extra good this year and you’re willing to splurge, consider an upgrade to their dance shoe collection: LaDuca Character Shoes or Boots. LaDuca’s are the Broadway gold standard, and for good reason: LaDuca’s have a flexible split-sole construction to allow for more foot articulation and better contact with the floor. “LaDuca shoes were created with the dancer in mind and position the body over the center of the shoe, alleviating unnecessary knee and back pain and creating a healthier dance experience."
If these are way over budget, consider a gift certificate to help get your student started and give them some motivation to save for the rest!
Pro Tip: LaDuca holds an annual sale at their Manhattan store (usually in July), which is a great time to snag a new pair. Keep your eyes on their Facebook page for more info!
A great way to make sure you can tune out and get in the zone! I swear by these Bose headphones for my daily subway commute in NYC. Absolutely a splurge, but the noise cancellation is amazing. These headphones make listening to voice lessons, jamming to your favorite tunes, or any type of travel a PLEASURE. Looking for a more budget-friendly option? Consider investing in an earlier model.
8) A Subscription to a Meditation App
As Coach Stephanie wisely instructs us, “peak performance is 90% mental and 10% physical.”
A consistent meditation practice is an incredible way to promote greater clarity, presence, and rootedness, and it can also help to combat nerves or performance anxiety - all positive things for acing an audition! Starting now and committing to a daily practice (even just 10 minutes!) can have a massive impact on your mental preparedness and audition success.
Meditation apps, like Headspace or Calm are GREAT for beginners and seasoned meditators alike.
9) A Subscription to Broadway HD
Auditions are exciting! But sometimes we all need a BREAK. If downtime for your drama kid still means Broadway, consider a subscription to Broadway HD. Broadway HD is basically Netflix for live theatrical performances - aka the stuff of every theatre nerd’s dreams! A subscription costs $8.99 per month.
10) The Academy at MCA
If you’ve spent time coaching with us, then you know how passionate and committed MCA is to the artistic and personal growth of our students! We are thrilled to now offer 6-week intensive courses in Musical Theatre, Acting, and Dance through The Academy at MCA. These courses are specifically targeted to challenge young artists by providing intensive, pre-professional training in essential performance skillsets, such as “Shakespeare 101,” “Improvisation,” and “Music Theory Bootcamp!”
Give your student the gift of continued learning and a jumpstart on their collegiate and professional success! Check out our site for more information or to see the other great classes being offered this session!
That’s a wrap! Sending love, light, and Happy Holidays from all of us at MCA!
Got any other great gift ideas? Sing out (Louise!) in the comments below
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