Based on parallels drawn between fundamental areas of theatre performance and their counterparts in the business world, Living The Dream…The Morning After Drama School – A DIY Guide to the Acting Business offers insights and tools to help current or former drama majors navigate life as highly capable actors trying to put together a living from a variety of income streams. It also exposes them to creative ways of considering their career options that may give them much more hope than they thought possible. In this way, a world that is foreign and overwhelming to many aspiring professional actors is brought easily and clearly into their comfort zone, equipping them for their quest to build a life doing what they love.
David Alford and Brian Horner draw from the experience of their lengthy, multi-faceted careers – Alford as a stage, television, and film actor, teacher, and arts administrator, and Horner as a saxophonist, teacher, and artist manager – and share that experience with those just starting out.
Foreword by Connie Britton
About the Authors
CHAPTER 1 Getting the Part . . . or Not – Auditioning, Rejection, and the Mental Game
CHAPTER 2 Reading the Script – Your Role in the Big Picture
CHAPTER 3 Meeting the Cast – Agents and Other Characters
CHAPTER 4 Blocking & Knowing Where You Stand – Unions, Contracts and Other Paperwork
CHAPTER 5 Memorization – Preparation, Professionalism, and the Basics
CHAPTER 6 Working the Scene – Listening and Responding
CHAPTER 7 Living in the Moment – Working Outside the Box
CHAPTER 8 Tech – The Nuts and Bolts of Making It All Work On Your Own
CHAPTER 9 The Curtain Rises, the Curtain Falls – Ups and Downs and the Paradox of the Business
David Alford is an actor, writer, director, and occasional teacher. A native of Tennessee, he founded and served as Artistic Director for Mockingbird Theatre, a professional theatre company in Nashville. Subsequently he served as Executive Artistic Director and Artist-in-Residence at Tennessee Repertory Theatre (now Nashville Rep). He designed and implemented a Dramatic Arts Major for one of his alma maters, Martin Methodist College, in nearby Pulaski. He has co-written numerous screenplays, four of which were actually shot, and none of which are remotely easy to find. With his family, he helped found the nonprofit organization Community Spirit Incorporated, which produces his original local history plays SPIRIT and SMOKE every year in his hometown of Adams, Tennessee. He also complied and edited a book of his father Dr. Ben R. Alford’s writing, THE DANCE OF THE HOLY NOBODIES (Martin Methodist College Press). Though he has “worn many hats” through his career, he is best known for his acting work, both on stage and for the camera. For the past five seasons, he has appeared as Bucky Dawes on the TV drama NASHVILLE. He and his wife Kahle split their time between Nashville and New York City.
Brian Horner is the owner of Sound Artist Support, is CEO/CCO of Craft Brewed Music™, “the small batch streaming app,” and has served as Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Austin Peay State University In addition to writing the first edition of this book, he is coauthor of Living The Dream…The Morning After Drama School and Living The Dream…The Morning After Art School, and presents music business and entrepreneurship lectures around the country. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music where he studied with renowned saxophonist and pedagogue Donald Sinta.
Horner’s music business career has included stints with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and Warner Bros. Records before the formation of his own company, Sound Artist Support, in 2008. SAS provides custom artist development and management to a diverse roster of world-class artists. He founded Craft Brewed Music™ in 2016. The music-streaming app provides a cross-genre home for music and artists often overlooked by the mainstream.
As a saxophonist, Horner has premiered more than a dozen new works for saxophone. He has appeared at such venues as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall and New York City's Mannes College of Music, as well as at the Glimmerglass Opera's Young Artist recital series in Cooperstown, NY. Joined by pianist Elizabeth Avery, he released Saxophone Music of M. Zachary Johnson--Live At Steinway Hall, and Serenade – Music for Saxophone & Piano. He can also be heard in a featured role on Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Gretchen Peters’ recording of “The Aviator’s Song.”
Brian Horner is a D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist endorsing Grand Concert Select reeds and a Conn-Selmer Artist endorsing Selmer (Paris) saxophones, and endorses Hercules Stands. He lives in Nashville with his wife and daughter, dog, and cat.