Tis the Season, Parents, and if you're struggling to find your favorite Diva a gift he'll LOVE, check the list below for ideas.
1. LESSONS. It's the gift that keeps on giving! Gifting voice, dance, or acting lessons is a great way to show your support for your budding performer all year long. If you're worried about cost, consider lessons every other week instead of weekly.
2. SHOES. Kids grow out of their shoes quickly so it's probably time for some new tap shoes. Be sure to get your child sized before purchasing new shoes and if your child is enrolled at a studio, mention that at checkout - many dance clothing companies give a discount for local studio members.
3. TICKETS. Surprise your Diva with tickets to a show! The national tours that come through most major cities are very often the same caliber of performance that you would experience on Broadway without the need for travel. Even if you weren't able to score those Hamilton tickets, your child will be thrilled to see a show with you. And a brand new "theatre outfit" is a great accompanying gift.
4. SCRIBD. The website is a great resource for scripts and sheet music. For about $10 a month, your performer will have access to tons of sheet music, books, and scripts that are available to download or read on their computer (or any other device). Check out www.scribd.com for details.
5. BOOKS. For our older students, I recommend engaging their interest in the industry with books on acting or actor autobiographies. Some of my favorite books for actors include Declan Donnellan's The Actor and the Target, True and False by David Mamet, and of course, the sacred text, An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavsky (all of which are available on Scribd, by the way). And some incredible actors have written great autobiographies that provide insight into their bumpy journey towards success. My personal favorites are Lessons in Becoming Myself by Ellen Burstyn, Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler (I highly recommend listening to Amy read hers as an audiobook - it's amazing. And something the whole family can enjoy on the ride home from Grandma's house).
6. Miscellaneous. Here are some specific and awesome gifts for the performer in your life.
For the SINGER: Encourage them to become a well-rounded musician and give them their own keyboard. For the beginners, include a book to help them teach themselves or a book of sheet music from their favorite musical for the more advanced pianists. Keyboard
For the DANCER: Protect your hardwood floors by purchasing your tapper their own private dance studio. It easily fits under their bed and you might have some hope of getting your security deposit back when you move! Tap Dance Floor
For the ACTOR: Every actor worth their salt will be asked to perform Shakespeare at some point in their careers and the First Folio is really the best version of The Bard's complete works. It's a little challenging to read at first (they will get extra awesome points if they can distinguish the 'f's from the 's's) but it's incredible to read the words as they were originally written, without interpretation from an editor. Shakespeare's First Folio
Even if you don't have a ton to spend this year, there are many ways to let your Diva know that they have your support. I recommend curling up on the couch and enjoying "Waiting for Guffman" a hilarious mockumentary about this business we call show. It's a must see for any musical theatre nerd (AKA budding Diva) and a reminder not to take this world too seriously. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer, this is my pick. Also good for the stocking are iTunes gift cards so they can download their favorite OBCRs. That's Original Broadway Cast Recording, of course.
Wishing you Happy Holidays and reminding you to DREAM BIG,