I hope that you all have enjoyed a lovely holiday season and that you are getting some much-needed R & R. I trust that our budding Divas have spent their time off rehearsing their scenes and songs for whatever production in which they might be involved. No time is being wasted binge-watching Netflix shows, I'm sure. ;)
Before this year draws to a close, I wanted to give you all a short list of some New Year's Resolutions to work on for 2017. If you're like me and the thought of resolutions makes you cringe, then look at this as a list of ideas that, if adopted, might make your path to success all the more pleasant and fulfilling!
For The Divas:
- Say thank you when receiving notes from your director. Resist the urge to explain why you making the choice you were making or excusing your less than stellar performance with tales of the stomach flu. When a director gives you a note, you have two options. 1. Ask for clarification or 2. Just say thank you.
- Support your local theatre community. Go see the rival high school's production of Bye Bye Birdie and do NOT judge their production harshly lest yours be judged too!
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone! Take a challenging dance class, learn an Aria or a new Shakespearean monologue.
DIVA BONUS POINTS: Give yourself a REALLY challenging goal for 2017 like memorizing one sonnet a week for the whole year or learning all of the lyrics to every song in Hamilton and being able to rap them flawlessly on demand. Challenges are essential for growth so go big this year!
For The Parents:
- Read the whole script for every show your child performs in this year. In addition to being informed about any and all "questionable" content, you can help answer fun questions like "What's a stenographer?" or "What does Rizzo mean by 'I'm late'?".
- Let your child prepare for an audition totally solo!
- Look into finding some film work for your child this summer. A role in a student film production could be a really fun way to spend a few days/weeks and will be an excellent learning experience for you and your Diva.
PARENTS BONUS POINTS: Surprise your child by learning all of the lyrics to one song in Hamilton (I recommend "Guns and Ships") or spend an afternoon teaching your son how to apply stage make up!
For The Directors:
- Choose a classic. Force some Rogers and Hammerstein on these kids or really anything written before 1960. Lord knows we could use some Singin' in the Rain right about now...
- Audition for something! Make time to focus on YOUR craft. If you've spent the past six years stuck in Whoville or under the sea, then get yourself into an acting class. Speak some Mamet. It'll be REALLY refreshing.
- Try simplicity. Cut the huge set or the brand new costumes. Focus on the acting, the storytelling, and forgo the "wow factor" for one show. The actors will have to rely on their acting, on the script, and it will make for a really nice change of pace.
DIRECTOR BONUS POINTS: Choose a show/play that involves social issues, that pushes the envelope, and while that might make people feel uncomfortable, it will perhaps start some important conversations. If possible, give a voice to your students and let them write. Now is the time for a new generation of artists to speak up.
As always, I'm wishing you all the best this new year. Keep following your dreams and remember to DREAM BIG!