Let's TAP About It

Springsteen on Broadway: Advice from One Showman to Another

Nicholas Youngs as one of the original concepts for the banker character "Von Hussler" from the Olean Community Theatre's 2016 production of "Mary Poppins."

With the opening of previews for “Springsteen on Broadway” this week, two conflicting reactions are battling in my mind: “Bruce the boss is back” and “Broadway?”

Okay, I'm curious.

While I have no idea the format of the one-man performance (it looks like a Bruce Springsteen concert from the reviews I’ve read), I still offer some friendly advice from one showman to another. Sure I’m nowhere near the level of the Boss, but I do have experience in a theatrical setting (local and school theater --  but still experience). Here are a few helpful guidelines for Mr. Springsteen, as well as anyone who has any interest in performing:

Sign Up for E-News

Stage Presence

One of the main things that any actor/performer needs is stage presence, something in which Mr. Springsteen is well versed. He knows how to work a crowd, and he has infectious energy whenever he’s onstage. But this definition can change depending on what’s needed for the performance.

The stage presence of say Hamlet (a serious and emotionally turbulent role) would be different than say the Genie from “Aladdin” (a crazy ball of energy whose comedy and wit capture the audience with laughter). So the direction that Mr. Springsteen, or any performer for that matter, wants to take the show depends on the type of energy they bring to their performance.


Another important aspect is communication. To a certain degree, communication falls into the stage presence category, but stage presence is a type of communication in and of itself. The main goal of any show is to be entertaining, but the second most important goal is getting the message/story of the show across.

This can be accomplished through two very simple methods: diction and body language. One must be certain that every word is heard and that every person, even in the back row, can understand the word that was just said.

Facial expressions are great for capturing emotion as well, but only those closest to the stage can really see them. That’s where the importance of body language comes in handy. It’s the way one can silently get emotion across from far away without saying a word.


The final bit of advice I can offer is to enjoy what you do, again something that I believe Mr. Springsteen has no problem with. But the best way to sell a show to any kind to any audience is, for lack of a better term, looking like you care.

You have to show the audience that you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t know actually know. The more invested one looks in the performance, the more invested the audience will be.

So that’s my advice on performing in a theater setting. Mr. Springsteen probably will never read this, but hopefully my advice will prove helpful for anyone interested in taking the stage – in Olean or on Broadway.

Nicholas Youngs has played leading roles in high school productions and has had speaking roles in Olean Community Theatre plays and musicals. He also performed in "Godspell" for Bradford Little Theatre.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Upcoming Events

Thu, October 19, 6:30 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Walking Dead Party

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, October 20, 3:45 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

LEGO Builders

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, October 20, 6:00 PM

Palmer Opera House, Cuba

10th Annual Beer and Cheese Fest

Food & Drink

That Time I Started My Journalism Career on Columbus Day

For many people, Columbus Day is a time for parades and a celebration of Italian heritage. Others contend that it is wrong to honor Christopher Columbus as a hero.

For me, Columbus Day is significant for another reason. It was on Columbus Day in 1975 that I spent my first day in a newsroom as a working journalist as a reporter for a suburban weekly named The Montclair Times.

It also was a ...

Playoff Picture Gets Clearer for Local Teams as Season Concludes

On The Gridiron:

Last week Cuba-Rushford kept York-Pavilion off the board with a 28-0 victory on the road. The win was huge for the Rebels as it marked two in a row for the team as they charge into the playoffs. Cuba-Rushford ended the year with a 5-2 record. The Rebels finished as the number two team in the league as they await an opponent for their playoff matchup on Friday. The Rebels will ...

NYS Office for the Aging Reminds Older New Yorkers Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15

October 12, 2017

ALBANY, NY — New York State Office for the Aging acting director Greg Olsen reminds older New Yorkers that the Medicare open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Medicare health and prescription drug plans can make changes each year to costs, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. The open enrollment period is when all people ...

TAPinto Touts Traffic and Revenue Growth While Celebrating Ninth Birthday at Franchisee Meeting

TAPinto.net celebrated its ninth birthday on Monday at its franchisee meeting held at the Grand Summit Hotel, in Summit, NJ. 

What began in 2008 as an all-online local newspaper in New Providence founded by Michael Shapiro and his wife, Lauryn, is now the dominant player in local news, with more than 65 TAPinto sites providing original local reporting every day in more than ...

Senator Young Posthumously Honors World War II Veteran Donald L. Buchanan

OLEAN, NY – World War II veteran Private First Class Donald L. Buchanan, U.S. Army, was posthumously honored for his distinguished service to our nation on Saturday, September 23. 

During a ceremony at War Veterans Park in Olean, New York, Senator Catharine Young, who represents teh Greater Olean area inthe state legislature,  presented Private First Class ...