Orchestrating Dreams: Highlighting the Aspirations of Musical Theater Students

Orchestrating Dreams: Highlighting the Aspirations of Musical Theater Students

Discovering the Artist Within: A Journey of Musical Theater Students

I’ve always been an introvert at heart. Give me a quiet corner, a good book, and I’m in my happy place. But as I dove deeper into the world of musical theater, I realized that a little bit of extroversion was required to truly shine. Those moments when I had to muster up the courage to talk to a clinician after a master class or randomly approach an instrumentalist I didn’t know to collaborate on a piece – those took effort, lots of it. And when it came to navigating the social media landscape, the very thought of posting videos of myself dancing or playing music, curating the perfect caption, or creating content to advertise my performances, well, that was downright overwhelming.

But as I sat down to chat with my fellow EXCEL Program Assistants, KJ Ludwig and Lesley Sung, I realized that conquering the social media beast wasn’t as daunting as I had imagined. With their expert insights and tips, I began to see the power of using these digital platforms to amplify my artistry and connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

Captivating Audiences: Leveraging Social Media

One key tip that KJ recommended was to keep your audience engaged throughout the performance process. “It’s your job as the digital marketer to hold guests’ hands through the experience,” she said. “Before the event, post a story of where to park with an image of the parking lot. For dinner or drinks before or after, feature local restaurants. Before the event, take a picture behind the curtain. Your audience will appreciate feeling a part of the journey.”

Keeping your audience engaged throughout a performance day can make them feel like they’re a part of the whole experience. This often leads them to interact more with your content because they’ve developed a personal connection to you and your work. This tip is especially important for TikTok, where Lesley says that keeping up with social media trends allows you to get multiple views on your videos and posts.

“Trend is a very broad word that generally means a prevailing tendency or inclination or general movement, but TikTok uses it to describe the creative formats, ideas, and behaviors that get a lot of attention and, in turn, influence what people do on the platform,” Lesley explained. “When you open the TikTok app, you’re able to see numerous examples of what is currently trending. You can also explore various trends on TikTok’s creative center, which allows you to get a detailed view of trending hashtags, creators, and songs.”

Lesley shared an example of one of her videos that blew up in 2021: “Back in 2021, there was a massive trend where people would utilize the Siri voice effect to make funny videos. I decided to hop on this trend using my actual personal experience to engage with my audience.”

Crafting Captivating Captions

Captions are a small detail that I never thought mattered, but it turns out the perfect caption can go a long way. KJ and Lesley say to try to keep your captions concise and use captions that engage your audience. Social Media Today suggests using captions that encourage conversations, such as posting open-ended questions so your audience is invited to share their opinions and connect with you.

“You can also use social media captions to add value to your audience’s day,” KJ said. “Perhaps you can include a funny/satisfying pun or share some inspirational advice. Giving a little something can encourage your audience to give a little back – they may thank you or share their own take on your post.”

Here’s an example of a great caption from KJ: “It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood.”

Maintaining Consistency: The Key to Social Media Success

As an introvert, posting on social media always takes a lot of energy for me. I’m always running around, and I never have the energy to try to take the perfect video of my composing process or pose for a photo before a concert. But KJ and Lesley both agree that posting regularly is key for building your social media presence.

“If you go weeks between posts, it’s unlikely that your audience is seeing your message frequently enough for it to be memorable and make an impact,” Lesley said. However, she also noted that you don’t have to use all social media platforms – using one platform pretty consistently is a good thing.

To help with the consistency struggle, KJ recommended using social media planning software to schedule your posts in advance. “This allows you to strike a balance between posting too little and posting too much and be consistent with your posting schedule,” she said.

My Social Media To-Do List

After talking to KJ and Lesley, I feel a little better about navigating the social media landscape, but I know I still have a lot to learn. Here’s my personal to-do list for the month:

  1. Explore TikTok’s creative center to stay up-to-date on trending content formats and ideas.
  2. Use Canva or a similar graphic design tool to create visually engaging posts for Instagram and Twitter.
  3. Experiment with different caption styles, including open-ended questions and value-adding tidbits.
  4. Research social media scheduling tools and set up a posting calendar to maintain consistency.

I’m still a work in progress when it comes to social media, but I’m determined to overcome my fears and use these platforms to their full potential. After all, as a musical theater student, I know the power of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing the spotlight. With the right tools and strategies, I’m confident I can orchestrate my digital dreams and connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

So, if you’re like me and feel overwhelmed by the idea of social media marketing, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone. With a little bit of effort and the right guidance, you can harness the power of these digital platforms to amplify your artistry and achieve your aspirations. Remember, the stage is yours – now go claim it, both in the real world and in the digital realm.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Musical Theater Center and the resources they offer to support the dreams of young performers, be sure to check out their website. Who knows, maybe your journey will be the next one we’re highlighting on our blog!

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